Easter and the Resurrection

https://www.rzim.org/listen/ask-away/easter-and-the-resurrection

In this week’s podcast Jo and Vince discuss how Jesus’ resurrection can sound crazy to skeptics and many don’t take it seriously. Does it really matter if Jesus was raised from the dead or not? What evidence is there and why is the resurrection so important? In preparation for the Easter holiday on Sunday, Vince and Jo Vitale look at the compelling evidence for the resurrection and explain why it was an event that changed everything.

Follow the link above to see transcripts if you’re hearing impaired. (Transcript is at the bottom of the linked page.)

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I don’t get as many opportunities as I’d like to discuss these evidences with my skeptical friends. Have any of you been able to dialogue with your friends? Did they find the evidences convincing? If not, why not?

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@Jennifer_Wilkinson I have not experienced interactions where I had the opportunity to test the defenses mentioned in the podcast, so I am interested in whatever answers you may get to your question. I still try to build my knowledge in this area so that I am more prepared when the moment comes. I was intrigued by the argument that the uniqueness of the event actually argues in favor if its historicity. What do you think about that?

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@blbossard, I love the point about the uniqueness of a bodily resurrection being evidence for its truth. As Vince Vitale said,

If God was going to use a miraculous event to put his stamp of approval on the life of Jesus as utterly unique, then it would have to be through something which was utterly unique.

I haven’t had a chance to use that point in a discussion yet. However, I did ask a friend how she would evaluate the evidence set forth in this podcast and in The Defense Rests by Abdu Murray. Her main objection is that people believe whatever they want to believe, so the fact that the disciples were willing to die for their belief doesn’t prove there was any good evidence. They loved Jesus and wanted to believe in Him. Any thoughts on how to respond to that?

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@Jennifer_Wilkinson So what does she want to believe? :wink:

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I just asked her, and I’m looking forward to hearing what she says.

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Context is everything. The disciples were Jews that believed in one God. They followed Christ for 3 years, they saw all the miracles, he got beat and got crucified. They were destroyed. If he didnt rise from the dead, why would they lie and die for something that didnt happen? The disciples sustained persecution for over 40 years and died individually alone. It was not some group event where they had one another. They suffered alll their life, got stoned, were hungry, in Jail. No one would go so far for something they knew deep down was a lie. You can die for something you believe to be true but not die for something you know for sure is a lie.

Another thing is, suffering and dying in front of a man is one thing, but blaspheming and dying to go to be in front of God to be sent to hell for eternity for a lie that you know is another!

I hope this helps @Jennifer_Wilkinson.

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@Danageze, thanks for your input. I hadn’t thought about the fact that the disciples died alone. My friend has mentioned how many people keep following a belief system out of love for their family and friends. Our relationships are often more important to us than investigating our beliefs. But when the early Christians were scattered due to persecution, they didn’t have all their friends around them, holding them close in their faith. Acts 8:1 (ESV) says:

And Saul approved of his execution. And there arose on that day a great persecution against the church in Jerusalem, and they were all scattered throughout the regions of Judea and Samaria, except the apostles.

I’d love to investigate the historical evidence for the lives and deaths of the apostles since Acts ends before they’re scattered and killed. Do you know of good books or articles that I should read on this topic?

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Hey Jennifer @Jennifer_Wilkinson. Yes, the devil is in the details right :wink:

Not only where they alone, it was repeated tribulations over 40 years. And the most important distinction is that it is correct that people die for beliefs they believe it is true (Muslim extremists), but not to beliefs that they know for sure is not true. A good example actually that came to my mind was Peter. Peter denied Christ 3 times. If you ask why. He yet had seen the risen Christ. He saw this person of Jesus that did allllll the miracles but then he was caught and was about to be crucified. He was confused, he was scared, he doubted if he truly was the messiah. BUT THEN after he saw him risen, that was another story. He was persecuted many times and died alone. If that was a lie and Jesus didnt rise, he would have denied him 3 times again.

Another thing is Saul (Paul) he was a pharasie that persecuted all the disciples. James, Jesus’s brother/cousin, he grew up with him thinking, “This is just my brother. He is no Messiah.” They did not become disciples until they saw the risen Jesus. No one would die alone for something that they truly know is a lie. Why would Saul give up a highly prestigious position in the temple and be chased like a dog for a lie?

To answer your question though, No book comes to mind at this moment but I will see if I can find something for you. :face_with_monocle:

God Bless.

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