Friday, April 06, 2007

It's been a while since I had a chance to post something from my father. This is one of my favorites:

Mary stood outside the tomb crying. As she wept, she bent over to look into the tomb and saw two angels in white, seated where Jesus’ body had been, one at the head and the other at the foot. They asked her, "Woman, why are you crying?” "They have taken my Lord away,” she said, "and I don't know where they have put him.” At this, she turned around and saw Jesus standing there, but she did not realize that it was Jesus. "Woman,” he said, "why are you crying? Who is it you are looking for?” Thinking he was the gardener, she said, "Sir, if you have carried him away, tell me where you have put him, and I will get him.” Jesus said to her, "Mary.” She turned toward him and cried out in Aramaic, "Rabboni!” (which means Teacher).
John 20:11‑16 NIV

Nothing can be proven outside the testimony of witnesses or your own eyewitness experience. You and I were not there when Jesus Christ came out of the tomb, but other people saw him alive with infallible proof.

One of the greatest psychological proofs of the Resurrection is this: the same people who ran like scared rabbits when they took Jesus captive and brought him up for trial—these same people, three days later, took a 180 degree turn. They suddenly chose to risk exactly the same death their Master had experienced. Psychologically, that’s incredible, unless something happened.

If you believe every effect has a cause, what was the cause of the effect—the change in those disciples? We’re not talking theology now, just plain old horse sense. What could have changed them from cowards to conquerors? There is only one thing that accounts for it: They saw him alive! When they saw him alive after they knew he was dead, they knew he had been placed in the tomb, and they knew there was a watch on the tomb to prevent anyone from stealing the body—when they saw this, then they knew the Gospel was 100% true and they were willing to die for it. And they did.

You don’t die for a crazy Jewish carpenter whose body was stuffed in some ignominious Palestinian graveyard; you wouldn’t and I wouldn’t, and those boys were smart Jewish boys and they weren’t going to, either. Something changed them, and it was the fact that Jesus presented himself to them.

Eyewitness testimony.

One of the greatest of them all was John 20. Eyewitness testimony shook the foundations of all of their thinking. When Jesus appeared to them and they touched his wounds, they knew immediately he had to be the Son of God because he was alive with infallible proof.

What is infallible proof? Science says that if there is any such thing as infallible proof, it is the repetition of the same experiment. Jesus rose from the dead and Mary Magdalene encountered him—experiment one. The women encountered him—experiment two. The disciples encountered him—experiment three. The Apostles encountered him—experiment four. Five hundred people saw him after the Resurrection—experiment five.

Each one of these is the repetition of the same experiment. They all encountered the same phenomenon. What was it? He was alive! That’s what changed the history of the world.

Happy Easter!


Bill Honsberger said...

Hi Jill. One of my liberal profs in grad school made the statement in class that the resurrection was "something the guys made up around the campfire one night". I asked him why anyone would die for "something they just made up around the campfire one night". His response - "Hmm- good question" and then he changed the subject. Good sense kills liberal theology every time.
God bless

1:54 AM  
Dwayna Litz said...

I love that.

I just got up from my prayer time, praying to the "One who is alive". (I like to pray down on my knees). I was singing "I Need Thee Every Hour" to Him in my little room, and it was such a sweet time of communion as I felt Him near.

Smiling now,


3:37 PM  
Jill Martin Rische said...

Hi Bill,

Nice to see your name. My father told a similar story about his philosophy professor at NYU--Dr. Sidney Hook. He thought it would be perfectly fine to arrive before Almighty God and argue with Him about why he (Hook) had every reason to think that He (God) did not exist.


I'll have to see if I can locate that story.

Thanks for posting.

9:50 PM  
Jill Martin Rische said...

I love that hymn, Dwayna. :)

By the way, I'm still singing, "Give me Jesus."

9:52 PM  

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