The Christian faith isn’t true because we believe it… we believe it because it is true. Read that again…
This post is a reminder of some of the emperical proofs that Jesus did rise from the dead… as He said he would. Consider…
Luke 1:1 Inasmuch as many have undertaken to compile a narrative of the things that have been accomplished among us, 2 just as those who from the beginning were eyewitnesses and ministers of the word have delivered them to us, 3 it seemed good to me also, having followed all things closely for some time past, to write an orderly account for you, most excellent Theophilus, 4 that you may have certainty concerning the things you have been taught.
Comment: Luke the physician was a man who carefully researched everything. He kept up with all that happened related to Jesus. What he wrote about Jesus was as orderly and examined as only physicians can do. He talked with eye witnesses (Vs 2). He checked their stories out. He wrote his gospel for a reason, that Theophilus could be certain that what he believed was true.
Acts 1:1 In the first book, O Theophilus, I have dealt with all that Jesus began to do and teach, 2 until the day when he was taken up, after he had given commands through the Holy Spirit to the apostles whom he had chosen. 3 To them he presented himself alive after his suffering by many proofs, appearing to them during forty days and speaking about the kingdom of God.
Comment: Luke wrote both the Gospel and Acts. In his second book, Luke recored the “many proofs” that Jesus was alive. Throughout the book Luke gives details that were designed to stand up to examination.
Acts 26:24 And as he was saying these things in his defense, Festus said with a loud voice, “Paul, you are out of your mind; your great learning is driving you out of your mind.” 25 But Paul said, “I am not out of my mind, most excellent Festus, but I am speaking true and rational words. 26 For the king knows about these things, and to him I speak boldly. For I am persuaded that none of these things has escaped his notice, for this has not been done in a corner. 27 King Agrippa, do you believe the prophets? I know that you believe.”
Comment: Paul spoke “true and rational words.” Christianity isn’t true because we believe it, it is believed because it is true! There is a difference. As Paul talked to Agrippa, he reminded the King he “knew” about the events surrounding the life, death, and resurrection of Jesus. The reason the king knew is because “this has not been done in a corner.” In other words, everything Jesus did… including his resurrection… were well know facts that could be tested and proved to be true.
1 Corinthians 15:3 For I delivered to you as of first importance what I also received: that Christ died for our sins in accordance with the Scriptures, 4 that he was buried, that he was raised on the third day in accordance with the Scriptures, 5 and that he appeared to Cephas, then to the twelve. 6 Then he appeared to more than five hundred brothers at one time, most of whom are still alive, though some have fallen asleep.
Comment: Paul points out three things here. First that all that happened to Jesus was prophesied about in the Hebrew Scriptures. Second, that Jesus appeared to the Apostles. And third, Jesus appeared after his resurrection to more than 500 people at one time. That means there was no possiblity of a vision… it really was Jesus. For Jesus to appear to 500 people at one time was significant. Many of them could be interviewed. They could give a personal eye witness testimony that could be compared with others who were present. And this was proof that Jesus did rise from the dead.
Remember… Christianity is believed because it is true, it is not true because it is believed.