Why should any of you consider it incredible that God raises the dead? (Acts 26:8)
The very foundation of the Christian religion is predicated upon a historical event—the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead. The Apostle Paul writes in 2 Corinthians 15:13, “And if Christ has not been raised, our preaching is useless and so is your faith.” The Christian church began because Jesus, who predicted while he was alive that he would die and rise again, actually did.
Jesus really did die by crucifixion on a Roman cross. He was buried in a known tomb and three days later rose again. He actually came back to life. If it could be proven that Jesus did not truly rise from the dead, then Christianity would cease to exist. More than that, it would not need to exist. The meaning of the resurrection was that people’s sins could be and actually are forgiven. In dying on the cross, Jesus acted as our substitute. He died for our sins. And in rising again, he conquered death, which is the punishment for sin, guaranteeing for all who believe in him, that we too would rise again—that death would not have the last word.
If it could be proven that Jesus did not truly rise from the dead, then Christianity would cease to exist.
People refuse to believe Christianity for various reasons, but one of them is because, according to their worldview, dead people cannot come back to life. Once you’re dead, that’s it. So, if dead people cannot come back to life, that means Jesus cannot and did not come back to life.
The Problem With Miracles
Why do certain people hold this worldview? They hold this belief because, according to their worldview, the supernatural, the miraculous, cannot and does not happen.
If you fall within this camp, then you need to ask yourself a couple of questions: First, why do you believe that the supernatural cannot occur? Second, how do you know that the supernatural cannot occur?
You may have a plausible answer to the first question, but you cannot have a watertight answer for the second one, apart from making some huge assumptions. To be confident that the supernatural cannot occur would mean that you possess the knowledge that in every situation in the history of mankind, the supernatural did not occur. To have that knowledge is impossible. To believe this, you are actually making quite the leap of faith.
Paul’s worldview (as well as that of every Christian) is that the supernatural and the miraculous can and does occur. This belief is predicated not merely because the Bible tells us so, but upon the belief that God exists. Paul is saying that if you believe that God exists, then it should not be difficult to imagine and believe that this God, if he is the uncreated creator, would be able to raise a dead person back to life. I mean, if he can create something out of nothing by the power of his voice, then raising a dead man back to life should be easy-peasy!
So if you have a problem with miracles, you really don’t have a problem with miracles – you actually have a problem with God, which might be a conversation for another day.
If you have a problem with miracles, you really don’t have a problem with miracles – you actually have a problem with God.
The great story of Easter tells us that God exists, and this God raised a dead man back to life so that our sins might be forgiven and that we might know this God.