Do Rational People Actually Believe Jesus Rose from the Dead?
Topic: Easter Verse: John 20:1–20:10
Did Jesus Rise from the Dead? (EASTER 2021)
The historical Easter greeting: GREETING: He is risen! RESPONSE: “He is risen indeed!”
WHY BELIEVE IN THE RESURRECTION?
If the New Testament writers of the gospels were trying to cook up a world religion based on fooling people into thinking Jesus was alive when He wasn’t, they would have told the story far differently.
1) They would paint themselves as heroes, not cowards
2) The first witnesses would not have been women (because of that culture’s backward treatment of women) *each gospel agrees on this: women were the first ones to discover Jesus was alive
3) They would not have admitted that at first, they thought he was missing, not resurrected
JOHN 20 1Early on the first day of the week, while it was still dark, Mary Magdalene went to the tomb and saw that the stone had been removed from the entrance. 2 So she came running to Simon Peter and the other disciple, the one Jesus loved, and said, “They have taken the Lord out of the tomb, and we don’t know where they have put him!” 3 So Peter and the other disciple started for the tomb. 4 Both were running, but the other disciple outran Peter and reached the tomb first. 5 He bent over and looked in at the strips of linen lying there but did not go in. 6 Then Simon Peter came along behind him and went straight into the tomb. He saw the strips of linen lying there, 7 as well as the cloth that had been wrapped around Jesus’ head. The cloth was still lying in its place, separate from the linen. 8Finally the other disciple, who had reached the tomb first, also went inside. He saw and believed. 9 (They still did not understand from Scripture that Jesus had to rise from the dead.) 10 Then the disciples went back to where they were staying.
Even at this point, they still did not understand and it wasn’t until Jesus appeared to them that they believed (Matt 28:17, Mark 16:12-14, Luke 24:36-49, John 20:19-29)
ACTS 1 3After Jesus’ suffering, he presented himself to them and gave many convincing proofs that he was alive. He appeared to them over a period of forty days and spoke about the kingdom of God.”
And once they knew Jesus had risen from the dead, they went from fearful to COURAGEOUS – willing to suffer, be imprisoned and give their lives, rather than deny what they knew to be true: that Jesus is alive!
So… how will you respond?