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Welcome to Korea Fr. Cedric Alimbuyong

Welcome to Korea Fr. Cedric Alimbuyong
Fr. Cedric replaces Fr. Dong Marcaida. Have a happy, fruitful and blessed days with us all!

Saturday, January 19, 2008

Did Jesus’ Resurrection Really Happen? (Series LXXII)

The claim that Jesus Christ truly died and truly rose bodily from the dead is not optional for Christian faith. It is central to the gospels and the witness of the apostles (see Mt 28:1-10; Mk 16:1-14; Lk 24:1-49; Jn 20:1-29; Acts 2:22-36), the guarantee of our own resurrection (see 1 Cor 15:20-22). As St. Paul insists, if Christ has not been raised from the dead, our faith is in vain (see 1 Cor 15:17; see also “Hasn’t Science Disproved Miracles?”).

Skeptics have dismissed Jesus’ resurrection as a hoax or hallucination, a superstition or myth. But all of the evidence points the other way. First, if it was a hoax perpetrated by his followers (see Mt 28:11-15), would they have devoted the rest of their lives, and willingly suffered prison, torture, and death, for what they knew to be a lie (see Acts 12:1-5)? If the tomb wasn’t empty, why didn’t Jesus enemies simply produce the dead body?

Second, if it was a hallucination, how could so many otherwise sane men and women be convinced they had encountered Jesus alive - more than five hundred witnesses on separate occasions and in various locations (see 1 Cor 15:3-8)? If the resurrected Jesus was only a hallucination, how could people touch his body and watch him consume the food they gave him (see Lk 24:36-43)?

Third, as the scriptural account shows, first-century people were no more likely than we are to be superstitious or gullible about claims of returning from the grave. Even the apostles reacted with skepticism, not to mention others (see Lk 24:9-11; Jn 20:24-25; Acts 17:32).

Finally, a myth takes generations to develop and take hold within a culture. But Jesus’ followers were testifying to his resurrection within a few days after his death. Even the biblical accounts of the Resurrection were written within the lifetime of those who knew what had really happened and could decisively challenge their claims if they had evidence to the contrary.

For all these reasons, the Christian testimony that Jesus was indeed raised from the dead must be taken seriously by non-Christians.

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