This Sunday we celebrate the resurrection of Jesus Christ. Last week I posted Easter 2010, a short video podcast about a very graphic prophecy concerning the sufferings of Christ. I am planning to do a podcast this Friday focusing on a very unique aspect of the resurrection.
Today, I am posting from a blog that I did last year on the membership site, Enriching Your Life Now, called, The Greatest Lie Ever Told. (By the way, if you subscribe to this blog, Confidence And Joy, which is free, then you get total access to the “Enriching” site – that’s a free lifetime membership!)
The Greatest Lie Ever Told!
There is a lie that has been going around for centuries. It is the biggest lie ever told. In this post, you will see it clearly and logically.
There are a number of verses in the Bible that talk about God raising Jesus Christ from the dead. There have been others who have been raised from the dead, including Lazarus, but this event was different. This is in a class of its own.
Jesus Christ was resurrected from the dead to die no more.
Some, however, believe that it was just a lie. People are entitled to their opinion. But the question for the naysayers is, “Where is their proof?” “Where is there evidence?”
Were The Disciples Promoting A Lie?
The information in the Scriptures, the historical evidence, as well as the actions and speech of those in the first century clearly show that the resurrection of Jesus Christ was greatly promoted. If they were promoting a lie, then it was the biggest lie ever told. And if it was a lie, then some of the ways that they promoted it were just plain stupid.
First, as with any disagreement, there needs to be that which both parties can agree upon. If we are going to discuss the resurrection, then here are some things we need to agree upon first.
The Facts We Can Agree On
1. Jesus lived. If someone does not believe he ever existed, then it is pointless to discuss a resurrection. Besides, it is much easier to prove that he lived than it is to prove his resurrection.
2. There were certain Jewish leaders who instigated his death and the Romans ordered it and carried it out. Unless you believe that he was crucified it makes no sense to talk about the resurrection. It is much easier to prove the crucifixion than it is the resurrection.
3. He was indeed dead. It is pointless to have a discussion about a resurrection unless someone is dead.
4. Where he was buried was a known, accessible tomb. The tombs’ location was known by Jesus’ followers, The Jewish leaders, and by the Romans.
5. The Jewish leaders who were responsible for his death would be very interested in disproving a resurrection. If Jesus were raised from the dead, then those who instigated his death, which is very easy to prove, would lose all of their credibility. It is very logical that they would do whatever it took to disprove the resurrection.
6. Many preached that he had been raised from the dead. They not only preached that he was raised from the dead, but they preached it in the same city where Jesus Christ was killed.
7. Followers of Jesus Christ were persecuted because of the preaching of the resurrection. There were in fact on a number of occasions told specifically not preach the resurrection of Jesus.
8. The known, accessible tomb that Jesus was buried in was indeed empty. Since it is easy to prove and document that certain Jewish leaders did indeed instigate his death, logically then, they would be very interested in disproving a resurrection. By their very actions of persecuting those who preached the resurrection, we know that they knew that the tomb was empty. In persecuting those who preached the resurrection, no one ever said, ‘”He is still buried.” The tomb was indeed empty.
All of those eight facts are much easier to prove than the resurrection. And if you acknowledge those facts then you are left with only two choices: Either the disciples lied or they told the truth.
If It Was A Lie, Then What They Said Was Stupid!
If it didn’t happen, if it isn’t true, then it is a lie. And if it is a lie, then those in the first century who preached his resurrection were liars. And those who wrote the Scriptures were also promoting a lie. And, as I said before, if it was a lie, some of the ways they promoted it were just plain stupid.
For example, the Scriptures state the following facts: Jesus was indeed in a tomb; The Jewish leaders knew where it was; A Roman guard was dispatched, which means Roman soldiers knew where it was; The Roman soldiers witnessed something supernatural; The Jewish leaders knew something supernatural happened, because the soldiers told them; The Jewish leaders paid large sums of money to the soldiers to lie!
If you are trying to promote something that is not true, then why use details that could easily be documented? Many of those things would be a matter of public record: the religious leaders’ meeting with Pilate, the assigning of soldiers, and the sealing of the tomb; so many things would be easily documented, and therefore easy to verify. In other words, if you were promoting a lie you would be found out rather quickly.
And Here’s The Biggest Blunder
And if it was just a lie, then perhaps the biggest blunder had to do with the accounts on that Sunday morning, Easter Sunday, referred to by some as Resurrection Sunday. If you really think about it, there is no way any person in their right mind, intentionally promoting a lie, could ever tell the story that they told.
If you take the time to read all four Gospels, they all testify that the news of the resurrection was given first to women. They also tell of Jesus first appearing to Mary Magdalene, and then to the other women. And finally, the scriptures concur that angels told the women to go and tell the others that Jesus was raised from the dead.
You would never come up with a story like that if you were promoting a lie; at least not in that culture! If you really wanted people to believe you, in that culture, you would never have women as the first eyewitnesses. No one would believe you. And notice that when the women told the men, they did not believe them.
In that day and time and culture the women did not have all the rights that men had. Even today in some cultures women do not have the same rights that men have. So, if you were promoting a lie, in that culture, you would never, ever have women playing such an important role.
This Is Evidence – This Is Real Proof!
This speaks so very loudly and hardly anyone ever even notices. Yet, it could easily be classified as evidence and proof of the resurrection! In that culture, an angel appearing to a man would be much more credible than an angel appearing to a woman, and then telling the woman to go and tell the men.
Where Is Their Proof?
Finally, there is no evidence in history, anywhere, of anyone, who was an eyewitness, ever retracting their story, or recanting, or denying, or saying that it was just a big lie. Even those who were killed, martyred for their beliefs, still never denied the resurrection. You don’t pay that high of a price for a lie.
It is absurd to even consider that the resurrection of Jesus Christ was a lie with no evidence of any of the eyewitnesses ever discounting it. In fact, there is no solid evidence anywhere, from anyone that disproves the resurrection of Jesus Christ. There is no evidence!
For many Christians the Scriptures themselves stand and they need no defense. What is written is the Word of God. Many choose to simply accept and believe the divine revelation.
The Greatest Lie Ever Told!
But, in addition to the Scriptures, there is also abundant evidence, and logic. In fact, so much so, that for anyone to say and propound that Jesus Christ was not raised from the dead, they are indeed promoting the greatest lie ever told!
Because he hath appointed a day, in the which he will judge the world in righteousness by that man whom he hath ordained; whereof he hath given assurance unto all men, in that he hath raised him from the dead.
The absolute assurance that God has given to all people that Jesus Christ is indeed the one that He has ordained, is that He raised him from the dead to die no more. That is God’s stamp of approval; that is His seal of authenticity.
Now, anyone, anywhere can acknowledge Jesus Christ as the lord of all men, the savior for mankind, the redeemer, the Messiah, God’s only begotten Son – the lord of all men, and believe that God raised him from the dead and receive salvation.
That if thou shalt confess with thy mouth the Lord Jesus, and shalt believe in thine heart that God hath raised him from the dead, thou shalt be saved.
He Is Risen!
Michael A. Verdicchio