The following program is recorded content created by Truth Network. The requirement of the resurrection because if the resurrection actually didn't happen, Christianity doesn't exist. I mean we're all wasting our time.
I should have been sleeping on Sunday or I should have been at the mall or should have been outside working in the yard. But why in the world would I bother going to a service to celebrate and exalt and look to a man that died and stayed dead? And so the resurrection is really at the epicenter of what we talked about, not just on Sunday, Easter Sunday, but all throughout the year. And there are many cases against it because think about this. This is like Jenga. If you've ever played Jenga, there's that you get to that one point where there's one particular piece in the Jenga puzzle. And if you pull it out, then the whole thing collapses. That's what you're trying to avoid. Well, if you can get rid of the resurrection, then you can get rid of Christianity.
And if you can get rid of Christianity, then it's Katie bar the door. It's no holds barred. There is no moral lawgiver, meaning there is no moral law. It's the Thanos moment.
I snap my fingers. There's no moral restrictions whatsoever. Do whatever you want, whenever you want with whoever you want, because we don't have to worry about the law.
We don't have to worry about morality, right and wrong. And all that goes back to the validity of the claims of Christianity, which goes right back to what happened that weekend when Jesus was crucified and put into a tomb. If he came out, it changes everything. If he stayed in, well, then it's just a big sham. And interestingly enough, as you look at the disciples, boy, they were Chuck Colson said this recently.
I said it before he went to be with the Lord. But Chuck Colson, one of the reasons he absolutely believed the resurrection was his own experience in Watergate. So these were some of the most powerful politicians in the in the country at the time in Watergate with the Nixon administration. And they they were caught up in a lie and a cover up.
And all it took was a couple of weeks of pressure, some of the most powerful men in America, a couple of weeks of pressure, and they all folded like a cheap suit. You get the disciples, though, who went to their grave 30, 40 years later under intense scrutiny, persecution, torture and death, and not a single one of them recanted. And for Chuck Colson, he's like, that's when I knew no way that the resurrection isn't real because people aren't going to go through all of that for something they know to be false. So the resurrection on the heels of Easter today on a special theology Thursday, the reality and unmatched hope of Jesus's resurrection. We're here with Professor Bruce Meyer from BJU Seminary, who's going to help us revisit this.
And hopefully we all have a pretty good understanding. And but maybe you have doubts. Maybe you have a little concern. Maybe you're not quite sure you hear some of these theories out there. And there's like the swoon theory and there's the theft theory.
And maybe they all just had a mass delusion and maybe you've struggled with that a little bit. We're going to talk through all that kind of the case for and against the resurrection today on Theology Thursday. Professor Bruce Meyer, welcome back to the show. How are you? Happy Easter. I'm well, thank you, Steve. Appreciate the invitation to come. Absolutely.
It's great having you here. Did I was I a little hyperbolic in that, Bruce? Did I overplay the critical nature of the resurrection with respect to Christianity as a whole? No, because in fact, Jesus himself said that if you don't believe who I am, wait and see, because if you destroy this temple, I'll raise it up in three days. And when the women went to the tomb and they found the tomb empty, the angels said to them, he is not here for he has risen. And then they add this little clause that we often kind of jump right over without thinking about. But they said, as he said, and so that validated everything that Jesus had said about himself, what the Father had said about him and the scriptures and so on.
So it was it was the hinge point of history. Yeah, because if he didn't exit the grave, then the whole thing was a sham. I mean, quite literally. Correct.
Yeah. The Book of Deuteronomy 18 talks about a false prophet and how you'd know a true prophet from a false prophet. And the standard that was set there was if what he predicted happened, then he was a real prophet. And Jesus validated then through the resurrection that he was authentic prophet.
But much more than that, because he was the son of God, God in flesh. Do you think over the last 2000 years, Bruce, that this has been probably the most attacked stand of the church? I think so, because as you look, you mentioned those false theories that we have. And I like to remind my students when we talk through this, this is the best that skeptics have. So when you look at those, you say, goodness, they couldn't come up with something better than this to refute the resurrection. No, I mean, it's pretty pathetic. And it shows us that if they feel the need to answer this, that something happened to Jesus, to his body, and they feel the need to answer it. Right. Because if it was a big joke and a big sham in the first place, it would have fallen apart already.
And why would you need to do it? It's like why I've said this to an atheist friend of mine. Why do you get so bent out of shape trying to prove that Casper the ghost isn't real? Well, the presupposition is Casper the ghost isn't real. He's just a character in a cartoon.
So what's all the hub of the loo about? But yet this is the most attacked thing next to and after that, the reliability of the scriptures themselves. But there's a lot of theories out there.
And like I said, I love the way you said that, Bruce. When you look at these and whether it's the swoon, and we're going to walk through all these folks so you understand exactly what's going on. The swoon theory, the vision theory, the theft theory. Somebody came, the disciples stole the body.
The wrong tomb theory, you know, because they didn't have Google Maps. So maybe you're going to go back and when you look at this relative to the enormity of the claims of scripture and the impact of Christianity on the world. And they're like, this is like their very best players, their very best game. They come to the championship.
They've made it through March Madness and they're at the big dance. And this is the best they have to offer. Then it gets kind of pathetic. I mean, I love the way that you said that. And I think that's the reality of it. And we need to lean into that as opposed to kind of shirking back. Right.
I think we tend to be a little too much on the defensive as well as the offensive. Yeah, we can be bold because let me just mention, and this is posted on the Web site if you want to look for it. But back in the 40s, there was a lawyer by the name of Frank Morrison who decided and he was an unbeliever. He decided once and for all, he was going to disprove this whole notion of the resurrection of Jesus.
So he gathered all the evidence together and using evidentiary rules of hearing in the courtroom, he sifted through all that evidence. And guess what happened to Frank? Frank became a believer. Yes.
And he wrote a book that's entitled Who Moved the Stone? So that's how powerful this evidence is for the resurrection. It's irrefutable.
That's exactly right. And that's why we need to lean into it. Don't feel like you have to be on the defensive.
You can be on the offensive because what you're defending is true. And we're going to lean into that when we come back talking to Professor Bruce Meyer from B.J.U. Seminary on Theology Thursday.
We'll be right back. Back at Steve Noble, the Steve Noble show on the heels of Easter, which is why we're talking about the resurrection today, the epicenter of our faith. And if you can get rid of the resurrection, if you can prove it was just a sham, then you've just destroyed Christianity. By the being, by the boom, put the whole thing to bed and then you can go out and do whatever you want.
And who cares? You don't have to worry about a God. You don't have to worry about any kind of moral law.
You don't have to worry about the fact that you've been violating the moral law your whole life because there isn't one. And wouldn't that be convenient in our human depravity? We would love that, which is why a lot of people suppress that truth. Romans Chapter one, they don't like it.
They don't like the implications of it. So we try to make it go away so that we don't have to deal with our guilt and our shame. So that's why the resurrection is such a big deal. We we get excited about Easter. We go through Easter weekend, Good Friday, all that stuff.
And then bada bing bada boom, we get shot out the other end. And I don't know that we spend enough time considering the resurrection and especially understanding the attacks against it, which is nothing new under the sun. These have been around for a while. But we're going to work these through today with Professor Bruce Myers here from BJU Seminary. And also this is a great blog post.
I already shared it on my Facebook pages and then just shared it on the Facebook live feed. The reality and unmatched hope of Jesus's resurrection, not just did it happen? What are the theories for and against? But also the implications.
Why does it matter and how can we use that in this exaltation cannon to shoot us out of Easter into the rest of the year? Because this is something we should revisit on a regular basis. So, again, Bruce, we really, really appreciate your time today. Thanks for being here with us.
Thank you for having me, Steve. OK, you're welcome. So let's dive into this first one, the swoon theory. So hopefully that sounds somewhat familiar to people, but help us understand the swoon theory. Again, this is a case against the resurrection.
Right. And just to remind you, there are some modern day what I would call hybrids of some of these theories. So you'll see a little different take on it, but it still would fall in the same category. So the theory stated that Jesus didn't really die, that they took him off the cross and either nursed him back to health. That's the newer hybrid of this, or he was put in the tomb and the coolness of the tomb revived him after three days. But if you think think about the absurdity of this, you've got Jesus that's been through a horrible event and crucifixion was designed to kill you.
And so there are all these evidences. And I posted on our Web site an article by a medical doctor back from the 80s on the physical features of Jesus's death. And there's no way you would survive this. Roman soldiers aren't going to let him off the cross until he is dead. And if you think of the absurdity, even if he wasn't dead, when they pierced his side, that's going to finish the job.
There's no way he is surviving that. And if he did go into the tomb with some kind of life left after three days without fluids and losing that much blood, he is certainly going to die. But then if you think about it, he has to now come back to life. Well, OK, let's say he comes out of the coma. He has to unwrap himself from the linens with 75 pounds of spices. He has to move a very heavy stone and then he has to sneak by the guards and then present himself as a recovering Jesus.
So somebody who is still battered and bruised and bloodied, but he has to present himself as resurrected. So the absurdity of that just doesn't fit the change in the disciples alone that wouldn't give them the kind of hope necessary to go out and give their life preaching for Jesus Christ for a lie. Yeah, it's such a powerful point, by the way, that the article that you're referencing, this is a famous article. And no, it's not from B.J.U. Seminary. It's not from a Christian university. It's not from some apologist. This was in the Journal of the American Medical Association on the physical death of Jesus. I just shared that that was one of the resources you had linked at the end of the article today, the blog post for today. And I just shared it.
And when you go read it, I've read this before. They're showing you the diagrams, exactly how crucifixion works, as well as the flogging. And Roman soldiers knew if this guy doesn't die, we die.
I mean, this is this is a pass fail deal. Your job is to kill the people you put on the cross. And if you don't kill them, you're toast, which is why oftentimes people wonder, Bruce, why did they stick the spear in Jesus's side? And why were they getting ready to break his legs? Well, the breaking of the legs, and I used to wonder this when I was younger, how would that hasten death? But the doctor points out that when you're transfixed that way on a cross, that breathing becomes very difficult, especially inhalation. And so as they would have to physically pull themselves up to exhale to force out more carbon dioxide than to take in more oxygen so that they could even talk.
And that's why his statements on the cross were so short. But to even swoon or to go into a coma on the cross would guarantee death because he couldn't pull himself up to take in more oxygen as he expelled that carbon dioxide. And so that would guarantee death. So breaking the legs would hasten death because they couldn't do that to take in more oxygen. So they would asphyxiate. Yeah, because they because you're having to push yourself up just to breathe in. So you take the legs out of that and then forget it.
It's over. And then, of course, when they throw the spear into his side, that's a that's a medical issue as well. Right. And the piercing of the side would validate that he was dead because John mentions the blood and water came forth. And that's either his fluids are separating or that was the piercing of the lung, which means there was fluid already gathering in his lung and the pericardial sac. And that's where you get the blood from.
So either way, that's showing that he was dead. All right. So I've got my pen out on the on the swim theory. I'm just going to cross this one out because it just doesn't stand up to three minutes of scrutiny. Thank you for that. This next one's always been fascinating to me. The vision theory. This is kind of like a mass hallucination. What's that one all about?
Correct. Well, emotional attachment. We could say that could happen to one or two people. I remember when my grandfather passed away, I was in junior high. I was used to seeing him move. I wanted to see him moving. But in the casket, I could have sworn I saw his hand move. Now, I knew better. So I dismissed that because I didn't run to my mom and say he's alive.
Let's get him out of the casket. So I know that's possible. But when you're talking about the many witnesses that saw Jesus alive, how do they all see the same hallucination at the same time and in the same way? And Paul makes the point that five hundred plus men only because women couldn't serve as witnesses in a court. So five hundred plus men who saw him all at once alive, speaking, they touched him, they ate with him at different times. So the hallucination theory just doesn't hold up. And if that were true, all they would have had to do was go to the tomb and produce Jesus's body and say, here he is.
It's not true. You all are seeing things. So that just doesn't hold up to scrutiny. Yeah, we'll get to that with this next one. But on that one, that's like, so go back to the funeral. Did you say that was your grandfather? Yes.
All right. So if 50 to 100 people at the same funeral all said, yeah, I saw his hand move. And it's not just Bruce. Bruce, poor little kid over there is just weeping over his grandpa, which we understand.
But no, we got all kinds. It's about 150 people in here, whatever the number was. Yeah, I saw it. Did anybody else see his hand move? Yeah, I saw it.
I just was afraid to say something. And then somebody. Yeah, I saw his hand moving. OK, something's going on at that point, Bruce. This is not just Bruce having wishful thinking.
So that's the vision theory. I'm going to go and cross that one off. The next one, which we're just going to have. I'm just going to tee it up because we're going to hit the break. The theft theory.
OK, this is one. So the disciples come in and they're going to steal his body and put the whole sham on so that they can claim because they know what he said. They're like, OK, all right, I think I understand what he's at here, that he's claimed that he was actually going to resurrect.
But what is that in there? Oh, yeah, that's him. He's dead. We got to get him out of there so we can continue the ruse.
We're going to talk about that. That's the theft, the theft theory. Then we'll go to the wrong tomb theory.
They didn't have Google Maps. And then we'll get to the positive side and we'll look at the implications. Why should we believe in what are the implications, which are massive? This is Steve Noble with Professor Bruce Meyer. We'll be right back. Welcome back to Steve Noble Show Theology Thursday with our friends at BGU Seminary down in beautiful Greenville, South Carolina. And summer is almost upon them, both at the seminary as well as Bob Jones University. So getting ready to walk into the summer, which is kind of nice. The same thing is for me.
I've got six classes that I teach every week and about one hundred and ten students. So I'm looking forward to it. But you get to cross the finish line a couple of weeks before me, Bruce, because you guys are done in just a couple of weeks down there, aren't you?
That's correct. Two weeks from tomorrow is commencement. Is that a is that a huge relief for you? I mean, you've been in the academic world for a long time.
You were at Maranatha Baptist University for a long time, for 19 years. Is summer something? Are you like back to being a student again and you're really excited about the summer break?
I think most people are. I share that with the students. I'm always excited to be off to catch up on some reading, to kind of rejuvenate, recharge batteries, because it's intensive for the nine months that we're in school.
Yeah, it's super intensive. And tell us about your first year, because it's your first year down there at BGU. So how's that gone for you?
It's gone well. I'm a seminary professor primarily, but I adjunct in the undergrad. So I enjoy all of it because I get to interact with all the levels of students. And it's just been a great experience to be here at Bob Jones University and teaching the seminary students in particular.
Yeah, that's awesome. So we're talking today through the blog that Bruce was kind enough to write for the show today. It's the reality and unmatched hope of Jesus's resurrection. But we're spending some time going through the negative side, the attack side of the resurrection, which is at the epicenter of our faith, because if the resurrection didn't happen, we're all wasting our time. And I need to quit raising money and spending my time in the studio every afternoon because it's all just a big farce, because that would be the reality of it. If he wasn't resurrected, just go find something else to do with your time.
So we're going through these. We talked about the swoon theory. He didn't really die. We talked about the vision theory. That was just kind of wishful thinking. They all saw the same delusion. Then there's the theft theory. This one's always been interesting to me that that his body was stolen.
Yes, and this one is the one that is recorded in the Bible for us. The Jewish leaders proposed this and bribed the guards and said, why don't you say that the disciples came and stole his body while you slept and we'll cover for you. But there's so many problems with that because, first of all, these ragtag disciples were scared and scattered. So all of a sudden they got this boost of courage to go and take on the guards.
And shazam, they found out that they're all asleep. So then they have to sneak by the guards, roll the stone away quietly. Then they unwrap Jesus's body. If you're a burglar, you're not going to take the time to do that.
You're just going to take him, grab him and run. But they unwrap, leave the linens behind, and then they present Jesus as somebody who has risen, and they're willing to die for that lie and lose everything for that lie. It just doesn't make sense. And then my question is, why weren't the guards executed? Because that was Roman law. You don't sleep when you're guarding something.
And if you lose something that you're guarding, you're dead on both of those accounts. And I always think this. If you've got a proud Roman guard, do you think when he goes to the next family cookout and Uncle Joe asks him what happened at that tomb, he's actually going to uphold that lie and say, craziest thing, we all fell asleep.
And Uncle Joe, the first question he's going to ask is, why are you here? Why weren't you executed? Because that doesn't fit Roman law.
So it really didn't hold up. And I don't think it held up even into the Book of Acts, because I can't prove this part, but you do read Luke tells us that there were not a few priests and not a few Pharisees who came to faith in Christ. And I think it was probably the resurrection that convinced them because the lie could not be sustained. Yeah, that's right. And the number one way they could have ended this whole thing two thousand years ago.
Just drag the guy's dead body out in the middle of the square, take him out in front of the temple, clean him up a little bit, and then drag all his followers over there and say, all right, is this him? Yeah. OK. Are we done here? All right. So he was a liar. You guys are idiots. Get back inside and make your sacrifices and let's keep going.
It's so preposterous. I mentioned before, Bruce, and I shared this last week before Easter, this Chuck Colson quote. So Chuck Colson was in the Nixon White House during Watergate. He went to jail. That's where he got saved. And then, of course, led incredible prison ministry, a great leader in the Christian community for years.
This is what he said. I know the resurrection is a fact and Watergate proved it to me, which is an interesting assertion. How? Because 12 men testified that they had seen Jesus raised from the dead. Then they proclaimed that truth for 40 years, never once denying it. Everyone was beaten, tortured, stoned and put in prison. They would not have endured that if it weren't true. Watergate embroiled 12 of the most powerful men in the world and they couldn't keep alive for three weeks. You're telling me 12 apostles could keep alive for 40 years. That's absolutely impossible.
I love just applying. That's a great quote. And I love just applying that kind of simple, reasoned logic to the situation, because if you're intellectually honest, you at least got to go, OK, Chuck's got a pretty good point. Right. This lie would have been very difficult to sustain. And I think that's what happened even for the Jewish leaders with the theft theory.
Oh, yeah, definitely. So this one, not as common, but definitely ridiculous, like the other ones, the wrong tomb theory. So I'm going to call this one the Google theory. So help us understand this one.
Right. Well, the idea was that the disciples simply went to the wrong tomb and it happened to be empty. And then they went out and proclaimed that Jesus had risen. But that overlooks the fact that Jesus appeared to all these many witnesses at so many different at least 10 to 12 different appearances that he made. And they actually touched him and ate with him and heard from him.
So it's ridiculous. On top of that, the synoptic gospels, Matthew, Mark and Luke, all record that the women observed where they had taken Jesus and laid him, because they were going to go back and finish the the burial procedures with the spices and the wrappings once the Sabbath day was open over on Sunday morning, which that's what they were going to do. And they discovered the empty tomb. So this wasn't a case of a wrong tomb because you had the guards there, you had the seal on it. So how do you make that big mistake?
And plus, let's just cut to one of the realities that we all need to accept. When you lose something in your house, at least it's the way it works in my house. I'm going to ask my wife. She knows the directions. She knows where stuff is. I forget that stuff all the time, but she generally doesn't. Maybe that's just my marriage. Right.
Yeah. So it just doesn't hold up to close scrutiny. And of all of them, that's probably the weakest of the theories. But they're all, in my opinion, very weak because the three lines of evidence that we have is the empty tomb. And we have then the many witnesses who saw him and that the abrupt, amazing change in the disciples where they were willing now to give up their lives. And there are other lines of evidence that the New Testament, the church, the change in the Sabbath day from Saturday to Sunday, the Lord's day and such. So all kinds of evidence for the resurrection.
Yeah. And I always think of Peter in this situation. I'm a lot like Peter.
I usually end up putting my foot in my mouth. And, you know, the night that he's arrested and going through the trials, big, bad Peter, who's, hey, I'm going to die with you, too. I'll go to the ends of the earth.
Gets questioned by a few people and a little girl, and he can't stand up to that. Then you fast forward what, maybe 40 days, 50 days, 50 days, 50 days to Pentecost. To Pentecost. Now he's in Jerusalem.
And that wasn't exactly a seeker sensitive message. Hey, hey, you guys. No, you killed him. Yep. Very much puts his finger in their face and says, you killed your Messiah. And so it's that turnaround doesn't come unless something major happened to give him that kind of hope.
Yeah, which is so cool. And I would just remind all of us that we all have a tendency from time to time to be a Peter. And when you go back to that empty grave, you go back to that tomb, you realize that your savior is risen, seated at the right hand of the father. You should then be like Peter. And you have the power of the Holy Spirit in you. And you can stand up in front of thousands of people and tell them the truth as much as they're going to hate you.
They're going to kill you eventually. At least that's what happened in their case. But all of a sudden, that boldness should be there. That's available for all of us. That's something I'd like to remind everybody about Bruce. I mean, that was like one of the main prayer requests of the early church was for boldness.
Right. Yeah, that boldness. And I think it's the power of the resurrection when we see and Paul hits this in Romans chapter one, verses one through four, when he talks about Jesus was declared to be the son of God with power by the resurrection. And Paul hits on that also in Ephesians chapter one at the end of the chapter, because he's talked about all those blessings that we've received through the father, the son and the Holy Spirit in verses three through fourteen and in fifteen and following. He talks about that same power being available to us as believers. It's the resurrection power and it's the power that makes us a bold witness. Acts chapter one, verse eight, because of those many and Luke calls them infallible proofs about the resurrection that Jesus presented to the apostles and the many others that he did between his resurrection and his ascension 40 days later. So it's incredibly powerful.
Yeah, incredibly powerful. And that's just a reminder of coming up on the break. And then we're going to talk about the really crucial implications of the resurrection for our faith and how we live this out. But but going back to that, that's why you have to revisit this on a regular basis to remind yourself that your Christianity, your profession of faith in Jesus Christ isn't some blindfolded leap off of a cliff.
And you hope it's true that there's a net at the bottom. This is built on solid rock evidentiary that has stood the test of time and scrutiny for two thousand years. Do you think that the devil and anybody else has wanted to destroy this story for two thousand years?
Yes. More than any other story in the history of the world. Yet it stands because it's true.
And that's what your faith is resting on. So don't forget that. We'll be right back. Welcome back at Steve Noble, The Steve Noble Show.
Great to be with you. And we just lost some Internet action down at BJU. They've been having some technical things going on today. So Bruce called in. Bruce Myers with us today. Professor Bruce Meyer just called in.
I'm trying to make sure that the guys in the screening room know I think they're making that connection. I think they're talking to him right now. So then we're going to have him on here.
We'll do this by radio or by a phone. So we're going to walk through the last part of this blog post. And by the way, we have our friends at BJU Seminary.
They write a blog post specific to the show every week, which I really appreciate their dedication to do that. That's super helpful because you can revisit what we're talking about. You can share what we're talking about. You can go a little deeper because in this particular blog post that we're working through today, that's part of the Seminary Viewpoints blog series, The Reality and Unmatched Hope of Jesus's Resurrection. There's all the different scripture references that will come up. Just that are just rattling off of Bruce's tongue as he just is going through this.
And they're all there. The links are all there. And something like we mentioned, the Journal of the American Medical Association on the Physical Death of Jesus is the link for that. And then the book that he mentioned, Frank Morrison, Who Moved the Stone. And then another resource, Gary Habermas and Michael Lacone. I've had Michael on the show several times.
The Case for the Resurrection of Jesus. All that stuff is there. So you can get to that through the blog post.
OK, so I put the links up there on Facebook Live and on my regular Facebook page. But if you're on the radio, you just need to go to one particular aspect, one Web site that our friends at BJU set up for us. It's seminary.bju.edu backslash radio. I'll say that one more time.
Seminary.bju.edu backslash radio. And so we've been working through the cases against the resurrection and then for the resurrection as evidence of the resurrection. Then we're going to talk about kind of the application side, the crucial implications of Jesus's resurrection. I think we have Bruce on the phone now. Hey, Bruce, are you there? Yes, sir. All right. Excellent. So thanks for that quick turnaround. And sorry, I lost the Internet, but we'll finish this way, which is just fine. So let's work through.
This is this is kind of finishing on a crescendo. It's in the blog post. And we should think this way anyway. But the crucial implications of Jesus's resurrection.
How do we kind of look at that? And because I want to make sure we understand the importance and the application of this truth. OK, I want to begin with this statement, and this is from John Chapter one, verse 18. Jesus speaking about Jesus, the word John says that no man has seen God at any time, but he that is in the bosom of the father. That's Jesus, the word from John one, one through 17. But he that is in the bosom of the father has revealed him or executed him or shown him.
And that word is a wonderful word because it's the word from which we get our word exegesis, which means Jesus now shows us the father. And in Chapter 14, Philip actually asked Jesus, hey, would you show us the father? And Jesus said, you've seen me, haven't you?
Then you've seen the father, which I like to remind people, then the greatest evidence of God's existence is Jesus himself who came here and took on flesh and showed us what the father is like. And then the greatest evidence that Jesus is who he said he was, was the resurrection itself. And that's why you've got all these statements where he'll say, if you don't believe who I am, wait and see, because when I raise back from the dead, you'll know the sign of Jonah.
You'll know that I am who I claimed I am. And so if this isn't true, and Paul said this in First Corinthians, Chapter 15, because they were doubting the resurrection and they were doubting, then casting doubt upon the resurrection even of Jesus through those doubts. But Paul said, if this isn't true, if Jesus has not been raised, then our preaching is in vain and your faith is in vain. And I'll pause there for a moment, because years ago I heard a theologian say, it doesn't matter whether Jesus raised or not, my faith is faith. And Paul would disagree strongly with that, because he would say, if all you have is your faith, and you don't have the historical facts of this resurrection, then your preaching is in vain and so is your faith. He also says that we are found misrepresenting God. We're liars, in First Corinthians 15. In verse 17, he says, your faith is futile. We've wasted our time because you are still in your sin. And then in verse 18, he says, those who have fallen asleep in Christ, those who have died ahead of us, that means they're gone and they have perished.
There is no hope for them whatsoever if this is not true. And then verse 19, he says, we are of all people, and you mentioned this earlier, Steve, most to be pity if this is not true. But, verse 20, he says, but in fact, and this is coming from the skeptic Paul, he was persecuting believers because they were claiming that Jesus was resurrected, so he was arresting them, he was putting them in jail, but on the road to Damascus in Acts chapter 9, he met the resurrected Jesus and it completely changed his life. So in verse 20 of First Corinthians 15, he says, but in fact, Christ has been raised from the dead, and he's the firstfruits of those who have fallen asleep, which guarantees our resurrection.
And there are so many truths that we could talk about as a result of this. One of my favorites is Romans chapter 4 verse 25. Paul said, he was raised for our justification. And so he took upon himself that sin that was ours, and he was then raised for our justification. And I like to think of it in these terms, because when Jesus was crucified, the religious leaders said, he's guilty of blasphemy, he's guilty of making himself another king, a rival king to Caesar, and so we're going to crucify him. And they did, and when he raised from the dead, it was the Father's way of saying, remember all those charges you brought against my son?
He was innocent. He is justified. And Paul seizes upon that truth now and says, you and I, because of his resurrection, we are now justified if we place our faith in Jesus Christ, as he talks about in Romans chapters 3 and 4. So it's wonderful truth. We have a resurrection hope. We have the assurance then in First Corinthians 15 verse 58 that our work that we are doing now for the Lord is not vain. And so wonderful truths that we have there. And it validates that Jesus is who he said he was, the Son of God.
That's right. And then staying in Romans, this is a salvific issue. You mentioned that other liberal theologians like, hey, I have my faith, I don't need the resurrection. But Paul said in Romans 10, 9, 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. So it's an if then.
Because I'll tell people and this will be offensive. Yeah, that's right. I'll tell some people this will freak some people out and I'll go, hey, listen, Thomas Jefferson was not a Christian. Thomas Jefferson called himself a Christian. Thomas Jefferson is an odd bird because he was very conversant in the Bible. He understood the Bible. He thought Jesus was the greatest moral teacher of all time. But Thomas Jefferson said plainly, no one.
No, no bizarre talk here. He said it plainly. Jesus isn't the son of God. He was not born of a of a virgin. He did not get into a tomb and three days later resurrect. So Thomas Jefferson can call himself a Christian all he wants. But if you deny the resurrection, you're not a Christian. I don't care if you call yourself a Christian. If you don't believe in the resurrection, you are one. And that was Thomas Jefferson. He flat out did not believe that Jesus was who he said he was and didn't believe he was resurrected. And that's a that's a deal breaker, isn't it?
Right. Because what that person has done is deny the very atonement, the blood atonement and the resurrection that validates that blood atonement in their behalf. And so in rejecting that, I've rejected the only means of salvation that I have. And that's why Jesus could say, I am the way, the truth and the life. No man comes to the father except by me, because he is the only one who was was in a position to pay for our sins because he was the sinless lamb. And he was man who could die. And so he was qualified to die for us.
The only one. Yeah, such a powerful point. We're right up against the end of the show, Bruce.
But just to leave us, we got about two minutes left. What do you think is the biggest encouragement from the resurrection, just in terms of how we should live our faith out from this moment on, whether the Lord calls us home or he comes back? But what's kind of the biggest encouragement maybe for you personally? That's a tough question, because when I look at all of those results of the resurrection, I'm encouraged by all of them.
Yeah. But I think if we consider even what Paul finished with Chapter 15 with, that my faith is not in vain. I've got this hope. And as the world is crumbling around us, I can see, goodness, it looks like we're going to lose. But in fact, I know we're going to win because Jesus has already won the victory through his death and his resurrection. And that means all the promises that he has made about the future, I know are going to come to pass, because the promises that were made about his first coming were all fulfilled right down to the smallest letter and the smallest stroke of the pen. And if those came true, then all those future promises will come true. And that means God wins.
And he has already defeated Satan on our behalf. Yeah, such a powerful reality, such a powerful teaching. Again, the blog post today, The Reality and Unmatched Hope of Jesus's Resurrection. I've got the links up on Facebook and Facebook Live. Also, you can just go to the seminary page that they set up specifically for the radio show on Theology Thursday.
That's seminary.bju.edu backslash radio, seminary.bju.edu backslash radio and share this on your own social media. Share it by email, whichever way you do. Share it with other people, because we don't need to walk around like, gosh, I hope this is true. It is true.
You don't worry about the reality of gravity. You shouldn't worry about the reality of Christianity because it is true and you need to walk with that as your base. Professor Bruce Meyer, BJU Seminary, God bless you, brother. Thank you so much for your time today. We appreciate it. Thank you, Steve. And the Lord bless you as well. Amen. Thank you so much. And we'll talk to you again real soon.
That's Bruce Meyer down at BJU Seminary. Just such a great conversation, such a great reality. You're not walking around with this hope self. It's a no self.
It's a solid nose on your face. And that's why we shouldn't be shirking back thinking, oh, oh, oh, oh, I'm just I'm just hoping I'm hoping. No, think through this. Apply logic like some of these other brilliant people we've talked about. This is true, friends. He resurrected. It's all true. This is Steve Noble on The Steve Noble Show. God willing, I'll talk to you again real soon. And like my dad always used to say, ever forward.
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