(A few thoughts)
A person asks for ‘proof’ of the resurrection of the Lord; others may say this is foolish, but truth be told, if the heart is sincere, it is not really out of the ordinary to seek earthly help in knowing the spiritual.
Thomas, also known as Didymus, merely voiced openly what many hold secretly, and he received his answer. Today, others ask for the same ‘proof,’ yet choose to deny or disbelieve having the same evidence.
In a court of law, questions regarding the truth of a matter are designed to find flaws in a person’s guilt or innocence. If something is true, it can withstand the most serious and intense scrutiny.
Let’s put on trial the 500 brethren that the Lord appeared to after his rising from the dead, let’s hear from them your honor. Many however are not fair with themselves and facts, and believe in less important issues, having even lesser evidence.
The resurrection of Christ stands or falls with ALL of scripture. If one does not believe ‘in the beginning God created the heaven and the earth,’ he will not believe an iron head floated, he will think the plaque of frogs was a myth, he will argue Noah never lived, Moses did not die at 120 years, and certainly it would follow that the Lord Jesus was just an apprentice carpenter, while being only a good man, simply dying as all men do.
The testimony of scripture aside, I would ask the skeptic: What proof would you find sufficient that you may then walk into the hallway of the redeemed?For scripture does not lack in any capacity. The word was settled then, is settled now, and is forever settled in heaven, this is the tenure of God’s word. It speaks from faith to faith, and requires the attention of the most softest of hearts. This is God’s way.
He reveals himself to the humble and he resists the proud. It does take a great degree of pride to discount the lives of men and women who have given limb and life for He who lived, died, and lives again. The law, the prophets, the psalms, all sing the same song with a unity impossible if it was man’s plan. Do you believe God created the sun and moon, the stars, the animals, plant life, water? If not, the record of Matthew or John will do nothing for you.
If the resurrection of Christ is not enough proof, then God has nothing to add. How do you add to that which was finished? God speaks to faith, and this ‘rock of offence’ is enough. To ask for further proof, some may say, is insulting, for God has nothing further to say.
So the proof is in the pages, for the written word points to the living Word. The First and the Last, the Alpha and Omega is also He who said ‘I am He that liveth, and was dead.’ To the honest seeker, there is proof that is tangible, observable, undeniable and available. The water of life never shuts off, for its pureness is from God, and he bids ALL to ‘come and drink.’
Many have drunk of this water, male and female, young and old, and changed lives are also striking proof of the ‘arising from among the dead.’ At the tomb of a certain man, it simply took a spoken word, ‘Lazarus, come forth,’ as a dead man lived again, an added proof that the word of the Lord would be just as reliable when he said ‘I will rise again………..’
Saul of Tarsus had no plan to repent and believe the gospel, but he by chance happened to meet the crucified, risen, ascended, and seated Lord who gave him a rare gift: blindness for three days, as he marvelled in that glorious light.
He then was given a commission unlike any other, and the remainder of his days he would testify of he who ‘turns souls from the power of Satan unto God.’ Paul the apostle had an unusual blend of intellect, wisdom, humility, compassion, vision, and a love for humanity which gave him insight into the heart of man; yes, but this ‘sight’ came from the resurrected Lord.
One of the lesser mentioned ‘proofs’ of the resurrection, and in my mind the strongest, are the genealogies found in Matthew and Luke. One refers to Christ’s lineage to Abraham, while Luke traces his root to Adam.
Impeccable credentials and history dis-proven by none, for you see, this lineage is further proof that this Messiah would die and yet take His rightful and legal place on David’s throne, which could only happen if he was raised from the dead. This was the dilemma the Pharisees faced when questioned: ‘How could David’s son be David’s Lord?’ Their silence was thunderous.
Peter took note of this (yes the once denying Peter) when he addressed the Israelites saying to them: ‘The Lord said to my Lord, sit here, TILL I make thy enemies thy footstool,’ clearly referring to what he just witnessed, the life, death, burial, resurrection, and ascension of the man Christ Jesus. The implication was palpable to his audience and three thousand instantly received new life.
There are two kinds of ‘seeking for proof.’ One is seeking to have a reason to disbelieve, another is honest seeking so faith can latch onto the unseen with confidence. But many seek in disbelief, and no amount of evidence will suffice. This is a divine travesty with eternal consequences. Also, as far as a court of law, this case has been proven and settled long ago. Man is guilty, God’s word is good, and the Just offers the unjust reconciliation.
By the way, nature testifies of resurrection as in a simple perennial flower, oak leaves that die and bloom the following year, the re-occurrence of the seasons, seed bearing fruit, harvest, the rainbow which speaks to the God of history and promise, the daily heat given by the sun, the tides, and a thousand other proofs that an honest mind cannot deny, all pointing to another kind of life.
No other proof will be given today, men have eyes as well as a book that gives sight to whosoever will. There is no excuse. It is harder to believe that God could forgive a sinner, than to believe He can raise the dead. Fortunately, there is nothing too hard for the Lord.
Again to the sceptic: what proof would you find sufficient that a man rose from the dead in light of the scriptures, the 500 eye witnesses, the lives of people who are sold out to this One, as well as the testimony of nature?