Editor’s Note: I am currently blogging through my book Easter: Fact or Fiction, 20 Reasons to Believe Jesus Rose from the Dead. That book is available on Amazon by clicking the picture or link below. Please check it out! (Scroll down for links to the other parts to this post) (CLICK HERE FOR THE AMAZON LINK)
There is very real and very plausible evidence that Jesus rose from the dead. It is not a viewpoint that must be arrived at by a blind leap of faith, suitable for only religious wackadoos. On the contrary, there is compelling historical, philosophical and archaeological evidence that points to the reality that something remarkable and amazing happened to Jesus after He was crucified.
Believing in the resurrection as a historical fact does not make you a follower of Jesus. What does? Let’s allow Paul and Jesus to speak to that: “Now I would remind you, brothers, of the gospel I preached to you, which you received, in which you stand, and by which you are being saved, if you hold fast to the word I preached to you—unless you believed in vain.” (1 Cor 15:1-2, 15 ) AND Mark 1:14-15 “Jesus came into Galilee, proclaiming the gospel of God, 15 and saying, “The time is fulfilled, and the kingdom of God is at hand; repent and believe in the gospel.” (Mark 1:14-15)
Paul is essentially saying that he gave the Corinthians the gospel (information/good news) about Jesus – and how you respond to that determines whether you are in the Kingdom of Jesus or out of it. Jesus then says, in the Mark passage, repent (turn away) from your old life and believe the good news that Jesus died for your sins and was raised to life.
Are you standing on the resurrection of Jesus and the fact that Jesus paid the price for you on the cross? Are you holding fast to that belief? That is the Good news and by it, and through what Jesus did on the cross, people are saved. The Gospel IS the power of God unto salvation!
“Some have great confidence in skeptical scholarship, and I once did, perhaps more than anyone else. If anyone thinks they are assured in their unbelief, I was more committed: born of unbelieving parents, never baptized or dedicated; on scholarly credentials, a PhD from a secular university; as to zeal, mocking the church; as to ideological righteousness, totally radicalized. But whatever intellectual superiority I thought I had over Christians, I now count it as sheer ignorance. Indeed, I count everything in my former life as loss because of the surpassing worth of knowing the historical Jesus who is also the risen Lord. For his sake, I have given up trying to be a hipster atheist. I consider that old chestnut pure filth, in order that I may gain Christ and be found in him, not having a CV that will gain me tenure at an Ivy League school, but knowing that I’ve bound myself to Jesus—and where he is, there I shall also be.”
– Dr. Michael Bird, New Testament scholar: http://www.christianitytoday.com/ct/2014/april-web-only/how-god-became-jesus-and-how-i-came-to-faith-in-him.html
Links to the other 20 posts in this series (20 Reasons To Believe Jesus Rose from the Dead)