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Thursday, January 14, 2016

Resurrection: the proven smoking gun

I don't understand why people say they can't prove the existence of God/Jesus or the Resurrection. Alexander the Great, not to mention phony court outcomes, had flimsier proof of existence or truth.

When Silas and Timothy came from Macedonia, Paul felt in his heart that he must prove to the Jews that Jesus is the Christ. Acts 18

Jesus said, "I will prove to you that the Son of Man has authority on earth to forgive sins.”

Thousands have tried to disprove the Bible or that God exists or that Jesus wasn't the unique Son of God. They failed, repeatedly over many centuries, and many of those who tried became believers.

It makes sense. Perfect sense, and I challenge you to find otherwise.

A skeptical friend recently asked me, "What proof have you that an angel spoke to a virgin named Mary? There were no witnesses."

My answer: The Resurrection of Jesus is a proven fact, and knowing that with absolute assurance, I can accept the rest of what the Bible says.

Dr. Gary Habermas has devoted his life to proving the Resurrection, and he can win debates with skeptics, using the skeptics' own accepted facts.

Once, after a debate, a large man, followed by several admirers, made his way to the lectern where Habermas was.

The man said, "I have a list here of nine other people who rose from the dead."

Habermas: "Where did you get that list?"

"From the Internet."

To which Habermas responded, "I can name every man on that list. Problem is, none of those ever existed."

Here are the 12 points Habermas uses to prove the Resurrection, and he says most critics had little choice, having observed the evidence, but to believe the 12 points

1. Jesus died by crucifixion.

2. He was buried.

3. His death caused the disciples to despair and lose hope.

4. The tomb was empty (the most contested [but arguments have long been discredited]).

5. The disciples had experiences which they believed were literal appearances of the risen Jesus (the most important proof).

6. The disciples were transformed from doubters to bold proclaimers.

7. The resurrection was the central message.

8. They preached the message of Jesus’ resurrection in Jerusalem.

9. The Church was born and grew.

10. Orthodox Jews who believed in Christ made Sunday their primary day of worship.

11. [Jesus' brother] James was converted to the faith when he saw the resurrected Jesus (James was a family skeptic).

12. Paul was converted to the faith (Paul was an outsider skeptic).

I heard Habermas in person and he added at least two other proofs:

13. The disciples all died tortuous deaths that they could have avoided by recanting their testimony. Habermas added that no one has ever willingly faced such a death by opponents for something they believed to be false.

14. The Resurrection was announced by a woman. In those days, women were considered to have such low credibility that they couldn't testify in court. So, if someone made up the story, would they choose a woman to verify it?

For more details on how Habermas develops his evidence for the Resurrection, CLICK HERE

To the 14 points above, add more than 300 prophecies that were fulfilled by Jesus Christ (and could be fulfilled only by Him).
Try to prove otherwise. Throw every ounce of effort and research into it - it's that important. It is quite likely that you, too, will agree with the Centurion at he Cross: 

"This man truly was the Son of God!"

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