Summary: This is a brief look at the evidence for the resurrection, is it fact or fiction?
The resurrection! 1Cor 15:1-12,
History is vital to who we are, it gives meaning and purpose to life. It effects all our lives whether we choose to ignore it or embrace it. We are all part of history and each one of us will leave an indelible stamp upon it to some extent!
People certainly effect history for instance,Charles Darwin with the theory of evolution. William Shakespeare in literature, Albert Einstein,Isaac Newton in the sciences, Adolph Hitler for terror, Leornardo Davinci in the Arts, Beethoven for music, Martin Luther and Nelson Mandella with civil rights, all these people have left an indelible mark upon history and will be remembered in the annuals of history for ever.
But all contenders pale into insignificance when they are put up against the life of Jesus Christ. He is unique amongst all contenders He alone was the one who said follow me! He is the one who died and rose again to conquer sin and death and grant eternal life to all that would believe in Him.
Jesus Christ changed the whole coarse of world events forever he left humanity the greatest set of ethical teaching ever written down, He made the profoundest claims about Himself and billions of lives have been changed by Him!
But its the resurrection that sets Him apart, its central to the Christian faith and without it Christianity would crumble into insignificance.
The resurrection brings certain certainties which cannot be changed, for instance because Jesus died for the sin of the world and rose again it proves a number of things:
1. He is the Son of God.
2. Our Sins can be forgiven and assurance with God.
3. Death has been conquered and we will be raised.
4. Eternal life is certain
5. Authority to witness.
6. Power to change lives
7. He is Alive and He will return
8. Meaning to the Lords supper until he comes.
Do we know and believe these things? More importantly have you experienced the resurrection in your life?
Today I would like to lay down some foundations for us in order to help us come to a saving faith in Jesus Christ and to bring us confidence in the resurrection fact. So the first thing I want to say today is that....
1. JESUS IS FACT NOT FICTION!
It madness I know but there are today in our post modern culture doubting the existence of Jesus of Nazareth.It was Bertrand Russell who once said,‘Jesus Christ probably never existed.’ Such statements are absoulute nonsense!
Lets get it straight from the begining - Jesus of Nazareth never came from the tales of Nairnia or Indiana Jones and the temple of doom or Harry Potter or even Lord of the Rings Jesus Christ was and is a historical figure of history as you are today.
The Encyclopaedia Britannica has 20,000 words more than anyone else about the life death and resurrection of Jesus Christ, not forgetting his return!
It quotes ’Concerning the testimony of the many independent secular accounts of Jesus of Nazareth, it records; These independent accounts prove that in ancient times even the opponents of Christianity never doubted the historicity of Jesus, which was disputed for the first time in the 18th, 19th 20th centuries on inadequate grounds.’
FF BRUCE Biblical scholar said, ‘ No credible historian would ever deny the historicity of Jesus Christ. The life of Jesus Christ is as axiomatic as the life of Julius Caesar.’
Secular historians confirm the life of Jesus Christ as factual
Tactius Roman historian born A.D52,54 Alludes to the Death of Christ and the persecution of Christians under Nero.
Josephus born A.D.37. Commander of Jewish forces in Palastine A.D.66 Wrote about Jesus Christ, his death, his third day resurrection and of the foretelling by the prophets
2. THE BIBLE IS GOSPEL NOT GOSSIP! V3
1Cor; 15.3,4 According to the Scriptures, Here we have the Gospel manifesto. According to the Scriptures
Paul is referring to the OT accounts. He is saying all this took place as foretold by the prophets of old. This is really awesome that thousands of years before his death and resurrection was all foretold as far back as Moses and the prophets.
Could you imagine someone predicting your life 700 - 1000 years before you were even born this is the amazing fact about the life of Jesus Christ.
The Bible is a book written over a period of 1600 years with 40 different writers with one author behind it, covering 3 continents and 3 different languages.
To get these authors to concoct such a fabrication would be impossible! We have more manuscripts backing up the authenticity of the Bible than any other historical document, in our possession. For the New Testament alone we have over 24,633 copies
How could all this take place? Although the Bible has over 40 different writers it has one major author behind it all God. As Peter writers 1 Pet:1.21 for prophecy never had its origin in the will of man, but men spoke from God as they were carried along by the Holy Spirit.