Photo - Kookaburras, God’s creature, laughs a great deal
In an age of scientific enlightenment (or should I say scientific benightment?), where truth is supposedly deduced from the unbiased analysis of the empirical data.
We’d appear foolish (would we not?) to insist on the supernatural-miraculous Resurrection of Jesus of Nazareth, 2000 years ago. After all, resurrections cannot be reproduced by a laboratory experiment, so it couldn’t have happened, so we are told.
However, the underlying assumption in arriving at this conclusion is that everything that occurs in the universe has a naturalistic/material explanation. Science rejects completely the supernatural. Consequently, everything written in the historical-gospel accounts must be fairy talesso we are told.
Therefore, should we abandon our faith in the supernatural? And regard the Gospel accounts of the resurrection as fables and fairy tales?
Another Reason that the Resurrection Accounts are 100% Trustworthy
A scientist who comes to prove or disprove an event took place in the past, brings the wrong set of tools to the task.
Lawyers, on the other hand bring a specific tool set to a crime scene (an event in the past) to determine precisely what happened. They’re trained to look for inconsistencies, contradictions in, and the plausibility of the witnesses’ accounts. Similarly, literary and historical critics, study the ancient documents of events which took place in the past, in order to judge their reliability. Let’s look at one now.
The Criterion of Embarrassment: The disciples transformed from incredulous cowards to fearless apostles.
The hallmark of ancient biographies of famous people was always topresent their great achievements and remarkable virtues, while at the same time minimising their vices.
Consequently, the authors of the Gospels wouldn’t include the disciples’foibles and mistakes in a historical record,unless their failures were true and served a higher purpose. After all, who among us wants to be remembered into posterity, for our failures?
However, in the Gospels this is exactly what we have, their failings. On the night Jesus was betrayed his disciples fled (except Peter), on the day of his crucifixion they were not on-site, all day Saturday and Saturday night they were cowering behind barred doors. There is no bravery to be seen here, only cowardice. This is very embarrassing.
To make matters even worse on Sunday morning, only the women showed up at the tomb, and then not because they were expecting to see Jesus risen, but to embalm his dead corpse.
Where were the disciples on Sunday morning?Sadly, hiding in the upper room.This is even more embarrassing, because Jesus had told them countless times that he would be raised from the dead, but they didn’t believe him.They were just as incredulous about the resurrection, as those who had not followed Jesus.
What purpose does it serve to show the disciples as incredulous cowards?
It shows us that even Jesus’ closest followers did not believe in the resurrection, but once they had seen him and touched him and heard him speak, they were compelled to believe the unbelievable.
They no longer had the luxury of unbelief, the inconceivable had happened they were eyewitnesses to it. You just can’t walk away from this and pretend it never happened. They knew that dead people, don’t rise from the dead. However, in their case they saw firsthandthat the supernatural power of God, had raised Jesus from the dead.
Everything changes from this point, they were constrained to proclaim what they had seen and heard. And so, with courage and conviction they preached the resurrection of Jesus Christ with total disregard of the dire consequences.
People Don’t Die for a Hoax – Okay, Show them the body.
Throughout history men and women have given their lives for a noble cause, or to make a statement against injustice, orfor an ideal that would improve the weal of their community or nation.
Notwithstanding, nobody lays down their life, for a lie.
While you’re being flayed alive (the fate of Bartholomew according to church tradition), I think now would be a good time to say “Okay, you’re right, I’ll show you the body, it’s all been a hoax”.
But instead all of the disciples (except John) met a similar grizzly and horrific death for their belief in the resurrection. At any time, any one of them could have called the Christian movement a hoax, and produced the body of Jesus, showing the world where they’d buried him.
However, they didn’t, because they couldn’t deny what they’d witnessed; the resurrection had happened. So, they gave their lives for an inalienable truth, and not for an ideal, or a higher ethical code.
As I have shown you (I hope) there is no need to cringe, when the resurrection of Jesus Christ is dismissed as a fable. For the Gospel accounts are bullet-proof.
Vic Matthews has three degrees: B.Optom, B.Arts & B. Christian Studies. He is a kiteboard tragic, and a fledgling author, and copywriter. His books can be found at http://www.graphw.co/books/
Vic Matthews' previous articles may be viewed http://www.pressserviceinternational.org/vic-matthews.html