Summary: Proof of the Resurrection.
We demand evidence when we are accused of almost anything. If you have ever had a car wreck with someone else, you know how quickly the blame game starts but usually the evidence can prove who was really at fault. The best part about a car wreck is how the other person reacts, regardless of whether it is really their fault or not. They always jump out of their vehicle, throw up their arms, and look at you like you ruined their life. No one likes to be accused of wrong-doing, especially those for which there is absolutely no evidence. If you ever see court-room television, it is incredibly funny to watch someone try to argue their case with little or no evidence. Judge Judy is hilarious because she has so many people walk into her court room and basically try to confuse and convince her that what they say is true. Well, if they don’t have any evidence, she throws the case out and kicks them out of her court room.
There is a lawyer by the name of Sir Lionel Luckhoo. I wasn’t familiar with him until recently when I found out that he had 245 consecutive murder acquittals; he weighed the evidence and carefully proved that each one of those men were not guilty. This man is even recorded in the Guinness Book of World Records as the world’s most successful lawyer. He must have been a master of information, precision, and care to help those men and women find freedom from a life of jail. The queen of England knighted Luckhoo twice. He was a master of analyzing the evidence surrounding a case and coming up with the right answer. He once analyzed the evidence for Christianity. In response to the evidence for Christ, he said, “I say unequivocally that the evidence for the resurrection of Jesus Christ is so overwhelming that it compels acceptance by proof which leaves absolutely no room for doubt.”
Luckhoo would have had to investigate quite a bit of information to come to a conclusion either way. Yet, he only had to answer three questions: 1) Did Jesus die?, 2) Was Jesus in the grave?, 3) Was He seen afterwards? No one does that. No one dies and then is seen next week. When we have a funeral, we leave the body in the grave knowing that we won’t see that body again. Yet, as Christians we claim something that no one else does, we claim that our leader died, was buried, and then lived again on the third day after he died but what proof is there. Don’t Christians just “believe” in Jesus? Don’t they just dream or wish because they are desperate to believe something? Could there be more to Christianity that a bunch of frilly feel good beliefs about love? I want you to listen, analyze, and weigh the facts surrounding the resurrection. God gave us truth and the proof we need to believe. So I am going to answer those three questions so that you may find even more reasons to believe.
Did Jesus die?
Why do we need to prove Jesus died? Everyone dies so why do we need to prove this. There is a theory called the swoon theory which claims that Jesus passed out on the cross and then the cool air of the tomb woke him up or that Jesus was drugged while on the cross to appear as though He died. It is a bit of a silly argument as you will see from the graphic nature of Jesus’ death. There are two phases of Jesus’ death: before the cross and on the cross. Only the worst criminals were sent into this kind of treatment such as men who tried to kill the emperor. Actually, Pilate allowed Jesus to be tortured a bit so that the crowd would have sympathy on Him and let Him go. Yet, after the trial concluded, the real punishment would begin.
They would march Jesus into the soldier’s barracks and into a courtyard with a stump or block in the middle. They would then strip their clothes off and chain them to the stump with their back exposed and face down. Then soldiers would deliver one at a time at least 39 strokes from a leather braided whip. At the end of each of the straps would be found balls of metal and bone fragments. The balls would create deep bruises into the muscle which would break open after other strokes hit the body. The bones would rip into the flesh and even into the muscles themselves exposing veins and even blood carrying arteries. Vivid descriptions always show Christ as unrecognizable. This is the nicest description I can come up with without getting into gory details. “By the end, the skin of His back was left hanging in long ribbons and the entire area was an unrecognizable mass of torn, bleeding tissue. One witness to a Roman flogging wrote this: "The sufferer’s veins were laid bare, and the very muscles and tendons and bowels of the victim were open to exposure."” (Lee Strobel, Jesus is Alive – True or False?, http://www.sermoncentral.com/sermon.asp?SermonID=72274)