The Certainty and The Proof
By Jim Searcy
We should study the proofs of the Resurrection. The more we study
While the literal bodily resurrection of Jesus Christ is the strength
of Christian doctrine, it is also the MOST SOLID FACT of Christian
evidence. It is the certain DOWNFALL and destruction of the atheists,
unbelievers, skeptics, and damnable heretics. Because the Scriptural
assertions of Christ's resurrection can be established as historic
certainties, the claims and doctrines of Christianity rest upon the
MOST SOLID foundation. The devil and all his demonically empowered
heretics know, if the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead
cannot be established, Christianity must go.
By comparison to the Resurrection, it is a waste of time discussing
the other miracles, with the faithless unbeliever and heretic. The
essential question is, Did Jesus Christ rise from the dead? Because
if He did, it will be very easy to believe the other miracles; but if
not, the other miracles become pointless.
Are the statements contained in the four Gospels regarding the
resurrection of Jesus Christ statements of fact or are they fiction,
fables, myths? That is the central question to which EVERY person
MUST KNOW the answer. The strength of the Christian or Messianic
faith is established by the proof and how fully persuaded one is,
regarding this MOST important doctrine of the resurrection of the Son
of God. We MUST KNOW the proof that the statements contained in the
four Gospels regarding the resurrection of Jesus Christ are exact
statements of historic fact.
We should all be thankful to God that the external proofs of the
authenticity and truthfulness of the Gospels are so overwhelming.
What is so beautiful is that the child, or brand new believer, may
grab hold of the Gospel truth so simply and quickly and solidly by
FAITH. But there are other proofs too, that are so completely
overwhelming and convincing, that cause rejoicing in our faith most
solidly founded upon God's integrity.
Suppose we see what happens if we try to have a look at our wonderful
faith from the position of the heretic, scoffer, agnostic, or
unbeliever. Let us not assume anything. We will assume absolutely
nothing. We will start out with a fact, which we all know to be a
fact, namely, that we have the four Gospels today, regardless whoever
wrote them and whenever they were written. We will look at these four
Gospels side by side, and see if we can discern in them the marks of
truth or of fiction.
The first thing we see as we compare these Gospels is that they are
four separate and independent accounts. This is obvious from the
apparent discrepancies in the four different accounts, and there are
many of these apparent discrepancies. It would be impossible for
these four accounts to have been made up in collusion with one
another, or to have been derived from one another, with so many
obvious discrepancies to be found in them. There is harmony between
the four accounts, but the harmony is not readily apparent on the
surface. The harmony is only seen by continuing, lasting, lifelong,
never-ending, persistent, prolonged, and thorough study.
It is exactly such a harmony as could only come from accounts written
or related by several different persons, each looking at the events
recorded from his own standpoint. It is precisely such a harmony as
would not exist in four accounts if manufactured in collusion, or
derived one from the other. If four accounts were put together in a
scheme or conspired plan, any sort of harmony would appear on the
surface. Whatever discrepancy there might be would not be obvious but
would be seen only by careful study. The four Gospels are exactly the
opposite. Harmony is only seen by diligent careful study, and the
apparent discrepancy is obvious.
Whether true or false, intellectual honesty requires the ONLY
conclusion that these four accounts are separate and independent from
one another. Of course we understand that the four accounts also
supplement one another, the third account sometimes reconciling
apparent discrepancies between two.
These accounts must be either a record of facts that actually
occurred or else fictions. If fictions, they must have been
fabricated either by collusion or independently of one another. They
cannot have been fabricated independently of one another; because,
the agreements are too solid and there are way too many that one
could honestly think they could possibly have been fabricated.
It is absolutely astonishing. The more one studies the more obvious
is the impossibility that four persons sitting down to write an
account of what never occurred independently of one another should
have made their stories agree to the extent that these do. On the
other hand, they cannot have been fiction, in conspiracy with one
another; because, the apparent discrepancies are too numerous and too
obvious. However the inevitable conclusion of study is that the
discrepancies are only apparent and the truth is in perfect harmony
of TRUTH, simply and accurately recorded. Alleluia.
Since it is proven they could not have been made up independently of
one another. And since it is proven they were not made up in
collusion with one another. Then the only intellectually honest
conclusion is that that they were not made up at all. Yes, that is
the ONLY studied conclusion possible, that they are a true account of
facts as they actually occurred. And there is more.
Every one of these accounts bears compelling and remarkable
indications of having been eyewitness accounts. The account of an eye-
witness is easily distinguished from the account of one who is
retelling or giving hearsay accounts of what others have told him.
Any one who deals with evidence in court or in historical study soon
learns how to distinguish the report of an eyewitness from mere
hearsay evidence. Study of the Gospel records of the resurrection
will quickly show many marks of the eyewitness. Any one who carefully
reads the Gospels will conclude that the Gospels are eyewitness
accounts and not hearsay.
The Gospel narratives are so natural, straightforward, and simple.
Even though the Gospels are relating events that are supernatural,
the accounts themselves are very natural, simple, and direct. There
is no coloring or anything but the simple, straightforward telling of
facts as they actually were observed to happen. The certainty of the
evidence presented by the four different eyewitnesses Gospel accounts
are astonishing in simplicity and directness. Yet the four
independent witnesses, being so simple and direct about the same
facts, with the only variation seen in the details, one adding what
the other missed, with the third witness reconciling the apparent
discrepancies, can lead to only one conclusion. TRUTH. And such truth
would require the inspiration of the INFINITELY capable Holy Spirit
of Truth to work through four different eyewitnesses.
The four writers of the Gospel accounts of the resurrection of Christ
do not seem to have been at all concerned about the meaning or
bearing of many of the facts that they recorded. They simply tell
right out what they saw in all simplicity and straightforwardness,
leaving to others the comprehension, explanation, or interpretation.
The simplicity, plainness, and unsophisticated manner of the four
accounts of the first appearance of Jesus after His crucifixion, is
astonishing. The simplicity alone emphasizes the essentially pure,
truth of these resurrection accounts.
Suppose we found four accounts of the battle of Gettysburg, not
knowing anything about the authors of those four accounts. Then when
we laid them side by side, we found that they were obviously and
plainly and manifestly independent accounts. We also could tell that
they were from eyewitnesses. Let us say we found them all having that
straightforwardness and simplicity characteristic in eye-witness
accounts, while apparently disagreeing in minor details, yet they
agreed substantially in their overall account of the battle. Even
though we had no idea of who wrote the accounts, or when the accounts
were written, without any other accounts, then one would conclude
that we have a true account of the battle of Gettysburg. This is
exactly the same situation with the four Gospel accounts of the
The four accounts are obviously separate and independent from one
another, bearing the clear marks of having been derived from eye
witnesses, characterized by an astonishing simplicity and
straightforwardness, apparently disagreeing in minor details, but in
perfect agreement as to the great central facts recorded. If we are
intellectually honest, if we follow the rules of evidence followed in
court, if we follow the principles of honest literary or historical
criticism, one can NOT avoid the conclusion that this is a true
account of the resurrection of Jesus. Yet there is more regarding the
evidence and proof of the resurrection of Jesus from the dead.
There is quite obvious yet unintentional evidence of words, phrases,
and accidental details about the fact of the Resurrection. Sometimes
the unintentional evidence of a witness in his phrases, and by
accidental details that he gives, can even be more convincing than
his direct testimony. That is because it is not the testimony of the
witness, but a testimony of the truth to itself. The Gospel accounts
abound in this sort of evidence.
There is the astonishing fact that in all the Gospel records of the
resurrection, we are given to understand that Jesus was not at first
recognized by His disciples, when He appeared to them after His
resurrection, like in Luke 24:16 and John 21:4. No explanation is
given for this. But when we think about it, we soon see why it was
so. But the Gospels simply record the fact, without attempting to
explain it. If the stories were made up or were fiction, they
certainly would never have been made up in this way. The writer
would have seen at once the objection that would arise in the minds
of those who did NOT wish to believe in His resurrection. Those who
did not want to believe, would be quick to say, it was not really
Jesus whom the disciples saw. Why then, is the story told in this
way? The reason is self-evident. The Gospel writers were not making
up a story for effect, but simply recording events precisely as they
occurred. This is just simply what happened. That is the ONLY reason
by the inspiration of the Spirit of Truth that this is the way in
which they told it. It is not a fabrication of imaginary incidents.
It quite simply and unavoidably is an exact record of facts
carefully observed and accurately recorded.
Consider also that in all the Gospel records of the appearances of
Jesus after His resurrection, there is not a single recorded
appearance to an enemy or opponent of Christ. All His appearances
were to those who were already believers. Why this was so, should
also be obvious. However, why this is so is not found in any of the
Gospels. If the stories had been fabricated, they certainly would
never have been made up in this way. Just assume the Gospels were
made up, hundreds of years after the events recorded, when all the
people were dead and gone, and no one could stand against any lies
told. If that false assumption were true, then the fabrication would
certainly have had Jesus appear, and to confound some of His enemies
like Caiaphas, Pilate, or Herod. But there is nothing like this in
any of the Gospel records. Every appearance is to one who is already
a believer. It is obvious why this is so. It can only be that it
simply was the way that things happened, and the Gospel records are
not concerned with producing a story for any effect. The Gospel
accounts of the Resurrection are simply and obviously only concerned
with recording the events precisely and exactly as they happened.
This is just how simple, honest, eyewitnesses saw and recorded what
they saw actually happen.
We should also notice the fact that the recorded appearances of
Jesus after His resurrection were only occasional. He would appear
in the midst of His disciples and disappear. He might not be seen
again perhaps for several days. Why He did this was to gradually
prepare them for His ascension to take His seat at the Fathers right
hand in the highest throne in the third heaven. He was gently
preparing them for the separation from their old-time communion with
Him in the body, to prepare them for the communion with Himself in
the Spirit. Yet, still we are not told this in the Gospel records.
Yet, even those who do not know Jesus would see how obvious that
this fact is. All are left to figure it out for ourselves, and again
it is all the more significant for that reason. The disciples
themselves probably did not realize the meaning of this in those 40
days between the Resurrection and Ascension. If they had been making
up the story there is little doubt that they would have had Jesus as
being with them constantly, every day. Again, the obvious reason of
why the account is told as recorded in the four Gospels, is because
this is the way in which it had all occurred. The Gospel writers are
simply concerned with giving the exact record of the facts as
witnessed by themselves and others.
Did you ever think about the words of Jesus to Mary at their first
meeting, in John 20:17? Jesus said to Mary, "Touch me not, for I am
not yet ascended to My Father." We are not told why Jesus said this
to Mary. We are left to discover the reason for it, IF WE CAN. A lot
of common taters have had a tough time figuring it out. Why is this
short saying of Jesus put in the Gospel without a word of
explanation? Certainly a writer making up a story would not put in a
little detail like that without any obvious meaning and without any
attempt to explain it. Stories that are made up are made up for a
purpose. Details in fiction are inserted for a purpose, a purpose
more or less evident. However, in nearly twenty centuries of study
the best of the common taters have not been able to find out the
purpose why this was inserted. Lots of guesses, but nothing that
rings in my spirit by the Spirit of Truth. Why then do we find it in
the Gospel? Because this is exactly what happened. This is what
Jesus said; this is what Mary heard Jesus say; this is what Mary
told, and therefore this is what John recorded. Just some more very
strong proof that this can not be fiction. That little statement
proves an accurate historical record of fact. The only view
regarding the statement that should be beyond argument is that it
must be an accurate record of the words spoken by Jesus after His
Remember Peter and Johns footrace to the tomb? "So they ran both
together; and the other disciple did outrun Peter, and came first to
the sepulcher. And he, stooping down and looking in, saw the linen
clothes lying; yet went he not in. Then cometh Simon Peter following
him, and went into the sepulcher, and seeth the linen Clothes lie."
Mary had run to bring the bad news from the tomb, because she did
not know the good news. She cries, "They have taken away the Lord
out of the sepulcher, and we know not where they have laid Him."
John and Peter immediately ran as fast as they could run to the
tomb. John, is faster, he outran Peter, and reached the tomb first.
But as the younger and submitted and in respect of Peter did not
enter the tomb. Waiting for Peter's confirmation of what they should
do, John simply stooped down and looked in. Peter gets there as fast
as he can, and when he gets to the tomb, he has no hesitation and
goes directly into the tomb. This is the writing of a fisherman, and
it is simply not conceivable that it could be made up, it is simply
what happened. It would take someone with greater literary ability
than Shakespeare to make this up. This is simply how it was, just as
the the two fishermen saw and experienced it. If one visits the REAL
Tomb today, the tomb which scholars now know, as the real burial
place of Jesus, one will find oneself unconsciously stooped down
when looking in. Yes, it is a very real place, still there, and you
can, and will know its reality. It is amazing how its reality and
simplicity has been preserved.
The study of the Gospel accounts of those 40 days between the
Resurrection and Ascension is full of wonderful simple pure faith
building TRUTH. As soon as Mary saw the stone rolled away she ran to
tell the disciples Peter and John. She obviously went back after she
had run to tell Peter and John the bad news that she thought someone
had taken the body of the Lord. In John 20:15 Jesus saith unto her,
Woman, why weepest thou? whom seekest thou? She, supposing Him to be
the gardener, saith unto Him, Sir, if thou hast borne Him hence, tell
me where thou hast laid Him, and I will take Him away."
Mary had gone into the city and notified John and Peter that she had
found the sepulcher empty. Peter and John foot race to the tomb and
since Mary has already made the trip before, we know they are back at
the tomb way ahead of Mary's return. Mary is thinking bad news, she
was there Wednesday. She saw what John saw when the Centurion had
thrust the spear into His side, she too had seen the separated blood
AND water come out. NO MORE CERTAIN PROOF OF DEATH, ABSOLUTE PROOF
POSITIVE HIS HEART HAD BEEN PIERCED BY THAT SPEAR. All Mary can think
is the bad news she had to rush to tell Peter and John. She is not in
any sort of hurry like Peter and John were. Mary is making her
SECOND trip IN THE GRIEF AND DARKNESS OF SATURDAY NIGHT. YES SATURDAY
NIGHT MAKING HER SECOND TRIP TO THE EMPTY TOMB.
Mary has a heavy heart and her feet are dragging on this second
SATURDAY night trip to the tomb. Peter and John have left by the time
Mary gets there. She is full of grief thinking that not only has her
beloved Lord been killed on that cross Wednesday, but that now as
soon as she could possibly have gotten there when it got dark
SATURDAY, His tomb has been desecrated. She gets there this second
time in the darkness of Saturday night, before daylight of Sunday.
She stands outside of the tomb weeping. She see two angels sitting in
the tomb, one at the head and the other at the feet where the body of
Jesus had lain. But the grief-stricken woman has so much grief she
would not recognize an angel to be an angel. The angels say unto
her, "Woman, why weepest thou?" She says, "Because they have taken
away my Lord, and I know not where they have laid Him." She hears
something behind her in the darkness of Saturday night and she turns
around to see who is coming. She sees Jesus standing there, but, it
is still in the darkness of Saturday night and there is no daylight
of Sunday yet. In such darkness and grief, she does not recognize her
Lord. Then Jesus also says to her, "Why weepest thou? Whom seekest
thou?" She, supposing it to be the gardener who is talking to her,
says, "Sir, if thou hast borne Him hence, tell me where thou hast
laid Him and I will take Him away."
This is Mary who makes this offer, a weary woman full of grief. Here
is a woman loaded with grief, who probably had no sleep since she saw
her Lord be crucified on Wednesday. Mary is offering to carry a full
grown man away. Of course, she could not do it, but with such great
love and grief for her Lord she can not think of her weakness and the
impossibility of what she is saying. There is something that must be
done. There was the preparation of her Lord's dead body. That was the
reality that was consuming Mary's mind.
She handled her Lord's dead body on Wednesday. But, she could only
BEGIN, not even barely begin the preparation of His body on
Wednesday. Then Thursday, Nissan 15, was the Sabbath of Passover,
and she could not go to the tomb to finish the burial preparation.
Then Friday, Nissan 16, the Sabbath of the first day of Unleavened
Bread, and she could not go to the tomb to finish the burial
preparation. Then Saturday, the High Sabbath of the Feast of
Unleavened Bread, and she could not go to the tomb to finish the
burial. So now it is finally dark on Saturday.
Finally, it is dark Saturday, and she can go and finish this only
thing that consumed her mind since Wednesday Nissan 14. She has
probably not slept since she had to stop the burial preparations that
she could only begin to start on Wednesday. This preparation of the
body and proper burial has to be done and she says, "I will do
it," "Tell me where thou hast laid Him, and I will take Him away." A
fiction, NO WAY, this is reality. This is THE TRUTH, how it actually
As a fisherman I can tell you that if one was going to catch anything
with nets from the clear waters of the Sea of Galilee, it must be
done at night, especially almost 2000 years before monofilament
polymer line for nets. Results in the daylight will be zero, zip,
nada. In John 21:7 we read - Therefore, that disciple whom Jesus
loved saith to Peter, It is the Lord. Now when Simon Peter heard that
it was the Lord, he girt his fisher's coat unto him, (for he was
naked,) and did cast himself into the sea. Brethren this is a true
account. No fisherman likes to admit the truth of not catching
anything. That fisherman that the Lord loved was telling the truth.
The Apostles had gone to Galilee. The Lord had told them to go there
and that He would meet them there. Once the fishermen are back in
Galilee what better way to pass the time till the Lord meets with
them. Simon Peter, and all fishermen understand this passion,
says, "I go a-fishing." The others are fishermen too and say, "We
also go with thee."
All fishermen are liars except me, and you, and John. Yup, I am not
sure about you either. But there is not any doubt in my mind, John
was telling the truth; because, he said they caught nothing. In the
early dawn Jesus is on the shore, near where they are wrapping up
their fishless night's effort. There is not much daylight and the
fishermen did not recognize Him. Then Jesus calls to them, "Children,
have ye any meat?" And they answer, "No." He tells them to cast the
net on the right side of the ship and they will find. WHAT A
FANTASTIC FISHING GUIDE – if you are a fisherman you got to love
Jesus. Uncharacteristic of professional fishermen unless they have
been humbled by long effort with no fish, they just do what He said.
WHAT A FISHING GUIDE. Alleluia, they have such a huge catch they were
not able to draw it, their net is loaded with fishes. John says, "It
is the Lord." Peter, is already moving as soon as he hears John,
grabbing his fisher's coat he covers his naked body and throws
himself overboard and swims for shore to reach his Lord.
Is this fiction or real? Brethren, this is real. Fishermen do not
like to put it in writing even if it is true that they caught no
fish. When the fisherman writes the story he will tell you about the
big one that got away, but not how he fished all night and got
skunked, not in writing. This is not fiction. Do not forget that a
fisherman wrote this. The fisherman might make up a good fish story
but not even Shakespeare, Mark Twain, and Charles Dickens putting
their heads together could make up something like this fisherman
wrote, regarding Mary's two trips to the tomb Saturday night. As far
as anything ever written to touch a heart this beats anything any man
could come up with, apart from pure simple truth by the Spirit of
Mark, the writer of the Gospel of Mark, was Peter's nephew, the same
John-Mark who went on the missionary journeys with Paul and Barnabas.
Yes, he was a fisherman too. In Mark 16:7 he writes, "But go your
way, tell His disciples and Peter that He goeth before you into
Galilee: there shall ye see Him, as He said unto you," Why was
that "and Peter" mentioned? Everyone knows Peter is one of the
disciples. In fact, he was thought by many to be chief the apostolic
group though he was actually in submission to James. Why is that
special mention of telling the disciples "and Peter?" No explanation
is given. Again, it does not take much deep thought to see it was the
message of love toward the despondent, despairing disciple who had
three times denied his Lord. If the message had been simply to the
disciples Peter might have said, "Yes, I was once a disciple, but I
can no longer be counted a disciple. I denied my Lord three times
during His trial that night by the Sanhedrin, even with oaths and
curses. The invitation does not include me." But our compassionate
Lord had His angel messenger explicitly include Peter with the
disciples in the instruction.
Go tell My disciples, and be sure to tell poor, weak, broken-hearted
Peter. No way is this fiction, this is a real picture of our Lord.
Those who know Him know it is, and those who continue to search the
gospel truth, wanting to know the truth, about the resurrection will
know too. The man whose mind is not sharp enough to see this is not
fiction but simple truth from simple fishermen, is to be pitied. It
is difficult to imagine this is fiction.
We should recognize that this is recorded only in the Gospel of Mark,
which is well known to be Peter's Gospel. As Peter dictated to Mark
what he should record, Peter probably had tears in his eyes to match
his grateful heart. Peter probably told Mark to be sure you put that
in how the Lord had His angel specifically instructed, "and Peter" so
that Peter would know that he was still to be included as part of the
company of His disciples.
In, Jon 21:15-17, John also describes the meeting on the shore of the
Sea of Galilee. "So when they had dined, Jesus saith to Simon Peter,
Simon, son of Jonas, lovest thou me more than these? He saith unto
Him, Yea, Lord; Thou knowest that I love Thee. He saith unto him,
Feed My lambs. He saith unto him again the second time, Simon, son of
Jonas, lovest thou Me? He saith unto Him, Yea, Lord, Thou knowest
that I love Thee. He saith unto him, Feed My sheep. He saith unto him
the third time, Simon, son of Jonas, lovest thou Me? Peter was
grieved because He said unto him the third time, Lovest thou Me? And
he said unto Him, Lord, Thou knowest all things; Thou knowest that I
love Thee. Jesus saith unto him, Feed My sheep." We should take note
of the words, "Peter was grieved because He said unto him the third
time, Lovest thou Me?" Why did Jesus ask Peter three times, "Lovest
thou Me?" And why was Peter grieved because Jesus did ask him three
times? We are not told here. But, if we read this knowing of Peter's
three denials of his Lord, we will understand it. Since Peter had
denied his Lord three times, Jesus three times gave Peter an
opportunity to reassert his love. Peter remembers that nightmare
when, three times, in the courtyard of Annas and Caiaphas, he did
denied his Lord. "Peter was grieved because He said unto him the
third time, Lovest thou Me." Is John making this up? NO WAY. This is
plain simple truth written by a simple fisherman. John simply reports
what actually happened.
This is one place where the Greek words show even more light on this
pure simple truth than the English of the promised Seventh
purification in English. In Greek we see the two different words are
used for "love." When Jesus, asked Peter, "Lovest thou Me?", He used
a strong word denoting the higher form of love. Peter
replying, "Lord, Thou knowest that I love Thee," uses a weaker word,
but one denoting a more tender form of love. Jesus, the second time
uses the stronger word, and the second time in his reply Peter uses
the weaker word. In His third question, Jesus comes down to Peter's
level and uses the weaker word that Peter had used from the
beginning. Then Peter replies, "Lord, Thou knowest all things, Thou
knowest that I love Thee," using the same weaker word. Fiction, NO, a
thousand times NO, it is simply the plain accurately reported truth
and just the facts that happened.
Truth is the issue. We always respect the honest doubter. Honest
doubt is often part of the quest for truth. Proud vain contempt of
facts is not part of the seeking of truth. The Apostle Thomas is the
classic honest doubter. What happened to Thomas is what happens to
the honest doubter when diligently searching for the truth of the
resurrection. In John 20:27-29 we see the honest doubter
Thomas. "Then saith he to Thomas, Reach hither thy finger, and behold
my hands; and reach hither thy hand, and thrust it into my side: and
be not faithless, but believing. And Thomas answered and said unto
Him, My Lord and my God. Jesus saith unto him, Thomas, because thou
hast seen Me, thou hast believed: blessed are they that have not
seen, and yet have believed."
Here we see the action of Thomas and the rebuke of Jesus. John the
fisherman wrote this which is too characteristic to be anything other
than the simple truth. Only the one without regard for truth
violating all principles of logical thought could imagine this to be
the work of some master of fiction. Thomas had not been with the
disciples at the first Sabbath appearance of our Lord the last
Saturday. A week had passed by. Another Lord's Day had come. This
Sabbath, Thomas makes sure of being present with the other disciples.
This Sabbath, if the Lord is to appear, he will be there.
If he had been like some of our modern scoffers, he would have taken
pains to be away. However, though Thomas was a doubter, he was an
honest doubter. The honest doubter wants to know the truth, unlike
the scoffer who has contempt of the truth. Suddenly Jesus is just
there standing among them. He says to Thomas, "Reach hither thy
finger, and behold My hands, and reach thither thy hand; and thrust
it into My side: and be not faithless but believing." Thomas sees
Him, and the faith held back by his honest doubting, breaks wide
open. There is nothing stopping the honest doubter who has now has
his faith unrestrained. This bursting forth of Thomas' faith takes
Thomas farther and higher than any other disciple had as yet reached.
Thomas instantly and without hesitation cries out as he looks up into
the face of Jesus, "My Lord and My God!"
We should not miss how that Jesus then tenderly, yet thoroughly,
tests and proves Thomas's faith, as He rebukes him. He says, "Thomas,
because thou hast seen Me, thou hast believed. "Blessed are they that
have not seen and yet have believed."
People of Faith, are indeed much more blessed. People of faith are so
eager to find, and so quick to see, and so ready to accept the truth,
that they do not wait for actual visible demonstrations. People of
faith are ready to take truth on sufficient testimony. Yet often such
people of faith are ridiculed and abused. However, respect MUST be
given to the honest doubter.
By now, this question should even rock the hardened scoffer - Is this
made up, or is this simple truth? Is it a record of facts as they
occurred, or a fictitious production of some master fiction writer?
There is no doubting left for the honest doubter. This is just the
plain simple accurate report of the simple fisherman telling the
truth of what happened. Yet there is so much more. Glory to God. We
are so blessed to have our faith based upon the integrity of the Word
of God, who is The Way, The Truth, and the The Resurrection
PERSONIFIED. Alleluia Yeshua.
Have you determined why Jesus said to said to Mary, "Touch me not;
for I am not yet ascended to my Father: but go to my brethren, and
say unto them, I ascend unto my Father, and your Father; and to my
God, and your God." That is OK, that is good in fact, that is humble
truthfulness in fact. To be sure a lot of common taters THINK they
know, but no one really KNOWS in fullness. We only KNOW by the more
sure word which is written and that simply is NOT written.
In the verse before that, John 20:16, Jesus saith unto her, Mary.
She turned herself, and saith unto him, Rabboni; which is to say,
Master. A very delicate touch for the fisherman reporter unless he
is simply telling the simple truth of what happened.
Mary is standing outside the tomb overcome with grief. She has not
recognized her Lord, though He has spoken to her. She has mistaken
Him for the gardener: She has said, "Sir, if thou hast borne Him
hence, tell me where thou hast laid Him, and I will take Him away."
Then Jesus says just one word. He says, "Mary." Mary regardless of
her depth of grief and confusion she could NEVER forget how her
Master called her name. No one else could say her name as she knew
He did, like no one else. Instantly she knew, her eyes were opened.
She falls at His feet and tries to reach for Him, and looks up into
His face, and cries, "Rabboni, my Master." Is this made up?
Impossible! This is life, this is the truth, this is simply what
This is Jesus, the Lord, and this is Mary, a woman who loved Him. It
would take a thousand times more faith to believe that some unknown
author of the second, third, or fourth century, could have produced
such a masterpiece, if this were fiction. John the simple fisherman
simply tells us the simple fact of what happened. This is reality,
life, a simple report of an encounter of Yeshua and Mary. This is
Mary that John knew so well, who brought him and Peter the first
report of the empty tomb Saturday night. It simply never occurred to
him that us readers almost 2000 years later might like to know which
Mary this was, but we can only think we know. No fiction writer
could be that simple.
Who was this Mary? Books can and have written about that question.
It is widely agreed that it was NOT His mother Mary. A tradition,
with absolutely no scriptural foundation, and only propagated after
about 500 AD, says it was Mary Magdalene. However, there is no solid
scriptural connection between the sinful woman of Luke 7:36-50 and
the Mary Magdalene. The FACT is we are NOT told. The fact is that
there is no biblical, and only traditions embellished by Hollywood,
that the sinful woman of Luke 7 is Mary Magdalene out of whom the
Lord had cast seven devils.
We have regressed from what people knew very well in bible times,
that demon possession was just as much an indication of physical
illness, as it is an indication of mental or spiritual illness.
Obviously, Mary Magdalene was quite ill before meeting with Jesus.
The identity of this Mary at the tomb, an important detail which any
and ALL fiction writers would most certainly have supplied, is
simply not given in the account. This is how a simple fisherman
might report the truth. From the report no one KNOWS.
Many think they know but the fact is no one knows from the Gospel
accounts. One is just as correct to believe this Mary to be any of
three or four people named Mary. There were at least four people we
KNOW named Mary who witnessed the crucifixion. Yes, at least four
women named Mary likely helped with the burial which had NO time to
be completed before the Thursday Sabbath of Passover of Nissan 15,
which began at dark of Wednesday Nissan 14, 30 AD. Mary the sister
of Martha and Lazarus, OR Mary the mother of Mark, OR Mary the wife
of Cleopas, all of whom likely witnessed the death and helped with
the rushed burial of Yeshua THE Messiah.
Someone might and probably will say, all these are little things.
True, and it is from that very fact that they gain much of their
significance. It is just in such little things that fiction would
disclose itself. Fiction displays itself different from fact in the
smallest details. If one is just giving a great story it is quite
easy to make fiction look like truth. However, when one examines the
smallest details, that is where one quickly can detect that it is
not reality but cleverly made up fiction. There is nothing clever
about any of the four Gospel accounts. That is even obvious on the
surface. However, the more careful one is to check the smaller
details of the Gospel records, the more one becomes impressed with
their simple truthfulness. They are anything but clever. They are
plain, simple, artless, natural, casual, and matter of fact. They
have a self-evident truthfulness down to the smallest detail, that
surpasses all the possibilities of art or fiction, and resounds in
Maybe some of you have noticed that so far we have not even given
any consideration of the Circumstantial Evidence for the
Resurrection. Some of the circumstantial evidence is quite
compelling proof, and as the Holy Bible says, there were many
infallible proofs witnessed in those 40 days after His Resurrection
on Saturday, Nissan 17, 30 AD. These proofs are recorded in the four
Gospels regarding the resurrection of Jesus Christ, so simply, that
they simply are exact statements of historic fact. There are certain
proven and admitted facts that demand the resurrection of Christ to
account for them.
First is the simple history that THE foundation truth preached in
the early years of the Church's history was the resurrection. This
was the one doctrine upon which the Apostles were always preaching.
Whether Jesus did actually rise from the dead or not, it is certain
that the ONE thing that the Apostles constantly proclaimed was that
He had risen. Why should the Apostles use this as the very corner-
stone of their creed, if not well attested and firmly believed?
However, much more important than that is the FACT that they ALL
gave their lives, with the possible exception of John, for this
doctrine. Men never lay down their lives for a doctrine which they
do not firmly believe. They stated that they had seen Jesus after
His resurrection, and rather than give up their statement, they laid
down their lives for it. Sure there are many men who have died for
error, but it was for error that they firmly believed. What we do
know is that these Apostles would have known whether they had seen
Jesus or not. That means they would not merely have been dying for
error; but dying for a statement which they KNEW to be false. This
would be more than incredible, but in fact, impossible.
If the Apostles really firmly believed, as they admitted, that Jesus
rose from the dead, they had some facts upon which they founded
their belief. These are the facts that they have given in the Gospel
accounts. If the facts were as reported in the Gospels, there is no
possible escaping the conclusion that Jesus actually arose.
We should also understand that if Jesus had not arisen, there would
have been evidence that He had not. His enemies would have produced
such evidence, namely the dead body. However, the Apostles went up
and down in the very city where He had been crucified and proclaimed
right to the faces of the people who had compelled the Romans to
crucify Him, proclaiming that He had been raised. NO one could
produce evidence to the contrary, because He was alive. The very
best they could do was to say the guards went to sleep and the
disciples stole the body while the guards slept. Sleeping men do NOT
make good witnesses. If the disciples had stolen the body, they
would have known it themselves, and ALL of the Apostles, and many
other disciples would NOT have not have been ready to die for what
they knew to be a hoax.
The most compelling evidence of all is the change in the disciples
themselves, the moral transformation. At the time of the crucifixion
of the Messiah, every single apostle and disciple was filled with
hopelessness, misery, sorrow, grief and total despair. Peter, hands
down leader in the boldness department is found denying his Lord
three times with oaths and curses. This same Peter just a few days
later is full of boldness and courage that no threatening, beating,
imprisonment could stop. Finally Peter died the martyrs death for
the proclamation of the Gospel truth of the Resurrection of THE
Messiah. Nothing could shake Peter's confidence in the Resurrection.
In Acts 4:10, he stands before the same people that had condemned
Yeshua to death and tells them, "Be it known unto you all, and to
all the people of Israel, that by the name of Jesus Christ of
Nazareth, whom ye crucified, whom God raised from the dead, even by
Him doth this man stand before you whole." The council commands
Peter not to speak at all nor teach in the name of Jesus, and Peter
answers in Acts 4:19-20, "Whether it be right in the sight of God to
hearken unto you more than unto God, judge ye. For we cannot but
speak the things which we have seen and heard."
Something happened to change that man who had three times denied his
Messiah to save his own life. The same council who crucified his
Messiah arrest him and put him in prison. Peter is in real genuine
danger of death, is brought before that council, replies to their
demand that he should be silent regarding Yeshua, in Acts 5:29-32
says, "We ought to obey God rather than man. The God of our fathers
raised up Jesus whom ye slew and hanged on a tree. Him hath God
exalted with His right hand to be a Prince and a Saviour, for to
give repentance to Israel, and forgiveness of sins. And we are His
witnesses of these things."
Nothing other than the power of the resurrection of Messiah Yeshua
can account for such a total and astonishing complete moral change
of the man. Only the fact and truth of the resurrection, and of
actually having seen the risen Messiah can explain it.
These unquestionable facts are so impressive and so conclusive that honest scholars Jew and Gentile are forced to admit that the Apostles believed that Jesus rose from the dead. One can not otherwise claim honest scholarship. Some want to stop there absurdly try to speak of hallucinations or other reasons for the faith of the Apostles in the resurrection. It is absurd that eleven men would having the same vision or hallucination at the same time, not to mention how absurd it would be to say five hundred men of I Cor 15:6, having the same vision at the same time.
Some who will not study the truth might try to explain that Yeshua was not really dead when they took Him from the cross. Some have tried to say that His friends resuscitated Him and brought Him back to life. Some really do try to say that Yeshua did not really die on that cross, which is a high level Satanic and occult basis of belief. One might say it is the most prominent antichrist theory of the last days to deny the reality of the Messiah Yeshua’s resurrection. All such are quick to point to the short time Jesus hung on the cross. Many may cite where Josephus spoke of someone taken down from the cross and nursed back to life.
Those who follow that line of absurd occult doctrine forget what happened to the Messiah BEFORE He was nailed to that cross on Wednesday, Nissan 14, in 30 AD. They forget the agony in the garden of Gethsemane, They forget the four trials and the scourging. They forget about the physical condition resulting from the hours before Yeshua was nailed to that cross outside the walls of Jerusalem. They FORGET the water and the blood that poured from His pierced side. There is no more positive proof of the heart being pierced than when the blood serum in spleen separates to blood and water.
If Yeshua could have been resuscitated, He would have been a complete total physical wreck. The officer who was supposed to have survived crucifixion in the time of Josephus, had not been scourged prior to the cross. That officer had NOT BEEN PIERCED BY A SPEAR - NO BLOOD AND WATER coming out. The reported officer though brought back to life, was a complete total physical wreck. One of the biggest problems with such an absurd theory is that if the Apostles and friends of the Messiah, who are the ones who are supposed to have brought Him back to life, would have known how they brought Him back to life. His friends would have known. They did NOT preach the resuscitation. They ALL preached the resurrection to their death as martyrs. BLOOD AND WATER came out. Indeed dead men do not bleed. But if a dead man’s heart gets pierced there will be blood AND WATER coming from the ruptured membrane sac filled with blood serum fluid that encloses the heart and the roots of the aorta and other large blood vessels. That sac is called pericardium. When the heart is ruptured, the serum in the pericardium IMMEDIATELY SEPARATES to BLOOD AND WATER. If the heart were ruptured when a dead man’s pericardium is pierced BLOOD AND WATER will come out. There is no more positive proof of death than when BLOOD AND WATER come out of the side of a body pierced while hanging on a cross. Yeshua was really dead and that BLOOD AND WATER that flowed from that pierced side on the cross is the MOST POSITIVE PROOF OF DEATH AND IMPOSSIBILITY OF RESUSCITATION.
We should also remember how His enemies were willing to VIOLATE THE SABBATH OF PASSOVER, on Thursday, Nissan 15, to go to Pilot as Matthew the tax collector Apostle told us in chapter 27:62-66. Now the next day, that followed the day of the preparation, the chief priests and Pharisees came together unto Pilate, Saying, Sir, we remember that that deceiver said, while he was yet alive, After three days I will rise again. Command therefore that the sepulcher be made sure until the third day, lest his disciples come by night, and steal him away, and say unto the people, He is risen from the dead: so the last error shall be worse than the first. Pilate said unto them, Ye have a watch: go your way, make it as sure as ye can. So they went, and made the sepulchre sure, sealing the stone, and setting a watch. His enemies wanted Yeshua THE Messiah, dead and those particular Jewish religious leaders were willing to violate the Sabbath of Passover to make sure Messiah not only was dead but that they and ONLY they would have control of access to that dead body of the Messiah.
Yeshua the Messiah really was raised from the dead, on SATURDAY, the Sabbath, Nissan 17, 30 AD. Yeshua THE Messiah, was very positively slain as the Lamb of God which Abraham had prophesied. In Yeshua the Messiah, God did provide Himself, a Lamb, for Sinners slain, on Wednesday, Nissan 14, 30 AD outside of the gates of Jerusalem. The resurrection of the Messiah on Saturday, the Sabbath of Nissan 17, in 30 AD is the most solidly proven fact and truth of all history. There is no other possible conclusion of honest study of that truth. Jesus really was raised from the dead the third day as recorded in the four Gospels. The absurdities produced by those who try to deny that truth of the resurrection is itself even a proof of the fact. Every independent line of argument in truth will lead decisively and conclusively to the resurrection of Messiah Yeshua from the dead.
If one is determined not to believe, no amount of proof will convince him. What is so sad is how many have never had opportunity to know the good news of the Gospel of death and resurrection of Yeshua. Those who choose denial of that truth must be left to his own deliberate choice of error and falsehood. However anyone who really desires to know the truth, with honest study must accept the resurrection of Messiah as an historically proven fact.
Just as Abraham had prophesied, "God will provide Himself, a Lamb," is a historically fulfilled fact. The resurrection of the prophesied Lamb of God, is the most solid fact of history. The Blood of Lamb of God, was shed on a Roman cross outside the gates of Jerusalem on Wednesday, Nissan 14, 30 AD. Three days later on Saturday, the Sabbath, Nissan 17, 30 AD He was resurrected. The good news of the Gospel is that Messiah was delivered for our offences, and was raised again for our justification. Knowing this FACT, how shall we then live? The just shall live by FAITH. Faith is to KNOW what God has said, and to DO what God said, just because God said so. Know the Lord, cleave to the Lord, obey the Lord. Love the Lord, cleave to the Lord, obey the Lord. To know Him is to love Him, for God IS Love. He said if you love Me, KEEP My Commandments, John 14:15.
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