|Posted on June 2, 2014 at 1:25 AM|
The third reason I believe in the resurrection of Jesus is because the disciples were almost immediately transformed from men who were hopeless and fearful after the crucifixion (Luke 24:21, John 20:19) into men who were confident and bold witnesses of the resurrection (Acts 2:24, 3:15, 4:2).
Their explanation of this change was that they had seen the risen Christ and had been authorised to be his witnesses (Acts 2:32). The most popular competing explanation is that their confidence was owing to hallucinations. There are numerous problems with such conjecture. The disciples were not gullible, but level-headed skeptics both before and after the resurrection. (Mark 9:32, Luke 24:11, John 20:8-9, 25). In addition to that, is the deep and noble teaching of those who witnessed the risen Christ the stuff of which hallucinations are made? What about Paul’s great letter to the Romans? I personally find it hard to think of this giant intellect and deeply transparent soul as deluded or deceptive, and he claimed to have seen the risen Christ.
Fourth, the apostle Paul claimed that not only had he seen the risen Christ, but that 500 others had seen him also, and many were still alive when he made this public claim. He said, “Then he appeared to more than five hundred brothers at one time, most of whom are still alive, though some have fallen asleep” (1 Corinthians 15:6). What makes this so relevant is that this was written to Greeks who were skeptical of such claims when many of these witnesses were still alive. So it was a very risky claim if it could be disproved by a little firsthand research. It wasn’t.
More next fortnight ….