Friday, April 10, 2009

The Validity of the Resurrection: Personified

Dr. David R. ReaganPDFBy Dr. David R. Reagan

There is simply no way to overemphasize the importance of the resurrection to the Christian faith, for the resurrection of Jesus is the Christian faith. Christianity stands or falls on the validity, the historical reality of the resurrection. The resurrection of Jesus is either the greatest event in the history of mankind, or it is the cruelest hoax that has ever been perpetrated. Which is it, truth or fantasy?


Transformed Lives Personify It

I will hasten to say that the greatest evidence of the resurrection of Jesus is not the empty tomb. It is something else. The greatest evidence of the resurrection in Scripture is to be seen in the transformed lives of Jesus' disciples. For within 50 days of His crucifixion, His disciples had been miraculously transformed from a defeated, frustrated, hopeless group of individuals into a confident band of Christian soldiers determined to win the world for their Lord.

Jesus' own brother James is a good example of what Dave is talking about. James did not believe in Jesus while He was alive. Yet after the resurrection, James became the leader of the Church in Jerusalem. Or consider Peter, who denied Jesus three times in a fit of cowardice. He began to proclaim boldly, Jesus Christ the Lord, even before the very Sanhedrin council that had condemned Jesus to death. And then there was a young Christian by the name of Stephen who was stoned to death because of his witness of Jesus. And let's not forget the most ruthless persecutor of the church, Saul of Tarsus. He became the greatest missionary in the history of the Church, all because he encountered the risen Lord on the road to Damascus.

And for what I consider to be the most convincing evidence of all, I have in mind the way in which peoples lives continue to be transformed today through their encounter with the living Jesus.

What about you? Have you met Jesus? Have you been born again by placing your faith in Him? Are you ready to face death without fear because you know you will spend eternity with God?

Salvation is to be found in a personal relationship with a living Savior. Jesus said that eternal life is knowing Him. You know, when one of Jesus' disciples named Thomas finally encountered Him after the resurrection, he cried out, "My Lord and my God." Jesus replied, "Because you have seen me you have believed. Blessed are those who have not seen and yet believe." I challenge you to believe in the risen Jesus. John 20:31 says that through belief in Jesus, you may have life in His name.

17 comments:

Junbuggg said...

Excellent post Dr. Reagan! Happy Easter!

Billy said...

In previous comments we talked about "Jesus films" to watch this Easter season.

I just now thought "Wait a minute! I forgot some of the best DVDs available!" For some truly inspirational DVDs I highly recommend those available right here at this website produced by Lamb & Lion Ministries.

I have about 30 Lamb & Lion DVDs in my collection and they truly will bring a joyous viewing experience into your life.

Specifically related to the article topic of Jesus changing peoples lives, I would recommend a riveting Lamb & Lion DVD about a man who was in the mob and was actually going to kill the pastor who ended up helping him in his acceptance of our Lord. Unfortunately I can't remember the title (I'm at work) and I don't see it in the "Store" section of this website. But if it's available it is quite a story to watch.

son of thunder said...

Happy Resurrection Day and Happy Feast of the First-fruits to any of our Jewish friends.

hartdawg said...

thunder, i like the fact you dont call it easter. here is a trivia type question for you: do you find it hypocritical that the church condemns trick or treating (so do i not just cuz of its occultic roots, but gluttony is also a sin) but hosts easter egg hunts which has pagan idolotary roots? what do you think?

son of thunder said...

Hart, I wouldn't call it hypocracy. I'd call it ignorance. Most people in most churches have absolutely no idea about the roots of Easter, or most of our church tradition for that matter. That includes Christmas as well.

Personally, I'm of the mind that Christians are doing themselves a great disfavor by not studying the Hebrew feasts, because they explain prophecy.

son of thunder said...

If anyone is interested, there is an e-mail devotional called "The Voice of the Lord." It's free and really quite enlightening.

SeanOsborne said...

This is most excellent and timely. It is now re-posted to my blog with a back-link to this Journal in celebration of this day.

By the way, personally I have no regard for the pagan "Easter" holiday, but I certainly do vigorously celebrate "Resurrection Day."

son of thunder said...

Resurrection day or Bikurrim (firstfruits) works for me.

Actually, I think that's getting to be more popular as God is returning His church (both Jew and Gentile) to true worship.

Billy said...

Whatever you want to call it is fine for you as long as no one (which you didn't) critizes others for calling it Easter (which happens to be the title of the Lamb and Lion video I just wached..."Easter").

hartdawg said...

billy, i'm in total agreement. here is another more practical question, what if everyday were for lack of a better word "easter"? in a sense since the resurrected power is in a believer IT IS EVERYDAY!

hartdawg said...

by the way thunder, i spent yesterday celebrating "resurrection day" with a friend and their families and we did have an easter egg hunt and as far as i am concerned (and people will disagree with me and thats fine) i say redeem easter AND halloween. give out candy at the church on haloween AND have easter egg hunts on easter WHILE educating them and reaching them.

son of thunder said...

I agree, hart. The modern day church has gotten so far away from what the 1st century church did and believed, that I really think that if one of the Apostles were to come to our time they would wonder what was going on.

If someone wants to call it Easter, fine with me. But they need to know the pagan roots of and why we celebrate this holiday the way do with eggs and bunnies (which are both pagan) and others the church celebrates.

Billy said...

I grew up with Halloween and the Easter Bunny and Santa Claus. I don't think any one of those had any negative effects at all.

We were also taught about Jesus but we only went to church a few times, didn't pray at meals, weren't overly religious. Yet everyone in my family has very personally strong religious faith today.

On the other hand, I had family members that went to church every Sunday, prayed all the time, and were all religion all the time. Two kids turned out as atheists and the third blew his mind on LSD.

What is my point? I honestly don't know what I'm try to say except maybe I don't think Halloween, the Easter Bunny and Santa Claus are dangers to Christianity.

Anonymous said...

Personally, I don't think God CARES what we call this holiday as long as we're celebrating the death, burial, and resurrection of our Lord.

In other words, let's not get too hung up on a name. Instead, let's celebrate because of what it means to us.

Laura

hartdawg said...

i agree laura, as for trick or treating i dont think boycotting it or halloween will do anything but make us look like downers. i went to a church that refused to have socials or anything and what happened? everyone went tric or treating and wany people got into trouble. boycotting the easter bunny also makes us look self-rightous. its when we take away from the ressurection that causes problems.

Nathan Jones said...

Billy, that mobster story I've learned had a limited copyright run, so we don't offer it anymore. But, if anybody wishes to watch our three Easter shows, they're posted on our Programs page.

Billy said...

Thanks Nathan, I only had Easter 1. So now I can watch the other two. I also watched and recommend L&L's "The Passion in Prophecy" DVD for Easter (or anytime) viewing.

By the way, just so no one gets the wrong idea...I am not advocating not going to church, not praying, etc.

It was just my clumbsy way of saying people's religious views can not be predicted by how your family expresses religious activity or celebrates various holidays.