December 15, 2017
In this day in age it is easy to understand how people can be skeptical about the world around us, especially when it comes to understanding the foundational Christian belief in the resurrection. The Bible makes this explicitly clear that it requires faith. One verses in particular that really drives this point is found in Hebrews 11:6 “And without faith it is impossible to please him, for whoever would draw near to God must believe that he exists and that he rewards those who seek him.1 This verse can also hold true to miracles and the resurrection of Jesus.
The resurrection of Jesus, is something that Jesus often spoke of. There are various examples in the Gospels. Jesus knew that ultimately without his death and resurrection, we would still be dead in our sin with no hope. The resurrection of Jesus is a historical fact much more fully attested to than most other events of ancient history we take for granted.2 There are arguments throughout history of whether the resurrection is a fact or not. As Christians, we have the Bible, and our faith to believe in the resurrection. This goes back to Hebrews 11:6. We need faith in this, whether it be miracles, Jesus, His resurrection, we must have true faith to see.
The New Testament is packed full of accounts of Jesus’ miracles he performs. The question is then how can one still not be convinced? Doubt. My own view is that it would be unreasonable to ask a person who has not yet embraced Christianity in its entirety to allow that all the healings mentioned in the Gospels were miracles—that is, that they go beyond the possibilities of human ‘suggestions’.3 Even after being a Christian for many years I was still very immature in my faith regarding this topic.
For me even though I believed in miracles and I believed that Jesus was in fact resurrected, I didn’t really think miracles were necessary any more. Why would they need to be? We have modern medicine, technological advances etc. I could understand how miracles, especially healings could and needed to happen in places like Africa, but not in our western world where modern medicine is so readily available. It wasn’t until I witnessed one first hand that I truly believed. We were praying for a student once who had a messed-up elbow. I remember praying that Jesus would heal it miraculously. We started to pray, and I felt all the bumps in his elbow pop back in, I watched all the scrapes on his arm leave, and once we were finished praying there was only a small mark. Miracles are hard to believe in, even by Christians; however, miracles are still being performed today. So why don’t miracles happen all the time? In Luke, Jesus also talks that miracles do not just happen all the time, if they did they would not be considered miracles. John talks of many acts of miracles that were never mentioned. Jesus performed miracles as a way of showing the truth of his Word. Miracles are an essential element in Christianity, something I realized late in my walk. If Jesus Christ is not God manifest in the flesh, our faith is a silly myth. If He did not rise from the dead in bodily form, the grave being empty and his appearance being recognizable, then we are yet in our sins and of all the people most miserable.4
Throughout history, people have been trying to prove the resurrection of Jesus as wrong or not evidential. I believe that the resurrection is more than historical. The first fact in the history of Christendom is a number of people who say they have seen the Resurrection. If they had died without making anyone else believe this ‘gospel’ no gospels would ever have been written.5 For me an argument that I find compelling is this the disciples’ willingness to suffer and die for their beliefs indicates that they certainly regarded those beliefs as true. The case is strong that they did not willfully lie about the appearances of the risen Jesus. Liars make poor martyrs.6 When Christians say they believe in Jesus, his Miracles and the resurrection, we are saying we have not only a faith that this is true, but we also have proof that it is true.
We have to believe in Miracles and the Resurrection of Jesus. These are not simply magic tricks that Jesus performed, but his resurrection is the cornerstone of our Christian faith. When we have the faith to see, our eyes are open to something way beyond the natural. We get a glimpse in to the supernatural acts of God. Not only do we get a glimpse, but one day we will have the honor and pleasure of seeing them in the full capacity. My prayer is that those that doubt, like myself may be able to witness the amazing work of Jesus, and to have faith that he was resurrected so that we are no longer dead to sin, but can be alive in Him.
The Holy Bible: English Standard Version. (2016). Wheaton, IL: Crossway Bibles.
Keller, Timothy. The Reason for God: Belief in an Age of Skepticism. New York: Dutton, 2008.
Habermas, Gary & Licona, Michael. The Case for the Resurrection of Jesus. Kregel Publications
Lewis, C. S. 1963. Miracles. Publisher: New York, NY : HarperOne,
Douglas, J. D., Merrill C. Tenney, and Moise?s Silva. Zondervan Illustrated Bible Dictionary. Grand Rapids, Mich: Zondervan, 2011.
1 The Holy Bible: English Standard Version. (2016). (Heb 11:6). Wheaton, IL: Crossway Bibles.
2 Keller, Timothy. The Reason for God: Belief in an Age of Skepticism. New York: Dutton, 2008.
3 Lewis, C. S. 1963. Miracles. Publisher: New York, NY : Harper One
4 Douglas, J. D., Zondervan Illustrated Bible Dictionary. Grand Rapids, 2011.
5 Lewis, C. S. 1963. Miracles. Publisher:New York, NY : HarperOne
6 Gary Habermas & Michael Licona (The Case for the Resurrection of Jesus, p. 59)