The resurrection of Jesus Christ is
central to Christian belief and to the Christian hope. Christians
believe in the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead, because the
Old and the New Testament teach it, because Christ promised it and
because His apostles confirm it in the New Testament writings.
Contrariwise, Atheists, Agnostics and others assert that the
resurrection is a fable concocted by Jesus’ followers, because their
attachment to Jesus’ memory was so strong that they all “agreed” to
create a new religion in His name based on lies and deceit. The evidence
for Jesus' resurrection is not based on flimsy fables but on the
unassailable evidence of common sense, solid logic, and many totally
reliable and truthful witnesses.
Was Jesus Christ a self-deluded
charlatan? Did Jesus Christ cunningly deceive His many followers with
promises that were impossible to fulfill? Most importantly, did His
followers react to His “unfulfilled” promise of a personal resurrection
by “reciprocating” with an vigorous attempt to elevate Him to the divine
Any sensible and objective mind would
have no problem replying, “Certainly not!” to the above questions. Yet,
shockingly, the rigid mental set of the enemies of Christianity would
reply affirmatively. The reason for their baffling unwillingness to
accept the obvious is primarily because accepting Christ’s resurrection
would devastate a belief system that they have been defending for
centuries and that would transform their thinking and their lives beyond
what they are willing to allow.
This article is not an exhaustive attempt
at listing all the reasons that have been offered through the centuries
on behalf of the truth of Christ’s resurrection. The focus of this work
will be to present simple, sensible and obvious arguments which point
forcefully to the undeniable reality that Jesus Christ died and
rose again, and that His disciples witnessed the event and
testified "truthfully" to it, in spite of the dangers inherent in
DON’T DIE FOR CHARLATANS AND DECEIVERS
Those who have read the Gospel accounts
know that the disciples were called out of their occupations, their
communities and their future. Because they abandoned their secure jobs,
they most probably caused their families confusion, and concern for
following a "young" man who promised them positions of power and
rulership in a “future” Kingdom. Those great promises, though, were
contingent upon an astonishing event: Jesus’ future death and
resurrection. This, of course, may have been hard to believe at first
but, in time, it became obvious to the disciples of Jesus that anything
was possible for someone who had resurrected the dead before their very
If Jesus had died and had stayed in the
tomb, as unbelievers insist happened, the psychological consequences on
the disciples would have been undeniably devastating. They would have
felt let down, lied to, deceived and manipulated. Their egos would have
been dramatically deflated; they would have become the focus of ridicule
by family, friends and others. All of the above would have led to
understandable anger at the one who had played games with their minds,
had lied to them callously for three and one half years, and who was the
cause of all the derision they had to bear.
Believing that such a disillusioned,
betrayed and angry bunch would intentionally pass around false
information meant to “elevate” the “deceiver” and the “charlatan” to the
divine plane is the ultimate folly. Angry and bitter people do not
elevate a despised enemy--they tear him down. In fact some even
end up venting their anger at anything remotely connected to him and to
his memory. Furthermore, some would besmirch the man’s name for years to
come and would do anything and everything possible to get back at the
person, even if the only thing they could do is attack his memory.
Believing that all of them would react otherwise and that they would
“harmoniously” persist in dedicating their lives to celebrating a liar
is nothing short of incongruous and bizarre.
But the disciples were neither
disillusioned nor angry. In fact they acted and talked like people who
had received a powerful confirmation that their hopes and dreams were
based on a totally firm foundation. They were filled with zeal and
excitement, like they had never exhibited before, and the reason was
what that they had witnessed the seemingly impossible. After three days
and three nights, the dead corpse of their beloved leader had come out
of a “sealed” and “guarded” tomb, alive and brimming with vitality --
just as he had promised, on more than one occasion. Furthermore,
Jesus exhibited “supernatural” powers, such as walking through walls,
that only a “supernatural” being could exhibit.
In view of the above, unbelievers’
treasured rationalization that Jesus’ disciples concocted the story of
Jesus’ resurrection, even though he had “lied” to them, had used them,
had manipulated them, and had “betrayed” them, is nothing short of
foolish and irrational.
TRUTH IS FUNDAMENTAL TO
From its inception, Christianity was sown
in truth, was framed in truth and was based on absolute truth. Most
opponents of Christ seem to have little awareness of how strong and how
"foundational" truth was to the Christian message from the very
inception. Jesus Christ firmly emphasized its critical importance,
and his disciples continued to do the same for decades to come. Neither
Christ nor His disciples would lie, because doing so was untenable and
dangerous to their eternal destiny. Lying meant eternal consequences and
such possibility alone would have prevented any manipulation of facts.
Now let’s look at the evidence to this aspect in detail.
IT STARTED WITH JESUS CHRIST
The critical importance of truth received strong
emphasis with Jesus Christ. Jesus taught his disciples the necessity of
being “truthful,” if they were to enter the Kingdom of God. But if
you want to enter into life, keep the commandments.”
Jesus Christ taught, protected and defended the value and sacredness of
the Ten Commandments. The ninth commandments was “Thou Shalt Not Bear
False Witness against thy neighbour” (Exodus 20:16).
Jesus also insisted that lying was
evidence of the presence of an evil spirit who opposed truth. He told
his persecutors that this being was working in them, and that they
served his purposes. ”You belong to your father, the devil, and you want
to carry out your father's desire. He was a murderer from the beginning,
not holding to the truth, for there is no truth in him. When he lies, he
speaks his native language, for he is a liar and the father of lies
Thus Jesus Christ was the incarnation of
truth; He preached its necessity and value and labelled lies as issuing
from the father of lies: Satan. To validate this reality He not only
preached it – He died and did not compromise with it.
Jesus was captured and was brought to the religious leaders in Jerusalem
to be interrogated. The accusations were serious enough to merit death.
those who had laid hold of Jesus led Him away to Caiaphas the
high priest, where the scribes and the elders were assembled.
58 But Peter followed Him at a distance to the
high priest’s courtyard. And he went in and sat with the servants to see
the end. 59 Now the chief priests, the elders,
and all the council sought false testimony against Jesus to put Him to
death, 60 but found none. Even though many
false witnesses came forward, they found none. But at last two false
witnesses came forward 61 and said, “This
fellow said, ‘I am able to destroy the temple of God and to build it
in three days.’” 62 And the high priest arose
and said to Him, “Do You answer nothing? What is it these men
testify against You?” 63 But Jesus kept silent
(Matthew 26: 57-63).
“Jesus kept silent.” This was his opportunity for a charlatan to hastily
lie his way out of a very dangerous situation, but he stayed silent and
said nothing. He was going to fulfill His destiny and did not lie.
Actually, He then went on to make things worse for himself by confirming
some of the accusations.
the high priest answered and said to Him, “I put You under oath by the
living God: Tell us if You are the Christ, the Son of God!”
64 Jesus said to him, “It is as you
said. Nevertheless, I say to you, hereafter you will see the Son of Man
sitting at the right hand of the Power, and coming on the clouds of
65 Then the high priest tore his clothes,
saying, “He has spoken blasphemy! What further need do we have of
witnesses? Look, now you have heard His blasphemy! 66
What do you think?” They answered and said, “He is deserving of death.”
67 Then they spat in His face and beat Him; and
others struck Him with the palms of their hands,
68 saying, “Prophesy to us, Christ! Who is the
one who struck You?” (Luke 22:64).
Jesus Christ had a mission to accomplish and, in spite of the verbal and
physical abuse, He remained undaunted, firm and truthful.
is the same man who had promised to His disciples that death would not
have defeated Him; He would have been resurrected after being dead in a
tomb three days and three nights.
‘The Son of Man must be delivered into
the hands of sinful men, and be crucified, and the third day rise
He had promised, Jesus Christ was resurrected the third day, and death
had no power over Him. He did fulfill His promise and He fulfilled the
prophecies of the Old Testament as well. Furthermore, he set the example
for his disciples to follow: Truth must be upheld, even if it will
lead to death – and the transformed disciples faithfully followed
WITNESS TO THE RESURRECTION AND RISK
The disciples saw Jesus Christ taken down
as an inanimate corpse. The dead body was taken to a nearby tomb and was
placed into it. A huge round stone was rolled over it and the entrance
was sealed. Several soldiers were placed in front of the tomb, and it
was guarded for three days and three nights. The disciples waited
patiently until the guards would have finally left, and then they went
to help embalm Jesus’ dead body. What they found was an empty tomb and
angels who confirmed Christ’s resurrection. Finally they saw the
resurrected Christ Himself.
This is one of the most momentous event
ever witnessed by any human being as its occurrence confirms with
absolute certainty that Jesus indeed died for the sins of humanity,
and that the resurrection of the dead is possible -- and is indeed
certain, because Christ led the way. Because of the tremendous
importance of the event, the reader is encouraged to read the whole
account as it appears in the Gospel of Luke chapter 24.
Now on the first day of the week, very early in the morning,
they, and certain other women with them, came to the tomb
bringing the spices which they had prepared. 2
But they found the stone rolled away from the tomb. 3
Then they went in and did not find the body of the Lord Jesus.
4 And it happened, as they were greatly
perplexed about this, that behold, two men stood by them in shining
garments. 5 Then, as they were afraid and bowed
their faces to the earth, they said to them, “Why do you seek the
living among the dead? 6 He is not here, but is
risen! Remember how He spoke to you when He was still in Galilee,
7 saying, ‘The Son of Man must be delivered
into the hands of sinful men, and be crucified, and the third day rise
again.’”8 And they remembered His words.
9 Then they returned from the tomb and told all
these things to the eleven and to all the rest. 10
It was Mary Magdalene, Joanna, Mary the mother of James, and the
other women with them, who told these things to the apostles.
11 And their words seemed to them like idle
tales, and they did not believe them. 12 But
Peter arose and ran to the tomb; and stooping down, he saw the linen
cloths lying by themselves; and he departed, marveling to himself at
what had happened.
13 Now behold, two of them were traveling that
same day to a village called Emmaus, which was seven miles
from Jerusalem. 14 And they talked together of
all these things which had happened. 15 So it
was, while they conversed and reasoned, that Jesus Himself drew near and
went with them. 16 But their eyes were
restrained, so that they did not know Him.
17 And He said to them, “What kind of
conversation is this that you have with one another as you walk
and are sad?”[18 Then the one whose
name was Cleopas answered and said to Him, “Are You the only stranger in
Jerusalem, and have You not known the things which happened there in
19 And He said to them, “What things?”
So they said to Him, “The things concerning Jesus of Nazareth, who was a
Prophet mighty in deed and word before God and all the people,
20 and how the chief priests and our rulers
delivered Him to be condemned to death, and crucified Him.
21 But we were hoping that it was He who was
going to redeem Israel. Indeed, besides all this, today is the third day
since these things happened. 22 Yes, and
certain women of our company, who arrived at the tomb early, astonished
us. 23 When they did not find His body, they
came saying that they had also seen a vision of angels who said He was
alive. 24 And certain of those who were
with us went to the tomb and found it just as the women had said;
but Him they did not see.”
25 Then He said to them, “O foolish ones, and
slow of heart to believe in all that the prophets have spoken!
26 Ought not the Christ to have suffered these
things and to enter into His glory?” 27 And
beginning at Moses and all the Prophets, He expounded to them in all the
Scriptures the things concerning Himself.
28 Then they drew near to the village where
they were going, and He indicated that He would have gone farther.
29 But they constrained Him, saying, “Abide
with us, for it is toward evening, and the day is far spent.” And He
went in to stay with them.
30 Now it came to pass, as He sat at the table
with them, that He took bread, blessed and broke it, and gave it
to them. 31 Then their eyes were opened and
they knew Him; and He vanished from their sight.
32 And they said to one another, “Did not our
heart burn within us while He talked with us on the road, and while He
opened the Scriptures to us?” 33 So they rose
up that very hour and returned to Jerusalem, and found the eleven and
those who were with them gathered together, 34
saying, “The Lord is risen indeed, and has appeared to Simon!”
35 And they told about the things that had
happened on the road, and how He was known to them in the breaking
36 Now as they said these things, Jesus Himself
stood in the midst of them, and said to them, “Peace to you.”
37 But they were terrified and frightened, and
supposed they had seen a spirit. 38 And He said
to them, “Why are you troubled? And why do doubts arise in your hearts?
39 Behold My hands and My feet, that it is I
Myself. Handle Me and see, for a spirit does not have flesh and bones as
you see I have.”
40 When He had said this, He showed them His
hands and His feet. 41 But while
they still did not believe for joy, and marveled, He said to them, “Have
you any food here?” 42 So they gave Him a piece
of a broiled fish and some honeycomb. 43
And He took it and ate in their presence.
44 Then He said to them, “These are the
words which I spoke to you while I was still with you, that all things
must be fulfilled which were written in the Law of Moses and the
Prophets and the Psalms concerning Me.” 45
And He opened their understanding, that they might comprehend the
46 Then He said to them, “Thus it is written,
and thus it was necessary for the Christ to suffer and to rise
from the dead the third day, 47 and that
repentance and remission of sins should be preached in His name to all
nations, beginning at Jerusalem. 48 And you are
witnesses of these things. 49 Behold, I send
the Promise of My Father upon you; but tarry in the city of Jerusalem
until you are endued with power from on high.”
50 And He led them out as far as Bethany, and
He lifted up His hands and blessed them. 51 Now
it came to pass, while He blessed them, that He was parted from them and
carried up into heaven. 52 And they worshiped
Him, and returned to Jerusalem with great joy, 53
and were continually in the temple praising and blessing God.
Amen. (Luke 24: 1-53).
After the joyful pause and the receiving
of the Holy Spirit, the time came to spread the Good News. Death had
been defeated by Jesus Christ, thanks to His death and resurrection.
Humans could now hope in being resurrected themselves. The first
location where the message would be preached was the same den of lions
where Jesus had been killed: Jerusalem. The High Priest and the
religious leaders that had demanded Jesus’ death were still there ready
to squash anything that pertained to their hated enemy: Christ.
But that did not discourage them. They
had seen Jesus Christ alive, and they understood the magnificent
significance for all of humanity, and no human being was going to
deter them, even if it would have meant potential beatings, scourging
and even death.
The Book of Acts tells us that the
leading force behind the spread of the Good News was Peter, the one who
had rejected Jesus Christ just days before. But he would reject Christ
no more and, in spite of the dangers that might have faced him, he stood
before the multitude of foreigners, locals and local leaders and
asserted the truth of Christ’s resurrection.
“But Peter, standing up with the eleven, raised
his voice and said to them…’Men of Israel, hear these words: Jesus of
Nazareth, a Man attested by God to you by miracles, wonders, and signs
which God did through Him in your midst, as you yourselves also know—
23 Him, being delivered by the determined
purpose and foreknowledge of God, you have taken by lawless hands, have
crucified, and put to death; 24 whom God raised
up, having loosed the pains of death, because it was not possible that
He should be held by it. 25 For David says
‘ I foresaw the LORD always before my face,
For He is at my right hand, that I may not be shaken.
Therefore my heart rejoiced, and my tongue was glad;
Moreover my flesh also will rest in hope.
You will not leave my soul in Hades,
Nor will You allow Your Holy One to see corruption.
have made known to me the ways of life; You will make me full of joy
in Your presence.’
29 “Men and brethren, let me
speak freely to you of the patriarch David, that he is both dead and
buried, and his tomb is with us to this day. 30
Therefore, being a prophet, and knowing that God had sworn with an oath
to him that of the fruit of his body, according to the flesh, He would
raise up the Christ to sit on his throne, 31
he, foreseeing this, spoke concerning the resurrection of the Christ,
that His soul was not left in Hades, nor did His flesh see corruption.
Jesus God has raised up, of which we are all witnesses.
33 Therefore being exalted to the right hand of
having received from the Father the promise of the Holy Spirit, He
poured out this which you now see and hear” (Acts 2:
The transformed Peter continued spreading
the message and healing people, giving evidence that the power that had
worked in Jesus Christ was now at work in him as well.
Now as the lame man who was healed held on to
Peter and John, all the people ran together to them in the porch which
is called Solomon’s, greatly amazed. 12 So when
Peter saw it, he responded to the people: “Men of Israel, why do
you marvel at this? Or why look so intently at us, as though by our own
power or godliness we had made this man walk? 13
The God of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob, the God of our fathers, glorified
His Servant Jesus, whom you delivered up and denied in the presence of
Pilate, when he was determined to let Him go.
14 But you denied the Holy One and the Just, and asked for a
murderer to be granted to you, 15
and killed the Prince of life, whom
God raised from the dead, of which we are witnesses
The bewildered religious
leaders did not hesitate to react and quickly had them arrested. They
threatened Peter and John with severe consequences, if they persisted in
preaching about Christ’s resurrection. Both could have changed their
minds and could have gone home in peace, but they did not. What they had
witnessed demanded that all know about the momentous event.
Now as they spoke to the people, the priests, the captain of the temple,
and the Sadducees came upon them, 2 being
greatly disturbed that they taught the people and preached in Jesus the
resurrection from the dead. 3 And they laid
hands on them, and put them in custody until the next day, for it
was already evening.
Now when they saw the boldness of Peter and John, and perceived that
they were uneducated and untrained men, they marveled. And they realized
that they had been with Jesus. 14 And seeing
the man who had been healed standing with them, they could say nothing
against it. 15 But when they had commanded them
to go aside out of the council, they conferred among themselves,
16 saying, “What shall we do to these men? For,
indeed, that a notable miracle has been done through them is
evident to all who dwell in Jerusalem, and we cannot deny it.
17 But so that it spreads no further among the
people, let us severely threaten them, that from now on they speak to no
man in this name.”
18 So they called them and commanded them not
to speak at all nor teach in the name of Jesus. 19
But Peter and John answered and said to them, “Whether it is right in
the sight of God to listen to you more than to God, you judge.
we cannot but speak the things which we have seen and heard.”
21 So when they had
further threatened them, they let them go, finding no way of punishing
them, because of the people, since they all glorified God for what had
been done. 22 For the man was over forty years
old on whom this miracle of healing had been performed (Acts 4:1,3;
The Apostles’ confident attitude and
courage made the High Priest and the leaders very angry. How dare
ignorant men speak like that to such lofty personages. Thus the result
was prison once again. But they remained unafraid and did not turn to
lies to escape punishment.
the high priest rose up, and all those who were with him (which
is the sect of the Sadducees), and they were filled with indignation,
18 and laid their hands on the apostles and put
them in the common prison. 19 But at night an
angel of the Lord opened the prison doors and brought them out, and
said, 20 “Go, stand in the temple and speak to
the people all the words of this life.”
21 And when they heard that, they
entered the temple early in the morning and taught. But the high priest
and those with him came and called the council together, with all the
elders of the children of Israel, and sent to the prison to have them
But when the officers came and did not find them in the prison, they
returned and reported, 23 saying, “Indeed we
found the prison shut securely, and the guards standing outside[a]
before the doors; but when we opened them, we found no one inside!”
24 Now when the high priest,[b]
the captain of the temple, and the chief priests heard these things,
they wondered what the outcome would be. 25 So
one came and told them, saying,[c]
“Look, the men whom you put in prison are standing in the temple and
teaching the people!”
26 Then the captain went with the officers and
brought them without violence, for they feared the people, lest they
should be stoned. 27 And when they had brought
them, they set them before the council. And the high priest asked
them, 28 saying, “Did we not strictly command
you not to teach in this name? And look, you have filled Jerusalem with
your doctrine, and intend to bring this Man’s blood on us!”
29 But Peter and the other apostles
answered and said: “We ought to obey God rather than men.
30 The God of our fathers raised up Jesus whom
you murdered by hanging on a tree. 31 Him God
has exalted to His right hand to be Prince and Savior, to give
repentance to Israel and forgiveness of sins. 32
And we are His witnesses to these things, and so also is
the Holy Spirit whom God has given to those who obey Him.”
When they heard this, they were furious and plotted to kill them.
34 Then one in the council stood up, a Pharisee
named Gamaliel, a teacher of the law held in respect by all the people,
and commanded them to put the apostles outside for a little while.
35 And he said to them: “Men of Israel, take
heed to yourselves what you intend to do regarding these men.
36 For some time ago Theudas rose up, claiming
to be somebody. A number of men, about four hundred, joined him. He was
slain, and all who obeyed him were scattered and came to nothing.
37 After this man, Judas of Galilee rose up in
the days of the census, and drew away many people after him. He also
perished, and all who obeyed him were dispersed. 38
And now I say to you, keep away from these men and let them alone; for
if this plan or this work is of men, it will come to nothing;
39 but if it is of God, you cannot overthrow
it—lest you even be found to fight against God.”
40 And they agreed with him, and when they had
called for the apostles and beaten them, they commanded that they
should not speak in the name of Jesus, and let them go.
So they departed from the presence of the council, rejoicing that they
were counted worthy to suffer shame for His name.
42 And daily in the temple, and in every house,
they did not cease teaching and preaching Jesus as the Christ.
(Acts 5: 17-42)
Not even beatings could now stop them. In fact, to the Apostles,
suffering for Jesus Christ had become an honour.
Stephen, too, had the same unstoppable attitude. He too was bent on
bringing the Gospel to all, and he too was taken and imprisoned. But he
had a different final punishment: death by stoning.
And Stephen, full of faith and power, did great wonders
and signs among the people. 9 Then there arose
some from what is called the Synagogue of the Freedmen (Cyrenians,
Alexandrians, and those from Cilicia and Asia), disputing with Stephen.
10 And they were not able to resist the wisdom
and the Spirit by which he spoke. 11 Then they
secretly induced men to say, “We have heard him speak blasphemous words
against Moses and God.” 12 And they stirred up
the people, the elders, and the scribes; and they came upon him,
seized him, and brought him to the council. 13
They also set up false witnesses who said, “This man does not cease to
speak blasphemous words against this holy place and the law;
14 for we have heard him say that this Jesus of
Nazareth will destroy this place and change the customs which Moses
delivered to us.” 15 And all who sat in the
council, looking steadfastly at him, saw his face as the face of an
angel” (ACTS 6: 8-15).
At this point the High Priest asked him
to confirm or deny the accusations. "He could have lied" and by so doing
he could have escaped certain punishment. But his response was
shockingly direct and honest.
51 “You stiff-necked and uncircumcised
in heart and ears! You always resist the Holy Spirit; as your fathers
did, so do you. 52 Which of the
prophets did your fathers not persecute? And they killed those who
foretold the coming of the Just One, of whom you now have become the
betrayers and murderers, 53 who have received
the law by the direction of angels and have not kept it.”
When they heard these things they were cut to the heart, and they
gnashed at him with their teeth.
But he, being full of the Holy Spirit, gazed into heaven and saw the
glory of God, and Jesus standing at the right hand of God,
56 and said, “Look! I see the heavens opened
and the Son of Man standing at the right hand of God!”
57 Then they cried
out with a loud voice, stopped their ears, and ran at him with one
accord; 58 and they cast him out of the
city and stoned him. And the witnesses laid down their clothes at
the feet of a young man named Saul.
And they stoned Stephen as he was calling on God and saying, “Lord
Jesus, receive my spirit.” 60 Then he knelt
down and cried out with a loud voice, “Lord, do not charge them with
this sin.” And when he had said this, he fell asleep. (Acts
Stephen, therefore, could have lied and could have denied having had any
involvement with Jesus and he certainly could have denied having seen
the resurrected Christ. But he did not, because
the glorious “truth” had to be defended to the death.
A VEHEMENTLY UNBELIEVING OPPONENT
The Apostle Paul today would be the equivalent of
a militant atheist, such as Richard Dawkins, turned Christian
like today’s unbelievers, did not and would not accept the
resurrection of Christ. To him Christians
were liars, charlatans and deceivers who deserved to be killed. In his
anti-Christian zeal, he made sure that as many Christians as he could
find would be imprisoned and then killed. In fact he had been one of
Stephen’s accusers, and he too wanted him dead. “Now Saul,
(Paul’s name before conversion) was consenting to his death” (Acts 8: 1).
Paul had been a blind follower of the
religious leaders. He was, you might say, their blindly dedicated and
committed secret agent, who zealously sought to eradicate this new,
dangerous and fanatical new group that was spreading lies and heresy.
that time a great persecution arose against the church which was
at Jerusalem; and they were all scattered throughout the regions of
Judea and Samaria, except the apostles. 2 And
devout men carried Stephen to his burial, and made great
lamentation over him. 3
As for Saul, he made
havoc of the church, entering every house, and dragging off men and
women, committing them to prison.
Later on Paul confessed to his blind zeal
and to his horrible crimes, before the very group of leaders he had
previously supported, who stood before him in disbelief.
“Brethren and fathers, hear my defense before you now.”
2 And when they heard that he spoke to them in
the Hebrew language, they kept all the more silent.
Then he said: 3 “I am indeed a Jew, born in
Tarsus of Cilicia, but brought up in this city at the feet of Gamaliel,
taught according to the strictness of our fathers’ law, and was zealous
toward God as you all are today.
I persecuted this Way to the death, binding and delivering into prisons
both men and women,
5 as also the high priest bears me witness,
and all the council of the elders, from whom I also received letters to
the brethren, and went to Damascus
to bring in chains even those who were there to Jerusalem
to be punished.”
He then explains the transforming
experience he had experienced, due to his encounter with Jesus Christ,
and goes on to explain what happened afterwards.
“Now it happened, when I returned to Jerusalem and was praying in the
temple, that I was in a trance 18 and saw Him
saying to me, ‘Make haste and get out of Jerusalem quickly, for they
will not receive your testimony concerning Me.’
So I said, ‘Lord, they know that in every synagogue I imprisoned and
beat those who believe on You. 20 And when the
blood of Your martyr Stephen was shed, I also was standing by consenting
to his death,[b]
and guarding the clothes of those who were killing him.’
Then He said to me, ‘Depart, for I will send you far from here to the
Gentiles’” (Acts 22: 17-21).
Paul became so convinced of all that
pertained to Christ and His resurrection from the dead that he was
willing to endure the most gruesome consequences to announce Jesus’
death and resurrection. In his Epistles to the Corinthians, he shares
some details as to what awaited his choice.
From the Jews five times I received forty stripes minus one.
25 Three times I was beaten with rods; once I
was stoned; three times I was shipwrecked; a night and a day I have been
in the deep; 26 in journeys often, in
perils of waters, in perils of robbers, in perils of my
own countrymen, in perils of the Gentiles, in perils
in the city, in perils in the wilderness, in perils in the
sea, in perils among false brethren; (2 Corinthians 11:24-26)
Here is the same man who had previously opposed
Christ, his followers and everything they preached and stood for who now
was joining the opposition and was preaching the same message he had
even willing to bear great sufferings and risk death, so as to announce
the death and resurrection of Christ, and all that it entailed for
Yet unbelievers would love to rationalize away the
zeal of this brilliant and fervent man as the consequence of “another”
hallucination. But if so, they
have to explain how his companions also saw the hallucination,
and then they have to explain how the same hallucination gave Paul great
miraculous powers, which lasted throughout his life.
Of course, in their blind zeal against Paul and
Christ, they can rationalize them away as well as being skillfully
crafted “lies;” but this attempt can be quickly rendered void by the
fact that Paul consistently taught against lies, and by the fact
that he had been a fanatical follower of the Torah who knew and obeyed
God’s commandment against lying fanatically. It is not a
coincidence that later on in his Epistle to the Colossian Church he
firmly confirmed the need to be truthful.
not lie to one another, since you have put off the old man with his
deeds…” (Colossians 3:9). Such
a man would not lie.
Luke, an objective and truthful
Some might wish that someone had done an
objective investigation of the events surrounding Christ so as to
provide an account of what transpired during the early days of
Christianity. Well, we have such an account. Luke, “ the beloved
physician,” as he is called in the Bible, went to Jerusalem and the
surrounding area; he interviewed many witnesses of the events that
surrounded Christ’s life as he reasonably could and then wrote a
thorough historical account of the events surrounding Christ’s life, His
death and resurrection. This account we know as the Gospel of Luke. We
must also mention that Luke went a step further and later accompanied
and watched first hand the works of one of Christ’s foremost
Apostles, Paul of Tarsus, and then wrote a thorough, detailed account
of his observations. Thanks to Doctor Luke, we have an
unparalleled and totally reliable, first-hand account of the first
foundational decades of Christianity.
Luke is objective, methodical and
“truthful,” and as such he is not well liked by some “objective”
intellectual unbelievers who probably wish that Luke’s two works would
simply disappear. But disappear they will not. Luke and Acts are
outstanding and totally reliable historical works which testify to the
existence of Christ, His mighty works, His death and His resurrection
and the power His Spirit had in transforming lowly people into bold and
powerful preachers of the Gospel.
The resurrection of Jesus Christ was a
momentous event for all of humanity. Because of it we have a hope that
Satan would love to destroy, and this he attempts to do through the
works of atheists, agnostics, and others that are openly
Common sense dictates that an all-wise
God would not allow such a critical event to rest of flimsy evidence.
The resurrection of Jesus Christ rests of the witness of many
“truthful” men that had no reason whatsoever to lie on behalf of a
callous and cunning deceiver and manipulator. Their witness sufficed
for the first Christian; it sufficed for the great multitudes through
the ages and up to our days who have accepted the reality of Jesus’
resurrection, and it suffices for those who today are willing to
objectively look and accept the unassailable facts.
The reader is encouraged to ponder this
most amazing and transforming fact and to recognize that although
accepting Jesus as a living Saviour means changing one's way of life,
the result of this transformation will mean
tremendous joy and a longing for the day when, because of Christ’s death
and resurrection, the multitudes will come to life for evermore.
Recommended Free Booklet offered by UCG.org
(No follow up)
Jesus Christ: The Real Story
AUTHOR'S OTHER SITES
ATHEISM EXPOSED AND DEFEATED
TEN GREAT PROOFS OF GOD'S EXISTENCE
GOD AND THE GREATEST
GOD AND GREAT PHILOSOPHERS
GOD AND THE GREATEST WRITERS
GOD AN THE GREATEST POETS
GOD AND THE GREATEST ARTISTS
GOD AND THE GREATEST MUSICIANS
IS THE GOD OF THE BIBLE CRUEL, OR IS HE LOVE AND JUSTICE?
GOD AND NATURAL CATASTROPHES
EINSTEIN AND GOD
(An in-depth analysis)
GALILEO AND GOD
(An in-depth analysis)
GOD SEEN THROUGH THE EYES OF THE
WHAT IF GOD...? THOUGHT-PROVOKING REFLECTIONS ABOUT THE ALMIGHTY
HELPFUL SITES ON JESUS CHRIST
Contact the author