Miracles and the Resurrection of Jesus Christ
There is a widespread view in the West that miracles simply cannot happen. So turning water into wine, healing the sick instantaneously, bringing the dead back to life and so on - these things can't happen.
This is what atheists like de Botton think and preach: Christianity's miracles are bunk (but he wants to cherry-pick the teachings that he likes).
This is not a view that comes from science, but from a world-view or philosophy called "scientism." Scientism teaches that "science" is the only avenue to truth, and that if it something can't be proved by the scientific method it don't exist, it can't happen, it's a myth.
Scientism is plain silly
This of course is a silly view. Science has been successful precisely because it has narrowed its field of interest all the way down to the physical world - and nothing else. It speaks only of what can be seen and touched and probed and tested. It, by it's own definition says nothing about meaning, emotions, souls, spirits, minds, God, angels, demons or Satan. Why? Because these things are out of its self-imposed remit.
Scientism is nothing other than a philosophical belief system designed to gain power over everyone "If what you believe isn't proved by our system - you're an outsider." Just a power play. Real and serious scientists reject such silly nonsense and see right through it's thin veneer.
Science allows all sorts of miracles
There is not one line of true science that denies the possibility of a miracle taking place. Let me explain. Scientists assume that nature normally runs according to laws. (Laws, which came from a great Lawgiver). This is such an important part of the work of scientist. A scientist assumes that when they come into the lab day after day, the same results will take place from the same experiments. He or she does not expect that an angel has tweaked the apparatus over night leading to a different result. So far, so good.
But strange as it may seem, although this is the universal assumption under which science works, there is not one single proof or experiment that could prove why this is true, or whether the laws could have been suspended in one region of space for a short period of time in the past, or could be suspended in the future. Not a single line anywhere!
There is simply no good reason why in one region of space the laws could not be suspended or replaced by another set of laws to produce a miracle.
If someone claims a miracle has happened today - a healing perhaps - then there is every good reason to expect sound evidence for it. Tragically many Christians talk about miracles as if they happen every day - when in point of fact they don't. Watering down miracles is dishonouring to God, because the world laughs at an easily deconstructed modern day "miracle" and then thinks it has reason to deny a scriptural one.
The idea that we should not invite a doctor to attest to a miracle lest it be seen as a lack of faith is nothing short of charlantry. Miracles stand out, they cry out, they amaze and astound. (And the greatest of them all is a new heart which humbly believes in God and in his Son, Jesus Christ).
The Glorious Resurrection of Jesus
So there is absolutely nothing in the canons of science that can deny that Jesus Christ rose from the
dead on Easter Sunday morning! The evidence for the resurrection must lie in the many proofs and evidences that surround the accounts of this glorious event:
The tomb was empty!
Don't tell me the truth would not eventually come out if someone had stolen the body. Unfortunately for those who spin that tale, the disciples had no expectation of a resurrection!
The first witnesses were women!
In Jewish courts their evidence was discounted, but they are there in the Gospel accounts. The Gospel writers - oops! - forgot to smooth that one out! Proof of authentic accounts.
Some did not believe!
Thomas doubted, others at the end of Matthew 28 did not believe. There is no attempt by the writers to "smooth out difficulties." Doubt is OK, doubt is faith saying "I believe, help my unbelief." We would be surprised if everyone believed in one instant!
Many different people saw Jesus alive
For 40 days Jesus walked around, ate, talked, cooked and taught. In small groups and big groups. This is sustained witness, not a one hour could be misunderstood resurrection event!
People died for this miracle
If the resurrection was a fake, would anyone die for it? The resurrection is the central miracle of the Christian faith! Thousands both then and today across the world lay down their lives believing it. Would you die for a lie?
The church grew on the back of this miracle!
The moment, the day, that anyone produced the dead body of Jesus would be the moment the Christian faith came to an end. But contrary to that impossibility, the church grew and grew and grew, founded on this one glorious miracle - that Jesus Christ who died for our sins has risen.
The meaning of the Resurrection
The resurrection of Jesus authenticates the veracity of Jesus - he predicted it and it came to be. If he was right here, he's right elsewhere. The resurrection demonstrates that the cross was effective. We believe that Jesus suffered on the cross for our sins. How do we know that that suffering was sufficient? When it stopped happening - when Jesus stopped dying - when Jesus rose from the dead. The resurrection demonstrates that there is something - life - beyond the grave. And supremely the resurrection gives us hope. Because Jesus said - no he says:
‘I am the resurrection and the life. The one who believes in me will live, even though they die; and whoever lives by believing in me will never die. Do you believe this?’
Everyone who believes that Jesus rose from the dead will have eternal life! That's the promise from someone who always speaks the truth.
This post is taken from our Pastor Roy Summers’ blog, where he discusses and comments on a wide range of current subjects and issues both in the world and in the church.