22 Mar How the Evidence Made a Difference to Me
Sherri asked me a few weeks ago if I would be interested in putting together a blog post for the Christian Evidence Ministry site. I had recently spoken about my testimony and a number of the arguments I ran through in my mind when I first became a Christian. I thought some of those arguments would be good to share here.
First, let’s take a look at what Jesus taught. In Luke 6 starting at verse 27 we read:
27 “But to you who are listening I say: Love your enemies, do good to those who hate you, 28 bless those who curse you, pray for those who mistreat you. 29 If someone slaps you on one cheek, turn to them the other also. If someone takes your coat, do not withhold your shirt from them. 30 Give to everyone who asks you, and if anyone takes what belongs to you, do not demand it back. 31 Do to others as you would have them do to you.
You have to admit that if the world lived to what Jesus taught, this would be a much better place! Take a closer look. Read through the Gospels yourself. Read HIS words.
Second, look at the miracles Jesus performed inMark 6:2:
“What is this wisdom that has been given to him? What great miracles are being done by his hand?”
You may say “I don’t believe in those miracles”. Scripture claims He opened blind eyes, healed deaf ears, cured a mute to speak. turned water to wine, healed the sick,multiplied loaves and fishes, raised the dead and thousands upon thousands of people witnessed these miracles. When you read about the Pharisees, Jesus’ enemies, they hated Jesus, but you will never read of them questioning the validity of his miracles. They didn’t like them, and they wanted him to stop. But they never said, “That was just a trick”.
The Bible claims that Jesus came to this Earth. He was God in the flesh. He lived the perfect life, He became sin. He took all our sin upon Himself. He was murdered. He gave His life away. He allowed them to kill Him on a cross. He shed His blood as a sacrifice for our sins. He was buried in a tomb and three days later, God raised Him from the dead.
Now, there are some arguments against the resurrection. Number one is that the Roman soldiers stole the body. Maybe they did, but don’t you think that when all the Christians went around yelling, “He’s back, He’s back. He’s risen” that the soldiers would stop them and point out that they have the body?
Others think the disciples themselves stole the body so that they could fool everyone into believing that He rose from the dead. But don’t you think the Roman soldiers that the disciples would have had to have knocked out would have come forward? Secondly, I can’t imagine that the disciples didn’t believe in the resurrection of Jesus. Judas killed himself after betraying Jesus. John lived to be a very old man and died at an old age. The rest of them all died the death of a martyr. They came to the point that someone came to them and said ,”You renounce Jesus, or we’re going to cut your head off. We’re going to hang you upside down on a cross. We’re going to throw you to the lions” And every one of them did not renounce the name of Jesus, and they all died a martyr’s death. They were all willing to die. If they didn’t see the resurrected Jesus, do you think every single one of them would be willing to die for Him? Do you really think that eleven uneducated men devised the most ingenious plan, pulled it off, just to make the world a better place at tremendous cost past death? You have to ask yourself, could this resurrection thing be true?
Look at what Jesus claimed. John 14:6:
Jesus answered, “I am the way and the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me.”
I AM THE WAY. Not I am one of the ways, I am THE WAY. I AM THE TRUTH. Not part of the truth. I am the life. And no one comes to the Father except through me. It’s what He claimed. It’s a very exclusive claim. Jesus is saying I and the Father are one. You only get to Him through me. No other way. Ghandi didn’t make the claim, Mohammed didn’t make the claim. Buddah didn’t make the claim. Jesus made the claim. It’s exclusive in that Jesus says you can only get to God through Him, but we also know that Jesus said in John 3:16 “For God so loved the world, that WHOSOEVER believe in Him, should have eternal life.” One way, but everyone is invited. Jesus made the claim.
So you have two options when it comes to Jesus:
1. Jesus is a liar. He was a pretty good liar. He fooled 12 men into giving their entire lives and leaving everything they had to follow him. But you can’t do THIS if you think Jesus is a liar. Many people will say, “You know, I like his teachings. I don’t like Christianity, I don’t like that He is the only way to God. I like what He taught. He’s a great moral teacher. But I don’t really think He was the son of God”. The problem with that is this: If you believe He was a great moral teacher, but you don’t believe He was who He said He was, then He’s a liar. And if He’s a liar, He can’t be a great moralist. So, either He is who He said He is, or you don’t think He’s a great moralist. If I were Jesus, and I were just an ordinary man making all this up, maybe about 2 1/2 years into this I would think it’s going pretty good. But about the time the Roman soldiers take the whip and start hitting it across my back – about the time when the lashes are ripping the skin off my back and my internal organs are starting to fall out – I think about that time I would admit I just made the whole thing up. Or when the soldiers are hitting me in the face with rings, so much so that I am not recognizable as a human, I would have said “Forget it. This was just a joke. Please stop”Or if that didn’t get me, when they put me up on the cross and nailed my hands and feet, or drove the sword into my side I would have caved then. “Please get me off of here” If He was a liar, He would have caved. No one would go through the suffering He went through if they were a liar.
2. The second option is this: He was who He said He was, and He is the Lord God.
Those are your options. You can write Him off as a liar, or you can call Him Lord. If you’re not sure who He is, I encourage you to seek Him. He will reveal Himself to you. If you don’t do it now, you will do it one day. The scripture says there will come a time when “Every knee shall bow, and every tongue will confess, that Jesus Christ is Lord”.