Journal Entry ~ 09/24/19
If the Spirit of him who raised Jesus from the dead dwells in you, he who raised Christ Jesus from the dead will also give life to your mortal bodies through his Spirit who dwells in you. - Romans 8:11
One doesn't need to believe in the reliability of scripture to believe in the recorded appearances of Jesus after He rose from the dead. Again, there are over 500 documented sightings in the historical documents of the time - these are documents written by impartial people who recorded events. They were not Christians, so there was no biased information in their written records - in other words, they were not proving Jesus was the Messiah, they were simply recording what people claimed.
So, if there were sightings of Jesus after His death, what are the explanations for such a thing? The people who saw him were lying, they were crazy and hallucinating, or Jesus was resurrected from the dead. I just don't believe they were lying - 10 of the disciples were recorded in the historical documents as dying horrible deaths because of their testimony that Jesus was resurrected from the dead. That means they would have died for a lie.
There are cases in history where people died for a lie - cults such as the People's Temple in Jonestown, where some 900 people "drank the Kool-aid" for a lie...but the difference was those people believed the lie as truth. They didn’t think they were lying. They were lied to by their leader, but they all believed their leader to be telling them the truth.
In the disciples case, they would have all been dying for a lie they knew was a lie...and I just find that too hard to believe. To be willingly tortured and to die a brutal death for what they knew was a lie just doesn't seem like a reasonable explanation. All they needed to do was deny the resurrection or tell the "truth" and their pain and suffering would end. To die a martyr so that others would follow Jesus only makes sense if they knew beyond a shadow of a doubt that He was the Messiah. Why would they die knowingly trying to convince the world that Jesus was the Messiah when they knew he was nothing more than an ordinary man? It doesn't make sense.
To further that point, 10 of His disciples offered their lives for the lie. It doesn’t make sense for one man to do it, but 10? 10 men were willingly tortured and killed for their belief that Jesus rose from the dead. For the record, many others went to their death for claiming the resurrection than just 10, but these are the most famous deaths, and they are recorded in multiple historical sources.
So, if lying isn't an explanation, then they must be crazy or hallucinating. This explanation doesn't hold water with me for two reasons: there were 500 of them and the accounts include physical interactions with Jesus. Perhaps 1 person could have been excused away as crazy, but I don't buy that all 500 saw the same hallucination. Hallucinations are associated with just seeing something - these accounts include Jesus eating with and touching the 500 people. 500 people aren't all crazy at once. And again, many of them died for saying they saw him. If it wasn't true, one of those 500 would have cracked.
Jesus rose from the dead and appeared to over 500 people after He rose from the dead. Without a shadow of a doubt, He is the Messiah.
Press on ~ you are loved 💗
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