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Resurrection Part 1-Why Bother?
In the past, I have been accused (with an inference of derision) of being a Christian “apologist”. In case you don’t know, an apologist is defined by Webster’s as someone “who speaks or writes in defense of someone or something”. Well, I thought that’s what guys like me are supposed to do. In fact, isn’t that what we’re all supposed to do? Isn’t that what Peter meant when he said:
(1Pe 3:15) But sanctify the Lord God in your hearts: and be ready always to give an answer to every man that asketh you a reason of the hope that is in you with meekness and fear.
I don’t believe in arguing about the things of God. I normally don’t engage in debate about these sorts of things but I have and will continue to present the things of God in a way that will allow the listener or reader to make an informed decision. If you want to call that “defending” the Faith; that’s fine with me. I simply want to encourage a habit of critical thinking and I believe that’s God’s Way, as well. God is not afraid of our questions. He’s not afraid of our doubts. He knows our limitations because, frankly, He set them. He established the boundaries of our intellect, for some reason, and so He is aware of how much we can learn and it is obvious that He has a lot more confidence in our intelligence than most of our church leaders do.
All of that to say that, in this ministry, I won’t apologize for being…an apologist. I trust you and I trust the Spirit of Truth to do His job and guide you (and me) into all Truth (John 15:26). This lesson is the beginning of a series and this series is going to challenge you. We will be taking a detailed look at the most important event in human history: the Resurrection of Jesus. Why is that important? Well, that is the point of this first installment. It is here that we examine whether or not believing Jesus rose from the tomb is important. I mean, we talk a lot about the “Risen Christ” in church. At Easter time (I don’t like that word but that’s for another day) we plaster all over the place “He is Risen!” We see it on church billboards, in the pastor’s newsletter, we post it on Facebook and even occasionally (with ever-dwindling frequency) give each other greeting cards that tell us that the tomb was empty. But, do we really believe it? It’s pretty spectacular, when you think about it. A dead man is placed in a grave and He is not there 3 days later. And, listen, that does not mean He’s now a ghost…whatever that is. We don’t have trouble with the concept of someone’s spirit going…somewhere after they die. That is NOT what happened in this instance. His BODY rose. He had a body. What was once dead flesh got up and left that boulder-sealed cave. Can you believe that? By the way, that’s a legitimate question. I want to know. Can you believe that Jesus rose, BODILY, from the dead because if you can’t or you won’t then Paul says your faith is in vain. (1 Corinthians 15:17) Now, if you need more information to make a decision, I get that. That’s okay. That’s why this series is here. We want to make sure to give you as much information as possible so you CAN decide because decide you must and, if we fail at that, we hope that, at least, this series gives you a genuine desire to learn enough to make a decision. I am hoping you’ll see how important this is and that you take it upon yourself to seek out Truth…no matter the personal cost. This is NOT to be taken lightly. The Resurrection is the central, pivotal fact of human history. The Resurrection is the dividing line between the saved and the damned. Those that accept its Truth will live and those that don’t…won’t. So, I implore you with every ounce of my being to find a way to bring yourself to full acceptance of the Truth of the Resurrection. May I humbly suggest that you start by listening in to this series. If nothing else, it should give you a foundation upon which to build your continued pursuit of the most startling claim in human history. BUT before you do ANYTHING take this to God in prayer. Ask Him to guide you. Ask Him to show you Truth and, I believe, He will open up His Word to you in ways that may surprise you. If your heart is sincere and you truly want what He wants, God will answer your doubts and strengthen your Faith.