Sunday, October 5, 2014

October 5, 2014

"In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. He was with God in the beginning. Through him all things were made; without him nothing was made that has been made."  John 1:1-3

Mohammed and Joseph Smith claimed to be prophets. Buddha and Confucius were silent on the idea of God. Only Jesus claimed to be God in the flesh.

A claim like that needs solid evidence. Consider these historical facts.

On Good Friday, Jesus was flogged 39 times with a cat-o-nine tails. This process injured Him so badly that, by the time it was over, His flesh was in ribbons and His organs were exposed. A crown of thorns were forced onto His head tearing the flesh and His scalp and forehead. Then a crossbeam weighing over 100 pounds was placed upon His shoulders. Following the savage beating He was far too weak to stand up under that weight and He was unable to carrying up the hill to Golgotha, so when He stumbled under the weight a bystander named Simon from Cyrene was drafted to carry the beam instead. After being crucified on that cross He was pronounced dead by a Roman executioner, who verified the pronouncement by piercing the pericardium surrounding His heart with a spear. So, His death was certified by official Roman records.

But it wasn't His death that separates Him from other religious leaders, it is His resurrection that sets Him apart. He arose from the dead on the third day exactly as He had predicted!

Consider these facts verifying His resurrection:
  • His disciples were initially skeptical over reports of His resurrection but later died horrible deaths rather than deny it! Something happened to convince them!
  • His tomb was officially sealed by the Romans and the penalty for breaking a Roman seal was dead by crucifixion - upside down. Who would mess with that?
  • The huge stone that closed His tomb was rolled uphill! Who would have the strength or the numbers to accomplish that?
  • The Roman unit guarding the tomb was trained to stand their ground against an entire battalion and fleeing meant execution. Who could could have caused them to abandon their post?
  • When Mary, Peter and the others went into the empty tomb they discovered the burial linens lying undisturbed in the form of a body but caved in and empty! How could that happen?
  • In addition to the few who examined the empty tomb on the third day, history records that the Resurrected appeared to some 515 eyewitnesses from various stations of life and different levels of belief. Apparently His appearance before them dramatically changed their lives, caused them to proclaim the news to others, and made them willing to die rather than disavow this truth!
If this evidence was introduced into a court of law, the prosecution would have a nearly impossible task of refuting it!

Only God could predict His own death, His own resurrection and then accomplish it exactly as predicted.

So what say you?

Is Jesus a lunatic, a liar or the Lord of Heaven and earth?