Resurrection Living

Now Martha, as soon as she heard that Jesus was coming, went and met Him, but Mary was sitting in the house. Now Martha said to Jesus, “Lord, if You had been here, my brother would not have died. But even now I know that whatever You ask of God, God will give You.” Jesus said to her, “Your brother will rise again.” Martha said to Him, “I know that he will rise again in the resurrection at the last day.” Jesus said to her, “I am the resurrection and the life. He who believes in Me, though he may die, he shall live. And whoever lives and believes in Me shall never die. Do you believe this?” She said to Him, “Yes, Lord, I believe that You are the Christ, the Son of God, who is to come into the world.” – John 11:20-27.

The long debate about whether or not Jesus was resurrected from the dead is over…if you choose to believe Richard Swinburne. Richard Swinburne is a noted theologian and Oxford University professor, who claims to have mathematically proven the resurrection of Jesus Christ with a 97% certainty. Swinburne’s calculations in support of the resurrection were made on the following assumptions:

“The probably of God’s existence is one in two. That is, God either exists or doesn’t.”

“The probability that God became incarnate, that is embodied in human form, is also one in two.”

“The evidence for God’s existence is an argument for the resurrection.”

“The chance of Christ’s resurrection not being reported by the gospels has a probability of one in 10.”

“Considering all these factors together, there is a one in 1,000 chance that the resurrection is not true.”

You can read Professor Swinburne’s book, “The Resurrection of God Incarnate” if you would like more information about these calculations.

Some bright shining day faith will no longer be required in order to believe in Jesus Christ. Until that day, even with the best mathematical calculations we must still as the apostle Paul says in 2 Corinthians 5:7 “walk by faith, not by sight.” The changed lives of those who encountered Jesus are a testimony to the truth of His resurrection power and to His resurrection. The changed lives of those still encountering Jesus today are a continuing testimony to the truth of the resurrection of Jesus Christ.

An often missed point about the resurrection is that Jesus does not say that He has resurrection power. Jesus also does not say that He gives resurrection power. He says He is “the resurrection and the life.”

Lazarus knew what that meant. He knew what resurrection living was all about. Jesus who is the “resurrection and the life” cried out at the tomb of Lazarus, “Lazarus, come forth!” And Lazarus came out of the tomb wrapped in his grave clothes. Lazarus was literally living the resurrected life.

In Acts 3 the lame man knew about resurrection living. The lame man wanted a hand out but instead got a changed life. For the first time in his life he could walk and the Bible says he was “walking, and leaping and praising God.”

Think about Saul who became the apostle Paul. He was persecuting the church. Most likely he was responsible for the deaths of many Christians. But Saul had an encounter with the risen Lord Jesus on the road to Damascus. Saul became Paul absolutely fearless in his service to the Lord. Stone him to death and after they pray for him he rises again. Paul was shipwrecked, bitten by a snake, whipped, imprisoned, and put in stocks but he just continues on – nothing can stop him.

Why? What happened to Lazarus, what happened to the lame man, what happened to Paul? What happened to the disciples? The Jewish priests, elders, and scribes summed it all up in Acts 4:13: “Now when they saw the boldness of Peter and John, and perceived that they were unlearned and ignorant men, they marveled; and they took knowledge of them, that they had been with Jesus.”

Why? Because they had been with Jesus. Do you want to do some resurrection living? Then you need to be with Jesus.

(While we must still walk by faith and not by sight there are many evidences to the truth of the resurrection of Jesus Christ.)

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