Hello everybody and welcome in to episode #211 of the Bible 2021 podcast. We are reading Luke 24 today and our focus is on Undramatic, Unembellished and Completely Reliable: How We Can Reasonably Believe in the Resurrection . We are a daily 10 minute podcast, where we will dig in to the truth of the Word of God by reading one Bible chapter a day and discussing it. Welcome to new listeners in Thanks for listening! Our goal is to encourage DAILY Bible reading, so you can jump in at any time and join with us. We want to invite as many people as possible to join us in daily Bible reading, so help spread the word and share the podcast! Don’t forget about our web-page, Bible2021.com – contact page, show notes, transcript and more– Click here for our Bible 2021 reading plan\
Can you hear the sound of my hands gleefully rubbing together? Well, I’m pumped because the resurrection of Jesus is my very favorite thing to talk about, and today’s chapter is all about the resurrection. The only sad thing about today is that it is our last day for this year of reading the Gospel of Luke, and I have thoroughly enjoyed and have been inspired by every chapter. Luke is a great writer, probably the best Greek writer in the New Testament, according to genuine Greek scholars, of which I am not. Luke is also a precise historian that faithfully records details and does not exaggerate or add drama to that which is already perfectly seasoned. Luke just strikes me as rock-solid and reliable, and many of the historical details that Luke records have been validated by archaeology, even those that initially appeared to be false or unverifiable. All four gospels record the resurrection of Jesus, which, if true, is the single most important and momentous event in all of history. A skeptic might rightly ask – but how do you KNOW it really happened? It’s an amazing story, and all, but how can we reasonably believe in the return to life of a dead man when all of modern science tells us that such a thing simply isn’t possible?!
It is a great and fair question, and I hope you don’t bristle or get angry, hostile or rude when you are asked such questions by skeptics, doubters and unbelievers. We are commanded scripturally to be ready for such questions and to have an answer at hand:
“Always being prepared to make a defense to anyone who asks you for a reason for the hope that is in you; yet do it with gentleness and respect,” says 1 Peter 3:15, and note well that last part – there should be neither snark, nor sarcasm, nor pride, nor anger or any negative emotion when we are questioned by unbelievers of any stripe – our answer must always be given with gentleness and respect.
It is simply not possible to PROVE beyond a shadow of a doubt that Jesus rose from the dead, at least, I don’t know how to prove it, but I can give you at least 20 reasons why I believe Jesus DID rise from the dead, and actually wrote a book about it.
Today, I list one of those reasons. I believe it is reasonable to believe Jesus rose from the dead because the gospel accounts of His resurrection do not embellish or dramatize – even something amazing like the ascension of Jesus into Heaven is treated by Luke with a reliable lack of pizazz. If a modern writer had fabricated the story of Jesus’ resurrection:
After Jesus met with the disciples, He would have flown off and utterly wiped the floor with Pilate and Herod… maybe even Caesar over in Rome. It would have been a blaze of glory and revenge, and every bad guy would have learned their lesson the hard way. When all was said and done, Jesus would have rocketed back up to Heaven with an amazing display of light and sound. Jesus is back… and this time, it’s personal. That’s what would have happened if the resurrection of Jesus had been mythically embellished or fabricated, or exaggerated or invented. There would have been more drama – more comeuppance for the bad guys, and more adoration for Jesus. Instead, He ate some fish. He had a discussion with Peter about John. He broke bread with Cleopas and another guy walking on the Emmaus road. Other than the coming back from the dead part… it just seems kind of mundane, doesn’t it? Even the ascension into Heaven is downplayed in the Gospels and Acts. Think about it: JESUS FLOATED UP INTO HEAVEN! How amazing that must have been to see, and yet Luke (who describes the ascension in the greatest detail) merely writes this, “51 And while He was blessing them, He left them and was carried up into heaven. 52 After worshiping Him, they returned to Jerusalem with great joy.” (Luke 24: 51-52) Matthew and John don’t even write about the ascension, and when Luke revisits it in Acts, all he adds is a small little detail about the disciples view of Jesus being blocked by a cloud, and the appearance of two guys (angels?) in white clothes who chide the disciples for looking up at the sky. Any writer – even a mediocre one – could have made that scene sound AMAZING, and could have done so without embellishing or exaggerating even a little bit! And yet, they didn’t… the drama was kept to an absolute minimum. I propose that this is a signifier of real historical testimony, and the trustworthiness and sobriety of the Gospel writers. They didn’t have to add to the story. They didn’t have to stir up drama. They just told it like it happened, and even seemingly downplayed some of the more amazing things.
Thompson, Chase. Easter: Fact or Fiction: 20 Reasons to Believe Jesus Rose From The Dead. (Kindle Locations 1421-1429). Kindle Edition.
Bible Memory verses for the month of July: 47 “I will show you what someone is like who comes to me, hears my words, and acts on them: 48 He is like a man building a house, who dug deep and laid the foundation on the rock. When the flood came, the river crashed against that house and couldn’t shake it, because it was well built.” Luke 6:47-48
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