“Everything hinges on the resurrection.”
“This is the lynch-pin; this is the one bit of key evidence that determines whether Jesus was a fraud or mistaken, or was he in fact the unique Son of God.”
Those are the words of former atheist Lee Strobel. When he set out to investigate the truth about Jesus Christ and four facts convinced him that Jesus was raised from the dead.
“Jesus was executed. He was dead.”
The fact that Jesus was executed on a cross is indisputable among scholars.
“One atheist scholar in particular named Gerd Ludemann says ‘Jesus’ death as a consequence of crucifixion is indisputable.’”
“We have, preserved for us, a report about the resurrection of Jesus that dates back to within months of his death.”
This report shares why Jesus died, that he was raised and the specific names of eye witness and groups of eye witnesses to whom Christ appeared.
“That report is embedded in 1 Corinthians 15 starting in verse 3.”
“That report is a news flash from ancient history, too quick to write off as merely legend.”
“Even the opponents of Jesus implicitly conceded that the tomb of Jesus was empty. Nobody was claiming otherwise.”
“Most of ancient history we know is based on one or two sources.”
“However, we have no fewer than nine ancient sources both inside and outside the New Testament confirming and corroborating their conviction that they encountered the risen Christ. That is an avalanche of historical data.”
The case for the resurrection of Jesus Christ as historical fact is clear and compelling.
“This is historically reliable. The evidence of history points toward this conclusion, if you keep an open mind and you’re willing to consider the possibility that God does exist.”
What about some of the so-called contradictions of the Gospel accounts?
“A historian looks at the differences and is not bothered by them, because people report things from different perspectives, some people may mention one person and not another and so that doesn’t bother us. As a historian, you look at the core of the story and see that it’s consistent through all of Scripture.”
Lee Strobel is an Atheist-turned-Christian, former award-winning legal editor at The Chicago Tribune and a New York Times best-selling author of more than twenty books. He currently serves as Professor of Christian Thought at Houston Baptist University and a Teaching Pastor at Woodlands Church, one of the largest congregations in the country.
Key Scripture: 1 Peter 3:15
Featured Songs: The Lion and the Lamb – Leeland; No Wonder – River Valley; God’s Not Done – River Valley