The God of Eternity pt 3, The Triune God, pt 2: Jesus, Son of God

Hello, and thank you for joining me today! We are here to continue the series that we started 2 weeks ago. And specifically, the explanation of the Triune God concept. And today, I am going to try and answer the most asked question in all of history! Who is this Jesus, guy?

Let me start off by assuring you, He is not some guy, but probably the most famous or infamous person in history, as well He should be. But first, let us look at few popular theories on who Jesus is. Many atheists have made the claim that Jesus is just a pagan myth, a combination of the two Greek gods Dionysus and Mithras, however there is no real connections to the myths to how Jesus was or what He did. Most scholars on both sides of the aisle agree that any “connection” is purely coincidental and often times cherry picked and stretched. Some out there like to claim that Jesus was a mere philosopher and actually was not a God at all, not even a prophet. Strangely, this theory completely ignores Christ’s prophecies and miracle workings so they just cherry pick the philosophy of Christ and ignore what He actually did. Maybe you are starting to see a common trend… but just one more theory here. Laughably my favorite theory I found is this, that Christ was a violent revolutionary that never came to bring teachings to His people at all but was just here to free the Jews from the Romans… Let that sink in for a moment, Christ “was” a bloodthirsty man who sought to bring destruction to the Roman Empire. This one is completely out of line with all of what Christ did. Christ preached peace, mercy, and love for all. Not once did Christ ever threaten the Romans directly. He did throw tables in the Jewish temple for they had made a “den of thieves” in the House of the Lord. Christ went as far as to say that they should pay their taxes to the Romans because God cares not about the world’s wealth but what you are to do for Him and His people.

So, who is Jesus Christ then? I have spent all this time talking about who He wasn’t, but who is He and why is He so important? I am glad you asked! Jesus Christ is the Son of God and Man, making Him uniquely qualified to do many things, like be able to sacrifice Himself for our Salvation. Well, let us get started with the facts and proofs of how Jesus was a man. He was born of a human mother and has a lineage that can be traced back to Abraham (Matthew 1, all of it). He hungered (John 21:4-12, Luke 14:12-14, Matthew 9:10-13, and Mark 2:15-17), He felt emotions like sadness (John 11:35), joy (Luke 15:5-7),  and other emotions, such as anger (Matthew 21:12-13). But most importantly, He died just as we can. Let us read in John chapter 19, starting in verse 30:

So when Jesus had received the sour wine, He said, “It is finished!” And bowing His head, He gave up His spirit. Therefore, because it was the Preparation Day, that the bodies should not remain on the cross on the Sabbath (for that Sabbath was a high day), the Jews asked Pilate that their legs might be broken, and that they might be taken away. Then the soldiers came and broke the legs of the first and of the other who was crucified with Him. But when they came to Jesus and saw that He was already dead, they did not break His legs. But one of the soldiers pierced His side with a spear, and immediately blood and water came out. And he who has seen has testified, and his testimony is true; and he knows that he is telling the truth, so that you may believe.  For these things were done that the Scripture should be fulfilled, “Not one of His bones shall be broken.” And again another Scripture says, “They shall look on Him whom they pierced.” (John 19:30-37, New King James Version)

Here we see evidence that Christ bled and died like we all can. With both water and blood coming from His pierced lung, it proves He died of suffocation on the cross as is the cause of death with most crucifixions.

Now that I have assured you that Christ was indeed human, I am not going to spend the rest of the time convincing you that He was and is God. First, let us start with God’s confession of Himself in Luke 3, verse 21:

When all the people were baptized, it came to pass that Jesus also was baptized; and while He prayed, the heaven was opened. And the Holy Spirit descended in bodily form like a dove upon Him, and a voice came from heaven which said, “You are My beloved Son; in You I am well pleased.” (Luke 3:21-22, New King James Version)

So, Jesus wills Himself to be baptized by John the Baptist and God reveals Himself in all forms to acknowledge Jesus, the Son of God, whom completes the Triune. God the Father tells Him (Jesus) that He (the Father) is pleased by His (Jesus’) show of humbleness and for setting the example for His people.

Alright, so what? God likes this Jesus guy, not enough to prove He is God, right? Okay, well good thing I wasn’t stopping there. Jesus is recorded to have pulled over 40 miracles, and we are defining miracles as the following types of events: faith healing, exorcisms, resurrection of the dead and control over nature. This includes His own resurrection from death. These miracles, to name a few specifically include turning water into wine (John 2:1-11), catching large numbers a fish or really summoning (Luke 5:3-10), calming the storm (Matthew 8:23-27), healing a withered hand (Mark 3:1-6), healing a leper(s) (Mark 1:40-45), 3 different resurrections that were not himself (John 11:1-44, Matthew 9:18-25, Luke 7:11-17). Additionally, John annotates at the end of his book this in chapter 21 verses 24-25:

This is the disciple who testifies of these things and wrote these things; and we know that his testimony is true. And there are also many other things that Jesus did, which if they were written one by one, I suppose that even the world itself could not contain the books that would be written. Amen. (John 21:24-25, New King James Version)

This shows that there is so much that happened and that Christ did throughout His earthly ministry that was not recorded. Most of His miracles are witnessed by hundreds or thousands with only a few that were left to be seen by smaller audiences, like walking on water or the restoration of the cut ear (Matthew 14:22-23, Luke 22:45-54). No man nor technology at the time could ever perform the things which Christ did. Even today we cannot perform resurrections in the way He did. The closest we have is manual resuscitation through CPR or a defibrillator which only work for seconds, or minutes if you are lucky, after death. Christ rose people and Himself days after which they had passed and been buried. Each one of the resurrections had many witnesses, Christ’s own resurrection had hundreds of people outside of His apostles (Mark 24:13-31, Acts 1:1-9, 1 Corinthians 15:1-8). Later, Christ even shews Himself unto Saul of Tarsus (Acts 9:1-20). This occurrence is a little special, so let us read it:

Then Saul, still breathing threats and murder against the disciples of the Lord, went to the high priest and asked letters from him to the synagogues of Damascus, so that if he found any who were of the Way, whether men or women, he might bring them bound to Jerusalem. As he journeyed he came near Damascus, and suddenly a light shone around him from heaven. Then he fell to the ground, and heard a voice saying to him, “Saul, Saul, why are you persecuting Me?” And he said, “Who are You, Lord?” Then the Lord said, “I am Jesus, whom you are persecuting. It is hard for you to kick against the goads.” So he, trembling and astonished, said, “Lord, what do You want me to do?” Then the Lord said to him, “Arise and go into the city, and you will be told what you must do.” And the men who journeyed with him stood speechless, hearing a voice but seeing no one. Then Saul arose from the ground, and when his eyes were opened he saw no one. But they led him by the hand and brought him into Damascus. And he was three days without sight, and neither ate nor drank. (Acts 9:1-9, NKJV)

In this instance, Christ appears in His glory to Saul and blinds Him because He appears in His true form. It is described as a light from heaven, and all that Saul and the soldiers then could tell was that a voice was coming down to them. This is where Christ makes His Godship quite apparent, that He could appear whenever and however He wanted to.

Furthermore, Christ makes another appearance a few decades later to the last living apostle, John. Let us turn to the book of Revelation. There is much in the way of prophecy and theology that comes from the revelations that Christ shows John in the visions of what is to come. Let us start in chapter 1, beginning in verse 9:

I, John, both your brother and companion in the tribulation and kingdom and patience of Jesus Christ, was on the island that is called Patmos for the word of God and for the testimony of Jesus Christ. I was in the Spirit on the Lord’s Day, and I heard behind me a loud voice, as of a trumpet, saying, “I am the Alpha and the Omega, the First and the Last,” and, “What you see, write in a book and send it to the seven churches which are in Asia: to Ephesus, to Smyrna, to Pergamos, to Thyatira, to Sardis, to Philadelphia, and to Laodicea.” Then I turned to see the voice that spoke with me. And having turned I saw seven golden lampstands, and in the midst of the seven lampstands One like the Son of Man, clothed with a garment down to the feet and girded about the chest with a golden band. His head and hair were white like wool, as white as snow, and His eyes like a flame of fire; His feet were like fine brass, as if refined in a furnace, and His voice as the sound of many waters; He had in His right hand seven stars, out of His mouth went a sharp two-edged sword, and His countenance was like the sun shining in its strength. And when I saw Him, I fell at His feet as dead. But He laid His right hand on me, saying to me, “Do not be afraid; I am the First and the Last. I am He who lives, and was dead, and behold, I am alive forevermore. Amen. And I have the keys of Hell and of Death. (Revelation 1:9-18, New King James Version)

In John’s exile, Christ appears to him in a form he recognizes “One like the Son of Man”, yet He was different, in ways he could only explain by metaphors with what he knew. Jesus explains that He is God and has been, with His statement that He is the first and last (Alpha and Omega are the first and last, respectively, of the Greek alphabet), He confirms His place as God and rightful ruler of eternity. Also, He shows what He did when His earthly form died, He went to Hell and took the keys from Satan and wrest death from the hands of him as well. This lets us know that He has the rights to all creation, in life and death. In Revelation chapter 19 we see further proof the Jesus is God and always has been when we combine it with the gospel of John. First Revelation 19:11-16:

Now I saw heaven opened, and behold, a white horse. And He who sat on him was called Faithful and True, and in righteousness He judges and makes war. His eyes were like a flame of fire, and on His head were many crowns. He had a name written that no one knew except Himself. He was clothed with a robe dipped in blood, and His name is called The Word of God. And the armies in heaven, clothed in fine linen, white and clean, followed Him on white horses. Now out of His mouth goes a sharp sword, that with it He should strike the nations. And He Himself will rule them with a rod of iron. He Himself treads the winepress of the fierceness and wrath of Almighty God. And He has on His robe and on His thigh a name written: KING OF KINGS AND LORD OF LORDS. (Revelation 19:11-16, NKJV)

Here Christ is identified as the Word of God, and the King of Kings and Lord of Lords. If there was any doubt before this moment that Christ was God, in this moment will all life have no choice but to acknowledge Him as Lord, however, if Christ is God this must mean He was with God at creation! Where does He come in at the beginning of time and creation? Let us look to John 1:

In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. He was in the beginning with God. All things were made through Him, and without Him nothing was made that was made. In Him was life, and the life was the light of men… (John 1:1-4, NKJV) And the Word became flesh and dwelt among us, and we beheld His glory, the glory as of the only begotten of the Father, full of grace and truth. (John 1:14, NKJV)

Christ always has been, and always be God. Jesus, the only begotten Son of God is fully God as much as the Father is.

Let this mind be in you which was also in Christ Jesus, who, being in the form of God, did not consider it robbery to be equal with God, but made Himself of no reputation, taking the form of a bondservant, and coming in the likeness of men. (Philippians 2:5-7, NKJV)

So, just to nail it in one more time, Jesus Christ is the Son of God, whom is God. And that despite acting in different methods they are one and the same.

Why is Christ important to us? Because Jesus Christ became the sacrifice to God for our sins that we may have eternal life. He is the one that fulfills God the Father’s promises and brings to completion all that was prophesized by the prophets of the Old Testament and He is the one to take all power from Hell and He is the rightful ruler of heaven and earth (Revelation 20:4-15). And once more to John chapter 14, please.

“Let not your heart be troubled; you believe in God, believe also in Me. In My Father’s house are many mansions; if it were not so, I would have told you. I go to prepare a place for you. And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again and receive you to Myself; that where I am, there you may be also. 4 And where I go you know, and the way you know.” Thomas said to Him, “Lord, we do not know where You are going, and how can we know the way?” Jesus said to him, “I am the way, the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through Me. “If you had known Me, you would have known My Father also; and from now on you know Him and have seen Him.” (John 14:1-7, New King James Version)

Christ is the one true way to heaven, having belief in Him is to have faith in the Father, and the way to receive the gift of the Holy Spirit, which we will cover next week. Upon Christ is our faith founded on, that it is by our faith in Him that we can be restored to a new life and new spirit. And I close with this passage from Romans chapter 5:

Therefore, having been justified by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ, through whom also we have access by faith into this grace in which we stand, and rejoice in hope of the glory of God. And not only that, but we also glory in tribulations, knowing that tribulation produces perseverance; and perseverance, character; and character, hope. Now hope does not disappoint, because the love of God has been poured out in our hearts by the Holy Spirit who was given to us. For when we were still without strength, in due time Christ died for the ungodly. For scarcely for a righteous man will one die; yet perhaps for a good man someone would even dare to die. But God demonstrates His own love toward us, in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us. Much more then, having now been justified by His blood, we shall be saved from wrath through Him. For if when we were enemies we were reconciled to God through the death of His Son, much more, having been reconciled, we shall be saved by His life. And not only that, but we also rejoice in God through our Lord Jesus Christ, through whom we have now received the reconciliation. (Romans 5: 1-11)

God Bless You.

It’s No April Fool’s! He is Risen!

Today we gather to celebrate the Resurrection of our Lord Jesus Christ, and let me be the first to tell you, it’s no April Fool’s joke! Society today would have you believe that Jesus was just “a good man,” a “crazed philosopher,” a “delusional Jew,” but never the Son of God. I am here today to give you ammo to fight for what you believe and lay to rest three of the most common or profound theories about how the resurrection did not happen.

First, let us go through what is recorded in scripture as to what happened from crucifixion to resurrection. I will go through all of the gospels to give a full view of the events that unfolded during Christ’s time away from earth. First Matthew 27:50-28:8

50 Jesus, when he had cried again with a loud voice, yielded up the ghost. 51 And, behold, the veil of the temple was rent in twain from the top to the bottom; and the earth did quake, and the rocks rent; 52 And the graves were opened; and many bodies of the saints which slept arose, 53 And came out of the graves after his resurrection, and went into the holy city, and appeared unto many. 54 Now when the centurion, and they that were with him, watching Jesus, saw the earthquake, and those things that were done, they feared greatly, saying, Truly this was the Son of God. 55 And many women were there beholding afar off,  which followed Jesus from Galilee, ministering unto him: 56 Among which was Mary Magdalene, and Mary the mother of James and Joses, and the mother of Zebedee’s children. 57 When the even was come, there came a rich man of Arimathaea, named Joseph, who also himself was Jesus’ disciple: 58 He went to Pilate, and begged the body of Jesus. Then Pilate commanded the body to be delivered. 59 And when Joseph had taken the body, he wrapped it in a clean linen cloth, 60 And laid it in his own new tomb, which he had hewn out in the rock: and he rolled a great stone to the door of the sepulchre, and departed. 61 And there was Mary Magdalene, and the other Mary, sitting over against the sepulchre. 62 Now the next day, that followed the day of the preparation, the chief priests and Pharisees came together unto Pilate, 63 Saying, Sir, we remember that that deceiver said, while he was yet alive, After three days I will rise again. 64 Command therefore that the sepulchre be made sure until the third day, lest his disciples come by night, and steal him away, and say unto the people, He is risen from the dead: so the last error shall be worse than the first. 65 Pilate said unto them, Ye have a watch: go your way, make it as sure as ye can. 66 So they went, and made the sepulchre sure, sealing the stone, and setting a watch. 1 In the end of the sabbath, as it began to dawn toward the first day of the week, came Mary Magdalene and the other Mary to see the sepulchre. 2 And, behold, there was a great   earthquake: for the angel of the Lord descended from heaven, and came and rolled back the stone from the door, and sat upon it. 3 His countenance was like lightning, and his raiment white as snow 4 And for fear of him the keepers did shake, and became as dead  men.5 And the angel answered and said unto the women, Fear not ye: for I know that ye seek Jesus, which was crucified. 6 He is not here: for he is risen, as he said. Come, see the  place where the Lord lay. 7 And go quickly, and tell his disciples that he is risen from the dead; and, behold, he goeth before you into Galilee; there shall ye see him: lo, I have told you. 8 And they departed quickly from the sepulchre with fear and great joy; and did run to bring his disciples word. (King James Version)

A key detail to note here is the establishment of a watch by the Roman Guard. Now Mark’s recount from Mark 15:39-16:8

39 And when the centurion, which stood over against him, saw that he so cried out, and  gave up the ghost, he said, Truly this man was the Son of God. 40 There were also women looking on afar off: among whom was Mary Magdalene, and Mary the mother of James the less and of Joses, and Salome; 41 (Who also, when he was in Galilee, followed him, and ministered unto him;) and many other women which came up with him unto Jerusalem. 42 And now when the even was come, because it was the preparation, that is, the day before the sabbath, 43 Joseph of Arimathaea, an honourable counsellor, which also waited for the  kingdom of God, came, and went in boldly unto Pilate, and craved the body of Jesus. 44   And Pilate marvelled if he were already dead: and calling unto him the centurion, he asked  him whether he had been any while dead. 45 And when he knew it of the centurion, he gave the body to Joseph. 46 And he bought fine linen, and took him down, and wrapped him in the linen, and laid him in a sepulchre which was hewn out of a rock, and rolled a stone unto the door of the sepulchre. 47 And Mary Magdalene and Mary the mother of Joses beheld where he was laid. And when the sabbath was past, Mary Magdalene, and Mary the mother of James, and Salome, had bought sweet spices, that they might come and anoint him. 2 And very early in the morning the first day of the week, they came unto the sepulchre at the rising of the sun. 3 And they said among themselves, Who shall roll us away the stone from the door of the sepulchre? 4 And when they looked, they saw that the stone was rolled away: for it was very great. 5 And entering into the sepulchre, they saw a young man sitting on the right side, clothed in a long white garment; and they were  affrighted. 6 And he saith unto them, Be not affrighted: Ye seek Jesus of Nazareth, which  was crucified: he is risen; he is not here: behold the place where they laid him. 7 But go  your way, tell his disciples and Peter that he goeth before you into Galilee: there shall ye  see him, as he said unto you. 8 And they went out quickly, and fled from the sepulchre; for they trembled and were amazed: neither said they any thing to any man; for they were afraid. (KJV)

Here, it is important to note, that they are said to come at the rising of the sun. Around the first hour of the Jewish day to anoint Christ’s body which is how they embalmed in their time. Now in Luke 23:50-24:12

50 And, behold, there was a man named Joseph, a counsellor; and he was a good man, and a just: 51 (The same had not consented to the counsel and deed of them;) he was of Arimathaea, a city of the Jews: who also himself waited for the kingdom of God. 52 This man went unto Pilate, and begged the body of Jesus. 53 And he took it down, and wrapped  it in linen, and laid it in a sepulchre that was hewn in stone, wherein never man before was laid. 54 And that day was the preparation, and the sabbath drew on. 55 And the women also, which came with him from Galilee, followed after, and beheld the sepulchre, and how his body was laid. 56 And they returned, and prepared spices and ointments; and rested the sabbath day according to the commandment. 1 Now upon the first day of the week, very early in the morning, they came unto the sepulchre, bringing the spices which they had prepared, and certain others with them. 2 And they found the stone rolled away from the sepulchre. 3 And they entered in, and found not the body of the Lord Jesus. 4 And it came to pass, as they were much perplexed thereabout, behold, two men stood by them in shining garments: 5 And as they were afraid, and bowed down their faces to the earth, they said unto them, Why seek ye the living among the dead? 6 He is not here, but is risen: remember how he spake unto you when he was yet in Galilee, 7 Saying, The Son of man must be delivered into the hands of sinful men, and be crucified, and the third day rise again. 8 And they remembered his words, 9 And returned from the sepulchre, and told all these things unto the eleven, and to all the rest. 10 It was Mary Magdalene, and Joanna, and Mary the mother of James, and other women that were with them, which told these things unto the apostles. 11 And their words seemed to them as idle tales, and they believed them not. 12  Then arose Peter, and ran unto the sepulchre; and stooping down, he beheld the linen clothes laid by themselves, and departed, wondering in himself at that which was come to pass. (KJV)

A key note here is that the other disciples had no clue and no belief in what the women had professed to them and Peter, said to be the most loyal disciple had to go check for himself what was reported. And lastly the account from John’s gospel John 19:30-20:10

30 When Jesus therefore had received the vinegar, he said, It is finished: and he bowed his head, and gave up the ghost. 31 The Jews therefore, because it was the preparation, that the bodies should not remain upon the cross on the sabbath day, (for that sabbath day was an high day,) besought Pilate that their legs might be broken, and that they might be taken away. 32 Then came the soldiers, and brake the legs of the first, and of the other which was crucified with him. 33 But when they came to Jesus, and saw that he was dead already,   they brake not his legs: 34 But one of the soldiers with a spear pierced his side, and forthwith came there out blood and water. 35 And he that saw it bare record, and his record is true: and he knoweth that he saith true, that ye might believe. 36 For these things were done, that the scripture should be fulfilled, A bone of him shall not be broken. 37 And again another scripture saith, They shall look on him whom they pierced. 38 And after this Joseph of Arimathaea, being a disciple of Jesus, but secretly for fear of the Jews, besought Pilate that he might take away the body of Jesus: and Pilate gave him leave. He came therefore, and took the body of Jesus. 39 And there came also Nicodemus, which at the first came to Jesus by night, and brought a mixture of myrrh and aloes, about an hundred pound weight. 40 Then took they the body of Jesus, and wound it in linen clothes with the spices, as the manner of the Jews is to bury. 41 Now in the place where he was crucified there was a garden; and in the garden a new sepulchre, wherein was never man yet laid. 42 There laid they Jesus therefore because of the Jews’ preparation day; for the sepulchre was nigh at   hand. 1 The first day of the week cometh Mary Magdalene early, when it was yet dark, unto the sepulchre, and seeth the stone taken away from the sepulchre. 2 Then she runneth, and cometh to Simon Peter, and to the other disciple, whom Jesus loved, and saith unto them, They have taken away the Lord out of the sepulchre, and we know not where they   have laid him. 3 Peter therefore went forth, and that other disciple, and came to the sepulchre. 4 So they ran both together: and the other disciple did outrun Peter, and came first to the sepulchre. 5 And he stooping down, and looking in, saw the linen clothes lying; yet went he not in. 6 Then cometh Simon Peter following him, and went into the sepulchre, and seeth the linen clothes lie, 7 And the napkin, that was about his head, not lying with the linen clothes, but wrapped together in a place by itself. 8 Then went in also that other disciple, which came first to the sepulchre, and he saw, and believed. 9 For as yet they knew not the scripture, that he must rise again from the dead. 10 Then the disciples went away again unto their own home. (KJV)

Here we get details of the tomb, unlike the other accounts of what happened. Note that the napkin that was used to cover the face was not just thrown aside like the rest of the raiment, but neatly folded and placed aside.

So now that we have the tale of what happened in-between His death and resurrection as according to the Gospels, let us look at what some of the popular theories are about why the resurrection never happened.

  1. Jesus Was Not Dead
  2. The Disciples Moved the Body
  3. The Jewish Leaders or the Romans Moved the Body

Let me start with the last one. Let’s just think about this for one moment. The very people that worked so hard to not only kill Christ, but wanted to snuff out all remembrance of him, would they in all reality try to remove his body and help perpetuate the ‘myth’ as they called it? Also, why would they hold onto the body when the Romans began the largest manhunt in history for a corpse? Where people literally started losing their lives for not knowing what happened to the body, this preposition is pretty much literally ludicrous. The High Priest himself is the very one who made a request to the Governor to seal the tomb and post a guard, so why go through all that trouble to just help those you are trying to squander? Quite frankly, this theory just raises more questions than answers. Maybe the Romans took the body and not the Jews… hmm wait a minute… if the Romans launched the largest manhunt for a dead body that they already had, then why waist all the forces that could be keeping order and reinforcing the laws? What purpose does causing so much trouble do you when Caesar himself is coming to inspect the way your territory is being run? All this does is help push forward the idea of Christ is risen and cause more disorder. Again, neither side of this coin makes any sense. I rest my case against this theory.

Secondly, the Disciples moved the body. Now, let’s think about this for a moment. 11 men just watched the Son of God die, after being brutally and savagely beaten and flogged. These men were in fear for their own lives, most of them fled the moment Christ was taken by the Sanhedrin. Even Simon-Peter, his most loyal follower denied him 3 times the night of Christ’s arrest. Even after Jesus comes back to life, they still hid in fear, and did so until the day of Pentecost. What makes someone think they had the courage to even approach the tomb? Also, the tomb was guarded by a squad of Romans. And Romans, like modern militaries, take their guard duties extremely serious. In fact, more so than we do. If you were caught in dereliction of duty (not following orders), you would at the very least be imprisoned, and commonly beaten, and often times put to death or exile. So, what are the chances that an entire squad of legionnaires decided to just let 11 men walk up, remove the stone, and take off with the body of Christ? Just to show you how serious Romans took guarding anything, let’s look at Acts 16:23-30

23 And when they had laid many stripes upon them, they cast them into prison, charging the jailor to keep them safely: 24 Who, having received such a charge, thrust them into the inner prison, and made their feet fast in the stocks. 25 And at midnight Paul and Silas prayed, and sang praises unto God: and the prisoners heard them. 26 And suddenly there was a great earthquake, so that the foundations of the prison were shaken: and immediately all the doors were opened, and every one’s bands were loosed. 27 And the keeper of the prison awaking out of his sleep, and seeing the prison doors open, he drew out his sword, and would have killed himself, supposing that the prisoners had been fled. 28 But Paul cried with a loud voice, saying, Do thyself no harm: for we are all here. 29 Then he called for a light, and sprang in, and came trembling, and fell down before Paul and Silas, 30 And brought them out, and said, Sirs, what must I do to be saved? (KJV)

This guard knew the price of failure, so he had just as soon take his own life than suffer as he knew he would. All that to say this, I doubt very highly that they would fail on the vital task of keeping anyone out of the tomb.

Lastly, they say that Christ never died in the first place. Well, let’s just look at all that Christ suffered through. First he went through beatings at the hands of the Chief Priests (John 18:22, Luke 22:63-64, Mark 14:65, Matthew 26:67), which was pretty much the easiest He got. Then He was flogged before His sentencing, and beaten after (Mark 15:15, Luke 23:16, John 19:1-5). The tool of the flogging is known as the cat-of-nine-tails. A cruel whip with 9 leather strips with bone, metal, and whatever was left over from the last victim. This whip was designed to shred flesh and rip skin from muscle. The flogging would last until the victim could hardly stand or died. In this case, it was to the point of near death. Afterwards, the Romans took him back inside, beat and mocked him some more before Christ was set with His crossbar. So, after suffering tremendous blood loss and muscular damage, Christ is given a 75-pound crossbar and has to carry it 650 yards up the hill called Mt. Calvary. Already weakened by dehydration, hunger, and blood loss, Christ falls 3 times on His journey and each delay more than likely earned Him more lashes. Most normal people have died at this point, but Christ preserves himself long enough to accomplish what His father had set out for Him to do.

Now, the actual crucifixion. Probably the worst thing to endure, a form of torture that was designed to kill slowly, with some victims lasting days while struggling to survive. Once laid into place, Christ would have had a nail driven in each wrist, securing his arms outstretched on the bar. Next, his legs would have been bent slightly, and his feet nailed in place. Once Christ is nailed in, He is then lifted up on the cross and left to hang, choosing between breathing and the pain of his arms or feet. His outstretched arms and suspended body slowly suffocating him as He has to use His feet to push himself up to breath, tearing at his feet from the nails in them. At around 3pm, Christ dies. The Romans verify His death and pierced his lungs with a spear and out came water and blood (John 19:34). Water only comes from lungs in the 2 situations of death, drowning (which can be safely ruled out), and asphyxiation. The trapped air in your lungs condensates and becomes water. So, Christ is verified dead, safely ruling out this theory.

And here is the good news! Christ arose on the 3rd day just as he said he would. Our God is not dead and “The ultimate proof of the resurrection though is provided in the testimony of his early disciples.  Jesus was seen by over 500 witnesses over a period of 40 days. Acts 1:3 says that, “After His suffering, He showed Himself to these men and gave many convincing proofs that He was alive. He appeared to them over a period of 40 days and spoke about the kingdom of God.”

The apostle Paul wrote in 1 Corinthians 15:3-6: “For what I received I passed on to you as of first importance: that Christ died for our sins according to the Scriptures, and that He appeared to Peter, and then to the Twelve. After that, He appeared to more than five hundred of the brothers at the same time, most of whom are still living, though some have fallen asleep.”

Peter who, denied Jesus, later preached in the heart of Jerusalem and proclaimed in Acts 2:32: “God has raised this Jesus to life, and we are all witnesses of the fact.” Peter later wrote a letter reaffirming that the resurrection was not a tale made up by the disciples, He explained in 2 Peter 1:16: “We did not follow cleverly devised tales when we make known to you the power and coming of the Lord Jesus Christ, but we were eyewitnesses of His majesty.”

People who saw Jesus after his resurrection had changed lives.  All of the original 12 disciples to include Paul were imprisoned, beaten, tortured, and died for their testimony.  All left friends, family, and even homes to let others know about the truth of Jesus’ resurrection.  They all overcame their fear of death.  People telling a lie, seldom die for it.  Listen to how they died and see if it sounds like they were just making up the Resurrection:

•Matthew was killed in Ethiopia
•Mark was dragged through the streets until he was dead
•Peter, Simeon, Andrew, and Philip were crucified
•James was beheaded
•Bartholomew was flayed alive
•Thomas was pierced with lances
•James, the less, was thrown from the temple and stoned to death
•Jude was shot to death with arrows
•Paul was boiled in hot oil and beheaded

*John was poisoned and then exiled to Patmos where he wrote the Revelation of Jesus
None of these men ever recanted their testimony of the resurrection. As I mentioned when I opened that we are commanded by Jesus to tell what we know.  “Go therefore and make disciples of all the nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit.  Teaching them to observe all things that I have commanded you; and lo, I am with you always, even to the end of the age. Amen.” Matthew 28:20” -Harvey Smith (Case for the Resurrection, 2017)

 

So go forth and be merry! Spread the good news of the gospel to all that will hear your words! God bless you and keep you.