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Tuesday, June 14, 2011

Made Alive By The Spirit

Two theories of Christ’s historicity have been purported, either He never existed, or he did not die at Roman hands. Both are positively eradicated by historical evidence from secular authorities, Jewish references and Christian sources.

Secular writers had absolutely nothing to gain by attesting to Christ’s existence. Ironically, secular critics striving to discredit Him only succeeded in fixing Him historically. Lucian of Samosata was one such writer. Of Christ He remarks, “The Christians, you know, worship a man to this day. . . You see, these misguided creatures start with the general conviction that they are immortal for all time. . .” (McDowell, TNE, 121).

Contrary to the secular disregard for Christ’s historical existence, the Jewish scholars had every reason to discredit Him. He was not accepted as Messiah by the Jews and their scorn for Him was not unapparent. The Babylonian Talmud records, “On the eve of Passover they hanged Yeshu.” The Jews never discredited Jesus’ existence, only His Messiahship.

Early Christians suffered severely for their faith. If they knew positively that the resurrection and ascension did not occur, what would be their motive for steadfastly holding their faith? They also had nothing to worldly to gain except for persecution. I Peter 3:18 proclaims, “For Christ also suffered once for sins, the just for the unjust, that He might bring us to God, being put to death in the flesh but made alive by the Spirit."

McDowell, Josh. The New Evidence that Demands a Verdict. Nashville: Thomas NelsonPublishers, 1999.

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