This is the sixth of a series of blog posts with my sister Betty Haynie about what we believe. Our thoughts may be helpful to those who don’t believe in God. Betty wrote down her beliefs in detail several years ago. I’ll post her thoughts monthly and add my thoughts and beliefs to each one. Our thoughts are intentionally brief on subjects that could fill volumes.
Why I Believe in the Resurrection
By Betty Haynie
I believe in the Resurrection of Jesus Christ with all my heart and soul and mind. It is the most glorious knowledge there is. Without it, the Christian faith is worthless. Paul even says this.
13 But if there is no resurrection of the dead, not even Christ has been raised; 14 and if Christ has not been raised, then our preaching is vain, your faith also is vain.
1 Corinthians 15:13-14 NIV
The Resurrection of Jesus is a historical fact and is verified throughout Scripture. I believe in the Good News of Salvation, the TRUTH of history in recording the Birth, Life, Death, Resurrection and Ascension of Jesus Christ, and the TRUTHS contained in God’s Word.
After Jesus died on the cross He was seen by 500 people; His disciples saw Him after His death for a period of 40 days or so. He talked with them and walked with two of them on the road to Emmaus. He appeared in the Upper room where His disciples were mourning His loss. They touched Him. Jesus appeared to Thomas who had doubted the truth of his fellow disciples’ accounts. Jesus offered him the chance to put his hand into the wound in His side but, when he saw the nail holes in His hands, he believed. Jesus appearance was not a ghost or an apparition - He ate food!! It’s documented!! Before His ascension He appeared to them and he gave them instructions, they watched as he ascended to heaven.
The life, death and resurrection of Jesus are verified in history. I’m sure you don’t deny the lives of Napoleon or Henry the VIII, or the events of
1941 or Martin Luther King’s Civil Rights achievements. These are all
documented historical events. And so are the birth, life, and death
on the cross of Jesus the Christ. And so is His resurrection.
Most of the Gospels were written within 30 years of His death, resurrection and ascension. Books on Napoleon and Genghis Kahn were written long after their deaths and yet most people believe every word of those books!! Do they check them out? I doubt it. I’m sure you recall the Holocaust and Hitler and the Viet Nam War. This is more recent history, but you can’t deny history that happened before you were born just because it wasn’t in the newspaper or on TV.
Be logical. Read the information Dottie and I have included here and come to logical conclusions. If He wasn’t who He claimed to be He was either a Lunatic or a Liar OR...He Was The Lord!! That’s all the choices you get. You can’t say He was “just a great teacher” because He claimed to be so much more. He claimed to be GOD. John “I and the Father are one.”
No one in history is like Jesus. He alone deserves our trust and He alone is the path to God. No one comes to the Father EXCEPT through Jesus!
Jesus said to him, "I am the way, and the truth, and the life; no one can come to the Father, except through me.” John 14:6 NLT
Jesus and only Jesus has power over death. He came back from death!!
Why I Believe in the Resurrection
By Dottie Parish
The Resurrection of Jesus Christ is the most glorious truth anyone can know! I believe in the resurrection with all my heart and soul and mind – as does Betty and every Believer. This belief is based on reason, facts and evidence. Christ’s resurrection changed the world. His resurrection means that Jesus conquered sin and death and Satan and all evil forces. His resurrection means everyone will live eternally – forever and ever.
My first strong memory of celebrating the resurrection was on Easter when I was sixteen. God touched my heart in new ways that year and I knew Jesus was my Savior and that the Bible was true. Since then I’ve learned the amazing depth of the Scripture accounts of the death, burial and resurrection of Jesus. There were 500 witnesses who saw Jesus after he was crucified. There was an empty tomb that no one could explain in any other way. It was heavily guarded yet it was empty.
Jesus was seen by some of the disciples over a period of forty days. And they saw him ascend to heaven. Barclay notes that his resurrection appearances had to come to a definite end rather than just peter out. He says, “If Jesus was to give his followers unanswerable proof that he had returned to glory the Ascension was absolutely necessary.”
As Betty noted, there is massive historical evidence that Jesus lived and was crucified. Timothy Keller in his book, Making Sense of God, says “the historical evidence for the Resurrection of Jesus is formidable.” He cites N. T Wright’s book, The Resurrection of the Son of God. Wright’s book on the Resurrection is 700 pages long. Read it and see if you still doubt the truth of the resurrection!
Betty cited 1 Corinthians 15:13-14. Here’s the J B Phillips amplification of this passage:
Now if the rising of Christ from the dead is the very heart of our message, how can some of you deny that there is any resurrection? For if there is no such thing as the resurrection of the dead, then Christ was never raised. And if Christ was not raised then neither our preaching nor your faith has any meaning at all. Further it would mean that we are lying in our witness for God, for we have given our solemn testimony that he did raise up Christ—and that is utterly false if it should be true that the dead do not, in fact, rise again! For if the dead do not rise neither did Christ rise, and if Christ did not rise your faith is futile and your sins have never been forgiven. Moreover those who have died believing in Christ are utterly dead and gone. Truly, if our hope in Christ were limited to this life only we should, of all mankind be the most to be pitied!
The resurrection is the heart of the gospel. It takes faith to deny there is life after death.
Watch for the next Reasons to Believe post on WHY I BELIEVE IN PRAYER in mid November by Betty and Dottie