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Jesus’ resurrection after his death is the ultimate and defining proof of Jesus’ divinity. Just about everyone knows the story, which is summarized in the Apostles’ Creed. Jesus was crucified, died, and was buried. He descended into hell. On the third day he arose again from the dead. He ascended into heaven and sits at the right hand of God the Father Almighty.
Matthew chapter 28, Mark chapter 16, Luke chapter 24,
John Chapter 20 and 21
1 Corinthians 15:3-6 provides a nice summary of those passages, as written by Paul:
For I delivered to you as of first importance what I also received, 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, and that he appeared to Cephas, then to the twelve. Then he appeared to more than five hundred brethren at one time, most of whom are still alive, though some have fallen asleep. Then he appeared to James, then to all the apostles. Last of all, as to one untimely born, he appeared also to me.
As you can see in this passage, Jesus appeared to hundreds of people a number of different times.
When we look at these Bible passages, there is a question that comes to mind — why did Jesus stop making these appearances? Why isn’t Jesus appearing today?
It really is odd. Obviously Paul benefitted from a personal meeting with the resurrected Christ. Because of the personal visit, Paul could see for himself the truth of the resurrection, and he could ask Jesus questions.
So… Why doesn’t Jesus appear to everyone and prove that he is resurrected, just like he appeared to Paul? There is nothing to stop Jesus from materializing in your kitchen tonight to have a personal chat with you. And if you think about it, Jesus really does need to appear to each of us. If Paul needed a personal visit from Jesus to know that Jesus was resurrected, then why wouldn’t you?
It is an important question for the following reasons:
We are told by the Bible that Jesus appeared to hundreds of people.
We therefore know that it is OK for Jesus to appear to people — it does not take away their free will, for example.
We know that it would be easy for Jesus to appear to everyone all through history, since Jesus is all-powerful and timeless.
We know that, if Jesus did reappear to everyone, it would be incredibly helpful. We could all know, personally, that Jesus is resurrected and that Jesus is God. If Paul (and all the other people in the Bible) needed a personal visit to know that Jesus was resurrected, then why not you and me?
Yet, we all know that Jesus has not appeared to anyone in 2,000 years.
In other words, there is nothing stopping Jesus from appearing to you, and several good reasons for him to appear.
Given this evidence, rational people would automatically conclude that Paul’s story in the Bible is untrue. There is zero evidence to support Paul’s story, zero reason to believe it, a motive to lie and plenty of alternative explanations. There is also the fact that much of the rest of the Bible contains provably false stories. Plus the fact that it would be trivial for Jesus to provide the evidence that Paul needs to confirm his story by reappearing on earth. Add to that the fact that Jesus has promised to answer our prayers but refuses to materialize when we pray to him. The only thing to do is to reject Paul’s story. Every bit of evidence points to the fact that the resurrection story is a myth, nothing more.
Given that the resurrection story is clearly a myth, it means that Jesus (if he existed at all) was a normal human being, not God. The resurrection clearly did not happen.
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