Monday, June 15, 2015

Book Highlight: Why Trust Jesus? by Dave Sterrett

Chapter Eight:  Why Should I Trust Jesus in the Midst of Suffering and Death

The answer to this question is as Sterrett writes:

Because of the resurrection of Jesus Christ, we can face any physical difficulties and sorrows with the assurance that our bodies will be transformed supernaturally after death so that we can spend eternity with Him.1

But why trust that the resurrection occurred physically; historically? Sterrett, referencing the work of Dr. Gary Habermas, presents twelve facts that virtually all scholars from a range of theological convictions agree are historically true regarding Jesus and His followers.  Here are some of them:

 Jesus died by Roman crucifixion.                                               
Jesus’ tomb was found empty very soon after His interment.
The disciples had encounters with who they believed was the risen Jesus.
The conversion of James the brother of Jesus and Saul of Tarsus.2

Sterrett also utilizes an acronym developed by Hank Hanegraff in defense of the resurrection of Jesus – FEAT.

Fatal Torment:  The death of Jesus by crucifixion “is as sure as anything historical can be” according to John Dominic Crossan.3

Empty Tomb:  The empty tomb is part of the early source material used by Mark. The early information transmitted by Paul in 1 Corinthians implies an empty tomb. The empty tomb account is simple and the testimony of women is included when it was considered worthless in first-century Palestine culture. A debate between Drs. William Lane Craig and Gurd Ludemann is the source Sterrett references for these pieces of evidence.4  

Appearances:  The appearances of Jesus alive are part of an early creed found in 1 Corinthians 15. 5

Transformation:  The transformation of the disciples from men running and hiding to men boldly proclaiming a risen Jesus is best explained by the resurrection.

Sterrett concludes the apologetic for the resurrection with the additional evidence of the martyrdom of the apostles. People will die for a lie they believe to be true, but people will not die for lie they made up. This is the position the apostles were in!

We have substantial reasons to trust that the resurrection occurred and thus to trust in Jesus.

Stand firm in Christ,

1. Page 140.
2. Pages 141-142.
3. Page 142.
4. Pages 143-144.
5. Page 144.

Forthcoming:  Highlight of Chapter Nine:  Why Should I Trust Jesus When I Have Failed So Many Times?

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