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Why We Believe In The Bodily (Literal) Resurrection Of Christ

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Jun 12, 2007

Summary: This Message presents the supporting Evidences for the Reality of The Resurrection of Jesus

J. N. D. Anderson writes of the testimony of the appearances:

"The most drastic way of dismissing the evidence would be to say that these stories were mere fabrications, that they were pure lies. But, so far as I know, not a single critic today would take such an attitude. In fact, it would really be an impossible position. Think of the number of witnesses over 500. Think of the character of the witnesses. men and women who gave the world the highest ethical teaching it has ever known, and who even on the testimony of their enemies lived it out in their lives. Think of the psychological absurdity of picturing a little band of defeated cowards cowering in an upper room one day and a few days later transformed into a company that no persecution could silence-and then attempting to attribute this dramatic change to nothing more convincing than a miserable fabrication they were trying to foist upon the world. That simply wouldn’t make any sense."

John Warwick Montgomery (History and Christianity, Downers Grove, IL. 60515: lnter-Varsity Press, 1964. Used by permission) comments:

"Note that when the disciples of Jesus proclaimed the resurrection, they did so as eyewitnesses and they did so while people were still alive who had contact with the events they spoke of. In 56 A.D. Paul wrote that over 500 people had seen the risen Jesus and that most of them were still alive (I Corinthians 15:6 ff.). It passes the bounds of credibility that the early Christians

could have manufactured such a tale and then preached it among those who might easily have refuted it simply by producing the body of Jesus."

Bernard Ramm (Protestant Christian Evidences, Moody Press. 1953) writes:

"if there were no resurrection it must be admitted by radical critics that Paul deceived the apostles of an actual appearance of Christ to him. and they in turn deceived Paul about the appearances of a risen Christ to them. How difficult it is to impugn the evidence of the Epistles at this point when they have such strong validation as authentic!"

HOW MUCH MORE EVIDENCE AND TESTIMONY WOULD BE NECESSARY TO CONVINCE AN UNBELIEVER? 500 PEOPLE AT ONE TIME SAW HIM ALIVE AFTER HIS RESURRECTION!!!!! THERE COMES A POINT WHEN MORE TESTIMONY WOULD BE RIDICULOUS AND UNNECESSARY. (COMPARE JOHN 3:12; LUKE 16:27-31) The fact remains: Jesus was crucified. Jesus did die. The Roman Soldiers saw to that. The Roman Government Officials confirmed it and sealed the tomb in which he was buried with an official Roman Seal. Then He was seen alive - over and over again - not just once but many time - by many witnesses in many different circumstances. The claim (accusation) that the disciples wanted so badly to believe that He was alive that they concocted the story is too ridiculous and far-fetched to receive serious consideration. By their own testimony, they did not believe He was going to rise again after they saw Him die, and to a man refused to believe and accept the report that He was alive when told. But one by one, they were backed into a corner (so to speak) and forced to come face to face with the Living Christ. He assured them that He was real - that His Resurrected Life (body) was real. He invited (urged) them to touch Him, to feel Him, and to see that it was really He and not a spirit. He even took a piece of broiled fish and ate it.

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