MARK 16: SETTING THE SCENE
vicariously –“to feel or enjoy something through imagined participation in the experience of others.”
“Don’t be alarmed, You are looking for Jesus the Nazarene who was crucified. He has risen! He is not here. See the place where they laid him. … “But go, tell his disciples and Peter, ‘He is going ahead of you into Galilee. There you will see him, just as he told you. Trembling and bewildered, the women went out and fled from the tomb” (Mark 16:6-8)
“But after I have risen, I will go ahead of you into Galilee.” (Mark 14:28)
1)RESURRECTION THEN: DID IT REALLY HAPPEN?
“if Christ has not been raised, your faith is futile”(1Cor.15:17)
The gospels are accurate eye-witness documents
“… [Jesus] was raised on the third day according to the Scriptures, and that he appeared to Peter, and then to the Twelve. After that, he appeared to more than five hundred of the brothers at the same time, most of whom are still living” (1Cor.15:3)
JOHN writes that “…you may believe that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of God, and that by believing you may have life in his name.” (Jn.20:31)
Matthew writes – his own eye-witness account.
Mark gives us Peter’s eye-witness account.
Luke gives us a compilation of eye-witness accounts, “ Many have undertaken to draw up an account of the things that have been fulfilled among us, just as they were handed down to us by those who from the first were eyewitnesses and servants of the word. Therefore, since I myself have carefully investigated everything from the beginning, it seemed good also to me to write an orderly account for you, most excellent Theophilus, so that you may know the certainty of the things you have been taught.” (Luke 1:1-4)
Is it just a load of Chinese whispers? Note: for more information on this see the article by FF Bruce in the further reading section.
ii) 1st century historians confirm many details of that first Easter
“About this time came Jesus, a wise man, if indeed it is appropriate to call him a man. For he was a performer of paradoxical feats, a teacher …[who] won over many of the Jews and also many Greeks. He was the Christ. When Pilate, upon the accusation of the first men amongst us, condemned him to be crucified, those who had formerly loved him did not cease to follow him, for he appeared to them on the third day, living again, as the divine prophets foretold, along with a myriad of other marvelous things concerning him. And the tribe of the Christians, so named after him, has not disappeared to this day.” (Josephus, 93AD)
iii) Motives – if Jesus didn’t rise, why invent it?
Either the disciples :made the resurrection up and were willing to die for what they knew to be a lie, even though it meant no eternal life.
Or: the resurrection happened and therefore they were prepared to die for it because it was true and because it promises eternal life.
iv) The Growth of the Church
2) Resurrection Now
“a time is coming when all who are in their graves will hear his voice and come out—those who have done good will rise to live, and those who have done evil will rise to be condemned.” (John 5:28-29)
KEY QUESTION: How did you respond to Jesus Christ?
“I tell you the truth, no-one can see the kingdom of God unless he is born-again.” (John 3:3)
- Sorry for all that I’ve done wrong.
- Acknowledge that you deserve to be punished for those things.
- Thank-you for Jesus being punished in my place.
- Please come into my life by your Holy Spirit and be my boss, and give me that new life you promise
I want to know more….
- READ: FF Bruce, Are the New Testament Documents Reliable?
- READ more about manuscript P52
- READ more about Josephus: Vermes, Geza
- READ more on proofs of the resurrection: Wright, NT, Jesus’ Resurrection and Christian Origins, ntwrightpage.com/Wright_Jesus_Resurrection.htm and Wright, NT, The Resurrection as a historical problem, www.ntwrightpage.com/Wright_Historical_Problem.htm
- BOOK: The Case for Faith, Lee Strobel – a legal journalist investigates the evidence for faith in Jesus Christ
- TAKE A STEP WITH JESUS: visit www.christianityexplored.com