Series Code: ICJ
Program Code: ICJ190003A
00:01 Our friends the atheists will tell you that
00:03 the resurrection of Jesus was just a legend.
00:05 Our Muslim friends will tell you that Jesus
00:08 just swooned, He didn't die.
00:10 But I'm going to tell you why the apostles were right.
00:13 Jesus is alive.
00:40 The resurrection of Jesus is just central to everything.
00:44 Without the resurrection, there's no Genesis.
00:47 Without the resurrection, there's no second coming.
00:50 But with the resurrection of Jesus, Genesis is true.
00:54 And with the resurrection of Jesus as a reality,
00:57 the coming of Jesus is certain.
01:01 Let's go to the Scriptures and just see why the apostles
01:05 put the resurrection at the center
01:08 of the great story of Jesus.
01:10 Jesus Himself, at the resurrection of Lazarus
01:14 or just before the resurrection of Lazarus,
01:16 declared to Martha these marvelous words.
01:20 And we also find similar declarations of His
01:24 resurrected power in the book of Revelation.
01:26 And we'll talk about that at another time.
01:29 But now in the New Testament we have Jesus saying to Martha
01:32 in John 11:25, Jesus says, "I am the resurrection and the life.
01:40 And he who believes in Me, though he die,
01:43 yet shall he live."
01:45 That's a powerful declaration.
01:47 "I am the resurrection and the life."
01:49 So Jesus made that center to His own mission
01:52 as Messiah of the world.
01:53 On the day of Pentecost the apostle Peter declares
01:56 powerfully in Acts 2:32-33, "This Jesus God has raise up,
02:04 of which we are all witnesses."
02:07 The apostle Peter said, "We saw this.
02:09 We know what happened."
02:12 "And He's exalted Jesus to the right hand of God..."
02:16 And then the apostle Paul gives a very powerful picture
02:21 in 1 Corinthians 15 as he declares
02:25 the centrality of the resurrection.
02:28 "For I delivered to you first of all that which I received:
02:32 that Jesus died for our sins according to the Scriptures,
02:37 and that He was buried, and that He rose again
02:41 the third day according to the Scriptures.
02:43 And after that He was seen by Cephas, and then by the twelve.
02:47 After that He was seen by over five hundred brethren at once,
02:53 of whom the greater part remain to the present,
02:55 but some have fallen asleep.
02:56 After that He was seen by James, then by all the apostles.
03:00 And then last of all He was seen by me,
03:02 as one born out of due time."
03:04 That's a quick summary of the powerful witnesses
03:09 to the resurrection of Jesus.
03:11 Romans 4:23-25 says something about how important
03:18 the resurrection is for us.
03:20 For the sake of time I won't read it all,
03:21 but I want to look at the last part of that.
03:24 Paul says there that Jesus was raised from the dead.
03:29 But then he says in the end there, he says,
03:31 talking about Jesus, "...who was delivered up
03:33 for our offenses..."
03:35 In other words, Jesus died for our sins.
03:37 Now I say this, and sometimes people want me
03:41 to make sure I clarify this.
03:42 And you might be quiet for a moment.
03:45 I believe in that old song where it says,
03:47 "Jesus paid it all."
03:51 Jesus paid it all.
03:53 I love that song.
03:54 And He did on Calvary's cross.
03:57 But the death of Jesus alone was not enough to save us.
04:03 You say, "Are you sure?"
04:05 I'm positive because of the text.
04:07 Listen to the text again.
04:09 Jesus, "who was delivered up because of our offenses,
04:13 was raised," or resurrected, "because of our justification."
04:18 So in order to be justified, we have to have both
04:21 the death of Jesus and the resurrection of Jesus.
04:24 We serve a living Christ who is able to transform us.
04:29 Well why is it that people say, "Well, it's just a legend
04:32 or it's just a myth," or something like that?
04:35 People like to do that sort of thing.
04:37 But I'm telling you, and I say it kindly,
04:39 they don't know what they're talking about.
04:41 There's a thing called the study of ancient documents.
04:44 In other words, when you went to school and you studied about
04:46 ancient history of the Roman empire,
04:49 where do you think they got that information?
04:51 Well they got it from ancient documents
04:53 that have been somehow preserved.
04:55 And that goes true for many other
04:58 ancient stories and history.
05:01 Most all of it's based on a few documents from ancient history.
05:05 And scholars study this, they make a study of
05:07 studying these ancient documents
05:09 in order to make sure that they've got them
05:12 correct and they've understood them.
05:13 They criticize the text and look at it carefully,
05:16 and all of those kinds of things.
05:19 Well let's take a look at some of those documents
05:21 and how many we have.
05:22 Because only by understanding those documents
05:26 are we going to be able to understand how much information
05:31 and documentation we have for Jesus and for the resurrection.
05:36 So let me start with those, I'm going to share some of those.
05:39 Back in, oh, I think the 1970's, late 1970's,
05:44 a person by the name of Lee Strobel,
05:46 he was a legal journalist for the Chicago Tribune.
05:51 He was an atheist. He didn't believe in Jesus.
05:54 But one day through the course of time his wife
05:57 became a Christian.
05:59 And when she became a Christian, he was kind of
06:01 perturbed about that because he was an atheist.
06:04 He thought, "Well, I've got to do something about this.
06:06 This is too close to home."
06:08 And so he decided that he would prove that Jesus'
06:14 resurrection never took place,
06:17 and the whole thing was just a myth.
06:20 He thought he could do it in one weekend.
06:23 So he put all of his legal skills and journalistic skills
06:26 together, and a year and a half later
06:30 he laid down his legal pad, laid down his pen,
06:34 and gave his heart to the Lord Jesus.
06:37 Because what he had discovered by being fair
06:39 with the ancient documents, that you can't deny
06:43 the resurrection of Jesus.
06:45 Now a lot of these people are not Christians.
06:47 And they'll tell you, "I'm not a Christian, but
06:50 we cannot deny the resurrection.
06:53 We can't deny that it took place.
06:54 We can't tell you how it took place,
06:56 but we can't deny it."
06:58 And the reason they can't deny it is because
07:00 of the authenticity of these ancient documents.
07:03 Let's take a look at a few other ancient documents
07:06 just to show you the great difference between them
07:10 and the New Testament gospels.
07:12 But let me give you a little summary statement
07:14 first of all from Dr. Michael Gleghorn.
07:17 He said, "The New Testament gospels, along with the other
07:20 New Testament writings, were not written within hundreds of years
07:24 of the ministry of Jesus, as some atheists allege.
07:28 Anyone who thinks this is relying on shoddy scholarship.
07:32 All the New Testament documents, including the four gospels,
07:37 are products of the first century church."
07:39 In other words, they were written right after
07:43 the story of Jesus and the life of Jesus.
07:46 And they were written by the apostles.
07:47 But let's look again at some of these ancient documents
07:51 that you learned about in school from ancient history,
07:56 just to show you the difference.
07:57 Here we've got Josephus.
07:58 He was a Jewish historian.
08:01 And he has a work called, The Jewish Wars.
08:05 We have only nine complete manuscripts
08:08 dating from the fifth century.
08:10 That's four centuries after they were written.
08:12 That's the earliest we have of that.
08:15 Here's another one.
08:16 Tacitus, The Annals of Imperial Rome.
08:18 Much of the history we know about Imperial Rome
08:22 comes from this source.
08:24 And copies were made, the earliest copy we have
08:28 is like 700 to 900 years after his death.
08:33 And we only have a very few.
08:34 Only, I think, two manuscripts all together.
08:37 That's where all your history, much of the history about
08:39 the Roman empire comes from.
08:41 And then there's Julius Caesar.
08:43 Everybody knows that Julius Caesar lived.
08:45 And he did his own work on the Gallic Wars.
08:47 We have about twelve manuscripts.
08:50 The oldest, however, is 900 years after Julius Caesar lived.
08:57 And then, of course, you've heard of Socrates and Plato.
09:01 Their philosophies are still around today.
09:03 Plato wrote the story of the life of Socrates.
09:09 But we only have seven copies, and the earliest one
09:13 is 1200 years after Plato wrote it.
09:17 Yet, nobody questions the truth of Socrates and Plato.
09:23 And then, of course, there is Homer's Iliad.
09:26 Everybody knows about Homer the poet.
09:29 He was written about 850 years BC, Before Christ.
09:33 Great manuscript.
09:34 We have quite a few documents.
09:36 We have about 2000 fragments and manuscripts.
09:40 However, there's a 900 year gap between the earliest,
09:45 the earliest fragment we have.
09:48 And there's hundreds of other years
09:52 between the actual manuscript that we have.
09:55 So most all of these documents that tells of ancient history,
10:01 we only have a handful of them.
10:03 And also there are gaps of 800 to 2000 years
10:08 between when they were written
10:10 and the earliest documents we have.
10:12 So it means you have copies of copies,
10:13 of copies, of copies, of copies.
10:15 And yet, scholars today don't doubt that they don't
10:18 have an accurate story.
10:20 They've studied these documents carefully.
10:22 So people put it in the school books, and you go to school,
10:27 that's what you learn.
10:28 And we accept it as fact
10:29 because it's based on good scholarship.
10:33 But I want to share with you the stunning, the stunning
10:38 manuscripts and documentations we have
10:40 for the resurrection of Jesus.
10:42 The most recent count that we have is that we have
10:46 over 5280 fragments and manuscripts
10:51 dating back on the life of Christ, very early ones.
10:56 Some of these are, of course, complete manuscripts nearly,
10:59 and some of them are fragments.
11:03 We have virtually brand, not brand new, but virtually
11:07 complete New Testament manuscripts
11:11 that go back within 300 years or less after Calvary
11:16 within just about 200 years after the apostles lived.
11:19 That's early.
11:20 That's getting very, very close.
11:22 Let me give you just a little summary of some of those
11:25 right now that would be kind of fun just to know about.
11:27 I want to run through some of them.
11:29 We have the Magdalen Papyrus.
11:33 And they think that it was written about 200 AD.
11:37 That's just 100 years after the last apostle died.
11:41 And some concluded that it was actually written
11:45 in AD 70 while the apostles were still alive.
11:48 That caused an uproar.
11:51 Another amazing one is John Rylan's Papyri.
11:55 It was written, they think, about 117 years after Christ.
12:00 Not after Christ.
12:02 That's after the turn of the century.
12:03 That's after His birth.
12:04 So within a few decades after the death
12:07 of Christ we have this.
12:08 Here's another one, it's very important.
12:10 Part of this is held in the University Of Michigan.
12:14 And it's called the Chester Beatty Papyri.
12:18 Some people have said, "Well..."
12:20 And by the way, it contains just about all the writings
12:22 of the apostle Paul.
12:24 And some have said that it probably dates about 200 years,
12:29 200 AD, or about 100 years after the death of the apostle John.
12:32 160 or 170 years after the death of Christ.
12:36 That's getting pretty close.
12:38 Getting pretty close.
12:39 But then someone came along by the name of Young Kim.
12:43 And he did a very scholarly work, and he said, "No."
12:46 He says this was written probably about AD 60 or 70.
12:50 The apostles are still alive.
12:53 The criticism of him was very reserved.
12:56 He had done very, very good work.
12:59 So we have documentation now that gets very, very close.
13:03 The accuracy of the New Testament has been translated
13:08 into many languages.
13:09 And I'm going to pick up on that in just a little bit.
13:11 But I want to share with you that when you look at the
13:14 evidence, you look at the thousands of documentations
13:18 for these ancient documents that we have
13:21 to tell about the life of Christ,
13:22 that's why the scholars are coming back and saying,
13:25 "You know, something big happened.
13:28 The resurrection happened.
13:30 But we can't tell you how."
13:33 But the fact is that it's a reality.
13:37 It's not a myth.
13:39 And if you compare the documentation we have
13:42 for Jesus, it's overwhelming.
13:46 When we get back we're going to look
13:48 at the evidences of the resurrection.