3 Quick and Easy Proofs for the Resurrection Anyone Can Understand

Easter is arguably the greatest time of the liturgical year. Though Christmas it wonderful, Easter is like our Super Bowl as Catholics. Not only are we celebrating new people joining the church, but we are celebrating the death and resurrection of our Lord Jesus Christ.

The resurrection is so important that St. Paul tells us that if it did not happen that we are still dead in sin (1 Corinthians 15:17). Sometimes there is some apprehension when the resurrection is discussed because we feel a burden of proof, but the evidence for it is out there. This is by no means an exhaustive list, but three proofs for the resurrection of Christ.

You can read the rest of my article on epicpew.com

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The Importance of the Resurrection

Every Easter we celebrate the resurrection of Christ.  It is the foundation of our faith, and without the resurrection are faith is futile (1 Corinthians 15:14).  Beyond proving that Jesus is the Christ, what does the resurrection prove?  The resurrection is about much more than the eyewitness accounts of the Apostles seeing the risen Jesus.  It is also about the new life that is present in every believer throughout time.

We have finite minds, and it is hard for us to grasp the miracle that is the resurrection.  Jesus is a divine being, and as a divine being he resurrected from the dead to prove who he was.  Though theologically true, this view leads to a somewhat simplistic understanding of the event.  The resurrection can also be seen in the transformation of the believer.  It is about the new life in Christ and not what the ocular vision of the disciples has perceived.  Saint Paul also echo this sentiment in 2 Corinthians 5:17, “So if anyone is in Christ, there is a new creation:  everything old has passed away; see, everything has become new” (NRSV).

The resurrection is a religious experience of one who has come to faith in Christ, and is much more than something that happened to those who physically encountered the risen Christ.  According to Scholars such as Luke Johnson this is a common theme in the Pauline Corpus.  Regarding this Dr. Johnson writes, “The resurrection experience, in Paul’s letters, is not something that happens to Jesus alone” (Johnson 25).  Every Christian with a genuine faith in Christ experiences the resurrection in a special way through baptism.  Through the sacrament of baptism original sin is wiped away, and we are raised in the newness of life.

Within the context of introducing the resurrection to Christian audience there are a couple of things to keep in mind.  From an apologetics standpoint, it is important to know the reasoning as to why the resurrection is the foundation of the faith.  One can go into the martyrdom of the early church because they were attesting to the resurrection.  People do not die for a lie.

Secondly, it is more important to assist the audience in learning to relate to the resurrection in a deeper way.  A way that is more personal, and something that they can share.  Everyone has something deep in the recesses of their mind that they are ashamed of.  It may be an addiction, adultery, or a gambling problem.  These things are destructive, but when one comes to faith those things are in the past.  They still may struggle, but through Christ they are resurrected and forgiven for those things that they have done.  Those types of experiences are the modern-day equivalent of the disciples physically seeing the resurrected Jesus.  Our former selves are dead and gone, but we were resurrected spiritually into a new creation.  The disciples’ experience of Jesus raised and exalted is the difference between their faith in the gospel.

Image result for resurrection

Works Cited

Holy Bible, New Revised Standard Version

Johnson, Luke Timothy. “How Jesus Became GodCommonweal. 2/3/2015. Web. 22 Feb. 2015.

 

Book Review: The Women of Easter

The Women of Easter tracks and expounds on the three women named Mary in the Easter story.  The first is Mary of Bethany who anointed our Lord’s feet with expensive perfume.  Mary, the mother of Christ as she stands by her son until he draws his last breath.  And Lastly, Mary Magdalene, who was among the first to proclaim the glory of the resurrection.

The author uses various translations of scripture to assist the reader in understanding the three women, and the resurrection in a deeper way.  Though the primary translation used is the NIV.  The book compares and contrasts the actions and love the women had for Christ, and the author challenges the reader to do the same.

The book also includes a study guide with questions, and more suggested scriptures to assist the reader.  The book is steeped in scripture and to the authors credit reads more like a devotional than a book on Christian living.  This book will challenge you to take your relationship with Christ to the next level.

[Note:  I received this book free of charge from the publisher in exchange for an honest review.)

Check out my new book Faith and Reason: How the Two Work to Build a Dynamic Faith!

Did Jesus Claim to be God?

The title of this article is “Did Jesus Claim to be God?”  It is a question that is asked very often and it is important to have a proper defense (i.e. apologetic) to respond to this crucial question.  It is vital because if Jesus is not God in the flesh then you and I as Christians are wasting our time.  There are many passages in scripture that attribute divinity to Christ, and there are many that were spoken by the Lord himself.  The spoken words of Christ in regards to his divinity will be our focus for today’s article.

  1.  John 5:17-18
“In his defense, Jesus said to them, “My Father is always at his work to this very day, and I too am working.” 18 For this reason they tried all the more to kill him; not only was he breaking the Sabbath, but he was even calling God his own Father, making himself equal with God.
In this passage Jesus directly attributes Divinity to himself by calling God his father.  The significance of this was not lost on the Jewish leaders of the day.  They knew the Messiah would be called by various titles including the “Son of God.”  To claim divinity in the ancient Jewish world was not something that was swept under the rug, but was considered blasphemy.  In making the statement he was making himself equal to God, and for that, the Jewish leaders attempted to kill him for blasphemy.
2.  John 8:58
“Very truly I tell you,” Jesus answered, “before Abraham was born, I am!”
This seemingly insignificant verse brings with it huge implications.  It alluded to Exodus 3:14 where God reveals himself to Moses at the burning bush.  God tells Moses to confront Pharaoh, and Moses asks God’s name just in case the Jewish people ask.  Exodus 3:14 states, God said to Moses, “I am who I am.  This is what you are to say to the Israelites: ‘I am has sent me to you.’”  Again the Jewish leaders attempted to arrest Jesus and have him executed for blasphemy.  By using this name, he was directly calling Himself God.
3.  John 10:30
“I and the Father are One.”
This is not just a statement of unity such as when a husband agrees with his wife, but a statement of authority.  It is a unity of purpose and of essence.  This is another occasion where the Jewish leaders knew exactly what Jesus was saying.  They knew that He was saying that he was God, and this is another occasion where they sought to destroy him.
4.  Mark 14:61-62

“But Jesus remained silent and gave no answer.Again the high priest asked him, “Are you the Messiah, the Son of the Blessed One?”

62 “I am,” said Jesus. “And you will see the Son of Man sitting at the right hand of the Mighty One and coming on the clouds of heaven.”

The Jewish leaders were successful and were able to arrest Jesus.  He is asked point blank in this verse if He is the Son of God, and his answer is so much more than “yes.”  He calls himself the Son of Man which alluded to Daniel 7:13-14.  This prophecy in Daniel is about the Sovereign reign of the Son of God, and his preexistence before all time.  By stating this, Jesus is saying that he was around before the creation of the world.  Not only that but he will be the judge of it, and its redeemer!

There are many more places where Jesus claimed to be more than a man.  There are also many more verses in which the inspired writers claim him as God as well.  One such passage is Titus 2:13 which states, “while we wait for the blessed hope—the appearing of the glory of our great God and Savior, Jesus Christ.”  Some will say that Jesus did not say the words “I am God.”  Because of that, they will say that he was not, but we must read things in their context and ancient works, such as scripture, must be read in their proper context.  When done so Jesus claimed over and over to be God in the flesh.  We are just scratching the surface and the biblical proofs of Christ’s divinity as there are many more verses in the Old and New Testaments that can be looked at.

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