Do you believe Jesus is alive? [Title Slide]
The Bible asserts that He is, and Christians for 2 millennia have proclaimed their belief in the resurrection of Jesus. But the question is, if you are brave enough to consider it, do you believe that Jesus is alive?
There are three possible answers that you can adopt.
[Break -handwritten YES]
The first is “Yes” – and many of us as followers of Jesus will be quick and confident to say just that. If that is you, stick around because I want to remind you of the significance of your belief.
If your answer is “No” I can understand that. It is a bit audacious to put confidence in a reality that would have you believe that Jesus died and within three day was resurrected back to life. I agree, it does sound like fantasy or science fiction. Plus added to the fact that Jesus was restored to life, but also the attending beliefs that he was God’s son, in essence God in the flesh, and that post resurrection he ascended to heaven and rules with Him at God’s right hand. Yes, that’s a lot to digest but rather than immediately dismissing it I would urge you to consider the possibility that indeed in this instance the supernatural overruled the natural order. And at least consider that the claims of the Bible may just be worth considering.
The third category is that you may answer “Maybe”
-Perhaps the resurrection is something you were taught. Maybe it is something that you have considered or believe casually as a religious fact, but doubt as a historical fact. If this is you, I want to thank you for giving a few moments to think a little deeper and to consider the possibility that Jesus is alive.
If you would allow me, let me give you three reasons that you should consider the possibility that Jesus is alive.
First, it is reasonable –by that I mean there is a certain logic to the fact that Jesus was resurrected from the dead. Let’s use this as a comparison:
[Break – Pyramids B roll]
Some would say the pyramids of Egypt were constructed by superior ancient aliens who used their technology to construct what humans could not. You’ve no doubt heard such theories and likely many of us have dismissed them and one of the reasons is simply this: think about the reasonableness of that theory. Why would creatures who had such a superior knowledge and ability travel light years across space to visit a primitive planet just to leave a colossal stack of rocks? Why not some clearly decipherable message about why they were here and the meaning of the visit? Also, there are credible theories as to how humans, even thousands of years ago with combined effort and ingenuity and simple tools, could accomplish the feats such as the pyramids. It just doesn’t seem reasonable to accept the alien explanation.
Now consider that if there is an all-powerful God who created us and who cares for us. Further, understand that humans have abundant moral failures. Does it seem reasonable that this benevolent God would do something extreme to remedy the results of our flaws? It also seems reasonable that such flaws cannot be fully remedied by our own actions- in essence we need a Savior. The Savior would have to be superior, and in this case, God himself came into human experience and paid the price for sin through His death on the cross. And through belief in His finished work we could be restored fully to the God who made us. To many of us that sounds extremely reasonable. But where does the resurrection fit in? Jesus predicted that he would die and be raised again which is an easy thing to say but something that a human could never accomplish. So, the resurrection was necessary to be proof positive that Jesus was who he said he was and that his claims are true. There is a certain reasonableness in spite of its extreme nature to believe that Jesus is alive.
Further, note the record that we have available to consider that Jesus indeed is alive. The books that make up the volume we call the Bible, record accounts of eyewitnesses to Jesus’ death and his resurrection. We have documented, first person evidence that many claimed that they saw Jesus post death. In fact, they so believe this message that at least 10 of the 12 disciples died for that belief. If they knew it was false and were just pretending it was true, why would they give their lives for something they knew to be a lie? They gave their lives for that which they believed to be true.
[Break -Bible passage]
Here are the words of Peter, who was as close to Jesus as anyone, and spoke before a hostile audience:
“you have taken by lawless hands, have crucified, and put to death; whom God raised up, having loosed the pains of death, because it was not possible that He should be held by it”
So we indeed have a historical written record by multiple witnesses that corroborate each other’s testimony. For many of us, that’s all we need to believe in the resurrection and remind ourselves that he is risen, he is risen indeed!
Last category would be results
While this may be a bit subjective, I can say for myself, and I know I speak for an unknown multitude of Christians, that having a relationship with Him through faith in his death on the cross and the surety of his resurrection, my life has been changed. This change has been documented for thousands of years in the lives of millions of followers of Jesus. Knowing him and following him drastically alters the course of life, the quality of life and the ultimate destiny of our lives. While we are not perfect and the record of Christianity is far from perfect, we have as the basis of our confidence of salvation, not in our performance but in His provision of salvation through His finished work.
So, if your answer to the question, “do you believe Jesus is alive” is YES-then reflection upon that reality should motivate us to continue to see change enacted in our lives.
If you’re in the category of “NO” I would encourage you to consider reading the Bible for yourself. I would encourage you to start reading the gospel of John, the 4th book of the New Testament.
[Break -Broll Bible/John]
Don’t take my word for it, take John who was an eyewitness of the resurrection and see what he has to say about what we should believe in. Read it with an open mind and with the open heart and see what God may say to you. If you’re in the “maybe” category I encourage you to seek out someone who can continue this conversation with you about what it means to be a believer in Jesus; someone who can answer your questions and direct you to the right scriptural text to help you understand what it means to be one of God’s children through trusting in the one and only Savior.
It is my prayer and hope that this brief message will cause you to rejoice in or to consider the reality that Jesus is alive. May God’s blessing be yours.