1 Corinthians 15:3-4 - 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.
Not so long ago, I had a most fascinating conversation with a very nice and very honest unbeliever.
I asked him, "What can I say? What can I say to prove that Jesus Christ is your only true Savior? Should I point to the Bible?"
He replied, "The Bible claims to be true, but so do the holy books of many other religions. What makes the Bible different?"
I answered, "God's prophecies, some made thousands of years before Jesus was born, were fulfilled in the Christ. Look at every religious holy book, and you will never find any other document which can make that claim."
"What can I say?" I asked again. "Would it help if I showed you somebody who had risen from the dead? Would you believe then? No, I'm not talking about one of those ER episodes where somebody's heart stops for a few seconds. I'm talking about somebody who was really, truly dead. Would that convince you? Look, suppose you had an uncle Bob. Suppose good old uncle Bob, before he died, said he was going to come back and visit you. Would you believe him? Of course, you wouldn't. You know when a person is dead, he's dead. You might humor uncle Bob, but you wouldn't believe him. When uncle Bob died, you wouldn't keep looking over your shoulder to see if he was there. Dead people stay dead.
"Now, suppose, just suppose, three days after his funeral, uncle Bob did come and pay you a visit. Would that change your opinion? Of course, it wouldn't. You would think uncle Bob's visit was a hallucination, a dream, an over-active imagination. You're too smart to get suckered by a dream, aren't you? But what if uncle Bob showed you he was real. Suppose uncle Bob got close enough so you could feel his breath. Suppose he asked for something to eat and ate it. Suppose he said, 'Here, touch me,' and you did. Would you believe then?
"I bet you wouldn't.
"You'd think you were dreaming. Dreams can be very real. It's a logical conclusion. But what if the rest of the family had also seen uncle Bob had heard the same things you did and at the same time? Would you stay skeptical about uncle Bob's resurrection? It would be hard, wouldn't it?
"And suppose uncle Bob showed up again, and again, and again, and again. You would be left with two choices: you were crazy, or uncle Bob had kept his promise.
"If you're like most, you'd go with the second of the two choices: you'd believe. When somebody came up and said things like, 'That wasn't really uncle Bob,' you'd confess: 'Yes, it was.' All of your answers would say that uncle Bob's appearance wasn't opinion; it was reality. It was true."
Maybe someday I will tell you how that conversation ended. For now, let me say forget uncle Bob and remember Jesus Christ. Jesus was dead. He was crucified. He was stabbed with a spear. He was buried, but today He is alive. Believe it. Believe it because your eternity rests upon whether you believe Jesus is your Savior, on whether Jesus is your Redeemer, on whether you know that Jesus' truth is God's truth -- and God's truth is salvation for all who believe.
THE PRAYER: Dear Lord, there are many whose hearts are hardened to the Savior's salvation story. Grant us the words, wisdom, and opportunity to share Your truth in a way they might see. This I pray in the Name of the risen Savior. Amen.
In Christ I remain His servant and yours,
Pastor Ken Klaus
Speaker emeritus of The Lutheran Hour®
Lutheran Hour Ministries
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