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How can we know that Jesus was raised from the dead?

Posted by truthtalklive on November 2, 2007

Todays host is Alex McFarland (www.alexmcfarland.com) president of Southern Evangelical Seminary (www.ses.edu)

He is interviewing Gary Habermas (www.garyhabermas.com) expert on the resurrection and ancient evidence for the life of Christ.

Next weekend, November 9-10 2007, is the start of the National Conference on Christian Apologetics in Charlotte North Carolina. Find out more information and how to get tickets @ www.ses.edu/conference/index.htm

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23 Responses to “How can we know that Jesus was raised from the dead?”

  1. Dan said

    I’ve never understood why God had to die in the first place. Can someone explain that to me in simple terms?

  2. John said

    Simply put, it was his destiny.The ULTIMATE BLOOD SACRIFICE.
    I could get into it a lot more,but you wouldn’t want it to come from me,of all people.Just wait…………….

  3. Anonymous said

    We can’t know it.

  4. ADB said

    Dan,
    In simple terms Christ died to atone for our sins. John is exactly right that it was his destiny. Jesus was as the N.T. puts it, the lamb slain from the foundation of the world. Hebrews says that without the shedding of blood there can be no remission of sin. Throughout the O.T. a complicated system of animal sacrifices was used for various types of sin. Christ was the ultimate fulfillment of that sacrificial system. In short, he suffered so that we would not have to. Matthew describes the veil in the temple being torn from top to bottom during the crucifixion. This veil separated the “holy of holies” from the rest of the temple structure. God’s presence was thought to dwell in this Holy of Holies, and so only the High Priest could go and then only on the Day of Atonement- one day a year. The tearing of the veil symbolically showed that the way to God was open without priestly intermediaries. In Christ, anyone can come before God. If you really want to get technical about it various Christian thinkers have described this atonement in various ways (substitutionary atonement, ransom theory, moral influence, satisfaction, Christus Victor to name a few). These various theories of atonement are probably more than you want to get into though. By the way the entire Godhead did not die, but in some way the Son was separated from the Father on the cross, but again this topic can get very deep in a hurry. Hope this helps.

  5. Anonymous said

    Your question was: Why did He have to die? The answer to this question is found in many places throughout the Old and New Testament. I will offer some scripture references for each of the following points.
    1. God is perfectly Holy. This means that God is perfectly good. In order to be perfectly good, there can not be a shred of bad, or evil in Him. Now if we believe this then we must also believe that He can not and will not tolerate or even associate with anything but good. If He did then He would not be perfectly Holy. Leviticus 11:44, “I am the Lord your God; consecrate yourselves and be holy because I am Holy”
    2. Humans are imperfect (sinful). I don’t know anyone in their right mind who would argue this point. Romans 3:23, “for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God.”
    3. Because we are sinful, we can not have fellowship with a perfect and Holy God. Jesus painted many pictures of our inability to meet God’s standards of righteousness. He said in Matthew 5:48, “Be perfect as your heavenly Father is perfect”. He gave many references to following God’s law perfectly such as looking lustfully at another woman equals adultery and loving our neighbors as we love ourselves. I honestly don’t know anyone who has ever done this perfectly, except Jesus. Jesus constantly gave examples of following “the Law” perfectly to show that it can not be done. In Matthew 19:25, His disciples asked Him, “Who then can be saved”. Jesus answered, “With man this is impossible, but with God all things are possible.” Meaning that we can not become “good enough” through our own works or good deeds. Therefore, we as “sinful” beings can not have fellowship with God because of our sin, although He loves us and wants to have this relationship with us.

    4. God makes it possible to have fellowship with Him. In the Old Testament, God solved this dilemma by implementing a system whereby His people could be forgiven for their sins (by God’s grace alone) and to enable them to draw near to God through a “High Priest” in the temple as constructed in Exodus chapters 24 through 40. The process for the “atoning” sacrifice was set up as described in Leviticus chapter 1 through 9. This was a system of atonement that had to be performed time and time again. Hebrews chapter 9:1-10, summarizes this point beautifully: “Now the first covenant had regulations for worship and also an earthly sanctuary. A tabernacle was set up. In its first room were the lampstand, the table and the consecrated bread; this was called the Holy Place. Behind the second curtain was a room called the Most Holy Place, which had the golden altar of incense and the gold-covered ark of the covenant. This ark contained the gold jar of manna, Aaron’s staff that had budded, and the stone tablets of the covenant. Above the ark were the cherubim of the Glory, overshadowing the atonement cover. But we cannot discuss these things in detail now. When everything had been arranged like this, the priests entered regularly into the outer room to carry on their ministry. But only the high priest entered the inner room, and that only once a year, and never without blood, which he offered for himself and for the sins the people had committed in ignorance. The Holy Spirit was showing by this that the way into the Most Holy Place had not yet been disclosed as long as the first tabernacle was still standing. This is an illustration for the present time, indicating that the gifts and sacrifices being offered were not able to clear the conscience of the worshiper. They are only a matter of food and drink and various ceremonial washings–external regulations applying until the time of the new order.”
    5. God promised a New Covenant. In Jeremiah 29:31-34, “The time is coming,” declares the LORD, “when I will make a new covenant with the house of Israel and with the house of Judah. It will not be like the covenant I made with their forefathers when I took them by the hand to lead them out of Egypt, because they broke my covenant, though I was a husband to them,” declares the LORD. “This is the covenant I will make with the house of Israel after that time,” declares the LORD. “I will put my law in their minds and write it on their hearts. I will be their God, and they will be my people. No longer will a man teach his neighbor, or a man his brother, saying, ‘Know the LORD,’ because they will all know me, from the least of them to the greatest,” declares the LORD. “For I will forgive their wickedness and will remember their sins no more.” And as stated in Hebrews 7:18-19, The former regulation is set aside because it was weak and useless (for the law made nothing perfect), and a better hope is introduced, by which we draw near to God. This promise was a “Better Covenant” in that He would provide a way to bridge the gap that separates us from having fellowship with God. This of course is fulfilled through Christ and the Holy Spirit indwelling in the hearts of those who put their trust in Him.

    6. God fulfills that Promise. John 3:16-21 “For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life. For God did not send his Son into the world to condemn the world, but to save the world through him. Whoever believes in him is not condemned, but whoever does not believe stands condemned already because he has not believed in the name of God’s one and only Son. This is the verdict: Light has come into the world, but men loved darkness instead of light because their deeds were evil. Everyone who does evil hates the light, and will not come into the light for fear that his deeds will be exposed. But whoever lives by the truth comes into the light, so that it may be seen plainly that what he has done has been done through God.”
    7. God’s Power now works in those who have put their trust in Him. The book of Romans is a great summary of these truths I just shared with you. Chapters 1 through 3:20 portray our (mankind’s) sinfulness. Chapter 3:21 through 31 explains that God offers us righteousness through faith. Chapter 4 shows us that we, along with Abraham, accept this gift by faith. Chapter 5 illustrates the effect that salvation has upon believers. Chapters 6 through 7 demonstrate our response to salvation. Chapter 8:1 through 27 shows us how to allow the Holy Spirit to work through us leading to a life of Victory with Christ illustrated in chapter 8:28 through 39.

  6. Anonymous said

    I think it originally was a play to be performed by actors. Only later on did it become a religion.

  7. John said

    We couldn’t.The computer kept stopping the show.Bummer that.

  8. Quinn said

    ROTFL!!

    Jesus Christ was NOT slain before the foundation of the world. He was slain @ 33 AD!

    HAHA!! I laugh at those who try to make God’s word say the most idiotic things!

  9. Jeff said

    Quinn,

    He was actually quoting Scripture (probably from the KJV). The King James, Young’s Literal, and possibly others (I didn’t check further.)translate Rev. 13:8 this way, “Lamb slain from the foundation of the world.” The debate is over whether the prepositional phrase “since the foundation of the world” is modifying the preceding phrase “the Lamb who was slain,” or the verb “written.” Most modern translations choose the later, noting that Rev. 17:8 seems to back this up.

    Whether or not the translation is correct, the idea is definitely scriptural. God decreed before the foundation of the world that His Son would die for the sins of His people. In God’s mind it was a finished work before the foundation of the world.

  10. ADB said

    Jeff,

    Good point, some people also try to misuse scripture to make it sound ridiculous. It is akin to saying that Jesus couln’t have been human because he also claimed to be a gate. That is the KJV translation, which in this instance is powerful phrasing even though modern translations don’t tend to use it. The notion that before we were ever created, there was a method of salvation in place is true testimony to God’s love.

    ADB

    ADB

  11. Anonymous said

    I am lost. What are you guys referring to?

  12. Anonymous said

    The part I’m curious about is where ADB says above “In short, he suffered so that we would not have to”. Exactly what human suffering is circumvented? More having to sacrifice animals in an old testament kind of tradition? Not having opportunity to come to God directly? Again, exactly what suffering was prevented?

  13. Maz said

    Dan #1….simple, it was your sin that sent Him to Calvary.

    How is it I missed this question!

    Anon #6. Do have any authority for saying such a thing?

    Anon #11. IN the beginning Adam, the first man, sinned, and sin and the penalty for it was passed to all mankind. Read Romans Ch. 5. We are all born sinful and we need a Savior to save us from that sin and the punishment. So Jesus, Gods Son, because He was sinless, took our place…took our punishment for sin on the cross, so that we would not have to be punished for our sin. He died instead of us. He has saved us from sin, death (spiritual) and Hell…..all we have to do is to accept that and believe it.

    What else do you want to know, or any clarification?

  14. Maz said

    Ah! This was last year. OK.

    So Anon – last year…are you the same Anon this year?

  15. Anon12 said

    Maz, hi; I’m a new anon – #12. I found this thread from a Google search last night where I was looking for an answer to the question I posted above as a follow up to a conversation I had earlier this year with someone who claims adamantly that Jesus did *not* suffer so that we would not have to. After all, we still do suffer, each of us, on a daily basis, in some way. So if you know something please don’t hold back. Is it that Jesus’ having come to us and allowing himself to die on the cross facilitates our salvation such that we can avoid suffering in hell?

  16. Andrew said

    OK Andrew sounds better than Anon #12 so I’ll go with that then.

  17. Maz said

    Anon12… Andrew. Yes. Jesus truly suffered physical agony on the cross, aswell as suffering the agony of being separated from His Father (something I don’t fully understand). Then some believe He went to Hell itself and suffered there. He may have gone to Hell but I believe He went there to take from the Devil the keys of Hell and Death, and rose up on the third day to a new life, so we can also be born-again and given a new life in Christ. He could rise from the dead because daeth could not hold Him….death is the wages of sin and Jesus hadn’t earned those wages because He was sinless.
    He suffered the separation from God His Father, something we could not possibly understand, so that we are never separated from our God and Father ever again through sin.
    Ofcourse we have to receive this free gift from God and ask Christ to be our Savior and Lord, recognising that we are sinners, and need to repent and turn away from our sin. Then He comes to dwell within us by His Holy Spirit and we are born-again, a new creature in Christ.

    Certainly He never promised us a life free from suffering while on the earth, in fact many Christians suffer because of their faith. We may suffer pain, sickness and disease, yet we can receive healing (it seems not always for some reason, and I still don’t fully understand that either, there are a multitude of reasons why not).

  18. Andrew said

    Thanks Maz. To summarize and close, if you can pinpoint a) whether some aspect of human suffering was prevented (yes or no) and b) if yes, exactly what aspect of human suffering is prevented, by Christ having suffered, that’s what I need to know. The answer might be implied by what you wrote above (which I read three times), but I’m not qualified to read between the lines, so best to explain in terms that might be understood by a typical 6-year-old… I do appreciate your help.

  19. Maz said

    Andrew: Yes. There is no doubt that Jesus Christ can prevent some suffering. Those who believe in Him can be protected from certain calamities and be healed of sickness and disease. Many can testify to His miraculous itervention in times of trouble, and His mirculous healing power in their lives. But we are not promised a perfect life without any suffering atall.
    Christs sufferings included physical healing and also to save us from suffering eternally in Hell.
    If you need anything more specific, then you need to be more specific in what you need to know. Why do you want to know particularly about suffering? The most important thing is to be saved from your sin and receive eternal life through Jesus Christ. Suffering in this world is only temporary anyway, though a few minutes of pain can sometimes be unbearable, but an eternity of pain is beyond description.

  20. Mike S. said

    Becoming a Christian can and will cause some suffering as well. A read of Hosea, Job, and of course Paul’s and Peter’s epistles make it clear that suffering is part and parcel of the Christian faith, yet we are enabled to face this suffering with joy which appears very weird to the average Joe. I am reading a great novel called Redeeming Love by Francine Rivers which follows the theme of Hosea. Sometimes the suffering that we are going through is what God actually ordains and uses to grow His children. In the case of Hosea, He shows through this prophet’s relationship with his prostitute wife, what the relationship between God and His rebellious children looks like. Grace and Mercy abounds!!

  21. Mike S. said

    “We have to learn to climb the hill called Calvary, and from that vantage-ground survey all life’s tragedies. The cross does not solve the problem of suffering, but it supplies the essential perspective from which to look at it,” (John Stott, The Cross of Christ).

  22. Mike S. said

    For a deep study on suffering check this web page out… http://gospeldriven.wordpress.com/2008/09/11/lessons-from-the-cross-at-ground-zero-a-sympathetic-savior/

  23. F. L. A. said

    Thank you for the site Mr.Sears.

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