|Posted on July 2, 2014 at 9:10 PM|
The seventh reason I believe on the resurrection of Jesus is because the New Testament witnesses do not bear the stamp of fraudsters or deceivers. How do you credit a witness? How do you decide whether to believe a person’s testimony? The decision to give credence to a person’s testimony is not the same as completing a mathematical equation. The certainty is of a different kind, yet can be just as firm (I trust my wife’s testimony that she is faithful). When a witness is dead, we can base our judgment of him/her only on the content of his/her writings and the testimonies of others about him/her. How do Peter and John and Matthew and Paul stack up?
In my judgment (and at this point we can live authentically only by our own judgment—Luke 12:57), these men’s writings do not read like the works of gullible, easily deceived or deceiving men even to the most critical mind. Their insights into human nature are profound. Their personal commitment is sober and carefully stated. Their teachings are coherent and do not look like the concoctions of unstable men. The moral and spiritual standard is very high, indeed. And the lives of these men are totally devoted to the truth and to the honour of God.
Eighth, there is a self-authenticating glory in the Gospel of Christ’s death and resurrection as narrated by the biblical witnesses. The New Testament teaches that God sent the Holy Spirit to glorify Jesus as the Son of God. Jesus said, “When the Spirit of truth comes, he will guide you into all the truth. … He will glorify me” (John 16:13). The Holy Spirit does not do this by telling us that Jesus rose from the dead. He does it by opening our eyes to see the self-authenticating glory of Christ in the narrative of his life and death and resurrection. He enables us to see Jesus as he really was, so that he is irresistibly true and beautiful. The apostle stated the problem of our blindness and the solution like this: “The god of this world has blinded the minds of the unbelievers, to keep them from seeing the light of the gospel of the glory of Christ, who is the image of God. … For God, who said, ‘Let light shine out of darkness,’ has shone in our hearts to give the light of the knowledge of the glory of God in the face of Jesus Christ” (2 Corinthians 4:4, 6).
A saving knowledge of Christ crucified and risen is not the mere result of right reasoning about historical facts. Yet, it has its own sublime rationality. It is the result of spiritual illumination to see those facts for what they really are: a revelation of the truth and glory of God in the face of Christ—who is the same yesterday today and forever.
Categories: Spirituality & Faith