Evidence For The Resurrection: Pt 1

When I get angry comments from unbelievers, it spurs me on! It indicates to me areas that need addressing and light shed into the darkness. Although the fool says there is no God, it still shows me the areas of evangelism that is necessary for the modern Christian.

Recently I was sent a comment from a seemingly militant atheist; He or she commented that only Paul wrote about the witnesses to the bodily resurrection of Jesus Christ. It was an interesting take on the scripture, and it led me to write this series of articles.

I suppose the writer of that comment was suggesting that the apostle Paul was a liar. Well, let’s look into the scripture and come to a conclusion.

Read 1 Corinthians 15: 3-8 (NASB)

Now I make known to you, brethren, the gospel which I preached to you, which also you received, in which also you stand, 2 by which also you are saved, if you hold fast the word which I preached to you, unless you believed in vain.
3 For I delivered to you as of first importance what I also received, that Christ died for our sins according to the Scriptures, 4 and that He was buried, and that He was raised on the third day according to the Scriptures,5 and that He appeared to Cephas, then to the twelve. 6 After that He appeared to more than five hundred brethren at one time, most of whom remain until now, but some have fallen asleep; 7 then He appeared to James, then to all the apostles; 8 and last of all, as to one untimely born, He appeared to me also. 9 For I am the least of the apostles, and not fit to be called an apostle, because I persecuted the church of God.

Were the words of the apostle Paul wrote here lies or at best an embellishment? No. You see, Paul cites 14 eyewitnesses by name. Cephas (Peter), James and the 12 apostles and Paul himself. With Paul naming the eyewitnesses to the Corinthians! If the Corinthians doubted the words written by Paul, the Corinthian readers would certainly call him out on it! I also would suggest that Paul wrote that there was also some 500 other witnesses (who knows maybe more?) someone would have exposed the lie.

Let’s suppose Paul was fabricating his testimony, do you think he would have gone to the measures of actually naming the eyewitnesses? He would have lost any credibility with the Corinthians. Then why would he write such a hoax? It does not make sense!

Please pray for the unbelievers to see and believe the truth!

Psalm 25:10 (NASB)
All the paths of the LORD are loving kindness and truth
To those who keep His covenant and His testimonies.

God Bless
Brian Mason

Evidence Outside the Bible for a Day of Darkness after the Crucifixion?

Luke 23: 44-46 (NIV)
44 It was now about noon, and darkness came over the whole land until three in the afternoon, 45 for the sun stopped shining. And the curtain of the temple was torn in two. 46 Jesus called out with a voice, “Father, into your hands I commit my spirit.” When he had said this, he breathed his last.

Before you want to look to past astronomical events that were recorded such as an eclipse or other meteorological events, one must think of it as a supernatural event. The Jews used a lunar calendar and Passover always fell on the full moon, so that would rule out a solar eclipse.

The following writing is of major interest;

*”Circa AD 52, Thallus wrote a history of the Eastern Mediterranean world from the Trojan War to his own time. This work itself has been lost and only fragments of it exist in the citations of others. One such scholar who knew and spoke of it was Julius Africanus, who wrote about AD 221…In speaking of Jesus’ crucifixion and the darkness that covered the land during this event, Africanus found a reference in the writings of Thallus that dealt with this cosmic report. Africanus asserts: ‘On the whole world there pressed a most fearful darkness; and the rocks were rent by an earthquake, and many places in Judea and other districts were thrown down. This darkness Thallus, in the third book of his History, calls, as appears to me without reason, an eclipse of the sun.”

There appears to be a “darkness” written that is unexplainable. I will believe the scriptures, and clearly there is another record of this great event! Praise God!

God Bless

Brian Mason

*Julius Africanus, Extant Writings, XVIII in the Ante–Nicene Fathers, ed. by Alexander Roberts and James Donaldson, Grand Rapids: Eerdmans, 1973, vol. VI, p. 130, as cited in Gary R. Habermas, The Historical Jesus: Ancient Evidence for the Life of Christ, Joplin, MO: College Press Publishing Company, 1996.

Jesus in the Tomb for Three Days and Nights?

Matthew 12: 40 (NIV)

“For as Jonah was three days and three nights in the belly of a huge fish, so the Son of Man will be three days and three nights in the heart of the earth.”

Was Jesus in error? I mean when you take a look at the time period between the accounts of the crucifixion and resurrection something doesn’t look right. Or does it?

This prophecy that Jesus spoke of was quoted from Jonah 1:17 (NIV)

“17 Now the Lord provided a huge fish to swallow Jonah, and Jonah was in the belly of the fish three days and three nights”

When we look at the words “great fish” as in some texts it is unknown as to what type of creature it was. It was certainly not a whale as it was ascribed in Hebrew, and the Hebrew word for whale wasn’t used in this instance, it was indeed “Great Fish” pronounced dag gadol. It was likely that God appointed the fish sovereignly to save Jonah. Incidentally the Hebrew word for whale is Hebrew word for whale is לווית pronounced lev-yah-TAHN.

Back to Matthew 12:40. *”Three days and three nights” was an emphatic way of saying “three days”, and by Jewish reckoning this would be an apt way of expressing a period of time which includes parts of 3 days. Thus, if Christ was crucified on a Friday, and His resurrection occurred on the first day of the week, by Hebrew reckoning this would qualify as 3 days and 3 nights.

In Hebrew speech any part of the day is referred to as equivalent to a whole day. Thus there is NO CONTRADICTION!

God Bless

Brian Mason

*”Scripture taken from the NEW AMERICAN STANDARD BIBLE , Copyright 1960, 1962, 1963, 1968, 1971, 1972, 1973, 1975, 1977, 1995 by The Lockman Foundation. Used by permission.”