DATE: April 22, 2019
TEXT: 1 Corinthians 15:16-19 –ESV - 16 For if the dead are not raised, not even Christ has been raised. 17 And if Christ has not been raised, your faith is futile and you are still in your sins. 18 Then those also who have fallen asleep in Christ have perished. 19 If in Christ we have hope[a] in this life only, we are of all people most to be pitied.
When I graduated from the seminary, lo, these many years ago, the world was a different place.
But then, slowly, ever so slowly things began to change. Extra-Biblical evidence began to trickle in and, all of a sudden people like David became a real person with a real spot on the historical and Biblical timelines. Talk to a secular scholar about Jesus and no longer would he argue about every single point. Jesus had become a real person who had been tried and crucified by Pontius Pilate.
When push came to shove there was really only one fact which was not negotiable. That fact was Jesus’ resurrection on the third day. It was not negotiable because, if true, Jesus is the Son of God and the Savior of the world.
So let me tell you why, other than blind faith, you can believe the resurrection is real.
The basis for our belief in the resurrection begins with: Jesus being dead. In the ancient world there is no record of anyone surviving a Roman crucifixion. Everyone agrees, when Jesus was taken off that cross He was dead.
1. When news broke that Jesus had risen, there weren’t any serious arguments against it or explanations made to rationalize. With an event this dramatic there should immediately been all kinds of explanations to calm the rumors of a resurrection.
2. The Empty Tomb – where was the body? The Jews and Romans would love to have produced it. The disciples died believing Christ had risen. NOBODY came up with a body…even though one decomposing bearded body, from a distance looks a like another decomposing bearded body.
3. Eyewitnesses all agreed. There is no division of people who saw something different. There should have been all kinds of personal points of view as to what was being seen. There wasn’t. The only explanation was: Jesus had risen.
4. The Spread of Christianity. Based on what had been seen and agreed had happened in Jerusalem the faith spread like wildfire… almost as if the Lord had an interest in its success.
THE PRAYER: Dear Lord, this week we remember the Savior’ passion and sacrifice which has brought about our redemption. May I bear witness to the wonder and majesty of Your love which has saved me. In Jesus’ Name., Amen.
The music which introduces and concludes our devotions was written by Guy Baumann. He along three of his brothers perform on the album: The Baumann Brothers which may be ordered here: http://thebaumannbrothers.com/index.html