Reaffirming the Resurrection

resurection             Easter is when Christians rejoice in the resurrection of Jesus. In addition to Scripture additional circumstantial evidence can be used to affirm the empty grave.

First, not even Jesus’ staunchest enemies were able to produce a corpse. The entire message of the resurrection could easily have been squashed by depositing Jesus’ body in downtown Jerusalem.

The second rational has to do with the primary witnesses—two women (Mk 16:1). In Rabbinic Judaism women were not viewed as reliable witnesses especially in a court of law. If the resurrection was a fraud by Jesus’ friends they would have chosen the most believable witnesses possible! It is similar to those delightful movies where thievery was lifted to an amazing art form in Ocean’s 11, 12, 13, using believable witnesses such as George Clooney, Brad Pitt, and Matt Damon!

Thirdly, would you die for a fraud you had perpetrated upon people? It is true that people who are deceived can and do die for a lie. But would those who engineered the fraud die for it? No! But eleven apostles died for the resurrection because it is true. Think of the Watergate break-in. Silence was kept a scant three days until the threat of jail time—not death—moved the burglars to speak.

The fourth piece of evidence rests with the guards at the tomb. A powerful incentive to not sleep on guard duty was the well-known Roman practice of executing soldiers caught dozing. I and others believe these soldiers were Jewish Temple guards. This is determined from two pieces of evidence; 1) responding to the Pharisees Pilate said, “You have a guard of soldiers …” (Mt 27:65 ESV), and; 2) upon discovering the empty tomb the guards report to the chief priests (Mt 28:11) which makes sense if they were Jewish Temple Guards, not Roman who would have answered to Pilate. The point of all this is that Jewish Temple Guards had a vested interest in keeping anyone from tampering with the tomb.

Based on the evidence presented the resurrection did indeed happen. May this give you courage and Easter joy for God is in control and in his Son, Jesus, death has been defeated!

Blessings,

- Pastor Weber

 

 

 

Pastor Karl Weber

About Pastor Karl Weber

Karl has been serving St. Paul’s Richville LC and St. John’s, Ottertail, MN since Labor Day, 2004. He was raised in the Roman Church receiving his BA from Fordham University. Before going to seminary he was a computer programmer in Minneapolis. He served as a short term missionary in Guatemala and Kenya, East Africa. He spent time as a member of the ELCA and studied two years at Luther Seminary, St. Paul, MN pursing his M. Div. before transferring to the LCMS for theological reasons and continuing his studies at Concordia Theological Seminary, Fort Wayne. He was ordained in 1991 and earned his D. Min. in May 2002 from the same institution. He has contributed study notes to The Lutheran Study Bible. He enjoys deer hunting, going to the gym, swimming, and reading. He is married to Mary and has five wonderful children.

Comments

Reaffirming the Resurrection — 2 Comments

  1. Just out of curiosity, were the temple guards Roman soldiers, perhaps subcontracted, or were they Jewish soldiers?

  2. #1 Paul:

    The relationship between the Romans and Jews was always tenuous at best. Though my knowledge is limited I am not aware of Roman soldiers ever being under the authority of someone who was not “Roman.” Rome was never into a United Nations confab as we have these days.

    Hope this helps,

    — Pastor Weber

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