Walk by Faith not by Sight. John 20:19-29; 1 Corinthians 15:12-20

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1 Walk by Faith not by Sight John 20:19-29; 1 Corinthians 15: Our thinking process needs proof because it is hard to believe when there is no proof scientifically or historically. Our basic thinking processes are the same. We have a tendency to believe only what we see, what we have touched, and proven by scientific or historical evidence. Thomas is a good example of a true believer. He wanted his doubts tested. His faith and confidence would have to be proven in the crucible of reality. His demand was not until I see it with my own eyes and can put my fingers in the nail wounds. 2. The resurrection demands an explanation from the historian, and the scientist and the cynic. Why are people having a hard time believing in the resurrection? Because it is hard to prove scientifically, I am not a doctor but it is common sense that when your heart stops, you only have only few minutes to resuscitate. When you pass this golden hour, it will damage the brain and organs and that person surely dies. When a person dies, all their organs shrink and you cannot reuse them. After three days later there is no way somebody can live again. Historically, it is hard to prove because nobody ever did that before. All those great heroes when they died never came back alive. This is not just a modern problem. Jesus own disciples had difficulty thinking outside the box. The Jews of Jesus day rejected outright the idea that someone would literally come back from the dead. Sadducees rejected even that idea of resurrection As a result, Jesus was crucified, dead and buried end of story. As we look at the rest of His disciples, some of them went back to their home town while Peter and the other disciples went back to their profession. Jesus resurrection, as in His body rising from the dead, if it is true, demands an explanation that the historian, scientist, and even theologian must account for in order to sustain the integrity of their position.

2 The liberal scholars tried to satisfy people s curiosity by coming up with some theories that attempted to prove the resurrection of Jesus Christ, did not happen. 3. There are some theories about Christ s death and resurrection. Hypnosis Theory Some people have suggested that visions of a risen Jesus could have been caused by post-hypnotic suggestion. This is in line with the theory that Jesus used hypnosis to perform some of his miraculous cures. If he could use hypnosis to cure people, then perhaps he could have also used it to implant a posthypnotic suggestion into the subconsciousness of his followers. Others may have seen him in dreams, or simply "felt his presence." Twin Theory There are two main versions of this theory, both based on the idea that Jesus had a twin brother. In one version, the twin dies on the cross instead of Jesus, and in the other version, the twin appears as an impostor after Jesus dies. There are other variations on the idea that a mistake in identity caused someone else to be crucified instead of Jesus. Some early Gnostic writings say that Simon, the man who carried the cross, was also the man who died on it. To add on, the Gospel of Barnabas says that Judas Iscariot was the man who was actually crucified. Drugged-Body Theory This theory believes that the apparent death on the cross is induced by a drug. Such possibility does have a scientific basis, because experiments have shown that a plant-derived drug called Reserpine can put mice into a temporary death-like state for several days. This, or some similar drug, might very well have the same effect on a human being like the story of Romeo and Juliet. A detailed account of this theory was given by Hugh J. Schonfield. He argues that a deathsimulation drug was given to Jesus as part of a plot to allow him to survive the crucifixion. Stolen Body Theory The Stolen Body Theory is one of the oldest and best-known resurrection theories. Some early opponents of Christianity claimed that the followers of Jesus secretly stole his body from the tomb and then invented the whole story of the resurrection. We have to remember that Roman soldiers guarded the tomb and fearful disciples did not have any capability to steal Jesus s body. Wrong Tomb Theory

3 There is a variation of this theory in which everyone goes to the wrong tomb, which happens to be empty but they knew exactly which tomb Jesus was buried in. Spiritual Resurrection Theory Some modern Christians, and even a few theologians, believe in a spiritual (rather than bodily) resurrection of Jesus. According to this view, His human body either vanished or was removed by God, and he reappeared in his eternal spiritual form. Remember the various gospel stories in which He suddenly appears and disappears, or passes through walls, and with the stories in which His followers did not initially recognize Him, or told not to touch Him. However, Jesus asked Thomas to touch Him and ate with His disciples. How can this ghost figure do that? Swoon Theory Most scholars believe that the Swoon Theory is usually regarded as one of the most reasonable resurrection theories. The Swoon Theory states that Jesus wasn't completely dead when he was removed from the cross; He was crucified and came very close to death. It further describes that He was taken down from the cross and laid in the tomb. After three days, the coolness of the tomb resuscitated (resurrection) Him and He managed to roll away the stone, come out of the tomb and appear to the disciples making them think He'd risen from the dead. In fact, many people have been mistakenly pronounced dead, even by modern doctors. What really happened? The Roman Guards - There were two separate groups of Roman soldiers given the task of ensuring the death of Jesus: the executioners and the tomb guards. The soldiers in charge of execution were specialists in capital punishment and crucifixion was one of the most brutal forms of execution in history. Jesus was nailed to a cross after enduring horrible beatings at the hands of these professional death merchants, and every person put to death by way of crucifixion was dealt with by these soldiers. Their job was to ensure the task was completed. Jesus could not have survived crucifixion, and these soldiers made certain that Jesus was dead before His body was allowed to be taken from the cross. They were completely satisfied that Jesus was truly dead. The second group of soldiers was given the task of guarding the tomb of Jesus because of the request made to Pilate by the Sanhedrin.

4 According to John 19:33-34: But when they came to Jesus and found that he was already dead, they did not break his legs. Instead, one of the soldiers pierced Jesus side with a spear, bringing a sudden flow of blood and water. These Jews who demanded that Jesus be crucified, and even going so far as to suggest an insurrection had He not been crucified, would never have allowed Jesus body to be removed from the cross if He was not already dead. These men were completely satisfied that Jesus was truly dead. Matthew 27:62-66 tells us The next day, the one after Preparation Day, the chief priests and the Pharisees went to Pilate. Sir, they said, we remember that while he was still alive that deceiver said, After three days I will rise again. So give the order for the tomb to be made secure until the third day. Otherwise, his disciples may come and steal the body and tell the people that he has been raised from the dead. This last deception will be worse than the first. Take a guard, Pilate answered. Go, make the tomb as secure as you know how. So they went and made the tomb secure by putting a seal on the stone and posting the guards. These guards ensured that the tomb was secure, and their lives depended upon completion of their mission. The Sanhedrin - The Sanhedrin was the ruling council of the Jewish people, and they requested that the bodies of those crucified, including Jesus, be taken down from the cross after their death because of the ensuing Sabbath day. According to Matthew 28:12-13, 15 When the chief priests had met with the elders and devised a plan, they gave the soldiers a large sum of money, telling them, You are to say, His disciples came during the night and stole him away while we were asleep. So the soldiers took the money and did as they were instructed. And this story has been widely circulated among the Jews to this very day. There are many evidences in the Bible that Jesus died for sure and rose from the dead. 4. Faith is not blind belief that rejects history, science, and present reality. Are you still having a hard time to believe this real historical event? Let me approach to you logically. Let s talk about historical event. When Julius Caesar was assassinated in B.C. 44, there was no video or photographic evidence to record this event. There was some eye witness account who told the people what really happened that day. Based on eye witness testimony, historians gathered those information and wrote it in the book so it became a historical fact.

5 Even though we didn t see, hear and touch it, almost nobody made an issue about this historical event. At the same time, it is fair to say that in the resurrection event, there were many witnesses who saw this resurrected Jesus. The Bible writers, from eye witness account, gathered these testimonies and wrote it in that book, the Bible. According to Paul in 1 Corinthians 15:3b-6a that Christ died for our sins according to the Scriptures, that he was buried, that he 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, 5. Easter s surprising hope is that Jesus is alive. The fact that Jesus resurrected launches a whole new paradigm for living. This new paradigm would now become the compelling force and confident principle of Jesus disciples life. God whom we believe doesn t have that kind of power (resurrecting Jesus), then what kind of hope do we have? God made Jesus as our first fruit according to Paul in 1 Corinthians 15: Someday we will be like Jesus because He conquered the death. 6. What is next? All the disciples when they met the Lord, their life has been changed 180 degree. God s mission works need three important elements (time, space and a person who is willing to obey). Since they had the reason to give, they carried on this Good News all over the world. Our faith demands our action. I believe God is asking us to carry on this amazing race. It will start with one person who is willing to follow God s command. Thomas did it. The rest of the disciples did it. Paul did it. Now, it is our turn since we have the reason to give, let s carry on this amazing race by the power of the Holy Spirit.

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