Resurrection

Nazareth Inscription Study Debunks Evidence for Christ’s Resurrection?

"A marble tablet housed in the French National Library, measuring approximately 23.5 in. x 14.8 in. x 2.4 in., has drawn significant attention in recent weeks. Known as the Nazareth Inscription (or Nazareth Tablet), it has been cited as potential archaeological evidence for the biblical accounts of Christ’s resurrection. However, recent reports boldly proclaimed that this tablet is unrelated to early Christianity." - AiG

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What I Love About Easter

The Resurrection of Christ (1524-1531), Pieter Coecke van Aelst

I remember my mother once saying—quoting her father—that Easter Sunday is a lot like heaven. Perhaps it is the closest thing that we will experience to it here upon the earth.

I cannot prove that statement Biblically, but I have attempted to meditate upon it through the years, and I think there is much truth in it.

Growing up, I was part of a church tradition that placed great emphasis on Easter Sunday—which some strongly prefer to call Resurrection Sunday—and all of the events leading up to it. By the time we got to Holy Week—which I now prefer to call Passion Week—to my young mind it was as if we were really reliving the events of those most awesome days. It was as if Christ truly had to go the way of the cross on Friday, before we found out once again that He “is risen indeed” (Luke 24:34) on Sunday.

These customs made an indelible impact upon me. Good Friday ended with the closing of the Bible and the darkening of the church, and silence. Easter Sunday began with a service at the actual time of sunrise, and that made a point. The day—well, except for the years we had April snowstorms—was truly like a blast of bright, blinding sunlight that overwhelmed the darkness we had left behind on Friday.

Yes, we celebrated Lent. The term Lent triggers strong emotions in two opposing directions among evangelicals. In some quarters, it is making a comeback. Others believe that the mere mention of it is heresy.

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Three Days that Changed Everything

A man named Jesus hung on a cross. Prior to that point, this man had endured the rejection of his people, arrest on false pretenses, an illegal trial in which he was falsely accused, beaten and abused, and ultimately condemned to die because of the spiritual arrogance of his accusers.

To the eyes of many, this man was a good teacher, perhaps even a prophet; certainly a healer, and a remarkable leader. But he claimed to be something more—much more. And then this—he hung on a cross to die among the lowest of criminals.

His followers abandoned him for fear of their lives. In the end it appeared he died in complete failure. There was no kingdom, no deliverance. To many it appeared he died humiliated, broken, and completely alone. He even cried out to the God he called his father: “My God, My God, why have You forsaken me!?” This Jesus claimed to be the Son of God. But to him belonged the fate of crucifixion.

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From the Archives: Real Resurrection

cross(Originally posted March, 2012.)

April 5 is Easter, when Christians worldwide celebrate the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead. We gather the first day of every week throughout the year for this same purpose, but Easter Sunday marks the anniversary of the event.

Or does it? “No, no,” some insist, “not the anniversary of the event, the commemoration of the experience.”

It has become something of a rite of spring for some leading voice among this or that mainline Christian denomination to assure the world that the resurrection of Jesus was not a historic event. In March 2008, for instance, the Dean of Perth at St. George’s Anglican Cathedral, the Very Reverend John Shepherd, insisted that “the resurrection of Jesus ought not to be seen in physical terms, but as a new spiritual reality.” He urged his hearers to understand that it is “important for Christians to be set free from the idea that the resurrection was an extraordinary physical event which restored to life Jesus’ original earthly body.” The physical resurrection of Jesus is not only unessential to Reverend Shepherd’s faith, it is apparently something of an encumbrance.

The fourth article in the Thirty Nine Articles of Religion—not long ago the Anglican Church’s official creed—claims that “Christ did truly rise again from death, and took again his body, with flesh, bones, and all things appertaining to the perfection of Man’s nature.” But not to worry, the Very Reverend John Shepherd assures us, religion is always evolving. Old, dusty documents like the Articles should not be permitted to exercise undue influence upon our enlightenment.

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From the Archives: I Will Raise It Up

(Originally posted 3/22/2011)

Many children raised in Christian homes do not understand the meaning of Resurrection Sunday. They might choose the correct answer on a multiple-choice test but would flunk an open-ended question (“Why do we celebrate Easter?”). Open-ended questions provide the best measurement of understanding.

Fortunately, some of these kids will later appreciate the meaning of the holiday. They will learn that Easter is not about bunnies, baskets and ham, but the resurrected Savior. There were no bunnies at the tomb as far as we know. The women may have carried baskets, but we know that Jesus never tasted ham.

Similarly, Jesus’ disciples understood many of His teachings only in retrospect. After the resurrection, the disciples finally understood that He had to die an atoning death and then be raised.

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The Groaning Tent and the Exodus

A man went to a psychiatrist with a problem.

“Doc,” he explained, “I keep being plagued by two recurring dreams. One is a dream that I am a wigwam. In my other dream, I dream I am a teepee. Doc, you gotta help me. Am I going crazy? Is there something wrong with me?”

“Relax,” consoled the psychiatrist. “There is nothing wrong with you. You’re just two tents.”

The subject of tents was something Paul the Apostle took seriously. He was a skilled tentmaker by trade. Because tents were not far from Paul’s mind, he was in familiar territory when he compared life’s temporary nature to tent dwelling.

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