Last night, I thought about the possibity that Christians could be wishful thinkers. After all, the rest of the world seems to be turning away from Christianity and the Bible and most never look back.
Do Christians have good reason for the hope that is within us?
Asking God to help me remember seven reasons there are to believe, I began to consider how what we Christians believe would hold up, let us say, in court. I have to say, even without the knowledge of His presence that guides me daily, we have a very, good case.
1. Oral testimony of Christ while on earth, before the crucifixion –
John 14:3 If I go, I will come again and receive you unto myself…
- Witness of Christ, as he died, to another dying man –
Luke 23:42 Today thou shalt be with me in paradise…
- Witness of the centurion who witnessed and participated in the crucifixion-
Mark 15:39 …he said, “Truly this man was the Son of God.”
4. A.Witness of physical evidence, ie, an empty tomb –
Luke 24:3 And they found the stone rolled away from the sepulchre. And they entered in, and found not the body of the Lord Jesus.
B. The temple veil rent, etc. –
And behold, the veil of the temple was rent in twain from the top to the bottom; and the earth did quake, and the rocks rent.
- Witness of the eleven disciples –
Luke 24:3 reads, “The Lord has risen indeed.” In addition to the gospels, we have the book of Acts and much of the New Testament
- Witness of the women –
Luke 24:3 And they remembered His words and…told all these things unto the eleven and to all the rest. ” Also, Matthew 28:8 And they (the women) departed quickly from the sepulchre with fear and great joy; and did run to bring his disciples word.
- Witness of Angels –
Mark 16:6 “Ye seek Jesus of Nazereth, which was crucified; He is risen…”
- Witness of prophets and the scripture –
Daniel 7:13-14 I saw in the night visions, and, behold one like the Son of Man came with the clouds of heaven…and there was given him dominion, and glory, and a kingdom…His dominion is an everlasting dominion…
- Raising of Lazarus and many others –
John 11:43-44 And when he thus had spoken, he cried with a loud voice, “Lazarus, come forth.” And he that was dead came forth, bound hand and foot with graveclothes: and his face was bound about with a napkin. Jesus saith unto them, “Loose him, and let him go.”
- A.Witness of Paul while actually in court, concerning the death burial and ressurection of Jesus –
Acts 26: 25-25 I am not mad…but speak forth the words of truth and soberness. For the king knoweth of these things before whom also I speak freely: for I am persuaded that none of these things are hidden from him; for this thing was not done in a corner.
B. Witness of Paul to the church –
I Corinthians 15:8 …and last of all He (Jesus Christ) was seen of me also, as one born out of due time.
While the Bible itself is filled with references and evidences, I am turning now to a few of the things that are current witnesses.
11. Witness of the Holy Spirit’s work in my life –
Witness of the creation, and the order of physical universe –
Witness of changed lives of so many fellow Christians –
Witness of the leaving of the earthly dead – (If you have been with someone at the time of death, you have experienced this leaving. Leaving implies going to another place.)
Witness of those who have experienced near death and returned to tell about it.
Wherefore seeing we also are compassed about with so great a cloud of witnesses, let us lay aside every weight, and the sin which doth so easily beset us, and let us run with patience the race that is set before us. Looking unto Jesus the author and finisher of our faith, who for joy that set before him endured the cross, despising the shame, and is set down at the right hand of the throne of God.