1 Corinthians 15:13-19 • 13If there is no resurrection of the dead, then not even Christ has been raised. 14And if Christ has not been raised, our preaching is useless and so is your faith. 15More than that, we are then found to be false witnesses about God, for we have testified about God that he raised Christ from the dead. But he did not raise him if in fact the dead are not raised. 16For if the dead are not raised, then Christ has not been raised either.
1 Corinthians 15:17-19; 32 • 17And if Christ has not been raised, your faith is futile; you are still in your sins. 18Then those also who have fallen asleep in Christ are lost. 19If only for this life we have hope in Christ, we are to be pitied more than all men. 32If I fought wild beasts in Ephesus for merely human reasons, what have I gained? If the dead are not raised, "Let us eat and drink, for tomorrow we die."
What Must Be Established? • Jesus Lived • Jesus Died • Jesus Lived Again
Early Christian Creed- 1 Cor 15:3-8 • 3For what I received I passed on to you as of first importance: that Christ died for our sins according to the Scriptures, 4that he was buried, that he was raised on the third day according to the Scriptures, 5and that he appeared to Peter, and then to the Twelve.
Early Christian Creed- 1 Cor 15:3-8 • 6After that, he appeared to more than five hundred of the brothers at the same time, most of whom are still living, though some have fallen asleep. 7Then he appeared to James, then to all the apostles, 8and last of all he appeared to me also, as to one abnormally born.
Importance of 1 Cor 15:3-8 • Paul states that it was handed down to him • It includes the assumption that Christ lived • It includes the claim of the death of Christ • It includes the claim that Christ was seen alive after his death • It has been dated to within 20 years of Christ’s death • Gary Habermas places the creed Paul refers to to within 5 years
Was Jesus An Historic Person? • The early Christian creeds affirm it • Christian (non-New Testament sources) affirm it- Clement of Rome • Hostile witnesses affirm it • Jewish- Josephus • Non-theistic- Pliny the Younger • All religions affirm His historical existence
Did Jesus Die On A Roman Cross? • Jews affirmed it • Romans affirmed it • Historian Tacitus • Medical evidence supports it • Spear thrust into Jesus’ side (John 19; Psalms 22) • Execution method affirms it • Jesus’ legs were not broken (John 19; Psalms 34)
Was Jesus Alive After His Death? • Empty Tomb • Implied by 1 Cor 15 creed • Jews accepted it • Women discovered it first • Appearances of Jesus • Directly supported by 1 Cor 15 creed • Up to 500 simultaneously • Non-Christian sources acknowledge early claim- Josephus • The Disciples did not expect to see Jesus alive • The Disciples turned from being cowards to dying with the belief that they saw Jesus alive • Jesus’ brother, James’ conversion • Saul of Taursus’ conversion
Naturalistic Theories and Objections Answered • Swoon Theory • Who’s going to believe in a person who is still half-dead? • Jesus was not buried in a tomb • One of the facts that even critical scholars accept • Hallucinations • Modern psychology demonstrates that hallucinations are not shared • Conspiracy • If more than two people are involved, conspiracies do not survive • Disciples stole the body and made up the whole thing • Speaking of conspiracies… • Things that are dead do not come to life • What about the origin of life? • Miracles do not happen • Assumed prior to the evidence • Modern physics has demonstrated that the universe was created from nothing
So…What?!?! • If God exists, we have a source to explain how the resurrection happened • God’s raising a person from the dead would validate the person’s message as being from God, Himself • God would not affirm the teachings of a blasphemer • Christ taught (among other things): • He is God (e.g. John 8:48-58) • Salvation comes only through Him (e.g. John 14:6) • God did raise Jesus from the dead • Therefore, God affirmed that Christ is God and salvation comes only through Christ
Importance of Worldview Thinking • We all live in the same single reality • Remember the law of non-contradiction? • A statement and its negation cannot both be true in the same context at the same time • A worldview is a description of the world “as it really is” • A true worldviewcannot violate the law of non-contradiction in ANY of its explanations • Includes all the sciences, humanities, and experience • Consistency is key
Worldview Implications • All other worldviews must use naturalistic explanations to accommodate the evidence presented here • All the naturalistic explanations violate the law of non-contradiction at least at one point • Therefore, any worldview that relies on any of these explanations violates the law of non-contradiction • Therefore, any other worldview is false
Final Verses • John 3:16- For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have everlasting life. • John 14:19b- Because I live, you will live also.
Final Thought • “If that isn’t reason enough to love you…to give you my heart and soul…to trust you…to give you all my life, there will never be a reason.” Lyrics by Ty Lacy; John Manderville; Shelli Manderville Performed by Avalon – “Reason Enough”
Much More Than This! Websites: GaryHabermas.com RisenJesus.com ReasonableFaith.org LeeStrobel.com JohnAnkerberg.org PleaseConvinceMe.com