BULLETIN ARTICLE – 15 October 2017
Atheists question the existence of God, that there is no God. Hence the natural order of the world must be a closed system and all things must operate according to the rules of nature. Everything must be explainable in the context of what is visible and known. A miracle is an unknown since it is a phenomenon that is contrary to nature. A miracle would mean there is a force that is outside of nature. We just need to have one miracle to validate the presence and existence of the One that is greater than nature. If only one miracle is verifiable and rational, then there must be a greater force. God exists.
The resurrection of Jesus from the dead is such a miracle. Resurrection from the dead is not natural and it is contrary to the laws of nature. Many modern skeptics claim that resurrection from the dead is a fiction – a myth. Without the resurrection, there is no Christianity. Resurrection is a one-off historical event. It cannot be tested and proven again and again as one would a scientific experiment. How then can we as Christians give a convincing argument and stand by this most important tenet of our Christian faith? The Apostle Paul made strong assertions in 1 Corinthians 15 concerning the resurrection of Jesus. He was fully prepared to render his life for the risen Jesus and all the twelve apostles lived and died for their Christian faith. Why would they die as martyrs (except Apostle John) if they had not witnessed, first-hand, Jesus’ power and victory over death by His resurrection from the dead? For forty days Jesus’ disciples ate, drank and talked with the resurrected Jesus. Timothy Keller, a popular Church leader and Bible teacher in America, describes the resurrection of Jesus as “the hinge upon which the story of the world pivots.”
Hedonists lived the way they do because they do not believe in the resurrection. For them, this life is all that matters. They strive for self-preservation, self-glorification, and self- satisfaction. Ethical hedonism is the idea that all people have the right to do everything in their power to achieve the greatest amount of pleasure possible. Ironically, unlike the hedonists who think they are living fully, freely and unabashedly with much pleasure, it is the resurrection of Jesus that gives Christians the ability to live and enjoy life to the fullest without fear. Resurrection provides us a sensible framework for appreciating the importance of righteous and holy living in this present life. It provides us a basis to overcome the fear of death, endure pain and suffering and bear with hurts and rejections. We will be able to conduct ourselves with moral composure in extenuating circumstances. We have a proper perspective on what really lasts and matters. All because there is hope in an eternal future.
Let us not have just an intellectual knowledge of the resurrection of Jesus and lack the transformative power therein. The Apostle Paul told the Corinthian Christians to “wake up from your drunken stupor”. His message of the resurrection of Jesus from the dead to the Christians in Corinth is very applicable for us today. We tell the world in the words of a favourite resurrection song: “You ask me how I know He lives; He lives within my heart”!