Sermon Illustrations

It was the middle of the 1800s and a man by the name of Simon Greenleaf was teaching a class on evidence of law at Harvard University. Greenleaf was considered by many to be the greatest expert on evidence of law the world has ever known. He had been praised for his knowledge and when it comes to the question of what constitutes evidence, Greenleaf's credentials are impeccable.

Greenleaf had one non-negotiable rule when he taught in the classroom at Harvard. The rule was simple: "Never make up your mind about any significant matter without first considering the evidence." Greenleaf set this rule in place and applied it in all areas of life except when it came to religion. He was a Jew that did not believe in Christianity but one day in class the subject of the resurrection came up. There was a debate on both sides of the topic and Greenleaf proclaimed to his class, "I don't believe in the resurrection." One student courageously spoke up and asked: "Yes, Professor, but have you considered the evidence?"

At that moment, Greenleaf realized that he had not considered the evidence and from that day forward he set out to study the evidence of the resurrection with the desire to disprove it. After much time studying the evidence with an open mind, Greenleaf came to this conclusion, "If the evidence of Christ's resurrection were presented to any unbiased jury in the world, they would have to conclude that Jesus of Nazareth rose from the dead."

Greenleaf was so convicted by the evidence that he became a Christian and wrote about his research of the resurrection in a book released in 1846 known as "The Testimony of the Evangelists."

Greenleaf went on to make this observation, "According to the laws of the legal evidence used in courts of law, there is more evidence for the historical fact of the resurrection of Jesus Christ than just about any other event in history."

Share the truth of the resurrection with courage and confidence for it is the most important truth that needs to be shared with a dying world. 1 Peter 1:3 declares, "Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ! In his great mercy, he has given us new birth into a living hope through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead."

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