Rev. & Mrs. Kenneth Fellenbaum

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Milford, Connecticut, United States

Bible Verse of the Day

Saturday, April 23, 2011

Overwhelming Evidence

All of the much publicized court cases in the past year or two have emphasized the importance of strong evidence. Luke in his introduction to the Book of Acts stated: "After his suffering, he presented himself to them and gave many convincing proofs that he was alive. He appeared to them over a period of forty days and spoke about the kingdom of God" (Acts 1:3). It is significant to me that Luke, a physician, believed in the resurrection of Jesus Christ. This was not the case initially with Christ's disciples. Though Jesus had told them on numerous occasions that He would go to Jerusalem, suffer and die, but come back to life, apparently this had not registered with the twelve. The disciples were clearly not expecting it and the women that went to the tomb did so to further attend to his body. No one woke up on the third day and thought to go looking for Him at the tomb or some other familiar place. When they heard reports that he had risen, they had to be convinced. Some went and checked it out for themselves and saw the empty tomb and the burial cloths. Even then one disciple, Thomas, doubted the reports until he was present a week later when Jesus appeared to his followers and invited him to touch him. All of this means more to me than that the disciples needed to be convinced.

Let us look at some other evidences: 1) The empty tomb with the big stone rolled away. While there were no eye witnesses to the actual resurrection, all of the gospel accounts testify that the tomb was vacant. 2) The angel's statement to the women that "He (Christ) has risen just as He said." Most people would be persuaded by such an experience! 3) The appearance of Jesus Himself. Christ appeared numerous times to many people in different locations (Jerusalem vicinity and Galilee). He spoke to them, he ate in front of them and he invited them to touch him--all this could not have been an figment of their imaginations.

Observe other proofs of the resurrection: 1) The disciples were unanimous in their belief that he had come back to life. They all testified and gave witness to the literal resurrection. All of the disciples but John died a martyr's death. Is it realistic to believe that they died for a lie, for something uncertain or for a conspiracy? 2) Two thousand years later, millions of Christians still believe the resurrection. Would a myth survive this test of time? Does not time usually reveal the truth? 3) You can still visit and see the empty tomb in Jerusalem. Thousands of Christians go every year to see it. 4) His body has never been found. The enemies of Christ could have debunked the "myth" by simply producing his dead body. The reason this has never occurred is quite simple. It's because he's alive! Christ has returned to the Father in Heaven after spending forty days on earth. 5) Jesus lives though the Holy Spirit in the hearts of all who truly believe. After accepting the Scriptures by faith, the reality of the resurrection is verified through his presence with us.

Why do Christians believe the resurrection? They do so because of the statements in Scripture, the witness of the apostles, and the teachings of the early church. It has always been the central point of the Gospel that Jesus died on the cross for the sins of the world and that through his resurrection there is the hope of life eternal. Why is this belief significant? The Apostle Paul in 1 Corinthians 15 stated that without the resurrection there is no hope; but because it is true, we have been forgiven and made alive. Romans 10:9-10 further emphasizes the importance of this truth: "If you declare with your mouth, 'Jesus is Lord,' and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved. 10 For it is with your heart that you believe and are justified, and it is with your mouth that you profess your faith and are saved." Believe the overwhelming evidence and be saved!

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