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April 13, 2022 6:00 am
On this week's Hopecast, David Chadwick and Jenn Houston discuss the biblical proof of Jesus' resurrection and the ways our current culture attempts to disprove it.
What I'm David Chadwick. Welcome to this week's cast with my friends in Houston. Jim, thank you as always for joining me on this. Okay, it's always an honor. Thank you, David.
Well, this is holy week. It is one of the special weeks in all of our Christian lives, and we celebrate Easter this Sunday and the apostle Paul when he wrote in first Corinthians 15 Jen has an interesting verse in there about the resurrection that we both want to use today to springboard into our message today about the proofs of the resurrection. Yeah it's first Corinthians 15 verse 14. And if Christ has not been raised, then our preaching is in vain and your faith is in vain. Think about that if Jesus was not raised from the dead. There is no Christian faith.
The foundation of the Christian faith is the resurrection and if the resurrection didn't happen yet we still call ourselves Christians, we are people most to be pitied here something I want all of our listeners to think about the resurrection wrote the Bible not the Bible. Writing the resurrection of the resurrection that cause the church to form the church didn't form and then preach the resurrection before there was ever a New Testament before there was ever a church. The resurrection occurred.
It is the foundation of the Christian faith, and when were arguing with skeptics out there and interestingly, the word, apologetics really does mean argue it's from Peter's epistle where he said always be ready to give a defense of your faith that were defense is Apollo G.I. in the Greek and it were the word means apologetics. It's giving a defense it's arguing for your faith and there a lot of skeptics out there who think the Christian faith. A bunch of hooey but we as Christians know that it's not. It is so true because we have facts that help us believe. In fact, the whole idea of Jesus not only existing but something extraordinary happening in his life that calls this movement of Christianity is validated by extra-biblical sources like the Jewish historian Josephus and other people as well. So Jen, I want to spend today's hope cast looking at some of the proofs of the resurrection, and they are plentiful and they are real. Many of them found in first Corinthians 15 Paul begins that section of Scripture by saying hey Jesus appeared to 500+ people and it was like Paul was saying these folks are living folks and if you want to have this resurrection narrative validated. Go talk to them. Many actually lists some of them by name and some of the names that are listed there are absolutely fascinating one being Cephas who is Peter one of Jesus disciples will Peter denied Jesus and ran away and he was fearful of his life being taken in the same manner by which Jesus was crucified.
And yet this cowardly fleeing disciple becomes a dynamic proclaimer of the gospel and the one on whom Jesus said, his testimony would build the entire Christian church. Peter becomes a pillar of the church. Why because he saw a resurrected Jesus, another one that's mentioned by Paul in first Corinthian's 15 is James.
James was the half-brother of Jesus, and he was a skeptic. He didn't believe in Jesus as God's son. And when Jesus was actually doing his ministry. He among other family members came to Jesus and said what are you doing your exacerbating the anger of the religious officials and the Romans to end up being crucified and did come on home returned to the Carpenters business. Keep us moving forward. Have a nice little, safe life. Please come home.
And of course the one who was begging Jesus to come home because he was afraid he would get killed later becomes the head of the entire Jerusalem Christian church that's James walking. How did he go from skeptic come home Jesus. We don't want any part of your life to totally devoted follower of Jesus, and head of the early church in Jerusalem, he saw a resurrected Jesus.
The other personal example, Paul uses there is Cephas, James, and now himself.
Saul, one of the major persecutors of the early Christian church. He was the one who was behind the stoning of Stephen one of the deacons in the early church in acts seven. He was the one going to Damascus to try to increase the persecution of Christians there. This Paul was on the road to Damascus at a heavenly vision of Jesus in his resurrected form appears to him and says, Saul, Saul, why are you persecuting me Saul's life is transformed to Paul, his Greek name and he becomes major persecutor of the church to major proclaimer of the gospel, especially to the Gentiles travel all around the world and planted churches that are still in existence today because Paul had this dramatic encounter with the resurrected Jesus.
We now have the gospel, especially in the Western world today lobbed all saw a resurrected Jesus so those are three traumatic life transformations that occurred and Paul in writing. First Corinthians 15 is as if he saying to the people who are reading his work go talk to him.
Here they are, by name, 500+ and Peter, James and myself all saw a resurrected Jesus and their lives were dramatically transformed. I think it's one of the proofs of the resurrection will you know it's interesting as your depicting each of these people and their experience with the resurrected Christ relate to each of them and they're there real people who also land and watch one of my favorites. I think are the disciples you are walking along the road right after Jesus was crucified and they were just talking to one another and all of a sudden this man comes up and joins their conversation just talking about Jesus talking about, that the Bible you know what date they called in that time the Old Testament write what they had in their hearts began to earn a manliness man with talking with Dan and all of a sudden he revealed he was Jesus. They invited him to dinner, and in the way he broke the bread was the way that they'd seen him break the bread so many times before hand and they went. It's Jesus and then immediately disappeared.
He stepped back into eternity. In his resurrected form and they knew who he was. They went back to the end of the other disciples from Emmaus to Jerusalem.
Some, I think, 10, 15 miles trip and said to them, we saw the Lord.
And what about when he walked through the wall and appeared to the disciples, not once, not twice, but several times. I think again it was his ability to step from eternity into this world and back into eternity.
By the way Jen I think were going to be able to do that with our own resurrection bodies as well in the new heaven and the new earth, but that's another somehow another hope cast an amazing reality that Jesus was trying to show us in his own material physical resurrected body.
We need to realize that he's not a disembodied spirit.
He is in a resurrected material flesh and blood human body ate with Peter on the sea of Galilee and in other places as well, which gives me great hope for heaven being a wonderful place will enjoy it to its full but again, all material resurrected body was what Jesus had himself now. There have been many different opportunities through the centuries for people to try to come up with fanciful theories to deny the resurrection of Jesus.
One came up with the idea that Jesus body was taken down and the dogs that were at the foot of the cross ate the body and that's why they couldn't find it. Which is just an absolutely ridiculous assumption of what happened. Other people think that maybe the Romans stole the body, but that makes no sense whatsoever. They didn't want that body to disappear.
Jesus on three different occasions had said to his disciples during his 3 1/2 years of earthly ministry, the Son of Man must die and must be raised from the dead, so there was that prophecy that they had heard out there. The Romans didn't want that body to disappear.
They wouldn't have stolen it. Moreover, when it was buried. They had put a 1 ton stone in front of it sealed with a Roman insignia had placed Roman guards in front of it.
They wanted that body to stay in the tomb, but an angel, of course came and rolled it away and allowed Jesus then to come to everyone in his resurrected form. There's also been the theory that the Jews stole the body, but they would want that body stolen at all. Same reason as the Romans when they wanted that body to stay in the grave. Some have suggested, the disciples stole the body and here comes one of the major reasons that some people are skeptics. The disciples stole the body they wanted to keep this message of Jesus alive.
So they took the body. They hit it and then came up with this idea that Jesus had been raised from the dead and spread that message all throughout the world because they just wanted Jesus message of love to be maintained dodgy and here's why that's absolutely crazy is with in years. The disciples started to receive persecution first from the Jews, you read that in the early chapters of the book of acts where they were imprisoned and even martyred i.e. Stephen in acts seven but you also have the Romans eventually coming against the Christians as well so by the time of the early 60s Nero that crazy maniacal Emperor started killing Christians by the thousands placing them on crosses along the Appian Way in Rome. Lighting them up at night so the people could walk the Appian way and have like like the burning Christians on crosses. He was a godless, reprobate, but here's the point. If there was that kind of persecution and martyrdom for Christians in the early church. Why in the world would you make up a story preacher throughout the land and then be equipped, beaten, scorch and even martyred for something that you knew was a lie. Human nature doesn't operate that way. Human nature is self protective. It will not die for what it knows is a lie. Now it might die for what it thinks is true but is really a lie like driving your planes into the twin Towers in New York City and that will allow you to go to Nirvana to heaven and have 73 virgins. That's not true. You may think that's true but that's a lie, but these guys in the early church knew that Jesus had been raised from the dead and they would not have died for what they knew was a lie. You just don't operate that way in life. I all I can tell you is if I had been one of the early church disciples. The first that bit into my back. The first drop of hot oil poured on my skin of the first nail put into my hands because I was a follower of Jesus, and I would be crucified, as he was crucified.
I would have cried out just made it it's not true that that's human nature itself protective. It doesn't die for what he knows is a lie. And to me that's one of the dramatic proofs of the resurrection, along with many others. If I can mention to others will quickly you have 1500 years of Jewish tradition following the Shabbat the Saturday worship of God, will suddenly within a few weeks. That Saturday day is changed to Sunday. Why, because the early church celebrated the resurrection of Jesus, which happened on a Sunday as their worship day the Jews celebrated the Passover celebration every year for 1500 years practically well in one brief moment.
Suddenly the Passover becomes the Lord's supper, a dramatic something that Christians celebrate solely no longer the atonement off the pass over why that change why that sudden change of almost 1500 years worth of tradition unless something dramatic happened. People had seen a resurrected Lord and knew that not only proved Jesus divinity but also needed to be honored in special ways. In the early church loudness is also compelling, and the thing that's running through my mind right now is when Jesus said blessed are those who haven't seen and not science.
We haven't seen his resurrected body. But we are blessed for our faith and belief and in the disciples testimony is seen first hand exactly, you know. Thomas sometimes gets a bad rap in my opinion, he was the one who in his own fear or thoughtfulness wasn't there the first time with the disciples when Jesus appeared, but he came back the second time and they told him what happened and he said I must actually touch his hands or his side.
The spear that went into his side. The nails in his hands, will, I believe, and then suddenly Jesus appears to interestingly Jen, there's no evidence that Thomas ever touched any of those places on Jesus body. In fact, he looked at him and fell to his knees and said, my Lord and my God.
One of the proofs of the divinity of Jesus is.
Jesus received Thomas worship he let him worship him. I'm you, the Angels in Revelation. When John started to fall to his knees and worship them. They said get up were creatures were not worthy to be worship. Jesus received Thomas worship. But here's the point I want to make at least Thomas came back to be among the disciples to talk about his doubts, his faith, struggles, and Jesus then appeared to him. So, doubt isn't a bad thing if it drives you to find answers. I think Thomas found those answers in the legend has it that he went to India and planted the church there. If you go to southern India around the madrasa area. Even today, you have the church of St. Thomas, which has literally thousands of followers to this day he was martyred there thrown off a high tower because of his faith in Jesus, but again another proof that he was willing to die for what he knew was true. He would've never died for what he knew was a lie.
Now this is so good and I was when I land.
That's real quick with the very real truth that Jesus is showing up in people's dreams, specifically Muslims and they are being saved through this encounter in your dream with Jesus resurrected Jesus who still appearing mostly the Moslems in the Mideast, who cannot have access to the Gospels of God says okay leaders you won't let me have access to them through the airwaves. For example, appear in dreams and visions and he's doing it by the thousands. The fastest growing church in the world right now Jen is in Iran and Afghanistan Muslim countries, where Jesus is appearing in his resurrected form to people there, and they're coming to faith in him.
My faith is growing right now.
Just hearing about this.
All these testimonies it sees. That is wonderful and those were mostly leading the church are women.
But that's another subject.
Another day, dear friends, Jesus is alive trust them today.
The resurrection is true and when you worship this Sunday and all Sunday's realized Jesus is alive that she give your heart by David Chadwick along with Jim Houston look forward to talking with you all