Going Deeper with the Message:
Evidence of the Risen King
by: Andrew Archer
Every Spring hundreds of millions of people all over the world celebrate Easter—the holiday in which we remember Christ’s death, burial, and resurrection. Now, for some this may seem foolish, and they may ask the questions: why does it matter and why should I believe it even happened? On Sunday, Pastor Tim covered why Jesus’ resurrection matters, so I wanted to help answer why we should believe it did.
Sir Lionel Luckhoo, the late Guyanese politician, diplomat, and attorney who holds the world record for the most consecutive defense murder trial acquittals with 245, said this about the resurrection of Jesus: “I have spent more than 42 years as a defense trial lawyer…and I say unequivocally the evidence for the Resurrection of Jesus Christ is so overwhelming that it compels acceptance by proof which leaves absolutely no room for doubt.”
So what evidence is there? Today, I want to share three pieces of evidence that attest to the historicity of the resurrection of Jesus.
• Early accounts of Jesus’ life and resurrection
When looking at ancient texts, one of the key factors in determining their reliability is their proximity to the events they described. The closer something is written to what it is describing, the better. Everyone knows and accepts Alexander the Great and the events surrounding his life as fact. However, the earliest sources of his life that we have are over 300 years after his death. Compare that to Jesus. The Gospel accounts are dated from 40-65 years after his death. The accounts of the life of Jesus are much closer than that of Alexander the Great. Even more so, Bart Ehrman, one of the world’s leading biblical scholars and a skeptic of Christianity, dates part of 1 Corinthians 15 that describes the resurrection within a year of Jesus’ death!
• Women at the tomb
In the time of Jesus, women had very few rights. One that stands out to me is that their word was not considered reliable testimony in court. This is intriguing because if you know the story of the resurrection you know that the first people to see the risen Jesus are women. Not only that but they are the ones who go and tell the other disciples what they have seen. If the story of the resurrection was made up, the conspirators would have never made this a part of the story.
There were many people who claimed to be eyewitnesses of the resurrected Jesus. Their word should not be taken lightly. These were not people who profited from telling others what they had seen—it was, in fact, the opposite. Many of these people were killed for what they were professing, and all they had to do to avoid that was renounce their faith. No reasonable person would allow themselves to be killed for a lie.
This is by no means an exhaustive list. Scholars have dedicated their careers to studying and communicating the evidence that points to the reliability of the resurrection of Jesus. I would encourage you to do some digging to see why people are so convinced this happened and also to consider the question, if it is true, what does that mean for you?
“And if Christ has not been raised, then our proclamation is in vain, and so is your faith.”
1 Corinthians 15:14
Living out the Message:
King of Kings
By Barb Barnhart, Preschool Coordinator
I have been blessed to spend most of my adult life working with young children. Some of you are probably asking, what does this have to do with Jesus being the King of Kings? Pastor Tim shared the scripture from Luke 22.
“Then a dispute also arose among them about who should be considered the greatest. But He said to them, “The kings of the Gentiles dominate them, and those who have authority over them are called ‘Benefactors.’ But it must not be like that among you. On the contrary, whoever is greatest among you must become like the youngest, and whoever leads, like the one serving.“
A king is often seen as being one with power and authority over all. This is definitely not the best kind of King! The best kind of Kings are those who have power and authority but who don’t want to use it for themselves. Jesus is the King of Kings, the Servant of all.
Now, back to the youngest! The thirty-plus years I have spent with young children has shown me the example of serving others. Most people think children just want to be served, but in reality children love to serve. They do it without pretense or having to be rewarded for it. They serve out of the love in their hearts.
An observation I have made is that children with disabilities are conduits for love and service. Young children are children that love to care for one another. They will sit and hand their friend one cheerio at a time so that their friend won’t choke. They will proudly help push their friend’s wheelchair down the hallway to get where they need. Young children are the epitome of serving.
My question to you is can you serve like a little child? This week, serve one another. It is the example this world needs of the King of Kings, the Servant of all.
“For who is greater, the one at the table or the one serving? Isn’t it the one at the table? But I am among you as the One who serves.” Luke 22: 27