Summary: For the person who is willing to honestly examine the evidence, the resurrection of Jesus Christ is the best evidence for the truth of scripture. This sermon deals with the common objections to the resurrection
Many people ask if there is one ultimate evidence or proof for God. Is there one proof that explains:
-Why Christians believe in God
-Why Christians believe that God created the world
-Why Christians believe the bible as we have it is the word of God
-Why Christians believe that all of the men who wrote the bible were inspired by God
-Why Christians believe that Jesus is who He claimed to be
-Why Christians believe that Jesus died on the cross for me
-Why Christians believe Jesus is the ONLY way to Heaven
-Why Christians believe Christianity is the Only true religion
I believe there are two ways of approaching this question, depending on the person that asks:
If the person does not seem open to the truth and is just looking for reasons to justify their unbelief, no amount of evidence will satisfy them because they do not have a desire to learn truth. They either have a bias or have many presuppositions that will make it near impossible for them to accept things that the theist would offer. For instance, if someone believes in the philosophies of naturalism or materialism, they believe that the natural, or material world is ALL there is. Because of this they may not be willing to accept anything that you may offer that deals with the supernatural, such as miracles. For these people, I usually do not provide evidence in a way that they can be the judge over God and blaspheme Him in doing so. The reason is: the Bible teaches that everyone is already without excuse for rejecting God, solely on the basis of suppressing the truth of His existence by their sin. This suppression of the truth leads them to ignore the evidence of God’s deity and power in creation, the historical evidence of how God cared for Israel, delivered them from Egypt, and gave them the promised land. Their suppression of the truth leads them to reject the many prophecies in the Old Testament that speak of the Messiah, His deity, the miracles He would do in His life, His sacrificial death in fulfilling the OT sacrificial system, and His resurrection. All of these things are spoken of in the scriptures and were fulfilled in His life. These things were all seen by men (eyewitness testimony). These are great proofs for the existence of God, but they are rejected because of an unwillingness to accept the historical accounts because the miraculous is “impossible” to the skeptic. I will examine the proof that I give these kinds of people in a later lesson.
If (and only if) a person is actually open to considering the evidence, there are many different things you can share with them, but if you only had one opportunity, I would share with them the following:
THE RESURRECTION: THE ULTIMATE PROOF FOR JESUS, THE AUTHORITY OF SCRIPTURE, AND CREATION
There is one main reason why I have the faith I do: Because I believe that the evidence points to the FACT that Jesus Christ rose from the grave. The Christian faith stands or falls on the historicity of this one event. Did Jesus rise from the tomb, fulfilling the Old Testament prophecies that said He would, along with the prophecies that He Himself made in His life.
If Jesus rose from His tomb:
-His claims about Himself are true. He really is the Son of the Living God. He really was God incarnate, the One with ALL authority on heaven and earth who will be the judge of all men (Matthew 28:19-20; Acts 17:30)
-He is the lamb of God who died for the sins of the world, including your sins and my sins (John 1:29)
-The Apostles and Prophets who spoke on His behalf (who gave us the NT) were from God. They were inspired by God, as Jesus said they would be (John 14:26, 15:26, 16:7-15)
-The Old Testament is shown to be from God also, proven by Jesus’ claims that it was and His use of it with authority.
-Jesus’ speaking of Adam and Eve as real historical figures, the beginning of time and creation, the flood of Noah, etc. show that those events really did happen as recorded in the book of Genesis.
If Jesus did not rise from His tomb:
-He is by far the biggest fraud that this world has known. He wouldn’t even be a good man, or a good prophet.
-His Apostles and Prophets were liars, and were willing to even die for a lie.
-Everything that we believe from the New Testament (and possibly the Old Testament) is a lie!
-Our faith is worthless and we are still in our sins.
-We are wasting our time being Christians if the resurrection didn't happen! We should as Paul stated just "eat, drink, and be merry, for tomorrow we die."