Paul wrote: “And if Christ be not risen, then is our preaching vain, and your faith is also vain. Yea, and we are found false witnesses of God; because we have testified of God that He raised up Christ: whom He raised not up, if so be that the dead rise not.”
(I Corinthians 15:14-15)
Without the Resurrection of Jesus, our message has no meaning… Why believe in a “good teacher” or a “good man” if he were a liar? Or worse… if he were a madman? If he were a liar, then why should we say he was a good teacher—do not the two contradict themselves? Yet learned people will say that’s all he was — a great moral teacher. Someone moral and ethical, teaching honesty and love, and yet lying about who he was? It doesn’t make sense. And madman? His debates with the religious leaders, all highly learned men, left them in the dust, wanting to stone him—not for his “good teaching” but for putting himself on the same level of being the Son of God Himself.
C.S. Lewis wrote in his book Mere Christianity, “I am trying here to prevent anyone saying the really foolish thing that people often say about Him, ‘I’m ready to accept Jesus as a great moral teacher, but I don’t accept His claim to be God!’. That is one thing we must not say. For a man who was merely man and said the sort of things that Jesus said would be the Devil of hell. You must make your choice. Either this man was, and is, the Son of God; or else a mad man or something worse.”
Lewis went on to say, "You can shut Him up for a fool, you can spit at Him and kill Him as a demon; or you can fall at His feet and call Him Lord and God. But let us not come up with any patronizing nonsense about His being a great human teacher. He has not left that open to us. He did not intend to."
If he were a liar, knowing what he said about his relationship with God the Father were lies, then why would he willingly go to the cross? If he were a madman, it’s vaguely possible that he would be willing to be martyred. The fruit of that martyrdom, however, is the followers themselves… At his death, they were all like scared rabbits—not one of them willing to go and steal his body out from under Roman soldiers’ noses. No Jew or Roman produced the body after his supposed resurrection to disprove the claims that the then-confident and bold disciples preached, and that’s all it would have taken to dispel them. The Jewish authorities bribed the soldiers (who must have accepted a very large bribe to lie to their superiors) about the stealing of his body. But the disciples & followers of Jesus’ change of heart really proves the truth of his claims. They went to martyrdom themselves with singing and praise. If any of them had stolen the body, why would they perpetuate the lie for nothing but death and persecution? They knew it was true… Jesus’ half-brothers James and Jude, neither believed him during his lifetime, but they did after the resurrection. Saul the militant persecutor of Christians turned into Paul, the great missionary, spreading the truth of Jesus’ resurrection.
Lee Strobel, author of The Case for Christ, wrote: "I met people who said they were Jesus on a fairly regular basis," he said. "But anyone can claim to be God. The question is whether they can back that up. That's why the resurrection is so crucial for Christians."
So, to me the bottom line is the Empty Tomb… all religions have a tomb you can go to see their “great prophets’” bones or dust—for Christians, there are tombs of the saints who have gone on before us, but our prophet is alive. Our prophet is God’s Son, Jesus, the Christ, the Anointed, the Messiah. We have communion with God the Father thru the Son; we have been reconciled to His fellowship thru the sacrifice of the True Passover Lamb, and by His blood we are redeemed. There is truly only one way to Heaven, and that way is through relationship with Jesus the Son.
This is my testimony… that I believe Jesus was and is the Messiah. I have honestly felt His presence every day. I know that I know that He is. If you are searching, please consider picking up any of C.S. Lewis’ books, or Josh McDowell’s More Than a Carpenter or Evidences that Demand a Verdict, or Lee Strobel’s The Case for Christ. If you are searching more about Christianity online, please go to the website: "All About God" and if you are interested in becoming a Christian, please go to the link directly below this article.
What makes Christianity different from all other religions?
We have the Empty Tomb….
Updated on January 16, 2012
Copyright © 2003-2012 by Donna Conner
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