Epicurus’ Problem of Evil

In the philosophy of religion, an ancient discipline, being found in the earliest known manuscripts concerning philosophy, the problem of evil is the question of how to reconcile the existence of evil with that of a deity who is, in either absolute or relative terms, omnipotent, having the quality of having unlimited power with the capacity to know everything and this even in a state of omniscience or ubiquity, the property of being present everywhere, and omnibenevolent (from Latin omni– meaning “all”, and benevolent, meaning “good”) (see theism).

All About Evil

All About Evil (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Lots of people have already spend lots of words and time to discussions about the existence in this world and the position of or no position of a deity in this matter.

We may have logic, reason or moral intuition, not derived from purported supernatural revelation or guidance (which is the source of religious ethics), seeing what happens in the world every day. Strangely enough as long as everything goes all right people do not need a god or say they do not believe in God. But as soon as something bad happens they all seem to blame that God Which they say does not exist.

They overlook the fact that through logic and reason, human beings are capable of deriving normative principles of behaviour.

For humanists it is clear that we do have a universal morality based on the commonality of human nature, and that knowledge of right and wrong is based on our best understanding of our individual and joint interests, rather than stemming from a transcendental or arbitrarily local source, therefore rejecting faith completely as a basis for action. When there is some wrong in the world this does not have to come from any supernatural power. No god or not the God has to be called responsible for the wrong-going in this world. Most humanists look for viable individual, social and political principles of conduct.

People who do not believe in God do not exclude our secular ethics, secular beliefs as a matter of influence on good and bad in our environment. Most thinkers are aware that lots of evil that comes over man comes over the human beings by their own fault.

Though lots of people do ask if there is a God willing to prevent evil, but not able? In case, they think, this god is not omnipotent. That is also what the Greek philosopher Epicurus thought. He wrote a riddle which turns out to be loaded with a couple of erroneous presuppositions.

He also questioned:

Is he able, but not willing? Then he is malevolent.
Is he both able and willing? Then whence cometh evil?
Is he neither able nor willing? Then why call him God?

The problem with a lot of thinkers is that they assume that God must do so in exactly the way we think he ought to, and if he doesn’t, we’re going to get all uppity and tell him that he doesn’t exist.

Portrait of Epicurus, founder of the Epicurean...

Portrait of Epicurus, founder of the Epicurean school. Roman copy after a lost Hellenistic original. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

According to Epicurus we do have a a mental perception of our nature which is usually ridiculous. Man having created gods who live eternal lives of contentment in the void of the universe and have no concern with men. There are no rewards or punishments after death; death is extinction, according to him. Dying might reasonably — though mistakenly, he feels — seem a cause for fear; to fear death itself, however, is absurd, since it brings nothing in its wake.

Because we are confronted with elements and with problems we can not cope with, we consider that God to be responsible that He has not given us enough power to avoid such problems and all that suffering it brings with it. We take such an attitude that we blame Him to be responsible for all the badness that comes over this earth. We consider Him responsible and point our finger at Him, finding that He ought to deal with evil. Funny thing is also that most people give the impression that they know just how He ought to do deal with it.

Epicurus continues:

If God exists, then God is omnipotent, omniscient, and morally perfect.
If God is omnipotent, then God has the power to eliminate all evil.
If God is omniscient, then God knows when evil exists.
If God is morally perfect, then God has the desire to eliminate all evil.
Evil exists.
If evil exists and God exists, then either God doesn’t have the power to eliminate all evil, or doesn’t know when evil exists, or doesn’t have the desire to eliminate all evil.
Therefore, God doesn’t exist.

Epicurus does seem to forget that The God can really eliminate all evil, but Epicurus does not question why He allows it to exist. He also in several of his texts gives the impression that God would not know that evil exists, but the Word of God, given to us with the Holy Scriptures let us know very well that God is conscious about the existing evil, but also how evil is in man.

When we look in the Bible, we can get a good impression of what evil is, how it came into being and why there is still evil in this world. All the answers are in the Scriptures. Evil is defined by God as being that which is opposite to him. The “Satan” is any adversary or any person working against the Divine Creator. In every person there is a satan, or a character of opposition or adversary, against the “I am” the own personality and against the “I Am Who I Am” the Divine Superior God in Whose image we are created.

Most people when they look at evil in this world want God to solve it because they have come aware that human is worthless in solving it all. They hope that God can deal with all the problems in this world, the evil the suffering, in such a way that will give them a problem-less world, with no bad things in it. But they themselves would not like to be changed. Because God offers them a world with less problems. He does give the world advice to avoid problems and suffering.But the world does not want to know.

Blaming God is all-right but listening to Him?

Epicureanism afforded a role to gods, they were not thought to be involved in the universe in any way, and it rejected outright the idea of an afterlife. That last bit made it not so loved by many people who loved to have something to look forward to after they had to endure this life full of misery.

English: Ancient Greek philosopher Epicurus, d...

Ancient Greek philosopher Epicurus, depicted in the Nuremberg Chronicle (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

The disdain with which Epicureanism was treated has led to it being misconceived to this day. Epicureanism is still thought of as a commitment to sensual pleasure, to fast living. Though Epicurus did conceive of pleasure as the highest good, his conception of pleasure was far from hedonistic: all that Epicurus sought was a peaceful life free from discomfort and distress. Though for many religious people it seemed so wrong to enjoy life. They all forgot that this is also something God would love His people, to have joy of this world and to live nicely. But for God the nice living does not come undeserved or without any action of man himself. We all have to grow up, have to learn, have to think about matters, have to make decisions, have to act and to react, and by the actions we do take we shall have to bear the consequences of our actions.

Many do think if God is omnipotent He would not allow evil to be, but why not?

There have been many attempts to defend God‘s goodness in view of the existence of evil. They are common to monotheistic religions based on the Abrahamic tradition, namely Judaism, Christianity, and Islam, as these all suffer from the problem of evil.

In short, the problem of evil occurs when specific attributes are ascribed to God:

David Hume argued:

“Why is there any misery at all in the world? Not by chance surely. From some cause then. Is it from the intention of the Deity? But he is perfectly benevolent. Is it contrary to his intention? But he is almighty. Nothing can shake the solidity of this reasoning, so short, so clear, so decisive; except we assert, that these subjects exceed all human capacity”

We would not say that “Free will is assumed to be a greater good than the evil that it causes”, but with free will or free choice human beings have most in their hands. We also would not say that free will is needed by God to serve some purpose. It is a free gift from God, which can be used by people like they want. But they also can leave it for what it is, and God cannot be called responsible for that.

It is true God could have created humans such that they would always freely choose the good. This He did not do and therefore many call Him ultimately responsible and blameworthy for any evil act which humans perform. This gives the indication that they preferred the God having created human beings who only would follow His Will and only could do what He wanted.

Humans must be free to commit actions which would qualify as “evil” as well as “good” in our argument, in order to have free will. When they only would be made to have restriction, only doing the Will of God, they would be like robots or machines not able to think and act for themselves. Those who want God having to have created beings which only could do good, should wonder if such a being uberhaut has any free will or free choice to do something. In this case, all humans born without this capability, possess no free will. Should then all human beings all be the same? Because what is going to determine that one person is going to do this or an other job, having an advantage of strength, size, or skill. This are factors now determined by the choices being made by that person. The development of a human being depends on how he or she wants to use his or her free will. Are then the potentially smaller, weaker, or less skilled persons than victims? Would a difference in capability also not be part of evil or part of the good?

In case all would do the same job and would be totally the same that would place God in a worse light than now. This would put God in the position of denying free will to someone regardless of God’s position on an action, whether God intervenes, or not.

People limiting God by not allowing Him to let nature develop and have what we call natural disasters, such as hurricanes, tsunamis, and earthquakes, do not want to see the necessity of certain developments in nature, or they would not want nature to evolve. Natural disasters are not to be defined as evil. The fact that they occur, and that God does not prevent them or the deaths and suffering they cause, people should question if those people were living at areas provided by God to live. Often people do want to take parts from nature to house themselves, whilst they were provided for the animals or as natural buffer. A lot of people just think they are master of nature and can decide where they may live and where animals may not live. Now lots of people do not take enough account of nature and ignore the laws of nature. By not showing any respect for nature and its laws they do have to bear the consequences of their bad behaviour against the universe.

God is not unaware of people’s suffering, but He has given them on their demand, what too many do forget, the right to decide for themselves what they want to do, which way to go and how to behave. He is not therefore not omniscient; or He is therefore not unable to do anything, and therefore not omnipotent. Some may find it not right that He does not want to intervene. Because He is unwilling to intervene they do find Him not omnibenevolent. The latter word being primarily used as a technical term within academic literature on the philosophy of religion, mainly in context of the problem of evil and theodical responses to such. Although even in said contexts the phrases “perfect goodness” or “moral perfection” are often preferred because of the difficulties in defining what exactly constitutes ‘infinite benevolence’.

For many God not showing directly infinitely compassion makes Him not worthy to be called a Omnibenevolent Deity. But is it not like any parent who has his children doing things and when something did something wrong and therefore got himself or herself in problems tells them that if they did not want to listen had to learn from what happened to them because they were not willing to listen to what the father said beforehand.

Belief in a God’s omnibenevolence is an essential foundation in traditional Christianity; this can be seen in Scriptures such as Psalms 18:30:

“(18:31) “as for god, his way is perfect, the word of ADONAI has been tested by fire; he shields all who take refuge in him.” (Psalms 18:30 CJB)

According to the Bible Jehovah, the Elohim is The Rock Whose work is perfect, for all His ways are justice. (Deuteronomy 32:4) Too many people are forgetting that This God of faithfulness and without iniquity is Just and right, having a perfect law which restores the soul. The people should remember they are nothing without God and that His testimony is sure, making wise the simple.

“(19:8) the torah of ADONAI is perfect, restoring the inner person. the instruction of ADONAI is sure, making wise the thoughtless.” (Psalms 19:7 CJB)

Jehovah is righteous in all His ways, and gracious in all His works (Psalms 145:17). It is not because we do not understand why certain things happen in nature, earthquakes, flows of water, etc. that they do not have the right purpose or are meant for the better, because we do not see straight ahead the good results.

Too many people do believe their way of thinking is the best. Often they consider others their idea less good than their own. And most people consider it impossible that there could be a Supreme Being which nobody can see or feel, would be even better and more knowledgeable than they. For them it is difficult to accept that great and marvellous would the works of that One God, the Almighty and that His ways would be righteous and true (Revelation 15:3 )

Many ancient authorities read nations:

“who would not fear you, king of the nations? for it is your due! —since among all the wise of the nations and among all their royalty, there is no one like you.” (Jeremiah 10:7 CJB)

This understanding is evident in the following statement by the First Vatican Council

The Holy, Catholic, Apostolic and Roman Church believes and acknowledges that there is one true and living God, Creator and Lord of Heaven and earth, almighty, eternal, immeasurable, incomprehensible, infinite in will, understanding and every perfection. Since He is one, singular, completely simple and unchangeable spiritual substance, He must be declared to be in reality and in essence, distinct from the world, supremely happy in Himself and from Himself, and inexpressibly loftier than anything besides Himself which either exists or can be imagined. {“First Vatican Council”. dailycatholic.org. Retrieved 2008-05-02.}

Notice how also the Catholic Church agrees that The God of gods “is one, singular”, but also an “unchangeable spiritual substance”. According to the Bible God is a Spirit, Who was, is and ever shall be the same. so He did not became one moment a man who could be seen and be tempted, because God can not be seen and can not be tempted. God His divine qualities are consistent.It is only those who want to believe in the human doctrine of the trinity who can see inconsistency, which would be normal because God and Jesus are two totally different characters.

God contains within himself the cause of himself. Being self-sufficient, having within Himself the sufficient reason for His own existence, He also has given others, His creation, the ability to be and to have cause for existence. It is not that God would be without emotion or is “impassible”, because in the Bible lots of times is given an indication how God feels and is given an idea of His emotions.

All things came into being through Him, and without Him not one thing came into being. The aorist tense implies that everything that exists (other than God) came into being at some time in the past. This verse carries the weighty metaphysical implication that there are no eternal entities apart from God, eternal either in the sense of existing atemporally or of existing sempiternally. Rather everything that exists, with the exception of God Himself, is the product of temporal becoming.

We also should come to understand that everything is as such also temporarily. The badness we see now can turn out something good in the future. And in the end we do know that God shall provide the best for every creature, man, animal, plant, in His Kingdom.

Human beings should know that there is nothing God needs from us and that there is nothing we can do to improve on God. God is sufficient unto Himself. Human Beings should know that the “end purpose of all things” is God. God loves mankind but like any father who loves his children it does not have to mean he does not allow bad things to come over them. Lots of people do not seem to notice how He His caring for those who suffer, His desire to be in communion with us. The “grand object” of Scripture is God’s saving purpose worked out in human history.

We should come to understand that every journey is a process, from beginning to end, by which we have choices and can have faith in some things some ones and/or in Some One, whereby the energy in the beginning can be matter and be the product of Faith. When there is faith in the One God matters can become clear, and than we can understand cause of pain and how we can live wit it.

All those who are willing to find the one, and Only True God, by seeking Him, shall find assurance, even when they do suffer, that God shall be prepared to listen to them and to be near to them. When you seek, the One and Only True God, with an honest, open heart, and with humility, you shall be able to come to understand lots of things. God wants to enter your life. He shall give you insight.

Many may say

“Where is God when a child cries from hunger, fear, loneliness?”
“Where is God when a young mother dies of breast cancer?”
“Where is God when we cry out in the night?” {Where Is God?}

People may not forget that always God is here waiting for us to reach out, to invite Him into our lives. He has given us the world to live in and to develop. He has given us the taks to name the animals and the plants, but he did not ask us to destroy His creation by our selfishness and by polluting “our Earth”. God is love. God does not hate. God does not kill. God does not make war, God has never given any man the authority to kill another man in his name.  That is man again, doing the evil that men do for their own evil reasons.
God is waiting for us “in our hearts, if only we would call.”

+

Preceding articles:

  1. Does God stands behind all evil on earth
  2. Is God behind all suffering here on earth
  3. I Can’t Believe That … (2) God would allow children to suffer
  4. Why God permits evil
  5. Evil Never Ceases
  6. Pain, sanctification and salvation
  7. From Despair to Victory

+++
Additional reading:

  1. Epicurus and the problem of evil
  2. Satan the evil within
  3. It is a free will choice
  4. National Natural Disaster and Bible Prophecy
  5. Tragic coach crash in the Swiss Alps
  6. Facing disaster fatigue
  7. Profitable disasters
  8. Reacting to Disasters
  9. From pain to purpose
  10. Bad things no punishment from God
  11. Doubting the reality, genuineness and effectiveness of God’s love
  12. We are ourselves responsible
  13. I said God it hurts
  14. Dealing with worries in our lives
  15. I Only hope we find God again before it is too late !
  16. Trusting, Faith, Calling and Ascribing to Jehovah #5 Prayer #1 Listening Sovereign Maker
  17. Faith Over Fear
  18. Faith because of the questions
  19. Trust God to shelter, safety and security
  20. God is my refuge and my fortress in Him I will trust

+++

  • What Role Did Psychology Play? (psychologytoday.com)
  • Happiness (todayssigns.wordpress.com)
    Not understanding that has to be the main reason for why criticism of hedonism involves pursuit of pleasure as an end in itself. Any student of Epicurus knows that happiness results as a byproduct of pleasurable activities. Any student properly schooled in American history knows that “the pursuit of happiness was included in the basic philosophy upon which America was founded. Think of this the next time someone tells you America was founded as a Christian nation. We are a nation of hedonists very ignorant of how to apply that fact.
  • Letter: Whose ‘right’ should we follow? (norwichbulletin.com)

    Whose right and wrong? That of the American Atheists Inc.? Mine? How about ISIS? If you throw away the “whims of some bronze age mythological figure,” whose whims rule the day?

    As for leaving religion in the history books, isn’t that what we’ve done as least as far as the schools go? How’s that working?

  • What is Morality? (seesharppress.wordpress.com) > What is Morality?
    The Christian Apologetics and Research Ministry defines morality as “Morality is the distinction between right and wrong. It is the determination of what should be done and what should not be done. Morals deal with behaviours as well as motives. There is a great deal of discussion on what is the source of morals and whether or not they are objective. Biblically, morals are derived from God’s character and revealed to us through the Scriptures”
  • Above the Gray: How We Approach Ethics As An Organization (prsay.prsa.org)
    As a Society, we represent the very largest and smallest of enterprises worldwide. Issues such as transparency, privacy and personal identity are now far more challenging, thereby increasing our responsibility as public relations professionals. Transparency is part of the larger conversation around ethics, which frames it with other such conventions as truth, accuracy, fairness and a responsibility to the public. While it’s tempting to think of ethics as the domain of philosophers debating theoretical concepts, the reality is that we all face ethical decisions every day, and they are almost never black and white.
  • Is SEO Immoral? (moz.com)
    By learning and manipulating the system to accomplish its goal, SEO makes it more likely that you will come upon a target that is irrelevant.
  • Epicurus’ Problem of Evil (keskyisnotbusy.wordpress.com)
  • Jesus Was Tortured And Killed, Today Most Christians Are Highly Supportive Of Torture (blacklistednews.com)
    Let’s get this straight, Jesus who was interrogated, tortured and then killed has modern followers who actually support government sanctioned torture. If they are Christians and are familiar with his history then they would know what happened and reject such savage methods. Today so-called terrorists are picked up on the street and hurt severely without even being put before a judge and jury. These people are the antithesis of Jesus and have nothing in common with him.
  • ▶ Nullification The Rightful Remedy – YouTube (chasvoice.blogspot.com)

Temptation in matrimony

165 Abundant peace belongs to those who love your law;+ Nothing can make them stumble. {Or “For them there is no stumbling block.”}

165 Abundant peace belongs to those loving your law,+ And for them there is no stumbling block.+ (RefB)

++

who love your law:

(Psalm 1:2, 3): But his delight is in the law of Jehovah,+ And he reads His law in an undertone* day and night.+He will be like a tree planted by streams of water, A tree that produces fruit in its season, The foliage of which does not wither. And everything he does will succeed.+

(Proverbs 3:1, 2):3 My son, do not forget my teaching,*  And may your heart observe my commandments,  Because they will add many days And years of life and peace to you.+

(Isaiah 32:17): 17 The result of true righteousness will be peace,+ And the fruitage of true righteousness will be lasting tranquillity and security.+

(Isaiah 48:18): 18 If only you would pay attention to my commandments!+ Then your peace would become just like a river+ And your righteousness like the waves of the sea.+

(Psalm 19:7): The law of Jehovah is perfect,+ restoring strength.*+ The reminder of Jehovah is trustworthy,+ making the inexperienced one wise.+

(Psalm 40:8): To do your will, O my God, is my delight,*+ And your law is deep within me.+

(Psalm 112:1): 112 Praise Jah!*+א [Aleph] Happy is the man who fears Jehovah,+ב [Beth] Who takes great pleasure in his commandments.+

(Matthew 5:3): “Happy are those conscious of their spiritual need,*+ since the Kingdom of the heavens belongs to them.

(Romans 7:22): 22 I really delight in the law of God according to the man I am within,+

(James 1:25): 25 But the one who peers into the perfect law+ that belongs to freedom and continues in it has become, not a forgetful hearer, but a doer of the work; and he will be happy in what he does.+

*

Abundant peace belongs to those loving [God’s] law, and for them there is no stumbling block.—Ps. 119:165.

22 Suddenly he goes after her, like a bull to the slaughter, Like a fool to be punished in the stocks,*+23 Until an arrow pierces his liver; Like a bird rushing into a trap, he does not know that it will cost him his life.*+ (Proverbs 7-22-23)

Do not be misled: God is not one to be mocked. For whatever a person is sowing, this he will also reap;+ (Galatians 6:7)

File:"Woman Taken in Adultery" - NARA - 559122.jpg

Woman Taken in Adultery – Harmon Foundation; National Archives and Records Administration, College Park

If you find yourself tempted to develop an improper romantic relationship, meditate on the damaging consequences of fornication and adultery. (Proverbs 7:22,23; Galatians 6:7)

Those who commit immorality displease Jehovah and hurt their spouse and themselves. (Malachai 2:13,14) In contrast, contemplate the benefits that come to those who maintain chaste conduct. Not only do they have the hope of living forever but they also enjoy the best life now, including a clean conscience. (Proverbs 3:1,2) So love the truth, and “keep strict watch that how you walk is not as unwise but as wise persons” in these wicked times. (Ephesians 5:15,16) We are well-equipped to protect ourselves from the traps set by Satan (= the evil). Jehovah has given us what we need to “stand firm” and “quench all the wicked one’s burning missiles”! — (Ephesians 6:11,16). w12 8/15 4:18, 19

10 Finally, go on acquiring power+ in the Lord and in the mightiness of his strength. 11 Put on the complete suit of armor+ from God so that you may be able to stand firm against the crafty acts* of the Devil; 12 because we have a struggle,*+ not against blood and flesh, but against the governments, against the authorities, against the world rulers of this darkness, against the wicked spirit forces+ in the heavenly places. 13 For this reason take up the complete suit of armor from God,+ so that you may be able to resist in the wicked day and, after you have accomplished everything, to stand firm.

14 Stand firm, therefore, with the belt of truth fastened around your waist,+ wearing the breastplate of righteousness,+ 15 and having your feet shod in readiness to declare the good news of peace.+ 16 Besides all of this, take up the large shield of faith,+ with which you will be able to extinguish all the wicked one’s burning arrows.*+ 17 Also, accept the helmet of salvation,+ and the sword of the spirit, that is, God’s word,+ 18 while with every form of prayer+ and supplication you carry on prayer on every occasion in spirit.+ And to that end stay awake, constantly making supplication in behalf of all the holy ones. 19 Pray also for me, that the words may be given to me when I open my mouth, so that I may be able to speak boldly in making known the sacred secret of the good news,+ 20 for which I am acting as an ambassador+ in chains, and that I may speak about it with boldness, as I ought to speak. (Ephesians 6:10-20)

+

Preceding articles:

 Father and motherhood

Father counterpart of the mother

Dignified role for the woman

Gender roles and Multitasking parents

Loving and having respect for the woman

Dutch version / Nederlandse versie: Verleiding in het huwelijk

++

Find more to read:

  1. No time for immorality
  2. Infidelity
  3. Don’t cut your conscience to fit this year’s fashions.
  4. What shall I render unto the Lord for all His benefits
  5. For attractive lips, speak words of kindness
  6. Father and motherhood
  7. Importance of parents 1
  8. Importance of parents 2
  9. The business of this life
  10. Doctrine and Conduct Cause and Effect
  11. Fragments from the Book of Job #3: chapters 21-26
  12. I Only hope we find GOD again before it is too late !
  13. People Seeking for God 2 Human interpretations
  14. Science, belief, denial and visibility 2
  15. Philosophy hand in hand with spirituality
  16. The Third Word: Scripture twisting is blasphemy
  17. Be Honest
  18. Sincerity not a test of truth
  19. Act as if everything you think, say and do determines your entire life
  20. Truth never plays false roles of any kind, which is why people are so surprised when meeting it
  21. Fixing our attention
  22. How to look for and how to handle the Truth
  23. The truth is very plain to see and God can be clearly seen
  24. Sincerity not a test of truth
  25. Getting to know the Truth
  26. Determined To Stick With Truth.
  27. Unarmed truth and unconditional love
  28. It is a free will choice
  29. United people under Christ

+++

  • A Righteous War (jehovahswatchtower.wordpress.com)
    The Bible mentions many battles that were fought throughout the ages. War has been a fact of life for mankind for thousands of years.
    +
    Whatever happened to Sodom & Gomorrah?
    Today’s news articles tend to show that Gays are gaining some acceptance and many people in the world today tend to believe that Homosexual people are just as entitled to the benefits, respect and rights that normal people enjoy. It appears that being Gay is gradually gaining respectability as a life style.
    +

    A Warning Message That Most People Will Ignore Just Like in Jeremiah’s Day
    Jehovah has sent his messengers to warn mankind of an impending destruction.   And they too were told by means of the Bible – that
    the vast majority of mankind will not listen.
    +
    God’s faithful messengers have never been popular. People did not appreciate them or their message. They detested and persecuted the messenger. Instead of becoming angry with God who composed the message, they poured out their wrath upon the faithful servant who delivered it. It has always been so. Therefore, it should be no surprise today.

  • How the Lord’s Advent becomes effective in the Individual Man (havau22.wordpress.com)
    The effect of the Lord’s perpetual presence is, that man is made rational, and that he can become spiritual. This is effected by the light proceeding from the Lord as a sun in the spiritual world, which man receives in his understanding; and that light is the truth by which he has rationality.
  • Psalm 34 | Bible Resources (spiceofyourlife.wordpress.com)
    The face of Jehovah is against them that do evil, To cut off the remembrance of them from the earth.
  • It’s My [Pity] Party And I’ll Cry If I Want To (laurarogers09.wordpress.com)
    The chaos, the tears, the frustration, and the unknown.  All you know is that God loves you and that He is working all things for your good (Romans 8:28), but right now it just feels like you’re an ant and God is a kid with a magnifying glass. You’re tired, desperately needing rest- physically and spiritually. You need a minute to just be still and rest in Him, but you look at your laundry list of things to do and the moment of peace slips away.
    +
    It may be true that “History merely repeats itself. It has all been done before. Nothing under the sun is truly new… We don’t remember what happened in the past, and in future generations, no one will remember what we are doing now.” Ecclesiastes 1:9,11.  This may sound abysmal to you, but I find that it gives me confidence that I will overcome whatever hardship I face and nobody, not even me, will recall how terrible it was once it is over.  How often do we go through hardships and look back and think to ourselves “it was worth it” or “I would do it again in a heartbeat?”  It may be annoying to think that way in the midst of a difficult time, but I think that it is the right thing to do.
  • How Can God’s Guidance Bring Us Happiness Now?
    The standards and principles of human relations in the Scriptures are practical, eternal, and universal. When families apply them, homelife improves. Consider the importance of love, respect, and communication. How much happier many families would be if each member always applied the principle: “You must love your fellow as yourself”! (Leviticus 19:18) How much happier many marriages would be if mates respected each other and communicated freely and considerately, as did Elkanah and Hannah!—1 Samuel 1:8.
  • Facing the Loss of Your Mate
    what if the husband or the wife dies? Then that bond, unbreakable in life, is broken. The surviving widow or widower is often left with a blend of heartache, loneliness, and maybe even some anger or guilt. During her marriage of 58 years, Daniella knew many who lost their mates. * But after her husband died, she said: “I never understood this experience before. There is no way to comprehend it until you go through it.”
  • Is premarital sex wrong?
    The Bible uses the word “fornication” for some forms of sexual activity outside marriage. God expects his worshippers to “abstain from fornication.” (1 Thessalonians 4:3) Fornication is listed as a serious sin, as are adultery, spiritism, drunkenness, idolatry, murder, and thievery.—1 Corinthians 6:9, 10;Revelation 21:8.
    +
    When discussing immoral sexual practices, the Bible mentions not only fornication but also sexual “uncleanness” and “loose conduct.” (2 Corinthians 12:21) Clearly, there are various forms of sexual intimacy that are offensive to God when performed outside marriage, even when there is no intercourse.
  • Demon Possession and Pornography
    “The first change that happened was an addiction-effect.The porn-consumers got hooked. Once involved in pornographic materials, they kept coming back for more and still more. The material seemed to provide a very powerful sexual stimulant or aphrodisiac effect, followed by sexual release, most often through masturbation.”
    -Dr. Victor B. Cline is a psychologist at the University of Utah
    +
    “The second phase was an escalation-effect. With the passage of time, the addicted person required rougher, more explicit, more deviant, and ‘kinky’ kinds of sexual material to get their ‘highs’ and ‘sexual turn-ons.’ … Being married or in a relationship with a willing sexual partner did not solve their problem. Their addiction and escalation were mainly due to the powerful sexual imagery in their minds, implanted there by the exposure to pornography. They often prefer this sexual imagery, accompanied by masturbation, to sexual intercourse itself.
    This nearly always diminished their capacity to love and express affection … Their sex drive is diverted to a degree away from their spouse-and the spouse easily senses this, and often feels very lonely and rejected.”
    -Dr. Victor B. Cline is a psychologist at the University of Utah
  • Doomed to Divorce?
    Did the gloomy statistics about parenting kids with special needs mean our marriage was bound to fail?
    +
    many writers still suggest that as many as 80 percent of marriages with children with special needs end in divorce, recent studies don’t actually bear out this claim. In 2010, a study published in the Journal of Family Psychology demonstrated that the divorce rate for parents of children with autism is 24 percent. While this rate is 10 percent higher than that of the average family in this study, it is still a far cry from the 80 percent number that gets bandied about. Moreover, this study demonstrated a lower rate of divorce among parents of children with Down syndrome than the general population.
  • What If Your Spouse Cheats?When you married, if you’re like most couples, you made a vow pledging your faithfulness. But now you’ve discovered your spouse didn’t take that vow seriously. It doesn’t matter whether it was a one-night stand or a long-term affair, the results are the same—your spouse’s action has left in its wake fear, doubt, distrust, betrayal, hurt, and anger.Ultimately, it’s what you do with these emotions—how you process them—that makes the difference. For you and your marriage’s sake, you need to process these emotions in a positive way.
    +
    Retaliation is a common but negative response. Vengeful tactics include having an affair yourself to show your unfaithful spouse what it feels like to be betrayed or going to her workplace to cause a scene. Any effort at revenge is doomed to failure. Returning wrong for wrong simply makes the other person feel less guilty and stimulates him or her to return fire for fire.
Enhanced by Zemanta

3 Reasons the Resurrection Matters

The resurrection of Jesus (alongside his crucifixion) is by the majority of Christians the central historical event in the Christian faith. You could say that

Without the resurrection there would be no Christianity.

The Jewish fighter against the first followers of Christ, after some time changed  his mind and wrote to the Corinthian community:

“If Christ has not been raised, then our preaching is in vain and your faith is in vain” (1 Corinthians 15:14).

The Resurrection of Christ (Kinnaird Resurrection)

The Resurrection of Christ (Kinnaird Resurrection) (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Lots of people came to the faith because of the tremendous stories they heard and because they came to believe that resurrection of Christ Jesus was not a joke or a fairy tale. Many do not stand still what importance such an act of coming of the dead, by a man really means. Those trinitarian (believing in a three godhead) Christians who take Jesus to be God nullify his death, because the God of gods can not die, and make a farce of this man, who only wanted to follow the will of his Father and not of himself.

“41 And he was parted from them about a stone’s cast; and he kneeled down and prayed, 42 saying, Father, if thou be willing, remove this cup from me: nevertheless not my will, but thine, be done.” (Luke 22:41-42 ASV)

We should understand that Jesus did not pray to himself, but to a much Higher Being, to Whom he would go later.

“28 and I give unto them eternal life; and they shall never perish, and no one shall snatch them out of my hand. 29 My Father, who hath given [them] unto me, is greater than all; and no one is able to snatch [them] out of the Father’s hand.” (John 10:28-29 ASV)

“Ye heard how I said to you, I go away, and I come unto you. If ye loved me, ye would have rejoiced, because I go unto the Father: for the Father is greater than I.” (John 14:28 ASV)

“Verily, verily, I say unto you, he that believeth on me, the works that I do shall he do also; and greater [works] than these shall he do; because I go unto the Father.” (John 14:12 ASV)

“Now I know that Jehovah is greater than all gods; yea, in the thing wherein they dealt proudly against them.” (Exodus 18:11 ASV)

Several Christians say they  believe in the resurrection and are convinced that after dying a violent death on a Roman cross on a Friday afternoon in 30 A.D., Jesus of Nazareth came back to life and emerged from the tomb on Sunday morning. Those days are not correct, but are not the subject of what we want to bring forward today.

Jesus, as a devote Jew celebrated the Passover or the liberation of God’s People. On the 14th of Nisan, the first month of the Judaic year, he with his closest friends installed a New Covenant, between his Father and those who wanted to come close to God . The Jews had got their opportunity to be the most praised people of God, but now others could also come into the House of God, thanks to what Jesus accomplished.

He was a man of flesh and blood who could be tempted. His heavenly Father is a Spirit and has no flesh, blood or bones. God also can not be tempted and can not sin. Jesus himself never had claimed to be God and always had spoken with respect of his Father in heaven, without Him he could do nothing. Him always referring to his Father made the Pharisees willing to get rid of him.

“17  But Jesus answered them, My Father worketh even until now, and I work. 18 For this cause therefore the Jews sought the more to kill him, because he not only brake the sabbath, but also called God his own Father, making himself equal with God. 19 Jesus therefore answered and said unto them, Verily, verily, I say unto you, The Son can do nothing of himself, but what he seeth the Father doing: for what things soever he doeth, these the Son also doeth in like manner.” (John 5:17-19 ASV)

“21 Jesus saith unto her, Woman, believe me, the hour cometh, when neither in this mountain, nor in Jerusalem, shall ye worship the Father. 22 Ye worship that which ye know not: we worship that which we know; for salvation is from the Jews. 23 But the hour cometh, and now is, when the true worshippers shall worship the Father in spirit and truth: for such doth the Father seek to be his worshippers. 24 God is a Spirit: and they that worship him must worship in spirit and truth.” (John 4:21-24 ASV)

That he was not a spirit he would proof to his disciples after he was taken our of the dead, after having resided for three days in hell. (In case many Christians could count well, they would not take Good Friday as a day Jesus died and Sunday being the day he stood up from the dead, because than he would not have been three days death.)

Lamentation at the Tomb, 15th century.

Lamentation at the Tomb, 15th century. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

We may already be happy those Christians say Jesus was put unto death, put in a grave (sheol = the hell) and was resurrected. They should come to see it was not Jesus who came from himself out of the grave, but that it was his Father Whom took him from the dead. This is important, because when Jesus is a man of flesh and blood, who can get up from being death, this makes it also possible for us. In case Jesus is God that does not proof anything for a humble human being, who can sin and probably did more than one sin in his or her life. When we know how severely God punished the first human beings and did not make an end straight ahead to this distorted situation and broken relation, we should wonder what the use would be in case God Himself would come to earth to play a man and to do as if He could be tempted and as if He could die. You might wonder why such a charade would have any use and why God than waited such a long time to come to this earth to play the role of Messiah.

From historical writing we got to know what happened in the past with the people who claim to be God His People. We also got to know about the Nazarene Jew Jeshua who did many miracles and who claimed to be the son of God, but never said he himself was God.

His resurrection is not easy to believe. But if it is true, it is the most pivotal event in human history. Much has been written in defense of Jesus’ resurrection, according to Brian G. Hedges, Lead Pastor for Fulkerson Park Baptist Church and the author of Christ Formed in You: The Power of the Gospel for Personal Change, Licensed to Kill: A Field Manual for Mortifying Sin, and Active Spirituality: Grace and Effort in the Christian Life, the most thorough and convincing book being N. T. Wright’s massive 800-page volume, The Resurrection of the Son of God. (Christian Origins and the Question of God, Volume 3) (Minneapolis, MN: Fortress, 2003)

What is unquestionable is that the first generation of Jesus’ followers did believe he had risen, and were convinced that everything had changed as a result.

Consider just three of the ways the New Testament highlights the significance of the resurrection.

1. Jesus’ resurrection means that his sacrificial death on the cross was sufficient, and therefore our sins can be forgiven.

Paul emphasizes this in 1 Corinthians 15, reminding us that

“Christ died for our sins in accordance with the Scriptures, that he was buried, that he was raised on the third day in accordance with the Scriptures” (vv. 3-4).

Then, in verse 17, he argues that

“if Christ has not been raised, your faith is futile and you are still in your sins.”

In other words, Paul saw a direct connection between the resurrection of Jesus and the sufficiency of his death to atone for our sins. When Jesus rose again on the third day, it was the public announcement that God was fully satisfied with the sacrificial death of his son Jeshua.  In his resurrection, Jesus was vindicated (1 Timothy 3:16).  But in his vindication, we are vindicated too. That’s why Paul says in Romans 4 that Jesus

“was delivered up for our trespasses and raised for our justification” (Romans 4:25).

2. Jesus’ resurrection means that death is defeated once and for all.

As Peter proclaimed on the Day of Pentecost,

“God raised [Jesus] from the dead, freeing him from the agony of death, because it was impossible for death to keep its hold on him” (Acts 2:24).

The distinctive English image, with Christ ste...

The distinctive English image, with Christ stepping on a soldier, in a 14th century Nottingham alabaster relief (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

We are told that ‘Death‘ lost its grip on Jesus! Death could never have had a grip on God. But every man, though being created in the image of God, would, because of the sin of the first man, be in submission to death.

When Jesus was a man of flesh and blood and not a spirit, like his Father, this all makes sense. By the Father taking His son out of death and even by taking him to sit on his right site, to become a mediator between God and man, we have the assurance Jesus can mean something to us. He is not only our solicitor or privileged intercessor by the Most High, he is also an example to what can happen also to us.

The resurrection means that Jesus not only defeated death for himself, but that he defeated it for us. He died and rose as a new representative for humanity, as the Second Adam.

“But in fact Christ has been raised from the dead,”

writes Paul,

“the firstfruits of those who have fallen asleep. For as by a man came death, by a man has come also the resurrection of the dead. For as in Adam all die, so also in Christ shall all be made alive” (1 Corinthians 15:20-22).

It is in that way that Jesus his disciple John looks at the genesis of the New World of Christ, where Jesus is that begin for all of us, the alpha, but also the end, the omega.

After the default Adam, we have a remake Adam to which we can refer; In him we find a new harddisk to start anew, fresh under his guidance, with his software.

His resurrection guarantees ours.

Perhaps no one has said this more eloquently than C. S. Lewis. In his 1947 book Miracles, Lewis wrote:

“The New Testament writers speak as if Christ’s achievement in rising from the dead was the first event of its kind in the whole history of the universe. He is the ‘first fruits,’ the ‘pioneer of life.’ He has forced open a door that has been locked since the death of the first man. He has met, fought, and beaten the King of Death. Everything is different because He has done so. This is the beginning of the New Creation: a new chapter in cosmic history has been opened.”

The empty tomb assures us that sickness and suffering, death and disease will not have the final word.

This should be both personal and powerfully hope giving to all of us.

3. Jesus’ resurrection means that the material world matters.

Lest there be any misunderstanding, when the apostles said that Jesus rose again, they meant that his physical body came back to life. The risen Jesus wasn’t a phantom or ghost, but a breakfast-eating, flesh-and-bone, human being (see Luke 24:36-43 and John 21:10-14).

As the Pulitzer-Prize winning novelist John Updike once said,

Make no mistake: if He rose at all

it was as His body;

if the cells’ dissolution did not reverse, the molecules

reknit, the amino acids rekindle,

the Church will fall.

When Jesus’ came out of the tomb in a physical body, it was God’s definitive stamp of approval on the creation project with all of its materiality. The resurrection shows us that matter matters. And this is why the early Christians looked to the future with confidence that the created order itself would be redeemed (see Romans 8:18-25).

Though we wait for the full consummation of new creation, the Scriptures also teach that the power that raised Jesus from the dead is already working within us (Ephesians 1:19-20). The resurrection, you see, not only assures of God’s forgiveness and comforts us in suffering as we anticipate the final reversal of death, disease, and decay; it also motivates and empowers us to push back the tide of suffering and evil in the present world, through word and deed, in mercy and in justice, all in Jesus’ name.

(Having taken in mind words from Brian G. Hedges,Lead Pastor for Fulkerson Park Baptist Church and the author of Christ Formed in You: The Power of the Gospel for Personal Change, Licensed to Kill: A Field Manual for Mortifying Sin, and Active Spirituality: Grace and Effort in the Christian Life. Brian and his wife Holly have four children and live in South Bend, Indiana. Brian also blogs at www.brianghedges.comand you can follow him on Twitter @brianghedges.)

End Notes


N. T. Wright, The Resurrection of the Son of God (Christian Origins and the Question of God, Volume 3) (Minneapolis, MN: Fortress, 2003).

The Greek word for “justification” (dikaiosin) in Romans 4:25  is closely related to the word “vindicated” (edikaiothe) in 1 Timothy 3:16.

C. S. Lewis, Miracles (New York, NY: HarperCollins, 1947) 236–237.

John Updike, “Seven Stanzas of Easter,” in Telephone Poles and Other Poems (Random House, 2013).

+

Preceding articles:

Entrance of a king to question our position #1 Coming in the Name of the Lord

Entrance of a king to question our position #2 Who do we want to see and to be

Seeing or not seeing and willingness to find God

++

Additional reading:

  1. The meek one riding on an ass
  2. The son of David and the first day of the feast of unleavened bread
  3. About a man who changed history of humankind
  4. Lord or Yahuwah, Yeshua or Yahushua
  5. Who was Jesus?
  6. On the Nature of Christ
  7. Jesus begotten Son of God #18 Believing in inhuman or human person
  8. Jesus is the Son of God but Not God the Son
  9. Yeshua a man with a special personality
  10. A man with an outstanding personality
  11. An unblemished and spotless lamb foreknown
  12. No Other Name (But Jesus)
  13. Servant of his Father
  14. Servant for the truth of God
  15. Slave for people and God
  16. Jesus spitting image of his father
  17. Reasons that Jesus was not God
  18. Jesus and his God
  19. The high calling of God in Christ Jesus
  20. Jesus Messiah
  21. Christ begotten through the power of the Holy Spirit
  22. How is it that Christ pleased God so perfectly?
  23. For the Will of Him who is greater than Jesus
  24. Wishing to do the will of God
  25. Imprisonment and execution of Jesus Christ
  26. A Messiah to die
  27. Jesus memorial
  28. No person has greater love than this one who surrendered his soul in behalf of his friends
  29. The redemption of man by Christ Jesus
  30. The day Jesus died
  31. An unblemished and spotless lamb foreknown
  32. The Song of The Lamb #5 Revelation 5
  33. Why do we need a ransom?
  34. Ransom for all
  35. A new exodus and offering of a Lamb
  36. 14 Nisan a day to remember #1 Inception
  37. 14 Nisan a day to remember #2 Time of Jesus
  38. 14 Nisan a day to remember #3 Before the Passover-feast
  39. 14 Nisan a day to remember #4 A Lamb slain
  40. 14 Nisan a day to remember #5 The Day to celebrate
  41. 14-15 Nisan and Easter
  42. Around the feast of Unleavened Bread
  43. A Holy week in remembrance of the Blood of life
  44. High Holidays not only for Israel
  45. Festival of Freedom and persecutions
  46. Death of Christ on the day of preparation
  47. Why did Jesus have to die on the cross?
  48. Swedish theologian finds historical proof Jesus did not die on a cross
  49. Impaled until death overtook him
  50. Jesus three days in hell
  51. Christ has indeed been raised from the dead
  52. Through Christ’s death you can be adopted as a child of God
  53. Jesus is risen
  54. In the death of Christ, the son of God, is glorification
  55. Jesus begotten Son of God #11 Existence and Genesis Raising up
  56. Seeing Jesus
  57. Faith a commitment to the promises of Christ and to to the demands of Christ
  58. Jesus begotten Son of God #6 Anointed Son of God, Adam and Abraham
  59. Jesus begotten Son of God #19 Compromising fact
  60. One Mediator between God and man
  61. Ember and light the ransomed of Jehovah
  62. A fact of History or just a fancy Story
  63. The wages of sin is death; but the gift of God is eternal life through Jesus Christ
  64. Only one God
  65. God of gods
  66. God is One
  67. The Trinity – true or false?
  68. The Trinity – the Truth
  69. True Hope
  70. Epitome of the one faith
  71. Restoration Scriptures True Name Edition Matthew Chapter 27
  72. Hebraic Roots Bible Matthew Chapter 28
  73. Hebraic Roots Bible Book of The Acts of the Apostles Chapter 2

++

Related articles:

  1. Pre-Good Friday Rememberances
  2. The Festival Sabbaths and Preparation day
  3. Preparation day of Passover
  4. Weekly Torah Portion: Pesach (Passover) Week 1
  5. Passover, A seven-day festival
  6. The Passover Lamb
  7. Our Passover Lamb
  8. The Lamb of God
  9. He Says Concerning Himself “I am the Son of Elohim”
  10. Preparations for the Passover Meal – Luke 22: 7-13
  11. Passover and the Feast of First Fruits
  12. Passover Confusion?
  13. Jesus Christ, Our Passover
  14. Happy Passover!
  15. Passover and Good Friday are just hours away! – A Message from Bibles for Israel
  16. The Week With Two Sabbaths
  17. The Crucifixion Week
  18. Faith Without Obidience
  19. Easter Reflections: Betrayal, Trials, Denial, and Remorse
  20. Dave Hunt : Scripture reveals the answer Of .Crucifixion Week
  21. Tree of Jesus Life, the Suffering Christ, Passion Week
  22. Gospel according to Saint John – Chapter 19
  23. 10 proofs passover is a memorial
  24. Proof Jesus Died Just Before the Passover Feast in 33 AD
  25. The Day of Crucifixion and time of resurrection
  26. Easter
  27. The Empty Tomb
  28. The Passover Lamb has Gone Missing
  29. He is not here, He is risen, just as He said
  30. Happy Easter, He Is Risen!
  31. He Is Risen! – Matthew 28: 1-20
  32. He’s Risen! (Easter Sunday Reflections)
  33. Resurrection Sunday
  34. Easter scripture for today
  35. He Is Alive..
  36. Walk with Jesus: Matthew 27 He who overcame
  37. The Evolution of the Resurrection
  38. Oh Foolish People
  39. How long was Jesus in the grave?
  40. Solving the Three Day Three Night Mystery
  41. Yet Another Three Day Three Night Question
  42. Three Days Three Nights Follow Up

+++

  • Can you question the Resurrection and still be a Christian? (religionnews.com)
    Did Jesus literally rise from the dead in a bodily resurrection, as many traditionalist and conservative Christians believe? Or was his rising a symbolic one, a restoration of his spirit of love and compassion to the world, as members of some more liberal brands of Christianity hold?As Easter approaches, many Christians struggle with how to understand the Resurrection. How literally must one take the Gospel story of Jesus’ triumph to be called a Christian? Can one understand the Resurrection as a metaphor — perhaps not even believe it happened at all — and still claim to be a follower of Christ?
  • Resurrection – for ME? (aworldontheedge.com)
    Resurrection is defined in the dictionary as the act of causing something that had ended or been forgotten or lost to exist again, to be used again, etc.We come into this world innocent, and nothing can change that we’re made in the image and likeness of God. Part of each one of us is spiritual, like it or not. And it is that spirituality that draws us to God.
  • The Resurrection is Believable (burrissblog.wordpress.com)
    Opponents of Christianity and skeptical minds have always questioned the resurrection, just as they question many other teachings of Christianity. Such skeptics are more common in contemporary America, but they have always been around. What is surprising is that more and more Christians are stating their skepticism about the resurrection.
    +
    1. Something dramatic happened that changed the disciples from a hiding, defeated group to a group willing to die for their faith in Jesus. They were devastated when Jesus was killed. Did they just decide to reinterpret His death or did they see Him alive again?2. If Jesus’ dead body was in a tomb near Jerusalem, why didn’t His opponents simply bring out the dead body when His disciples started preaching that He was alive?
  • The Significance of the Resurrection (spyghana.com)
    The embalmed remains of Lenin lie in a crystal casket in a tomb in Red Square in Moscow. On the casket it says: “He was the greatest leader of all peoples, of all countries, of all times. He was the [savior] of the world!”All is in the past tense for Lenin. How forward-looking, by contrast, are the triumphant words of Christ: “I am He that [lives] . . . I am alive forevermore.”
    +
    What judge would listen to you in a court of law, if you said that while you were asleep your neighbor came into your house and stole your TV set? Who knows what goes on when he/she is asleep? A testimony like this would be ridiculed in a court of law. Besides, the guards would have lost their heads if they told the Roman governor, Pilate that they were asleep at their post and the disciples came and stole the body. Furthermore, we are faced with a psychological and ethical impossibility. Stealing the body of Jesus was something totally foreign to the disciples and all that we know of them. It would mean that they were perpetrators of a deliberate lie, which was responsible for the deception and the ultimate death of thousands of people.Each of the disciples faced the test of possible torture and martyrdom for his statements and beliefs. People will die for what they believe to be true, though it may actually be false. They do not, however, die for what they know is a lie. If anything is clear from the Gospels and the Book of Acts, it is that the apostles were sincere. They may have been deceived, if you like, but they were not deceivers. Hypocrites and martyrs are not made of the same stuff.
  • The Resurrection Of Jesus Christ Is The Greatest Single Event In Human History (fggam.org)
    Do you realize that Jesus never corrected, withdrew, or amended any statement He ever made? I wish I could say that! Jesus Christ never apologized for anything He ever did or said. Jesus Christ never sought advice from anyone, never had to ask for forgiveness. Jesus Christ doesn’t have any strong points. For Him to have strong points, He would have to have weak points.
  • Three Implications of the Empty Tomb (mainthings.wordpress.com)
    Paul says, if the King is risen and if the King is enthroned than nothing done for Him is meaningless. It is His triumph and not our fruitfulness that determines these realities.
  • Because of Easter, We Are Overcomers (chronicillnesspaindevotionals.wordpress.com)
    As I think about the power that God exerted to raise Christ from the dead, my human mind can’t fully comprehend what that entailed. But I do know that no other power is so great, and as a Christian, that power now lives in me.
  • The Resurrection of Jesus is not optional (gracedigest.com)
    Notice that there are three key parts to the gospel Paul preached. 1. Christ died for our sins according to the Scriptures. 2. He was buried. 3. He as was raised on the third day according to the Scriptures. This is important! If you take away the resurrection component you have nothing! Try sitting on a stool with two legs! Just so, a gospel without the resurrection of Jesus is no gospel (good news) at all! Paul went to great lengths to assure his readers that indeed Christ did rise from death.
  • Is Jesus’ Resurrection the Best Explanation of the Evidence? (jkw00d.wordpress.com)
    1. Historical claims are strong when supported by multiple, independent sources.
    2. Historical claims which are also attested to by enemies are more likely to be authentic since enemies are unsympathetic, and often hostile, witnesses.
    3. Historical claims which include embarrassing admissions reflect honest reporting rather than creative storytelling.
    4. Historical claims are strong when supported by eyewitness testimony.
    5. Historical claims which are supported by early testimony are more reliable and less likely to be the result of legendary development.+
      Some skeptics argue that Jesus may have been crucified but He did not actually die. Instead, He lost consciousness (swooned) and merely appeared to be dead only to later be revived in the cool, damp tomb in which He was laid. After reviving He made His way out of the tomb and presented Himself to His disciples as the “resurrected” Messiah. Thus the Christian religion begins.
  • The Doctrine Without Which Holy Week Is Not Good News (derekzrishmawy.com)
    Unless I am united to Christ, all of his obedience to the covenant, or righteousness, is not mine–I am left to stand on my own false works before the judge of all the earth. Unless I am united with Christ, then his sin-bearing death is not mine, and I am left to give an account for all my wicked sins. Unless I am united with Christ, I am not part of the crop of which Christ is the first-fruits, and I can only reap the death that  sin leads to and have no life through the Spirit.