Nearly every week I’m contacted by someone trying to lie their way into my bank account. I recently received a call from a man who insisted that I had a problem with my computer so I should give him access to my personal files. I said, “Why don’t I just give you my visa number? The number is four.” Have you ever fallen for a hoax? In 1966, BBC television presented a documentary about spaghetti farming on the Swiss-Italian border. British viewers watched Swiss farmers pulling strands of spaghetti out of the trees and laying them out to dry in the sun. The reporter concluded, “Brought from garden to table…there’s nothing like real, home-grown spaghetti.” This hoax was light hearted, and harmless, but some hoaxes have duped millions.
James Cameron—director of Titanic and Avatar—filmed a documentary called “The Lost Tomb of Jesus” that was aired on the Discovery Channel. Now, don’t confuse me with an expert on archaeology. But when I start getting history lessons from James Cameron, sink me on an iceberg. “The Lost Tomb Of Jesus” was a titanic hoax. Cameron claimed they had evidence of a tomb that houses the remains of Jesus and his family. There was one small problem. The foremost archaeologists in Israel slammed the claims as totally without foundation. Israeli archeologist Amos Kloner, who was in charge of one investigation of the tomb said that while “It makes a great story for a TV film, there is ‘no likelihood’ that Jesus and his relatives had a family tomb.” But what if Cameron was right? Well, the resurrection would be the greatest hoax in history. And as the Apostle Paul says in 1 Cor 15, “If Christ has not been raised, our preaching is useless and so is your faith.”
I asked former atheist Lee Strobel, why he came to faith in Jesus. He said, “Because I found that the testimony of history points compelling toward Jesus Christ having returned from the dead in the ultimate authentication of His claim to be God. I have so much independent evidence that the New Testament writings are reliable that I would be swimming upstream against the evidence if I were to follow any other teaching.” How else can we explain how Jesus’ motley crew of cowardly disciples became fireballs for God’s glory, and were martyred for their faith? How else could Paul tell the Corinthian church that 500 people had seen the resurrected Jesus, and that most were still alive? How else could we explain the conversion of Paul—the guy who wanted to destroy the church—into a man who died for Jesus name? And how else can we explain the transformation of your life, and mine?
Jesus is risen, my friend. He is risen indeed. Let’s celebrate.
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