BY CARL PEPSIN
General Lew Wallace came to faith in Christ as a result of his background research for a book. The resurrection convinced him of the truth claims of Christianity and he wrote Ben Hur as a new believer in
C. S. Lewis records his reluctant trek from atheism to Christianity in his autobiography, Surprised by Joy. The evidence, including the resurrection, brought him “kicking and screaming” into the kingdom.
Josh McDowell, well-known Christian apologist, was asked by a student at the University of Uruguay, “Professor McDowell, why can’t you refute Christianity?” He answered, “For a very simple reason I am not able to explain away an event in history the resurrection of Jesus Christ.”
Following is a brief review of some of the resurrection evidences which can help your friends find intellectually satisfying answers that will challenge them to consider the message of the gospel.
Accepted History – The events surrounding Christ’s death are accepted as historical fact by most critical scholars. It has been verified that Jesus was crucified, that His disciples reported his appearances after
His death, and that their lives were subsequently transformed.
The Empty Tomb – There is a lack of evidence for an alternative explanation of what became of Jesus’ body The Romans, wanting to keep the peace, would not have stolen the body. If the Jews had taken the
body, they could have presented it and quickly refuted the claims of the disciples. And if the disciples had taken His body and the resurrection was a lie, it’s very doubtful that they would have been willing to die as martyrs, which almost all of them did.
Biblical Testimony – The New Testament contains 17 eyewitness accounts of Jesus’ appearances after His resurrection. This is valuable evidence because there is more support for the authenticity of the New Testament documents than for any other document of ancient history.
Transformed Lives – Seven weeks after the resurrection, 12 men who had locked themselves fearfully in an upper room became articulate and powerful evangelists who suffered much opposition, persecution and even death. They were so confident in the message of the risen Christ that they carried it to the ends of the Roman world before the end of the first century and changed the world forever.
The birth of the Christian church is one of the most important events in history. Unfortunately, many people overlook the apologetic significance of the very existence of the church. The resurrection is
the only rational explanation for the explosive growth of Christianity, especially in the first century A.D. As C.F.D. Moule of Cambridge said, “…the birth and rapid rise of the Christian Church… remain an
unsolved enigma for any historian who refuses to take seriously the only explanation of Hered by the Church itself.”
The following books are recommended for your personal study and to give to a seeking friend.
Did Jesus Rise the Dead? The Resurrection Debate by Gary and Anthony Flew, Harper Row, Row, 1987.
Easter Enigma: Are the Resurrection Accounts in Conflict? John Wenham, second ed, Baker Book House, 1992.Knowing the Truth About the Resurrection by William L. Craig, rev. ea., Servant Books, 1988. More Than A Carpenter by Josh McDowell, Tyndale, 1977. Risen Indeed: Making Sense of the Resurrection by Stephen I Davis, Eerdmans, 1993. Who Moved the Stone? Frank Morison, Zondervan, 1930, 1938.
Resurrection Sunday Outreach
People are usually more open to spiritual things during this time of year, so look for opportunities to expose them to the message of the resurrected Christ.
Many churches sponsor special programs for Easter such as choir cantatas, sunrise services, dramatic productions or films. Use these evangelistically and prayerfully seek opportunities to engage your
friends in discussion about the real meaning of Easter.
Invite a family for Easter dinner and enjoy building your friendship. If appropriate, take some time to reflect on why you celebrate l this holiday.
If you have small children, invite their friends and parents to an Easter candy hunt. This is a great way to meet parents, have a good time and develop new friendships.
Give a friend a book on Christian evidences, and plan to get together to discuss it.
Spring is here, so be alert to the opportunities to visit with neighbors outside.
Spring sports are underway and they present a great opportunity to build relationships.
As G. B. Hardy has said, “Here is the complete record. Confucius’ tomb… occupied; Buddhas tomb… occupied; Mohammed’s tomb… occupied; Jesus’ tomb… EMPTY.”
THE ABOVE MATERIAL WAS PUBLISHED BY COMMON GROUND, APRIL, 1998. THIS MATERIAL IS COPYRIGHTED AND MAY BE USED FOR STUDY & RESEARCH PURPOSES ONLY.