Hello and welcome to season 2 episode 97 of The Berean Manifesto, brought to you by The Ekklesian House.  This is Pastor Bill and over the next 10 minutes, or so, we are going to be picking up on the back end of the series that we just wrapped up and talk about the resurrection of Jesus.

According to Matthew 27, when Jesus died, the chief priests and the Pharisees wanted His tomb sealed with a very large stone and guarded as they were afraid that his disciples would steal the body and claim he had resurrected.  For clarity, accuracy, and credibility that’s an important detail in the scriptures to denote, “chief priests and Pharisees,” because the Sadducees, the other leading religious group, didn’t believe that resurrection from the dead was even possible.  The reason they thought the disciples would steal Jesus body and claim He had resurrected was because Jesus made no secret of the fact that He was going to be turned over to the religious authority of the day, tortured, killed, and then rise again on the third day.

We see this in Matthew 16, Mark 8, and Luke 9 where its recorded that Jesus started to teach His disciples that it was necessary for Him to go to Jerusalem and suffer many things from the elders, chief priests, and scribes, be killed, and be raised on the third day.  This is where Peter privately rebukes Jesus that this would never happen to Him.  Jesus’ response is to, very publicly, rebuke Peter calling him Satan and a hinderance to Jesus because Peter is not thinking about God’s concerns, only that of humans.

In Matthew 17, Mark 9, and Luke 9 we see Jesus and the Disciples trying to quietly travel through Galilee because Jesus was trying to teach them, “The Son of Man is about to betrayed into the hands of men.  They will kill him, and on the third day he will be raised up.”  This distressed and confused the disciples since they didn’t understand what He was talking about.

In Matthew 20, Mark 10, and Luke 18 Jesus pulls the twelve disciples aside privately on the away up to Jerusalem and once again tells them, “The Son of Man will be handed over to the chief priests and scribes, and they will condemn him to death.  They will hand him over to the Gentiles to be mocked, flogged, and crucified, and on the third day he will be raised.”

In John 2 Jesus runs the payday loan sharks out of the temple along with those selling animals for offering and the Jews ask him to explain to them by what authority He does this.  Jesus answer staring in verse 19b of John 2 CSB is, “[19b] ‘Destroy this temple, and I will raise it up in three days.’ [20] Therefore the Jews said, ‘This temple took forty-six years to build, and will you raise it up in three days?’ [21] But he was speaking about the temple of his body. [22] So when he was raised from the dead, his disciples remembered that he had said this, and they believed the Scripture and the statement Jesus had made.”

When Jesus’ followers visited the tomb, they found the stone that had sealed the entrance had been rolled away and there was an angel siting on top of the stone, just up there chillin’.  In Matthew 28:5-6 CSB we read, “[5] The angel told the women, ‘Don’t be afraid, because I know you are looking for Jesus who was crucified.  [6] He is not here.  For he has risen, just as he said.  Come and see the place where he lay.”

At the beginning of 1 Corinthians 15:1-8 CSB Paul writes “[1] Now I want to make clear for you, brothers and sisters, the gospel I preached to you, which you received, on which you have taken your stand [2] and by which you are being saved, if you hold to the message I preached to you—unless you believed in vain. [3] For I passed on to you as most important what I also received: that Christ died for our sins according to the Scriptures, [4] that he was buried, that he was raised on the third day according to the Scriptures, [5] and that he appeared to Cephas, then to the Twelve. [6] Then he appeared to over five hundred brothers and sisters at one time; most of them are still alive, but some have fallen asleep. [7] Then he appeared to James, then to all the apostles. [8] Last of all, as to one born at the wrong time, he also appeared to me.”

There have been some secular apologists who have supposed that Jesus appearances after his death were but spiritual visions and perhaps Jesus never truly rose from the dead.  As Christians, there should be no doubt that Jesus literally rose from the dead.  The scriptures are very clear on the fact of His resurrection, and the importance of that defeat of death.  We live in a time where even the existence of Jesus is a topic brought up for debate.  Honestly though, we have more historical evidence that Jesus existed than we do for some other well-loved historical figures.  Amongst these evidences is the writing of the Jewish Historian Flavius Josephus who wrote “At this time there was a wise man called Jesus, and his conduct was good, and he was known to be virtuous. Many people among the Jews and the other nations became his disciples. Pilate condemned him to be crucified and to die. But those who had become his disciples did not abandon his discipleship. They reported that he had appeared to them three days after his crucifixion and that he was alive. Accordingly, he was perhaps the Messiah, concerning whom the prophets have reported wonders. And the tribe of the Christians, so named after him, has not disappeared to this day.”

The reason we’re talking about this at all is to build confidence through knowledge.  The world is going to challenge you and your faith.  With confidence, when challenged, you can choose to love instead of going on the offensive.  This may be the best thing you can do for sharing the Gospel.

This is Pastor Bill saying, “Until next time…”

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