Three Pieces of Evidence

The resurrection of the physically dead Jesus is the point on which Christianity hangs. Without such a belief, there is no faith, nor any point of having faith. There is nothing in which to have faith in if the resurrection of Christ did not occur. So we must examine the ideas of those who claim the resurrection did not happen. Here are some randomly pieced-together thoughts I picked up from a radio program of a British woman I was listening to on the way home today (I will research to find out her name if possible, but I wanted to post this while it was fresh on my mind.)

1) Fabrication? - If resurrection was merely a well-crafted fabrication of his followers, they would not have written that a woman was the first witness. A woman's testimony would not have carried weight in that time, and they would not have even considered having women be the "first on the scene" after Christ had been raised from the dead. They would have written it that a well-educated, respected man had been the first witness, as his testimony would have carried more weight. The fact that Mary Magdalene is recorded as the first witness of his resurrection speaks to the authenticity of the claim.

2) Hallucination? - Some people claim that because Mary Magdalene was so stricken with grief, she might have imagined that she saw the resurrected Christ, when it was in fact only the gardener. The problem with this is that Mary Magdalene was only the first of hundreds of people who saw the risen Christ before He ascended to Heaven. Doctors will tell you that people do not have group hallucinations. During the 40 days He was on earth after His resurrection, Jesus appeared to groups of various sizes, from 1 or 2 people, all the way up to a group of approximately 500. One person can hallucinate. Five hundred people do not all hallucinate the same event.

Additionally, when people hallucinate, it is that they see one thing but their minds change it into being another. For example, you see the delivery man coming to your door, but your mind so desperately wants it to be your recently deceased father that you hallucinate that it is your father. But the account in Scripture is very different.

Mary Magdalene did not see the gardener and think it was Jesus. She saw Jesus and thought He was the gardener. The men on their way to Emmaus did not see a stranger and think it was Jesus. They saw Jesus and thought He was a stranger. The disciples in the upper room did not see a ghost and think it was Jesus. They saw Jesus and thought He was a ghost. These witnesses were not just suffering from grief. They were people who were not expecting to see Jesus, and were surprised when they did. The veracity of Jesus' resurrection is upheld in their reactions to it.

3) Martyrdom- When people have fabricated an idea, they are not then willing to die for their tale. Perhaps one person might be willing to die for a made-up story; we would call this lunacy. But a band of men, brought together only by their faith (not profession, or family), all went on to devote their lives to this resurrected man. A doctor, a tax collector, fishermen. Educated and uneducated. Married and unmarried. Brothers, husbands, young men, and aged men. These are the men who witnessed Christ's life, death, and resurrection that not only lived for Him but also died for Him.

I would not have the false bravery to die for an idea that I did not believe in. I am sure that one man could. But it is impossible for me to believe that his disciples (and tens and hundreds of other followers) would go to the ends of the earth (it is believed that Thomas went to India, and the other disciples went all over the earth at that time, to Europe and Northern Africa) and die painful, torturous deaths for an idea that they were not completely convinced of. These men were absolutely convinced that Jesus was not just a man, but was indeed God; that His Lordship was not just an empty claim of power or pride, but that His Lordship demanded their full devotion; and that His resurrection actually happened. And I'm convinced of it too. These are just some of the many reasons why.


EmmyJMommy said...

Jess, once again you have provoked me to think about my faith in a way I haven't. Fabrication, Hallucination, and Martyrdom are 3 very true reasons why we see that the Resurrection is real. I do go back to the fact that I believe because I know the Bible is the God breathed inerrant Word. God spoke every word of the Bible into someone and we are able to read His word and believe. I know you did not address this fact, but I wanted to bring it out that we are not to question God and the way He soveriegnly works. Praise God!


The Humble Housewife said...

If you delve into history and science you can come up with many theories, but I think this is where it all comes together - faith. Doesn't matter what logic or science tells us - it's faith that makes one a true believer. My Dad once told me this when I was going through those rebellious teenage years, saying that the whole thing was obviously a hoax, and he said that it may be the case, but it's faith that it DID happen that makes one a believer! Your blog really makes me think about so much and I love reading it! Thank you!