“The word gospel literally means “good news” and occurs 93 times in the Bible, exclusively in the New Testament. In Greek, it is the word euaggelion, from which we get our English words evangelist, evangel, and evangelical. The gospel is, broadly speaking, the whole of Scripture; more narrowly, the gospel is the good news concerning Christ and the way of salvation.”1


According to Paul in 1 Corinthians 15: Now I make known to you, brethren, the gospel which I preached to you, which also you received, in which also you stand, 2 by which also you are saved, if you hold fast [a]the word which I preached to you, unless you believed in vain. 3 For I delivered to you as of first importance what I also received, that Christ died for our sins according to the Scriptures, 4 and that He was buried, and that He was raised on the third day according to the Scriptures.

Essentially, the gospel is the death burial and resurrection of Jesus. Paul also stated in verse fourteen, 14 And if Christ has not been raised, then our preaching is in vain and your faith is in vain.

Christianity lives and dies on a historical event that took place this weekend over 2000 years ago. Christian’s must believe a man was killed, buried and raised from the dead. Men being raised from the dead is not an event commonly believed. In fact, such an event is considered a miracle. Many profess to believe such an extreme claim, though most appear to not know why.

My goal is to provide, those believing in miracles, ten of the most common objections. My prayer, is that anyone believing in miracles, at a minimum, have reason, or know why, they believe such an outlandish claim is possible.

There are at least two important details to consider before proceeding:

1. If this miracle, the gospel/resurrection, did not happen, we, as Christian’s, are wasting our time. Christianity is false.

2. Though I am giving you common objections and facts, many will not accept them, it is the only choice they have, so, and remember this, ask them for a better option or theory of what happened on that historical day 2000 years ago. They don’t have one…

Church, what I am providing is a way for you to have a conversation. Christianity is true! Go out and share the gospel confidently!

The objections:

1. The Story Became Embellished – basically the story became legend. I find this to be one of the weakest. It does not address any of the facts. Also, legends take time and there was not enough time after the event for a legend to be established.

2. The Body was stolen – possibly the Romans, Jews, the gardener, and of course the disciples. None of these people had a purpose for stealing the body. The Romans would have been killed, the Jews had no reason, the gardener would not have been able, and the disciples, well, they would have had to go from being cowards to heroes. Even if the body was stolen all the above could have simply produced the body and avoided death. Obviously, the answers can go much deeper. I am providing an overview to have a conversation.

3. Jesus Did Not Die on The Cross – I have a hard time believing this is an objection. But then, most objections seem silly when considered. He was beaten, nailed to a tree, and stabbed. I know He is Jesus, but the chances of survival are nil. The Roman soldiers were professionals.

4. The Women Went to The Wrong Tomb – it was no secret to the location of the tomb. Even in the dark, as some offer, the tomb’s location was known. However, the bigger problem is the women. Women were not highly educated and by no means considered to be a reliable source of information during the first century. The eyewitness testimony of the women is embarrassing to the event. It would not have been included if it did not happen.

5. The Twin Brother Theory (An Imposter Appeared) – as you can see, and these are the most popular, objections to the resurrection are weak. 30-33 years with a twin that no one knew about.

6. The Disciples Experienced Hallucinations – first, group sightings are not the same as hallucinations. I have had this conversation numerous times. As with all the objections, this one does not account for the other facts. Many will accuse you of “side-stepping” the objection when it is why the argument is so strong. Give them hallucinations, or any other objection. It still will not account for the other facts.

7. The Reports Are Contradictory – because the gospels report differing accounts only strengthens our evidence. If each gospel reported the event the same it would appear to have been corroborated among the writers. Differing accounts support the facts.

8. Science – miracles do not happen according to science. Ask them to explain using the scientific method. Science does not consider supernatural events.

9. Just a spirit, not a body – do we not see the problem here? Seriously, if someone argues for a spirit instead of an actual body the burden of proof is on them AND, would appear to self-defeat their position. Think about it.

10. And of course a combination of theories – this is exactly what it states. Yet any combination still cannot account for every fact.

The resurrection is a strong argument. Many have heard the saying that Jesus was either a Liar, Lunatic or Lord, and recently Legend has been added. However, the only option for the skeptic is refusal to accept the facts. Sadly, many do just that. Truth is true whether one believes it or not. The resurrection is based on facts accepted by both secular and non-secular scholars alike.

You will see many articles on the resurrection this week. One of my goals is to always be a little different. I have given you ten of the most common objections against the foundation of our belief. Below, I am going to give you five facts, yes facts, to make having a conversation that much easier!

Church, we have no excuse. Especially this weekend. If you need, print this article and carry it with you. But please, share the gospel. At least have the conversation!

Five facts:

1. Jesus died by crucifixion

2. Over 500 people believed they saw Him

3. James, His brother, converted

4. Paul converted

5. The tomb was empty

Bonus fact! The Creed, in 1 Corinthians 15:3, can be traced back to the cross. Meaning, extremely early evidence of what happened that first Easter Sunday morning!

 

1. https://www.gotquestions.org/what-is-the-gospel.html, last accessed 18 April 2019.

 

John Mays is the Regional Director for West Virginia and Pennsylvania. He is also the Chapter Director for Ratio Christi at Marshall University. Contact him at: johnmays@ratiochristi.org