‘We believe that Jesus died and rose again.’ 1 Thessalonians 4:14 NIV
Let’s look at some theories peddled by those who’ve tried to deny the Resurrection. Some say that the Gospels were written two to three hundred years after the event, so the story was either falsified or embellished. But archaeology disproves that. Now we know that the Gospels go back to the authors whose names they bear, and that the testimony of the Resurrection goes back to the same decade in which it took place—not centuries later. So, there was no time for legend to develop!
Some say that the disciples experienced visions or hallucinations because Christ promised to rise from the dead and they fully expected Him to. But in the history of hallucinations there is no incident where five hundred people from different backgrounds ever saw the same vision at the same time. And what about the two disciples on the Emmaus Road who walked and talked with Christ after His resurrection, then ate supper with Him (Luke 24:13)? Were they hallucinating too? When Peter preached on the day of Pentecost about this so-called ‘great hallucination’, he was standing only ten minutes away from the tomb (see Acts 2:24). Thousands of people believed; others heard it and didn’t believe. Did no one think of walking down the street to check it out? Certainly those conspiring Sadducees would have taken every opportunity to show that this was simply a hallucination.
The Resurrection is what distinguishes Christianity from every other belief system in history: in it is the hope, not just of our souls lasting beyond death, but of our bodies returning to life—having overcome the last enemy. Just as Jesus did.
SoulFood: Gen 22:1–18, Mt 27:33–56, Ps 22, Is 53
The Word for Today is authored by Bob and Debby Gass and published under licence from UCB International Copyright 2023