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Reflections on the Resurrection

David Shin


David Shin

Pastor, Hillside O'Malley Seventh-Day Adventist Church in Anchorage, AK



  • March 31, 2018
    11:30 AM
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On the screen I have a picture of the theologian and New Testament scholar Rudolf Boltzmann he lived in the early 1900 and was instrumental in framing liberal Christianity and liberal thought and he was so seminal in his thinking that when I took historical theology in my graduate studies one of the individuals that I had to study extensively was Rudolf Boltzmann what Rudolf built Boltzmann was struggling with was the tension between Scripture and science and this quotation that I have on the screen exemplifies the core tenet of Rudolph both men's teaching we cannot use electric lights and radios and in the event of illness avail ourselves of modern medical and clinical means and at the same time believe in the spirit and wonder of the world of the New Testament what Rudolph belt MN is essentially saying is we can't enjoy all of these modern technological advances and. And technology and reading the New Testament this same way and so Rudolph both men went through this process of reinterpreting Scripture through a different lens and every Miracle such as the resurrection or the virgin birth would be reinterpreted from not a legendary standpoint or I should say would be reinterpreted as a legendary story rather than and historical one. He was an ex a stench alist which means that he viewed especially in this case scriptures through the lens of experience and so the resurrection was reinterpreted not as a real physical manifestation but something to reveal the experience of us are rising to a new life and this was the process that he called the myth the lies ation and I have summarized for us on the screen the core tenets of what Rudolf Bultmann believed in respect to the resurrection the physical resurrection did not happen modern man cannot be reasonably asked to believe in the miracle of the resurrection before becoming a Christian and the resurrection is merely a symbolic restatement of the message of the cross and essentially adds nothing to it the resurrection must be deemed missal law used to reveal the true Christian message now for the record so there's no misunderstanding here I respectfully disagree with Rudolf Bultmann However we must acknowledge that there is a struggle to grapple with the relationship between science and Scripture how do we deal with the historicity of the resurrection and here Rudolf both men approached it in this way of approaching scripture from an axis tensional standpoint now who cares what I believe Let's go to the Scriptures and see whether the historicity of the resurrection is essential for the Christian message. This is a part of our scripture reading or the same chapter from our scripture reading and 1st Corinthians Chapter 15 verses 14 through 19 same chapter as our scripture reading 1st Corinthians Chapter 15 verses 14 through 19 and if Christ is not risen then our preaching is what is empty and your faith is also empty Yes and we are found false witnesses of God because we have testified of God that he raised up Christ whom he did not raise up if in fact the dead do not rise or if the dead do not rise then Christ is not risen and if Christ is not risen then your faith is few tie and you are still in your sins then also those who have fallen asleep in Christ have perished if in this life only we have hope in Christ we of all men are most pit bull I have another translation here on the screen that really encapsulate the the the way that Paul is portraying the historicity of the resurrection for me and it says and if Christ has not been raised then our preaching is worthless and so is your faith in that case we are also exposed as false witnesses about God What Paul is establishing here in 1st Corinthians Chapter 15 is that if the physical literal resurrection of Jesus did not happen then the whole Christian faith is a fallacy it crumbles the history a city of the resurrection is essential for the Christian faith. To be a viable intellectual concept with integrity the historicity of the resurrection is something that all of the early apostles believed and in fact were willing to give their lives for now I want to very quickly this morning go through 3 points of evidence for me that has given me some foundation for understanding the resurrection from an intellectual standpoint of you here it is very quickly evidence for the resurrection number one the empty tomb if the tomb had been occupied it would not have been convincing in the least to preach the resurrection of Jesus now mind you both the Jews and Romans were aware of the location of the tomb. And it would have been very easy as the 1st century Christians are going around saying Jesus is not dead he is risen for the religious leaders who are trying to stop Christianity to simply point out look just go to Jesus is tomb it is not empty it is occupied with the body of Jesus this would have been a very easy response or polemic to the Christian message of the resurrection that was being preached in the book of Acts matter of fact the earliest polemic against Christianity is found in Matthew chapter $28.00 verse $11.15 and you'll notice that this polemic presupposes the empty tomb. This is the religious leaders speaking to the Roman soldiers you are to say his disciples came during the night and stole him away while we were asleep and this story has been widely circulated among the Jews to this very day in other words they are trying to explain the phenomenon of the empty tomb they do not deny it they do not say the tomb is occupied they do not say that Jesus is body is in the tomb they say look they're trying to explain why the tomb is empty and they say you are to say that the disciples came and stole the body away Jesus is the most notable figure in human history and yet there is no body Buddhist to occupy Muhammad's tomb occupied Jesus is tomb is empty. Now another thing that scholars have done in looking at the literature specifically in reference to the resurrection is that the story lacks a legendary embellish Mint What does that mean in other words if you're going to make up a story you're going to make it up in the most embellish or should I say the most convincing manner possible you're not going to leave in things that are not going to give it credence or viability the story lacks legendary embellishment for example the empty tomb was discovered by women. Now we need to understand that in the 1st century women were not considered to be a credible witness So if you're going to tell a story that is false that is going to be convincing you're not going to have women that are going to find the empty tomb. Now here are a few resources that tell us the mindset of the 1st century Let not the testimony of women be admitted on the account of their levity and boldness of their sex we've come a long way praise God Here is another one this was the daily prayer of every Jewish man included in the benediction was blessed that are you Lord our God ruler of the universe who has not created me a woman and William Lane Craig makes this comment if the emptied tomb story was a legend then it was most likely that the female disciples would not have been made the 1st to discover the empty tomb it lacks legendary in Balash Mint D.H. Van De Haan says this It is extremely difficult to object to the empty tomb on historical grounds and those who deny it do so on the basis of theological our philosophical assumptions now the prominent rebuttal to the empty tomb for those that cannot get around to his to receive any of this fact is the Jewish polemic that the disciples came during the night and stole away the body now even if that was possible because you remember it was sealed with the Roman seal into the penalty of death and they had Roman soldiers around it now let's say the disciples were able to break in and take the body away we need to recognize that all of the disciples except for the apostle John died in martyr's death Peter according to history was baptized not baptized was crucified upside down now the plausibility of these men being willing to die a martyr is death. All the while knowing that all of the claims in reference to the Messiah was based on a lie because they had indeed stolen the body does not seem plausible it seems more like an ad hoc response to the phenomenon of the empty tomb So number one the empty tomb Number 2 is the post mortem appearances and we that read this in our scripture reading and I want to invite you to turn with me there again let's go to 1st Corinthians Chapter 15 verses 3 through 8 and here Paul is establishing to the New Testament church I witness accounts of those that have actually seen 1st hand the appearance of Jesus post-mortem 1st Corinthians Chapter 15 verses 3 through 8 fry delivered to you 1st of all that which I also received that Christ died for our sins according to the Scriptures and that he was buried and that he rose again the 3rd day according to the Scriptures and then he goes through a list of individuals that have seen Jesus and he was seen by Seafish that is Peter then by the 12 after that he was seen by over 500 brother and at once of whom the greater part remain to the present but some have fallen asleep let's stop right there Paul says he was seen by the apostles he was seen by Peter and by the 12 and then this is the only place in the Bible that indicate the number 500. 500 people had seen Jesus after the resurrection alive and Paul says that they are alive with us to this day some of them are but some have fallen asleep now the the critics of this account have put forth the hypothesis that yes the disciples believed that Jesus was raised from the dead but they were all hallucinating now for me it seems plausible that maybe one or 2 or maybe 10 people were hallucinating but 500 that's like saying for the individuals that witnessed the falling of the Twin Towers eyewitnesses were all hallucinating it does not seem plausible but then Paul goes on in this is very interesting in verse 7 after that he was seen by James then by all the Apostles this individual James is a notable figure because the Bible indicates that this is not James the brother of John he is included in the previous account of the Apostles This is James the brother of Jesus. We can see references to this in Chapter one Verse 19 Paul says James the Lord's brother. Later on James would become a prominent figure next chapter 15 James Randi Jerusalem counts Council and we know that this was not the James the brother of John because James the brother of John was beheaded by Herrod earlier on he was the 1st Christian martyr James the brother of Jesus and the Bible points out in March chapter 3 and John Chapter 7 that Jesus's brothers did not believe in Him No kidding would you believe your brother the same brother you went to elementary school and play in the sandbox with perhaps you saw him in diapers depending on your age difference you see this brother you go all the way through high school and suddenly becomes 30 years of age and he goes around saying I am the Son of God What would you think about that vitae brother that believe that I'd be like you're insane I mean I know you like who do you think you are I mean come on you're the son of God I mean no kidding we can't blame the Jesus brothers for not believing in him and yet we see that in Acts Chapter one Verse 14 after the resurrection Jesus is brothers are in the upper room James this brother becomes a believer of Jesus now it would take a miraculous phenomenon for a brother of Jesus to accept him as the Son of God wouldn't it for you it would take a miracle it would take something that would blow me away and here in 1st Corinthians Chapter 15. Paul points out that Jesus appeared alive after he had been crucified to James the brother of Jesus do you think that made an impact it made an impact he believed that Jesus was God incarnate James the brother of the Lord and this is a higher critic a skeptic New Testament critic Hans Grosse admits that the conversion of James is the surest proof or one of the surest proofs of the resurrection of Jesus how do we explain it the resurrection of Jesus and the conversion of genes number 3 very quickly evidence for the resurrection philosophers have grappled with the origins of Christianity and N.T. right in his book The resurrection of the Son of God has the most sophisticated development of this point that the history city of Jesus's empty tomb and the post-mortem appearances is the basis of the origin of the disciples belief in the resurrection the most plausible argument to me as a believer is that the disciples actually believed that Jesus had risen from the dead and that the tomb was actually empty that is the most reasonable and rational argument that can explain the Christian phenomenon how these men would go all over the Roman Empire proclaiming that Jesus is risen How else could we explain that and the willingness to die a martyr is death unless they really believed it and William Lane Craig says this the origin of Christianity owes itself to the belief of the earliest disciples that God had raised Jesus from the dead. Now if you're pricing David those 3 points they're nice they give some evidence but there's still the possibility of doubt isn't there now there is this quotation from the book steps of Christ and by the way if you have not read this book I highly recommend it I try to read it every single year just a little pamphlet but yes practical guidelines for Christianity and this one has to do with faith I believe that in the Christian experiences as we are thinking about our faith there comes times when we have to be challenged with doubt what do we do with these questions that we have no answers for what is the relationship between faith and evidence this gives a insightful point steps to Christ page one o 6 God never asks us to believe without giving sufficient evidence on which to base our faith his existence his character the truthfulness of His Word are all established by testimony that appeals to our reason and this testimony is abundant yet gone has never remove the possibility of doubt our faith must rest upon evidence not demonstration those who wish to doubt will have plenty of opportunity while those who really desire to know the truth will find will find plenty of evidence on which to rest their faith what is she saying for analogy this is the weight of evidence the evidence is abundant the evidence of appeals to our reason and God never asks us to believe without giving evidence on which to base our faith God never asked you and me to have faith and turn our brains off. He appeals to our minds and to our reason God says here is the evidence the bridge of evidence comes out it is rational it is reasonable it is plausible it appeals to our minds and thinking individuals it comes out but it doesn't come all the way out you still have to jump there is still room for doubt so faith is that leap but it's based on reason it's based on evidence look all of us in order to exist without going insane have to live by faith every time you go out to eat and you have someone a complete stranger in the back room that you have never met you have not done a background check you don't know their history they're in an in a room in the back in many times you don't even see them and they bring out a plate of food and without a thought you put that in your house. And you swallow it. And you keep eating. Now somewhere and you come to you and say Look do you have certainty about that food have you done an investigation do you have doubts Well you can go crazy you base it on faith in the word of Olive Garden. Or McDonald's or Taco Bell a corporation really every time you get on a plane takes faith have you gone outside and kick those tires have you asked for the F A A requirement checklist to see if they've done maintenance on that plane yet every single year I see people in this congregation getting on a plane. By faith. In Alaska Airlines. We live by faith now there is evidence there is credibility we place our faith on evidence and that's why you can eat that food that's why you can get on that plane but there is not absolute certainty if you want to doubt you can go crazy and these philosophers like Descartes began to doubt his own existence that was the thing that he was grappling with and finally came to the conclusion I think therefore I am I mean this is the way that we go if you want to doubt you can doubt but here is credibility and God gives us evidence now there is evidence for the resurrection it appeals to our minds it appeals to our reason is there the possibility of doubt absolutely none of us were there but I am telling you that from a philosophical historical and theological perspective that it is not irrational to believe in the resurrection. He was after 11 verse one Now faith is the substance of things from hope for the evidence of things not seen one read a quote very quickly as we begin to wrap up there is an evidence that is open to all the most highly educated the most illiterate the evidence of experience God invites us to prove for ourselves the reality of his word the truth of his promises he bids us taste in see that the Lord is good now for me outside of the intellectual philosophical evidence for the resurrection that I've just gone through and there's a lot more brilliant individuals that have done some great work on this in the evangelical community for me this gives. Experience will evidence of the resurrection and look at the the concept that Paul is bringing forth in Romans Chapter 6 or as for just as Christ was raised in the dead through the glory of the Father we too may walk in the newness of life what is Paul doing here he's grounding the transformation of a person in the resurrection that's what he's doing so that when you and I experience conversion and we go from death to life we can have faith experience surely in the veracity and the authenticity of the resurrection every time you see someone converted you can believe in the resurrection the reality of the resurrection Paul is grounding our own transformation in the resurrection I have a picture on the screen of Danielle. She says in her testimony that she felt that she was dying on the inside and that's the way that she by she presented herself in this way she became suicidal was living a certain type of lifestyle and she said that she had experienced really come to one of the lowest moments in her life she met Jesus experienced transformation and was baptized this friends to me is evidence of the resurrection I meant every time you see someone's life changed I think of Tony poesy sitting in jail and he's looking for something more than this life has to offer comes across Steve Steen Meyer discover Bible school. Has a transformation a resurrection of New Life gets baptized here at the hillside O'Malley church couple months after I get here I had nothing to do with it I just saw the privilege of baptizing him and open your quarterly for this quarter his story is in our quarterly and now he's going to Bible school to be a minister the transformation that we see in people's lives every time you see someone before Christ and after Christ and you're like whoa what happened to this person you can know that the resurrection is a reality Amen and that Jesus is not day he's risen and the same power that rose Jesus from the dead works in you and me to transform and to make us more like him praise God for the reality of the historicity and the rationality of the resurrection experience surely Romans Chapter 6 verse for justice Christ was raised from the dead through the glory of the Father we too may walk in the newness of life praise God Olive and there may be someone here that is in possible situation a relationship a habit or addiction you're in a situation that takes the intervention of God There is no human answer and you need resurrection. And you want to say Lord I need help. He's looking for there's someone here today last week eyes are close I want to say Lord. I need help I want to raise your hand with me to the Lord. Please give me that resurrection power I need help in this particular situation in my life I need a miracle of god father you see these hands me answer each request according to your perfect will we thank you then when we call you answer and we thank you for the power that raised Christ from the dead to the glory of the father who helped us to live a new life in a price for the sky Yes these things in Jesus' name. This media was brought to you by audio 1st a website dedicated to spreading God's word through free sermon audio and much more if you would like to know more about audio verse if you would like to listen to more sermons leader Visit W W W audio verse or.


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