You believe it, right? When you read 1 Corinthians 15, you believe it with all you heart. While we celebrate the Reformation with all its “By grace you have been saved” exhorting, the Reformation, faith in Christ, our churches and our schools are a waste if what Paul preaches in 1 Corinthians isn’t true.
1 Corinthians 15- The Resurrection Chapter. Do you believe it- Christ died and rose from the dead? You will die and you will be raised?
And what do those outside of the Christian community think of you and your belief in a risen Jesus Christ…..You’re a fool!
SERIOUSLY? Have you ever SEEN someone rise from dead…from a cemetery? You know shows like the Walking Dead are fake, right? There is no zombie apocalypse on its way. When you’re dead for three days, you’re dead.
The non-Christian community will also “pile-on” with more ridicule of our “foolishness” with the following…
- We’re fools for believing in a worldwide flood. Harvey was a catastrophe that continues to effect parts of Texas. Irma devastated the Keys and the Caribbean. However, it didn’t take a year for the waters to subside. Flash floods are exactly that- they happen in a flash. But a world-wide flood? Everything covered in water? Outrageous! (Yet, we DO believe…and science supports this belief).
- We’re fools for not believing in climate change. Politicians and scientists all share “proof” that “Mother Earth” is burning up. However, even scientists can’t agree on this. It was interesting how some people tried to blame the hurricanes on climate change. What was the cause of the Dust Bowl in the 1930s?
- We’re fools for believing in a young earth (as opposed to billions of years of evolutionary change). Go to museums- the earth is billions of years old. Watch TV’s Big Bang Theory. All the science talk is about evolution. Science books? Evolution. Go to any state university- evolution. You are uneducated if you don’t buy it. You’re a fool. However, more and more science supports a young earth. (Have you been to the Ark Encounter at the Creation Museum?
- We’re fools for believing in sin. The media has shown fellow man’s love and compassion during the hurricane recovery efforts. Surely there is a natural good in man. Yet, we know the frustrations of many classroom management issues, staff issues and congregational issues are rooted in man’s sinfulness.
As Christians, we understand that everything depends on Jesus. He’s the reason for “foolish” beliefs, understandings, and perspectives. We are faith-filled people in Jesus Christ. If Paul is right, we’re good to go. If he’s wrong, not so good.
As a Christian, given faith through the miracle of baptism and sustained through Jesus gifts of His Word and Holy Communion, faith is also factual. Plenty of proof exists within the Bible that supports a historical Jesus. But there’s also physical, historical evidence of Jesus and narratives connected to his life from outside of the Bible.
For example, that within the Jewish tradition, Jesus indictment by the Jewish council is a recorded fact. On Maundy Thursday, there was the quick, crooked trial of Jesus. Jewish writings document these proceedings. Isn’t it interesting that this is the same group that wanted everything including the empty tomb to be quieted has in their own words proof of Jesus’ existence?
Bigger yet and the crux of Paul’s writing in 1 Corinthians 15 is the Resurrection.
Beyond what we read in God’s Word is the the proofs of this historical event. Yet many try to rationalize Jesus’ resurrection with concocted theories, theories like:
- He just fainted– Historical writings from folks who were not Christians- Josephus, Tacitus, Lucian- all say he died. But let’s assume he DID pass out. How did he muster the strength to get the stone out of the way… with a guard right there? How did he get out of his grave clothes? Being buried in the Jewish custom was quite the ordeal- tightly wrapped cloths with spices. Remember when Lazarus was raised by Jesus? Jesus told people to help Lazarus get out of the grave clothes. And how about the blood and water out of Jesus side? This isn’t just a biblical account, but Roman account. Blood and water- a biological sign of death.
- Someone stole his body– The death penalty was waiting for a Roman soldier to be sleeping on the job so there was no way the disciples snuck by the guard. But if they were sleeping, which makes no sense, how did the soldiers know who stole the body? Finally, how long does a story stay the same from one person to another, from one year to another…and to what extent would you defend it? Think about it- the disciples stole the body and told everyone that Jesus was alive….and they died various deaths while defending the story.
- Just an illusion/hallucination– Fear and anxiety are not medically good for seeing things. Being excited? Anticipating? YES. Makes no sense. How did the disciples all see the same thing, at the same time but also at other times? There is no such thing as a group hallucination.
Why talk about these proofs? Our schools are all about Jesus. We believe in this Jesus of the Bible but we also know the historical Jesus. He’s not a fictional character. He’s real and he’s alive. As we share Jesus, we can be confident in Him and all he has and continues to do for us. We need to be versed in defense of the faith. We need to know all about this Friend of Sinners. While our programs must be be strong, when all is said and done, our schools are all about Jesus. A blessed Holy Week to you.