Research the resurrection for yourself
April 13, 2014
When you want to convince someone of the truth, you want evidence. You want eyewitnesses. Rumors and speculation are not good enough; you want facts. As a nation, we watch police procedural shows like Law & Order or C.S.I. as they investigate crimes and piece together the evidence. The detectives always caution each other: don't assume, see where the evidence points you.
Of course we agree. No one would want to see someone convicted of a crime based on guesses and assumptions. That would be wrong. We would never stand for that. In our own lives, we would not want to make decisions about anything significant based just on what we assume to be true. We want facts. The bigger the decision, the more important the facts become.
When it comes to the Christian faith, the hardest part for some people to wrap their minds around is the resurrection of Jesus. Easter comes and we're happy to eat chocolate bunnies, color and hide eggs for the kids, even gather the family for a meal, but the notion of a man dying and then being raised from the dead is just so hard to grasp. People just do not do that, they do not come back from the dead. It is just not possible, not in our experience, not in the experiences of our friends or neighbors. How can it be true?
But do we assume that because we have not had the experience that it is not possible? Do we speculate that the story of the resurrection was made up? Do we believe it is all is a big fairytale? Or do we look at the evidence? Do we listen to what eyewitnesses who were there have said? Do we do our own detective work or do we just go assume that we know what happened?
This Easter, here is a challenge: investigate the resurrection of Jesus and let the evidence lead you, not your assumptions. See what eyewitnesses have to say. Check the facts and be certain before you decide what you think happened. You may find more than you bargained for.
One eyewitness to the story, John the Apostle, wrote an account of Jesus' life, and he starts the story of the resurrection with this: "Early on the first day of the week, while it was still dark, Mary Magdalene went to the tomb and saw that the stone had been removed from the entrance." (John 20:1) Some context: unlike today, women in the first century were not allowed to testify in court, their testimony was deemed unreliable. So why would someone write that the first person to see Jesus' empty tomb was a person who's testimony was not going to be received by their culture? There is only one reason to include Mary Magdalene in this story: because this is how it really happened.
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Read the story for yourself. Don't guess, don't assume, see where the evidence takes you. Discover for yourself the truth of the resurrection this Easter!
Pastor Bill McCready of LifePoint Church is a member of the Carson Valley Ministers' Association.