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Monday, April 14, 2014

Jesus Is Resurrected: Intro

It’s one thing to say the words, “I know that Jesus died on the cross for me.”  It’s another to fully understand what that means.  When you fully understand it, your life is forever changed.  Over the next few posts, I am going to be writing (sometimes in very graphic detail) about the death and resurrection of Jesus Christ.  Before you read them, I ask you to say a quick prayer.  Ask God to open your mind, to open your heart.  Ask Him to change you.  Even if you think that you understand what all of this is about, ask God to blow your mind during these posts.

The story of Jesus’s crucifixion and resurrection is so long and complicated that I wouldn’t have the time to cover it all thoroughly even if I wrote about it every week.  Hundreds of books have been written about every day of this event.  Today’s post is dedicated to giving the short version of that week, followed by previewing the upcoming posts. 


Jesus ate The Last Supper with His disciples (Mark14:12-26).  I can’t help but laugh when I read Luke’s version of this, as it’s one of the best moments of the disciples just not getting it.  Jesus reminds them that He’s going to die.  He conducts the first communion.  This amazing, emotional scene is taking place where Jesus is demonstrating just how much He loves them (and us), and they interrupt Him by asking who among them is the greatest (Luke22:24-30).  I just see Jesus releasing a massive sigh and rubbing His temples here.

Jesus then went to Gethsemane to pray (Mark14:32-42) before Judas betrayed Him for a mere couple hundred bucks.  Jesus was arrested and brought before the high priest (Matthew 26:47-68). 


The Jewish leaders were tired of Jesus and His followers.  They wanted this new “movement” to go away, so they figured the best way to do that was to humiliate and destroy the head of this movement—Jesus.  These leaders wanted everyone to see that Jesus couldn’t save Himself, much less all mankind.  They wanted to expose Him as a fraud.  A phony.  They wanted to publicly shame Him so that no one was tempted to follow His teachings (Mark 15:16-20).

Jesus was beaten (Mark 15:19), flogged (John 19:1), and crucified (Luke 23:26-43).  He officially died around 3 p.m. (Mark 15:34).  Jesus was then buried in Joseph’s tomb (Luke 23:50-53). 


The Jewish leaders’ plan worked.  When Jesus died, His disciples went into hiding.  They were shocked and devastated and confused and scared.  J.P. Moreland writes, “They no longer had confidence that Jesus had been sent by God…The Jesus movement was all but stopped in its tracks."

The women gathered the needed spices to anoint Jesus’s body (Luke 23:56). 


Roman soldiers were placed outside the tomb in case Jesus’s followers tried to steal the body (Matthew 27:62-66). 

Jesus rose near sunset, exactly three days after He was buried. 

The women brought the spices at dawn, only to find the stone rolled away and an angel telling them that Jesus wasn’t there.  That He had risen (Mark 16:1-8).

The women left and told the cowards—er—disciples what they had witnessed.  Naturally, the disciples (except Peter and John) didn’t believe them (Luke 24:11).  Here’s what I love: These are men who watched Jesus touch the eyes of someone who was blind since birth, and give him sight.  These are men who watched Jesus feed thousands of people with only a few loaves of bread and fish.  These are men who watched Jesus control the weather with just His voice.  These are men who watched Jesus walk on water.  These are men who watched Jesus bring a man back to life who had been dead for three days.  Yet when they were told that Jesus did exactly what He said He was going to do—rise from the dead—their reaction?


Yet I’m supposed to sit here and convince you that it happened? 

This story is amazing.  It defies common sense.  It defies science.  However, whenever something in history defies logic, experts investigate the evidence available, and if the evidence provides the best explanation for what happened, then the event is accepted as true.

What I will be sharing over these next three posts are irrefutable facts.  No one disputes (with evidence) what I’m offering here.  Historians, archaeologists, theologians, psychologists, even atheists…anyone who has done their research acknowledges that this information is truth.  They may not be able to explain it, but they accept it as fact.

With that, there are three items that must be investigated in order to prove the resurrection: 1) Jesus died.  2) His tomb was discovered empty.  3) He rose from the dead.

Hope you enjoy it as much as I did putting it all together.

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