War of the Worldviews, part 3: Did Jesus Rise from the Dead?
Author: Andy Robbins
In continuing with our current theme of whether or not Jesus Christ’s claims of being God and the only way to salvation can be validated, we have to consider whether or not He truly rose from the dead. Since Jesus predicted that He would rise from the dead, His whole life and ministry would prove to be a fraud if He was not able to then do so.
In a short post like this I cannot fully explore the mammoth amount of evidence for the resurrection of Jesus. But one thing I can tell you is that the task of analyzing that evidence has been undertaken by many other men much more learned that you and me, and time after time the evidence keeps supporting the resurrection of Christ.
One of those men was Sir Lionel Luckoo, a British defense attorney who holds the Guinness World record for successfully defending 245 consecutive murder cases. He is called the modern day Perry Mason, and his deductive genius and mastery of the laws of evidence are legendary. Luckoo set out to use that deductive genius to overturn the claims about Jesus’ resurrection, but after an exhaustive investigation, he concluded the following: “I say unequivocally that the evidence for the resurrection of Jesus is so overwhelming that it compels proof that leaves no room for doubt.” And do you know what happened then? Sir Lionel Luckoo turned his life over to Jesus and is now a committed Christian!
Similarly, Simon Greenleaf, the expert in the laws of evidence who authored the text book that all law students are required to study on the laws of evidence, set out on a similar mission as Sir Lionel Luckoo to discredit Jesus as the risen Savior. Greenleaf, a professing atheist at the time, was certain he could set the matter to rest once and for all. Yet, at the end of his investigation, he too had to concede that Jesus is exactly who He claims and that His resurrection was an actual historical event. He stated, “I can prove to any court in the land that Jesus Christ is an actual historical figure, that he was crucified according to scripture, and was raised from the dead after three days.” Wow! He said he could prove it in any court in the land! And how do you think a reasonable thinking man like Simon Greenleaf would respond to such revelatory knowledge? Well, he too was convinced of the Lordship of Jesus Christ and surrendered his life to His service.
Is there any other reasonable response? I mean, what would you think of me intellectually if I went to the trouble to investigate the claims of Jesus, saw that the claims about Him being God were true, and then walked away and said, “Well, that was interesting. What’s next on my agenda?” Or worse yet, what if I walked away from that and said, “Yes, Jesus was a good man who meant well, and was probably one of the many ways that lead to God.” You would probably rightly accuse me of suffering from a touch of not-being-able-to-see-the-forest-for-the-trees syndrome.
No Other Way
If God wanted to, He could have created many different paths that lead to salvation. But He didn’t. He created one. And that path is through faith in Jesus alone – not Allah, not Mohamed, not Krishna, not Buddha, and not anyone but the very God-man Himself, Jesus Christ. Jesus said that He was the ONLY way to the Father, and He validated His divinity by dying for mankind’s sins and then rising from the dead – something that no other religious figure has been able to pull off. And Jesus was bold enough to predict His resurrection ahead of time.
If there were many paths that lead to God, Jesus would not have had to die as a substitutionary sacrifice for mankind’s sins. He could have walked the earth and died at a ripe old age and enjoyed Himself. But the heinous sins of mankind required a blood atonement, and Jesus was the sacrificial Lamb of God. To say that there are other paths that lead to salvation is to say that Jesus’ brutal mutilation meant nothing, and that, my friends, is blasphemy. Those claiming that Jesus is one of the many ways that lead to God do not know the precious Savior, because they have failed to recognize their own sin, and therefore have failed to recognize the magnitude of what Christ did on the cross. They will have to bear the penalty for their sins themselves, while all along Jesus is extending the invitation to come and be cleansed and forgiven. But the pre-requisite for that forgiveness is acknowledgment of His Lordship and that He is the ONLY way to the Father as He claimed.
Yes, that claim is an exclusive one, but the invitation is for everyone, and that’s not exclusive at all, but all-inclusive. All are invited to partake in that forgiveness if only they would believe and follow. But alas, “The preaching of the cross is foolishness to those who are perishing.” -1 Corinthians 1:18
If you would like to know more about the evidence validating Jesus as the Son of God and concerning His resurrection, two landmark books to consider are Josh McDowell’s More than a Carpenter, and Lee Strobel’s The Case for Christ (see the side bar of this blog).