Statements about Our Lord
“More than 1900 years ago there was a Man born contrary to the laws of nature. This man lived in poverty and was reared in obscurity. Only once did He cross the boundary of the country in which He lived, which was during His exile in childhood. In infancy He startled a king; in childhood He puzzled the doctors; in manhood He ruled the course of nature, walked upon the billows as if on pavement, and hushed the sea to sleep with just the spoken word.
“He never wrote a book, and yet all of the libraries of the world could not hold the books that have been written about Him. He never wrote a song, and yet He has furnished the theme for more songs than all the song writers combined. He never founded a college, but all the schools combined cannot boast of having as many students. The names of past statesmen of Greece and Rome have come and gone. The names of the past scientists, philosophers and theologians have come and gone; but the name of this Man abounds more and more. Though time has spread almost 2,000 years between the people of our generation and the scene of His crucifixion, yet He still lives. Herod could not destroy Him, and the grave could not hold Him. He stands forth upon the highest pinnacle of heavenly glory, proclaimed of God, acknowledged by angels, adored by saints, and feared by demons, as the living, personal Christ, our Lord, our Savior, and our God.” (unknown)
Fr Crenshaw says: I saw a church sign announcing the sermon for the day: “Resurrection in Our Hearts.” That sounds like the minister does not really believe in the bodily resurrection of Christ, but just that the idea gives us hope. But for 2,000 years the Church has based its claim for legitimacy on the Lord’s historical, bodily resurrection. If that is not true, I quit and go home. The Church is nothing, and Christianity is a joke. But here are many evidences for His bodily resurrection:
- His cowardly disciples hiding in the upper room, fearful that they would be executed next, but after His resurrection, they all became fearless, going to their deaths preaching His resurrection.
- How do we explain the sudden appearance of the Christian Church, proclaiming the resurrection of Christ to the world?
- The Roman officials under Pilate had no explanation for the empty tomb, and they reported His crucifixion.
- If someone stole the body, how did they get past the Roman guards, and why would they take time to unwrap the body, leaving the grave clothes behind?
- To stop Christianity, all the enemies of Christ had to do, who had orchestrated His death and asked Pilate for the guard to keep the grave site secure, was present the body—end of story. Moreover, there never was a challenge to the tomb being empty, only how it got that way! But someone may wonder if the New Testament that reports these things is reliable. Consider these points:
- Have you ever studied Caesar’s Gallic War composed around 50 BC? Did anyone ever tell you to doubt its accuracy because of its manuscripts? There are only 10 good manuscripts, and the oldest is 900 years from the time Caesar wrote.
- Of the 142 books of the Roman History of Livy (59 BC to AD 17), only 35 books survive, and these are known from 20 manuscripts of any consequence, and of the 20, only one contains part of Books iii-vi and is dated in the fourth century AD.
- Of the 14 books of the Histories of Tacitus (AD 100), only 4 ½ survive, and of the 16 books of his Annals, only 10 survive, and the text of all his works that survive depend on only two manuscripts, one of the 9th century and one of the 11th century.
- The History of Thucydides (400 BC) is known to us from 8 manuscripts, the earliest being AD 900, and a few papyrus scraps dated around the time of Christ Himself. The same is true of the History of Herodotus, yet no classical scholar would listen to an argument that the authenticity of these historians was of no use to us.
- Plato died about 347 BC, and we have 7 manuscripts of his writings, the earliest dated in AD 900.
- Aristotle died 322 BC, and we have 5 of his manuscripts, the earliest being AD 1100!
- BUT now consider the New Testament. We have fragments of the Gospels dated to the time of the apostles themselves. We have over 5,600 Greek manuscripts; many date within a generation of the apostles, and others within a few hundred years, not to mention thousands of manuscripts of translations into other languages and thousands more from worship services where large portions of the New Testament were copied to be read to the people.