As we said last week, the physical resurrection of Jesus from the dead is the cornerstone of Christian faith. It is the one miracle that authenticates that he really is who he claims to be: God in the flesh.
Moreover, it gives meaning to the fact God came to earth as a man. He didn’t just come to hang out, observe some suffering and leave. He did something. He did something that mattered to every one of us, by doing what we could never do – overcoming death.
See, because of our rebellion from God, sin and death have become a reality for us.
We no longer enjoy the closeness with God that He intended from the beginning.
Sin, our rebellion from God, has always stood in our way, and death is the final example of that in all of our lives…bringing spiritual separation from God, as well as physical death.
But God’s will is to end death’s power over us, and he did that by dying for us, like us, but then destroying death by rising again.
So we could know God as he originally intended it…as the story is supposed to end.
Nice story…but it’s useless if it did not happen!
A friend vacationing in Orlando once went to the Holy Land Experience…a Christian theme park. He went half out of actual interest in learning something, and half to just experience the weirdness of it all!
At that park, they have a daily passion play, or reenactment of Jesus’ death & resurrection. This picture is of the moment Jesus appeared after his death – It was totally faked. There was smoke pouring from a dry ice machine, and this was obviously a different Jesus than the one who died. The one who died was all bloodied, with straight blonde hair – and now we have this Jesus rising from the dead, no blood, and with, I must say, some incredible hair!
So what evidence is there that the resurrection story in the Bible wasn’t faked with a smoke machine and body double?
We are going to look briefly at four areas of evidence, that build on one another.
When you read a story online or in print, how do you know and trust if it is true?
Read John 11-12 and reflect – How do each of these events connect with Jesus’ upcoming death?