Is Jesus’ resurrection true? If so, then there are serious consequences.
Jesus’ resurrection, if it occurred, is the central event of human history…
The central event that drives meaning deep into the bones of the human condition.
And if there is meaning, then there is morality, too.
Why You Should Deny Jesus’ Resurrection
No surprise that many people try to prove the resurrection never happened.
For myself, as no doubt for most of my friends the philosophy of meaninglessness was essentially an instrument of liberation from a certain system of morality.
In less direct terms, Sam Harris provides this: “Finally, let me say that there is something tragically unnecessary about all of this.” ”All this” being the strange notion of a “loving God who would make salvation depend upon a person’s ability to believe in him on bad evidence.”
Destroy the resurrection, and Christianity evaporates, morality melts.
Next Up: Soften Jesus’ Resurrection
Furthermore, lax, unclear or under-developed ideas about Jesus’ resurrection lead to a fuzzy and mysterious view of Jesus’ resurrection.
For example, conservative Catholic and blogger Andrew Sullivan says “I don’t know how to understand it except as a mystery.”
I like Andrew a lot, but it’s to easy to dodge accountability in a system of morality founded on mystery. What do you think?
7 Broad, Must-Know Points about Jesus’ Resurrection
In the 20th Century alone, many theologians and scholars argued the historical, flesh-and-blood case for Jesus’ resurrection. Here’s a quick summary of their views. Following this list I’ll explain why it’s important to cement your view of Jesus’ resurrection.
1. Jesus died. Was Jesus’ death a hoax? Did he merely faint on the cross from exhaustion? The unanimous answer–no. Think about it: Jesus endured 39 scourges, a crown of thorns, crushed and severed nerves in his hands and feet, suffocation, pierced lungs and heart. There was absolutely no doubt Jesus died.
2. Jesus’ tomb was empty. Here are three hot theories that explain the empty tomb. And why they fail.
a. Disciples stole his body. Seems far fetched given the the disciples went from deserters to bold and robust preachers.
b. Disciples went to the wrong tomb. If that was the case, all the Jewish authorities had to do was show everyone where the real tomb was. That never happened.
c. Jesus’ resurrection was a legend. Not likely, since legends take generations–if not longer–to develop.
3. Jesus appearance after his death on the cross. After his resurrection, Jesus appeared to numerous people over several weeks. The gospels and Acts describe encounters with Peter, James, Cleopas, Paul, Thomas, Mary Magdalen and other women,ten apostles, eleven disciples and five hundred people.
4. Unity in the Gospels about the resurrection. All four Gospels include the nitty-gritty fact that women were the first to see the risen Christ–even though a woman’s testimony was worthless in a court of law. Unusual for a “legend.”
5. Unbelievable church growth. The eleven disciples were noted for their desire to die for Christ rather than deny him. Indeed, early believers testified with their lips, lives and death because they’d seen the resurrected Christ.
6. Paul’s sudden and unexpected conversion. Before his conversion, Paul is pictured as an intolerant, bitter Gentile hater and Christian killer. After his conversion he’s a patient, kind, vicious promoter of Christianity and friend to Gentiles.
7. Jesus was the Son of God. Jesus is the only person in history who fulfilled 71 Old Testament prophecies written over four hundreds years in advance. He not only claimed to be God, but he proved it.
The Single and Solitary Most Important Even in History
The point is this: Either the resurrection of Jesus is one of the most vicious, wicked frauds ever hefted on us–or it’s the single and solitary most important event in history.
If it’s true, it adds meaning and morality to our life. And we must respond. How will you respond? Leave your thoughts–brutal and all–in the comments.