Faith Under Fire

Faith Under Fire
From the Oct. 11th reading
Where do you stand when it comes to defending your faith? How would you argue that the resurrection really happened?
READ: Luke 24:36-49
Luke 24:36
While they were still talking about this, Jesus himself stood among them and said to them, “Peace be with you.” (NIV)
  • “While they were still talking about this…” – they were discussing the empty tomb and the sightings of Jesus
  • “Jesus Himself stood among them…” – Jesus appeared to the disciples and those that were with them in the room with them.
  • He physically appeared – He was not a ghost or a spirit (V. 39)
  • They were frightened (V. 37)
  • “Peace be with you” – a common greeting
  • Then He opened their minds to the prophesies concerning Him – V. 45


  • We can trust in the resurrection
  • We can trust the scriptures and prophecies found there
  • He can open our minds to the meaning of scripture
  • We can have hope because of His resurrection – He is risen!
It has been said by many that Christianity hangs on the credibility of the resurrection of Jesus Christ. There have been countless attacks on Christianity by attempting to disprove that the resurrection ever happened. Today Christianity is being tested like never before. Colleges, Universities and entire governments are attacking the Christian faith. Our faith is under fire!
That is why we must be able to defend the resurrection. It is the most foundational belief that we hold. Josh McDowell in his book, Evidence that Demands a Verdict, says that without the resurrection “the cross would have remained the sad and shameful end of his career. The origin of Christianity therefore hinges on the belief of the early disciples that God had raised Jesus from the dead.”[i] He later quotes Michael Green and points out, “Christianity does not hold the resurrection to be one among many tenets of belief. Without faith in the resurrection there would be no Christianity at all.”[ii] It is evident that we need to have a solid understanding and belief in the resurrection of Jesus Christ if we ever hope to defend our faith. According to 1 Peter 3:15 we are always to be prepared to give an answer for the reason for our hope. If so, then we need to be able to defend the resurrection.
Jesus repeatedly told His disciples of what was going to happen. (See: Matt. 16:21; Matt. 17:9; Matt. 17:22-23; Matt. 20:18-19; Matt. 26:32; Mark 9:10; Luke 9:22-27; and John 2:18-22) Jesus knew that His rising from the dead would be scrutinized for centuries to come, and He announced it to His followers as often as possible.
Jesus appeared to the disciples on several occasions after he had risen, and to other groups as well. He appeared to Mary Magdalene and two other women in John 20:10-18. He appeared later to Peter as indicated in 1 Corinthians 15:5, and to two disciples on the road to Emmaus (Mark 16:12). He appeared to the 10 disciples in the upper room (Luke 24:36-49), and later to all eleven of them (John 20:24-31). There are multiple appearances mentioned in the gospels, but the most compelling of them all is found in 1 Corinthians 15:6, where Paul says, “After that, he appeared to more than five hundred of the brothers and sisters at the same time, most of whom are still living, though some have fallen asleep.” What is important to notice in this verse is that not only were there over 500 witnesses of Jesus resurrected body, but that many of those people were still living at the time that this letter had been written. In other words, Paul was saying “if you don’t believe me just ask them!”
There is also what is called external evidence to the resurrection account. Many earlier historians wrote about the resurrection and gave it some historical validity. Tertullian (c. 160-220) of Carthage, North Africa writes of Christ’s death and ascension. Josephus, a Jewish historian writing at the first century A.D. wrote about Jesus’ death on the cross, and His resurrection in his book Antiquities. Scientists and doctors agree, that there is no way possible for Jesus to have survived the cross, and therefore could not have merely regained consciousness later to roll away an enormous stone from the entrance to His tomb.
The fact is we can prove the resurrection of Jesus Christ both historically and legally. As Wilbur Smith put it: “Let it be said that we know more about the details of the hours immediately before and the actual death of Jesus, in and near Jerusalem, than we know about the death of any other one man in all the ancient world.”[iii] But yet, people attempt to destroy the overwhelming evidence at every turn. Josh McDowell also wrote this profound statement, “When an event takes place in history and there are enough people alive who were eyewitnesses of it or had participated in the event, and when the information is published, one is able to verify the validity of an historical event (circumstantial evidences).”[iv] The evidence is complete and the verdict has been rendered: Jesus is alive!
“The bodily resurrection of Christ is the crowning proof that Jesus was who he claimed to be, God manifested in human flesh. Indeed, the resurrection of Christ in flesh is of such importance to the Christian faith that the New Testament insists that no one can be saved without it (Rom. 10:9; 1 Cor. 15:1-7).” (Norman Geisler)[v]
If we are to defend our faith, and have a healthy understanding of our Christianity, then we must have a solid understanding of the resurrection. Without it we are lost. Without it, we cannot hope to stand firm under opposition or any kind of persecution for our faith.
Where do you stand when it comes to defending your faith? Are you able to state with confidence why you believe Jesus is your only hope? Or do you struggle with how to answer some of those tough questions? The opposition is only going to get harder and the need to stand up for your faith is becoming more and more necessary. Your faith is truly under fire!
Ask God to give you the confidence to share your hope with others. Then prepare yourself for some of the tough questions by studying His word and many of the books that are available today.
Each week’s Monday Motivation is taken from the reading schedule found in the Life Journal. If you are ready for the next step in your discipleship, then order yours today or see me for a copy.
If you would like help in growing in your faith, or if you would like to know how to have faith in Him, then please contact us at (928)636-2949 or email me at
[i] Josh McDowell, The New Evidence That Demands a Verdict; Copyright 1999, P. 205
[ii] Josh McDowell, The New Evidence That Demands a Verdict; P. 208
[iii] Josh McDowell, The New Evidence That Demands a Verdict; P. 212
[iv] Josh Mc Dowell, The New Evidence That Demands a Verdict; P. 215
[v] Norman L. Geisler, Baker Encyclopedia of Christian Apologetics; Copyright 1999, P. 651

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