Today’s excerpt is related to the resurrection of Jesus. When you refute the resurrection of Jesus Christ, you also have a burden to explain why the disciples who were hiding with fear for their own lives when Jesus was crucified were changed dramatically all of sudden. What made them to come forward with boldness and proclaim that the crucified Jesus had risen from the dead? Why were they ready to suffer and die for their faith? Read this excerpt: Continue reading Sabbatum Excerpt: Jesus’ Disciples Sincerely Believed Jesus Rose from the Dead and Appeared to Them
“Perhaps the transformation of the disciples of Jesus is the greatest evidence of all for the resurrection, because it is entirely uncontrived. They do not invite us to look at themselves, as they invite us to look at the empty tomb and the collapsed graveclothes and the Lord whom they had seen. We can see the change in them without being asked to look. The men who figure in the pages of the Gospels are new and different men in the Acts of the Apostles, the New Testament book that tells the story of the first Christians. The death of their Master left them despondent, disillusioned and near to despair. But in Acts they emerge as those who risk their lives for the name of the Lord Jesus Christ and who turn the world upside down.”
 John W. Stott, Basic Christianity (Grand Rapids, MI: Eerdmans Publishing, 2008), 70. Print.
“It was this same Jesus, the Christ who, among many other remarkable things, said and repeated something which, proceeding from any other being would have condemned him at once as either a bloated egotist or a dangerously unbalanced person. That Jesus said He was going up to Jerusalem to die is not so remarkable, though all the details He gave about that death, weeks and months before He died, are together a prophetic phenomenon. But when He said that He himself would rise again from the dead, the third day after He was crucified, He said something that only a fool would dare say, if he expected longer the devotion of any disciples – unless He was sure He was going to rise. No founder of any world religion known to men ever dared to say a thing like that!” 
 Smith, A Great Certainty in This Hour of World Crises (Wheaton, IL: Van Kampen, 1951), 10-11.
“You seek Jesus the Nazarene, who was crucified. He has been raised. He is not here.” Mark 16:6
Isaiah 53 (New International Version)
1 Who has believed our message
and to whom has the arm of the LORD been revealed?
2 He grew up before him like a tender shoot,
and like a root out of dry ground.
He had no beauty or majesty to attract us to him,
nothing in his appearance that we should desire him.
3 He was despised and rejected by men,
a man of sorrows, and familiar with suffering.
Like one from whom men hide their faces
he was despised, and we esteemed him not.
4 Surely he took up our infirmities
and carried our sorrows,
yet we considered him stricken by God,
smitten by him, and afflicted.
5 But he was pierced for our transgressions,
he was crushed for our iniquities;
the punishment that brought us peace was upon him,
and by his wounds we are healed.
6 We all, like sheep, have gone astray,
each of us has turned to his own way;
and the LORD has laid on him
the iniquity of us all.
7 He was oppressed and afflicted,
yet he did not open his mouth;
he was led like a lamb to the slaughter,
and as a sheep before her shearers is silent,
so he did not open his mouth.
9 He was assigned a grave with the wicked,
and with the rich in his death,
though he had done no violence,
nor was any deceit in his mouth.
10 Yet it was the LORD’s will to crush him and cause him to suffer,
and though the LORD makes [c] his life a guilt offering,
he will see his offspring and prolong his days,
and the will of the LORD will prosper in his hand.
12 Therefore I will give him a portion among the great, [g]
and he will divide the spoils with the strong, [h]
because he poured out his life unto death,
and was numbered with the transgressors.
For he bore the sin of many,
and made intercession for the transgressors.
Was the Tomb Really Empty?
In his essay “Was the Tomb Really Empty?” Robert H. Stein believes that Christianity without resurrection of Jesus Christ is no more gospel or “good news”. The foundation of Christian faith is laid on the resurrection of Jesus from the dead. The gospel without resurrection has no hope and future. For this very reason, the authenticity of the empty tomb of Jesus transformed the lives of the disciples – turning them to bold, courageous, and confident men as well as assuring and guarantying of their victory over death and of salvation. Despite historical evidences, non-Christian scholars have been rationalizing against the foundation of Christian faith for thousands of years regarding the resurrection of Jesus.
In defense of the historicity of the resurrection, Stein writes that evangelical apologetics have supported the fact of resurrection by the rational arguments of periodical resurrection appearance. Secondly, the existence of the Church also testifies the bodily resurrection. Thirdly, he says that the transforming life of believers around the world is also the “existential experience of the risen Christ”. Fourthly, the witness of the empty tomb is the evidence of the bodily resurrection of Jesus. Continue reading Was the Tomb Really Empty?