Four Facts about the Resurrection (B)

  • Text: I Corinthians 15:1-4,14, KJV
  • Series: Four Facts about the Resurrection (2016), Pt. 2
  • Date: Sunday, March 20, 2016 — AM
  • Venue: Trinity Baptist Church — Seminole, Oklahoma
  • Speaker: Jared Byrns
  • Download Audio: mp3

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The following rough transcript has not been edited, proofread, or corrected. It is a draft transcript and is not certified to be true and correct. It has been produced by AI and may contain inaccuracies. It is presented here primarily to enable users to search the audio by keywords.

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This morning, we’re going to be at first Corinthians chapter 15. Again, like last week, last week, I began sharing with you four facts about the resurrection. And, and some of this is going to be history. Some of this is going to be science, some of it’s going to be Bible and you know what they all they all fit together. Because the point of this is to show you that the Bible is trustworthy, that that there are historical and scientific reasons to believe what the Bible says, Now, for me, you know, the, I believe what the Bible says, I was raised in church, I was raised on the Bible, I learned how to read out of the Bible, not not just I learned how to read the Bible, I learned this is the book that I used in learning how to read. So I was raised up on this from a very early age, where there came a time in college where I realized I need to, I need to know why I believe these things and whether they’re true, and find out for myself. And, and honestly, the resurrection if you weren’t here last week, I shared I shared that a professor asked us Is there anything, whatever your view is, if there’s any, if there’s not anything that could disprove it to you, then you really don’t have a belief so much as you have blind faith? Because the question was asked, Is there any any evidence that could be presented to you that would change your change your mind? And at first, my thought was, no, no, there’s nothing that could change my mind about Christianity. Then I got to thinking that that’s the kind of blind faith that cults honestly expect you to have. The Bible spells it out here in First Corinthians chapter 15. If Christ be not raised, your faith is vain. You’re yet and your sense. The Bible answers that question. It says, absolutely, if the resurrection is not true, then Christianity is not true. And I had to come to realize, okay, if evidence was presented to me that the resurrection never happened, then there’s no point to any of this. But the more I studied it out, the more I read books, the more I looked at arguments from people who believed in the resurrection, and people who disbelieve the resurrection, the more I came to the conclusion that the resurrection is rooted in historical fact, it’s true. And there are four facts that if these facts are true, then the resurrection is true, as the Bible presents it. And if the resurrection is true, as the Bible presents it, then Jesus Christ is the Son of God as He claimed to be. And if Jesus Christ is the Son of God, as he claimed in the Bible is true, because the son of gods, the Son of God taught from it and championed its authority. If, if the resurrection is true, folks, it’s sort of the foundation everything else is built on. If the resurrection is true, then our faith is as solid as a rock. If the resurrection is untrue, then we just need to board up the doors and go home. Okay, if the resurrection is that central to everything we believe in, that’s not me saying it. That’s the Apostle Paul speaking under the inspiration of the Holy Spirit of God saying, If Christ is not raised your faith, isn’t that folks, there are four facts. And I started talking to you about them last week. The first one really, we only got through fax number one last week. And that’s that the hit? I want to get it worded exactly right, if you’re following along, and those notes, Jesus, existence and death are historically verifiable. Okay, we talked about that last week, I shared with you what modern scholars say that there there are very few reputable historians who say no, Jesus didn’t exist at all. Most of them, even atheists, scholars, usually, and I’m talking scholars, not people you read on Facebook, or the or the comments section of YouTube. most reputable historians say yeah, Jesus Christ was a real person, whether they believe he was the son of God or not. They believe he was a real person. We talked about what modern scholars say, I took you through about seven or eight quotes from ancient documents from around Jesus own time that talked about and folks, we didn’t even really get into the Gospels. These are people who did not believe he was the son of God, but still admitted that he lived and he died. He was a real person. And why is that important? Fact number one is important because of Jesus Christ didn’t really exist, then he couldn’t have died, he couldn’t have risen again. So it’s important to establish that he was a real person that he lived, that he did the things the Bible said he did and and that he died. Okay. So we went through that what are the historians say from his own time? We talked about some of the medical evidence, some of the scientific evidence that historical evidence, the for his death, you know, the Bible says that he was crucified some people have said, No, crucifixion was pretty rare. Now we know that the we know the crucifixion to place a lot. We know that these beatings took place routinely, especially for somebody who liked Jesus was not a Roman citizen. And somebody who like Jesus was considered one of the worst criminal offenders against the Roman Empire as somebody who would have been considered a rebel against Rome’s authority. It’s not like he, you know, it’s not like he jaywalked or something, they considered him to be a rebel, somebody who was opposing their authority. We know that, you know, he would have said things like I thirst, he would have known that the end was coming based on his heart rate. And these things, everything medical science says to expect about somebody in undergoing crucifixion, we see as these little details, these little details just thrown into the story thrown into the story by the gospel writers. And that’s important, because these are not guys who would have known, hey, we need to put, we need to make up these details and put them in here. So 2000 years later, once there are advances in medical science that we’ve never heard of, they’ll think it’s true. Now they were recording it as it happened in everything that medical science tells us to actually see from the blood loss to the, to the shock, to the ability to bleed out of out of once to sweat, blood, trying to think of the words here, we see all of those things. And they really back up this, this first fact that Jesus existence and death are historically variable. Today, we’re going to go through facts, two, three, and four. Fact one was a lot longer than, than any of these. So starting today, fact, two, Jesus was buried, but his tomb was empty after three days. Fact number two is that Jesus was buried, but his tomb was empty after three days. And it’s only fairly recently that I’ve heard any kind of discussion about whether or not he was buried. But it makes sense, doesn’t it? Because we know the story that that is always talked about on Easter, that the women went to his tomb, and it was empty. And then they went and got the disciples and the disciples came and ran to the tomb, and it was empty. Mm hmm. Excuse me, and we hear the story. Well, the empty tomb is not all that impressive, if he wasn’t actually buried is it? It’s not proof of anything if he wasn’t actually married, except that the tomb is empty, because it always was empty. But at first Corinthians chapter 15, which we’ve already started looking at. Paul lays out the the historical basis of the gospel message, and says in verse, verse three, For I delivered unto you, first of all, that which I also received, how that Christ died for our sins, according to the Scriptures, and that he was buried, and that he rose again the third day, according to the Scriptures, the burial itself is important. Okay, if he was not buried in the empty tomb means nothing his body was just somewhere else did. And some people will say, well, the whole story has to be made up, because somebody who was killed like Jesus would not have been buried. Now, when you think about crucifixion being reserved for the worst of the worst criminals, the most vile, and not even Roman citizens could undergo crucifixion, somebody with no rights, who did not matter at all in society would be crucified, then surely they would not be allowed a burial, they would be thrown to the dogs, they would just be thrown into a trash heap, and where the dogs and birds and things could pick them apart. And so some people say, Well, this is clearly a made up story. Because in history, we know the crucified people were not buried. Well, as usually happens, archaeology steps in archaeology sets the record straight in 1968, there was a Greek archaeologist named Bacillus surfaris. And he was digging in Jerusalem and he was digging in the tomb of a wealthy first century, Jewish man named Johann van hack goal. And I’m not going to, if you want to, if you want the spelling of that, to look it up later, I can give it to you. He had been crucified and then buried and they know this because they found in the tomb, they found a heel bone, with the Roman spikes still stuck in it still stuck through the bone. So the man had been crucified. And he had been taken off the cross. And and because of a hook that hit a knot in the woods, some of the wood I think was still attached. Normally, you know, those, those nails would have been expensive. And so they normally would take them out. That’s why we don’t see a whole lot of evidence of crucifixion and burial. But this this particular nail, if memory serves had hit a knot in the wood and had kind of curved and they couldn’t get it all out. And so they just put his body in there with that little piece of wood and the nails still attached. And so his body 2000 years later is found with the with the nail with the Roman spike steel going through his heel bone and into the woods, somebody who had been executed by crucifixion, who was still afforded a proper burial. Now, it was rare. I’ll tell you for somebody to be crucified like this Yohanan guy, or Jesus to be crucified as as the worst of the worst, and then to be given a dignified burial would have been very rare. But we know from archeology from this one case that it did happen sometimes it’s not impossible. Okay, so the idea that it’s impossible because he was this terrible criminal on the cross, and would have had Though just been thrown into the garbage heap, we know it was not impossible. We also know about the burial and the empty tomb because the earliest Christian sources testify that Jesus Christ was buried. The earliest Christian sources testify that Jesus was buried. What we’re reading what we’re looking at today in First Corinthians chapter 15. Paul wrote this letter to the church at Corinth about the year 56 ad. Okay, and he said, Christ died for our sins, according to the scriptures and he was buried. Now, some people will look at that and say, well, that’s something Christians made up. Okay, fine. He wrote that in 5680. It’s believed by experts that this is part of a an early creed that they would report or that they would, that they would recount and repeat. Now, we were not as familiar with Creed’s in Baptist churches. But you might have heard things like the Nicene Creed, or the apostles creed, I believe in God, the Father, the Almighty maker of heaven, it, you know, basically a summary of what is believed by a group of people that’s memorized and repeated, and it’s, you know, you sort of test things against it. Well, as an early creed, this this passage in verses three and four, First Corinthians chapter 15, is something that Paul had learned from the apostles in Jerusalem. Now he records in Galatians, that he met the apostles in Jerusalem three years after his conversion, which would have been around AD 37. I know I’m throwing a lot of dates and things at you here. But even though he wrote this in the 50s ad, he would have learned this in 13 ad, what else happened in the 30s ad, that we’re talking about? Anybody? What did Jesus do in the 30s ad, died and rose again, that that’s, that’s the traditional dating of the resurrection is around 33 ad. So within four years, within four years of Jesus, resurrection, there was already there. If we’re skeptical, his alleged resurrection, within four years, there’s already this creed where the Christians are saying, This is the bedrock of our faith so much that we’ve, we’ve said this, we’ve set it out, we’ve committed it to memory, we repeat it this is this is the basis of our faith. This little part of this passage here is something that he would have learned from them as an early creed, within four years. So within four years, they’re already saying, and probably earlier, but we know as early as four years, they’re saying no, he rose again from the dead. He was buried, and he rose again from the dead. And so this means that as early as four years after the fact, Christians who watched the events who watched all this unfold, they were the eyewitnesses, they believe that he had been buried and that he’d risen again. And all four of the Gospels, you know, people want to talk about the contradictions in the gospels, I don’t think the contradictions they look at actually are contradictions they can be explained. But even if there were contradictions, there are so many more points of agreement among the four gospels than there are any alleged contradictions. And one thing that all four Gospel accounts agree on is that Jesus Christ was buried. They all four agree on it. And they were all written down within 25 years. If you weren’t here last week, you may be thinking 25 years big deal. In ancient history, that was just a small span. We don’t have anything about anybody of any significance written in shorter amounts of time. Things about Julius Caesar were written hundreds of years afterwards, and nobody questions those. And that really is sort of the point of all of this. This evidence for the resurrection? Do I have videotape? No? Do I have forensic and DNA evidence? Do I have something that they would find on CSI that would prove to you beyond a shadow of a doubt that Jesus Christ rose again from the dead? No, but by ancient standards, we have pretty good evidence. We have more evidence of the resurrection than almost any other event in ancient history. And yet we don’t question we don’t question Julius Caesar crossing the Rubicon. We don’t question the invasion of Gaul. We don’t question. We don’t question any of these things. And so why do we question the resurrection, we have better evidence than for that. also believe in the empty tomb, this kind of ties into the last one belief in the empty tomb came too early to be a legend. Do you hear sometimes of Christianity, it’s just a legend. Jesus didn’t really even claim to be the Son of God, he didn’t really rise from the dead. These are just legends that people made up later. I’m sorry, they came too early. There are eyewitness accounts in the Bible, in several books in Matthew, Mark, Luke, john, Romans, First Corinthians, Second Corinthians and First Thessalonians. They all talk about the burial and the resurrection. All of these were written within 30 years of the events they described. Okay, the books of the New Testament were not written down hundreds of years later, or they were not written down and then changed hundreds of years later to reflect this. We have, in some cases, copies of the New Testament manuscripts going back to within a generation of the originals. Okay. There have not been changes over time. And at some point, I may spend more time talking to you about that. There haven’t been changes over time. These things were written down within 30 years of the course. fiction and the resurrection. That was not enough time for a legend to develop. You know, there are all sorts of legends that have developed about George Washington, over 200 years. I’m not sure that people who knew him believed the cherry tree story, I hated to find out that that was probably not true. I was taught that in school. It illustrates the character of the man pretty well. But it probably didn’t happen. Okay, we believed that I believe that growing up in school in the 1990s, I’m not so sure that people in the 1790s believe the cherry tree story, it was too early for a legend to grown up around it. Same thing, when all of these books were written down within 30 years, it was too early for there to be a legend that grew up around it. This is one of my favorites, the story of the empty tomb is way too inconvenient to be alive. It’s way too inconvenient to be alive. You’ve heard the the global warming book and Inconvenient Truth. The resurrection story is an inconvenient would be an inconvenient lie the apostles, if the apostles were going to make up the story of the empty tomb, they went about it in a really stupid way. If we’re quite honest, they went about it in a really bad way. If you’re going to lie and make up a story about what happened, aren’t you going to make yourself look good? People generally lie to make themselves look better. The apostles, the story they told about the empty tomb made them look pretty bad. I mean, they do not come off? Well, they do. I’ll put it this way. They don’t come off as the heroes of the story. And there are three there are three places where we see that, first of all the earliest witnesses to the empty tomb or women. Now, I am not saying this, this is this is the ancient mindset. 2000 years ago, women were considered inferior to men. Okay, I don’t believe this. I just want to make that clear. So nobody jumps on me at the door. Women were considered inferior. their testimony was not valid in court. I mean, you couldn’t have a woman witness in a trial under most circumstances. And and when when you did you needed multiple to even counteract the the the testimony of a man. And yet the earliest witnesses of the of the empty tomb were women. If you were making up a story 2000 years ago, and wanted it to be credible, those who discovered the empty tomb would have been Peter, James and john, not Mary, Mary, Mary, Mary, Mary and Mary. As you’ll read through the Gospel accounts, you’ll see that there were a lot of Mary’s at the empty tomb, if they were going to make it up and try to make it sound credible. And said, we’re going to invent a lie here. And we’re going to try to convince everybody saying it was the women who discovered the empty tomb was not the way to go. It’d be like me saying I, you know, something miraculous happened. And by the way, it was the town drunk, who sees UFOs all the time, who saw this? Okay, I’m not going to make that up and use them as the credible witness, I would say me or I would say, the mayor or somebody that that people might, I’m assuming you might listen to me, you’re here listening to me now. But they were considered the lowest rung in first century Palestine. So if you’re going to make it up, you wouldn’t use women. So the fact that women were the first witnesses is just too inconvenient to support the idea that they lied about this. Second of all, a Jewish leader stepped up for Jesus, a Jewish leader stepped up for Jesus. The early Christians did not have warm, fuzzy feelings about the Jewish leaders. I’m not saying they hated the Jewish people, but did not have warm fuzzy feelings about the Jewish leaders, because who wasn’t? who wasn’t who met in secret? And who was it who broke their own laws to hold a trial and hold him overnight and, and who was it who got people to lie and make up accusations against Jesus who wasn’t who went through all of this to get the Romans to condemn him to death. It was the Jewish leaders. And yet one of the heroes of the story of the empty tomb is a man named Joseph erema. Thea. We talked about the tomb that he was buried in that was borrowed from a wealthy Jewish leader named Joseph Avira mithya. He was a member of the ruling council that can that condemned Jesus to death, he just was not there when the vote was taken. But he was a member of this ruling council that put Jesus that condemned Jesus to death. And yet when, when Jesus died, and it was time for them to decide what to do with the body as he, it would the disciples ran the disciples here, they denied knowing him and they they went and flat and hid. And it was Joseph avera mithya was this member of the hated Jewish ruling council, who stepped up and went to Pontius Pilate and said, Can I have the body so that I can bury him? One of the heroes of the of the burial part of the story and the empty tomb part of the story is this man named Joseph Verma. Thea, why, if you were going to make up a lie, would you make one of your heroes of the story, part of this group that you would have despised? You wouldn’t do it. And then, the disciples themselves, the disciples fell apart. The disciples fell apart. They were not the heroes of the story in any way, shape or form. We look at the women, they were the first to go and see the empty tomb. They were the first to talk about his resurrection. Joseph of erema, Thea took care of the Lord and love the Lord and took care of his body after he died. The disciples as I said, ran, Peter denied him three times. The others ran and hid. Thomas, and and we may be too hard on Thomas, but we know that Thomas doubted he said, I’m not going to believe it. Even though Jesus had said, destroy this temple, and I’ll raise it again in three days. Thomas said, I’m not gonna believe it until I see the nail prints. The disciples, you read the story. And again, I say we may be too hard on them, because we probably a lot of us probably would have done the same things they did. But you read the story, and they don’t come off. Well, they don’t look good. In their account. Why on earth would they make up a lie that makes them look so bad? You know what I will admit to you I’m not a an expert. I’m not a scientist. I’m not a psychologist. But everything I know about human behavior says the only reason they would have written it down this way is because this is the way it actually, hey, this story is just way too inconvenient for them for it to be a lie about the empty tomb and the and the burial. The accounts are the empty tomb. Folks leave no plausible suspects to fake it. You think about you think about it like a crime. Who took the body who got the body out of the tune? What suspects are there that could have possibly done it? Because they’ve said from the very beginning, they said, they were worried about the disciples coming and stealing the body. And people today who claimed that the resurrection never happened, say, well, somebody came in and stole the body, the disciples stole the body and made it up. Okay? There’s no explanation. That makes sense. There’s no body, there’s no suspect who could have stolen the body where their story makes sense. The Roman soldiers would not fake it. The Roman soldiers would not fake it, they had no reason to. Okay, their their purpose there was to keep the body’s secure. And to keep order. The Romans did not like disorder. And if the body left that tomb, then there was going to be a religious ruckus breakout in Jerusalem between the Jews and between the followers of Jesus and the opponents of G. They did not want that. Okay, the Romans had no motivation. They had no motive to steal the body, they wouldn’t have faked it. And quite honestly, the Roman soldiers who were derelict of duty could have been put to death. They had no reason to fake this and say, well, we fell asleep. Okay, the disciples did not fake it. They’re the they’re the suspects most frequently accused, but they didn’t fake it. And the reason I know that is because people will, people will die for a lie, but they won’t usually die for what they know, to be a lie. The disciples all died as martyrs, except for john and Judas. 10 of the 11 died as martyrs rather than deny the empty tomb. Okay, well, how do you put that with followers of other religions who who die as martyrs? Well, they weren’t there at the founding of the religion. They’re not eyewitnesses, okay, somebody straps on it straps a bomb to their chest, and blows himself up in a marketplace in Jerusalem, as a martyr doesn’t impress me about their faith. Because Yeah, they’re willing to die for it. But they weren’t there. When Muhammad wrote the things down, they didn’t see the beginning. They weren’t eyewitnesses they don’t know, based on their own eyewitness account, whether it’s true or not, these men were there and said, they saw Jesus again alive. They said they saw the empty tomb. They said they knew this firsthand, and yet they were killed, rather than rather than deny it. And you would think at some point, if there was some grand conspiracy, where they all got together and said, Let’s steal the body, Let’s steal the body and make up the greatest story anybody’s ever heard. And we’ll be famous, you would think under the kind of torture that the Romans and the Jews and everybody else would have put them through, you would think under that kind of torture, somebody is going to break and somebody is going to talk and somebody is going to deny it. But none of them ever get 10 of Judas went and killed himself before this ever took place. And 10 of the remaining 11 except for john died as martyrs. And john even spent the rest of his life in persecution rather than deny it. So a man named JP Moreland, who’s a seminary professor. And he wrote that Muslims might be willing to die for their belief in Allah that Allah revealed himself to Muhammad, but this revelation was not done in a publicly observable way. So they could be wrong about it. They may sincerely think it’s true, but they can’t know for a fact because they didn’t witness it themselves. However, the apostles were willing to die for something they had seen with their own eyes and touch with their own hands. That’s the difference. And there wasn’t fame, there wasn’t money in it. You might think, well, if they had a strong enough motivation, I don’t know that there’s anything strong enough to motivate me against the kind of torment that we talked about last week. But he writes, it’s not as though they faced there were mentioned awaiting them on the Mediterranean, they faced a life of hardship they often went without food, slept exposed to the elements were ridiculed, beaten in prison. And finally, most of them were executed in torturous ways. For what good intentions? No, because they were convinced beyond a shadow of a doubt that they had seen Jesus Christ alive from the dead. There is no other adequate explanation. I would agree with that. There’s no other explanation for them dying the way they did for what they saw. So the disciples Come on, it’s not even a question. They didn’t fake it. The Jews would not fake it. Why would the Jews steal the body, they wanted to prove that he was still dead, makes no sense for them to steal the body and start the rumor. And even if they had, they could just produce the body and say, See, he still did. That would makes no sense. The Roman authorities, just like the Roman soldiers, had they the Roman authorities would not fake it, they had no motive it would have caused, it would have caused an uproar. They wanted to keep that from happening. The women could not fake it. This idea that the women overpowered the Roman guards and rolled that big rock away from the entrance is they were not Charlie’s Angels, okay. These were regular women. They could not fake it. And believing Jesus faked it takes even more faith than the resurrection. believing that Jesus faked, it takes even more faith than the resurrection. There’s this idea that grew up in the late 1800s, early 1900s, called the swoon theory. And the idea was that Jesus didn’t really die on the cross, he just sort of went into a comatose state. And then they stuck him in the tomb. And he laid there and he revived in the in the, in the peace and quiet of the tomb. He his his condition improved, and he walked out three days later. That is insane. I’m sorry. I know. I know, that’s not much of an argument to just call it a name. But that, to me is insane. And yet it’s brilliant people from 100 years ago who thought this, here’s the problem. We know that he was beaten so severely that he’d lost huge quantities of blood, you don’t just get better from that on your own without medical attention, huge quantities of blood hypovolemic shock, he would have been incredibly weak if not killed just from the lack of blood alone, it would have killed him without medical attention. Plus, we know that he was stabbed through the heart with a spear we’re going to talk about that later. This one theory says that Jesus wasn’t gone enough to rise from the dead. He wasn’t powerful enough to rise from the dead. But it has no problem assuming that he was strong enough to survive the shock, the suffocation, the cardiac arrest, and just pass out and wake up in a dark, damp cave alone without medical attention. And thanks that with that he was strong enough to single handedly rollback the massive boulder from the doorway, overpower the detachment of Roman soldiers, and present such a triumphant appearance that he convinced his followers that he was actually alive again from the dead? I’m sorry, is there a gas leak in the universities in this country that people actually believe this idea? That takes more faith than believing he rose again from the dead? You’ve got to be more impressed with the power and the mind of Jesus Christ with that story than believing he rose again from the dead. I mean, at that point, no wonder the centurion said, Surely this is the Son of God. Okay. That didn’t happen. There is no what I’m sorry, I will tell you, I do not have enough faith. To believe that Jesus didn’t actually rise from the dead. It takes more faith to believe that story than to believe the actual resurrection. The authorities couldn’t deny the empty tomb. Okay, they couldn’t say well, that everybody knew where Jesus had been buried. Okay, something like that happens. Everybody’s going to know where it took place. They knew where he was buried, but they never even tried to deny the empty tomb. They never came out and said, No, it the tomb is not empty, that would have been so easy. Think about how easy it was if if the store ever if everybody just got confused and, and the story went around that Jesus rose again from the dead, and he really didn’t, could the authorities not just come and show everybody the right tomb? Here’s the tomb, here’s the body that would have shut all of this down. But the problem for them was there was no body to produce. There was nobody to produce. That’s why they never produced one because the tomb was empty. There was no body. Do you hear me on this? There was no body in the tomb. And we see that there was a cover up instead of a denial. They never denied it. They never said the tomb is not empty. They just said, well, let’s come up with another story about it. If you look in, in Matthew, chapter 28, verse 13, the Jewish leaders tried to bribe or did bribe the Roman guards and they said, say ye his disciples came by night and stole him away while we slept. The Jews and Romans tried to cover up they tried to come up with a with another explanation for the empty tomb, but they never tried to deny it. They just the Jewish leader said here, here’s some hush money. Tell everybody that these disciples By the way, I think that’s kind of funny. The disciples came and beat up the Roman soldiers and took the body Come on another one of these stories that takes more faith than the actual resurrection. There’s no alternative theory that fits the evidence that Jesus was buried. What we do know is that with the evidence, we have his he was buried, and his tomb was empty Three days later. We’re running short of time, but I want to start fact three with you. And then we’ll do fact for next week for Easter, I guess. Fact three is that Jesus was seen alive again by numerous eyewitnesses. So his existence and his death are historically verifiable. His body was buried and his tomb was empty Three days later. And then he was seen alive again by numerous eyewitnesses, he was seen by over 500 eyewitnesses. Now think about this. We listen to eyewitness accounts all the time, we have no problem listening to things we hear second and third hand, okay, we read something in the newspaper, or see something on TV I don’t know about now, but used to we’d see something on the news, and we believe it. Even if people are getting the story, second or third hand. These people were eyewitnesses to the resurrection of Jesus Christ. They said, I saw it with my own eyes. And these are usually credible people. We know from their stories that the resurrection was physical, not spiritual. It was not a spiritual resurrection. So people will say, well, His Spirit came back dark. Yeah, His Spirit came back to Earth in his body. His Spirit came back to Earth in his body. First of all, I’m Thomas, I keep wanting to say Titus Timothy Thomas, Thomas, I’m going through the T’s, Thomas was able to touch the nail scars in his hands, they were there. I don’t think you can just touch a spirit. And we know that he met with the disciples and they saw him they thought it was a ghost. And he said, basically, I’m paraphrasing, no one’s me. You have anything to eat. And they sat down and ate fish and honeycomb on the beach. I don’t know much about ghosts other than what I’ve seen on TV, but they don’t normally eat. You and I we have bodies, I get hungry. And I want to eat. And Jesus after three days in the tomb, was ready to eat. He came back in a body, a body that they could touch a body that they could see a real money. Why does that matter? Because it was in his physical resurrection that he showed that he conquered death. It wasn’t just he came back as a spirit. He came back in his body. And he conquered death in every way, shape and form. The resurrection was real, not imaginary. Here’s another one. Some people say well, there’s a mass hallucination. I heard that before I even started studying the resurrection. It’s, they all just hallucinate it. Well, it was real. It wasn’t imaginary. And I look to psychologists who have written about this because I there’s a lot I don’t know about psychology. And the psychologists I’ve read on this subject, say mass hallucinations do not happen. Massive, lucid, there’s no such thing really. There may be an isolated case here and there. But in general, they do not happen. This idea that they all hallucinated the same thing. It’s false. Now they he the guy was reading presents all sorts of all sorts of psychological sub surveys. I remember watching dragnet on Nick at night with my parents when I was little, and they would have, they would have people on LSD or something that they were going to arrest. They were all seeing things and they were not all seeing the same things in their hallucinations. You hallucinate. It’s pictures that appear in your mind, not pictures that appear in all of our minds. Okay, it’s there’s mass hallucination doesn’t happen. The disciples were bad candidates for hallucination. Also, to hallucinate, you have to be kind of susceptible to the hallucination. You have to want to believe according to psychologists, you have to kind of want to believe you have to kind of want to see these things. They believe Jesus was dead. I mean, it’s evident by their reaction. They believe Jesus was dead and not coming back. That’s why they ran. That’s why they hid that’s why they denied him. They didn’t think he was coming back. They thought it was over. They’re not exactly the people who who got so caught up in their own wishful thinking that they’re seeing things that they want to see. And third of all, hallucinations do not happen without a cause. There’s usually some known reasonable cause for hallucination and without when it’s so rare that it’s highly improbable. Those are the words used by the psychologist highly improbable that all of this was all 500 people had a mass hallucination. And for a scientist, I think that’s about as close as you get to impossible. scientists don’t typically deal in concrete. This happened, this could not happen. They do on a scale here, but highly improbable, is about as good as you’re gonna get out of a scientist. There was just, there was nothing there to cause them to hallucinate. They either saw his they either saw him resurrected, or they didn’t. It’s not like they saw his ghost walking around and hallucinate the whole thing. And then finally this morning, you know, we know it was we know it was real, it was not imaginary. It was physical. It was not spiritual. It was also the resurrection was proclaimed, but not refuted. Hey, there’s early creed that we talked about from First Corinthians chapter 15 they will they were saying by ad 37, if not before, surely before, according to this, it says, you know, I’ve read through verse four a few times, and that he was buried and he rose again the third day according to the Scriptures. Then it goes on to say he was seen by Sisyphus, then of the 12. After that he was seen of above 500 brethren at once, of whom the greater part remains to this present, but some are fallen asleep. After that, he was seen of James that of all the apostles. And last of all, he was seen of me also as one born out of due time. Okay, so he talks about all the people that Jesus was seen by, and he goes through, and he lists names, and he tells where they were seen. And he says, a few of them have died, but most of them were still alive. In other words, most of them were still alive now in the 50s, at 30 years, 20 years later, and you can go ask them, and you know what, there’s not one. There’s not one shred of evidence from history, that anybody ever went to any of these eyewitnesses and said, Hey, Paul says, You saw Jesus alive again, and they said, No, we didn’t know. You could go fact check. In their day. Did you really see it or not? And nobody ever said, No, we, all the eyewitnesses went to their grave saying he was dead. And he was buried, and we saw him alive. We saw him in, we saw him. Three days later, we saw him walking around in his physical. Now, next week, we’ll talk about the last fact of the resurrection. But you put all four of these together, and they really make the case I believe that if these things are true, if these are all true, then there is no other explanation than the resurrection. Really.

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