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Did He Really Rise? – Unconvincing Alternative Explanations – Easter Sunday 2018

1 Corinthians 15:1-58

Did He Really Rise? Unconvincing Alternative Explanations – Easter Sunday 2018

Would you willingly die for something you know to be a lie?
5 accepted Facts
5 almost universally accepted facts about the supposed resurrection of Jesus
1) Jesus died by crucifixion
2) Jesus disciples believed that he rose and appeared to them
3) The church persecutor Paul was suddenly changed
4) The sceptic James, brother of Jesus was suddenly changed
5) The tomb was empty
Why is the resurrection the only explanation that makes sense?

Yes but …
1) Legends
– the early disciples never claimed that Jesus rose from the dead but this story developed
early written accounts of Jesus bodily resurrection
they could produce the body.
Paul’s conversion is based on a personal encounter (and James)
– Just a story
the opponents of Christianity treated the details of the story as real literal history.

2) Fraud
– The disciples stole the body
Paul the persecutor and James the sceptic changing their stance based on a lie …
What was in it for them?
– Did someone else steal the body?
Not convinced by tombs but by what they believed to be a personal encounter with the risen Jesus.

3) Lapses
– The wrong tomb
The followers of Jesus were not convinced of the resurrection based on the empty tomb but on the appearances.
Opponents could not produce the dead body of Jesus.
Jesus was buried in Joseph of Arimathea’s tomb – a known place
– Jesus only apparently was dead.
40 lashes
crucifixion wounds
spear into Jesus side
roll the stone away quietly
walk to Emmaus (7km) and back
convince his disciples that he had risen from the dead

4) A problem of the mind
– Hallucination?
private experience
does not account for the empty tomb
does not account for the conversions of Paul and James
– Disciples were delusional.

5) The challenge of naturalism
Naturalism views the natural world as the sum of all reality.
“Only what sciences says is true”.
Firstly – the scientific method is limited in what it can observe or test.
Secondly – This claim also fails to see that it is self refuting.
Thirdly – requires events to be repeatable and predictable
Fourthly – scientific method will never detect the work of God.