RAP SHEET 5/8/22
Series: Know God?
Sermon: No Body?
Scripture: 1 Corinthians 15
ICE BREAKER: Would you rather ONLY watch Hallmark romantic comedies or ONLY watch action/adventures movies anytime you turn the TV on for the rest of your life?
This week we continued our KNOW GOD series. In week 1, we laid out arguments for Theism - the belief in God. This week, we looked at the Resurrection of Jesus to see if that God is, in fact, the God of Christianity.
The vast majority of scholars believe in these 10 facts:
Jesus died by Roman crucifixion.
He was buried, most likely in a private tomb.
Soon afterwards the disciples were discouraged, bereaved, and despondent, having lost hope.
Jesus’ tomb was found empty very soon after his burial.
The disciples had experiences that they believed were actual appearances of the risen Jesus.
Due to these experiences, the disciples’ lives were thoroughly transformed - they even died for their belief.
The proclamation of the resurrection took place very early, from the beginning of church history.
The early public testimony and preaching of the Resurrection took place in the city of Jerusalem, where Jesus had been crucified and buried shortly before
The gospel message centered on the preaching of the death and resurrection of Jesus.
James, the brother of Jesus, and Paul, who persecuted the Christians, came to belief in Jesus after experiencing an appearance of Him.
The question is, what best explains these facts? At Meta, we believe the actual resurrection of Jesus is the best explanation! We looked at three key facts to make our case:
The first thing we must contend with is the MISSING BODY. Jesus died, was buried, and then that tomb was found empty. We saw that the followers of Jesus were shocked by the empty tomb. They did not believe Jesus was going to physically rise again - that was not a part of their Jewish custom AT ALL!
The writers of the New Testament also reported honestly, not in a mythical style of writing. They even faithfully reported that it was women who found the tomb in a society where women were not seen as credible witnesses. If they were trying to fake a story, women would not be found in the account. Adding to that, there are non-biblical, non-Christian writers who also attested to reports of the empty grave, like the historian Josephus.
The second compelling fact is the MEETINGS Jesus had with hundreds of people after his resurrection. Even secular historians will admit that people genuinely believed they experienced appearances of Jesus. This fact MUST be explained somehow and, as we saw, ideas like the HALLUCINATION THEORY simply fall short.
To review just one example, James the brother of Jesus went from an antagonist of Jesus to a sold-out believer all because of a post-resurrection appearance. Even historian Josephus tells us that James gave his life for his belief that his big brother was the son of God!
Last, we looked at the MOVEMENT! How this movement started, grew, and continues to this day is beyond shocking. Perhaps the best evidence the Jesus truly walked out of the grave is that we are a part of the movement that moment started 2000 years ago on the other side of world.
Why does it matter to have a reasoned faith in regards to the resurrection?
Why do you think so many people are unwilling to even consider a supernatural explanation?
When you reflect on the resurrection, what does it mean to you personally (or what does it make you feel)?
If you believe the resurrection really happened, in what ways should it change the way you are currently living? (more faith, less worry, more confidence, quicker to share your faith, etc.)
Thank God for raising Jesus all those years ago and express your gratitude that Jesus was willing to die in the first place. Ask for guidance living your fullest life in light of the resurrection.