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Sunday Services

9:45 am Sunday School
10:45 am Sunday Worship

Echo Evangelique

(590AM WEZE Boston)
Saturday 9:00-10:00PM
88.9 FM SCA
Thursday 7:00-8:00PM

TV Program

TV Channel 23
Sunday 7:00-8:00AM

Bible Study

FRIDAY NIGHT
7:30pm Bible Study
SATURDAY MORNING
8:30am Bible Study
Sunday School
9:45am  10:30am

Moral Issues of Our Day

Guest Speaker: Mathew D. Staver Esq.

Text: 1 Cor. 15: 3-8

 

Key Concepts:

  • The account of both the crucifixion and resurrection is trustworthy.
  • The person and story of Jesus has drastically changed many.
  • If Christ is the risen Lord, then you have a decision to make.

 

                            This passage (text above) was written in approximately 51 AD. Paul received this message from Christ a few years after his resurrection and now he is transferring it to the Corinthian church. This is the earliest Christian creed ever received. It contains the core Christian doctrines, and everything that we believe in hangs on the issue of the resurrection of our Lord Jesus Christ.

                             How would you defend the resurrection to non-believer?  If Christ has not been raised from the dead, we are the most miserable of all peoples (1 Cor. 15:12). The Scriptures talk about the crucifixion; Jesus death is described as death by crucifixion.  There are also other non-biblical literature sources that documented the crucifixion of Christ. Josephus, a Jewish historian, wrote in around 90 A.D.; he was not a Christian.  He said this “when Pilate upon hearing him accused by men of the highest standing amongst us he condemned him to be crucified”; he was speaking of Jesus. Tacitus who writes just after the 1st century in around 110 to 130 A.D., “Christus or Christ, from whom the name Christians has its origins, suffered the extreme penalty during the reign of Tiberius at the hands of one of our procurators Pontius Pilate”.  Another non-Christian source Lucian of Samosata, he hated Christians, said this “the Christians, you know worship a man to this day- the distinguished personage who introduced their novel rights and was crucified on that account”. A non-Christian, the Talmud, written by Jewish rabbis also confirmed the crucifixion of Jesus Christ; “On the eve of The Passover Yeshua (Hebrew for Jesus) was hanged”. To be hanged was the same to be crucified, for you'd be hanging off the cross. According to Deuteronomy 21:23, God curses the man who hung on a cross. Why is crucifixion important to our faith? Certainly, because he took our sins and bore our sorrows and paid the ultimate penalty but why is that important for the resurrection? Everything hangs or falls on whether Jesus rose from the dead.

             Here are some medical side effects of crucifixion. The signs described in the New Testament of what Jesus suffered are medically documented and called hypovolemic shock. Jesus would have suffered tremendously before he even got on the cross. In fact, most people would not even survive the whipping that Jesus had. Because the whips had bones and fragments metals that ripped flesh apart. Indeed, before you ever got to the cross you were brutally whipped, and your flesh was shredded; and because your flesh is ripped, you're bleeding profusely. The symptoms that Jesus exhibited are now described in medicine as hypovolemic shock. It comes about because of excessive loss of blood. The heart begins to beat rapidly, and because it has less blood to pump; the more frantically it beats. this would cause fainting. Then the crucified develops an insatiable thirst; remember when Jesus said, ‘I thirst’. Next, fluid builds up around your lungs and heart. The soldiers would then break the legs so that you wouldn't be able to push up to catch your next breath. It was very excruciating as it was with a nail in your feet but that was the only way you could get your next breath. However, if your legs were broken you couldn't push up, you could not breath and you would therefore suffocate. However, when they came to Jesus, he was already dead. But the soldier wanting to make sure pierced him and that would hit his lungs and heart. The Bible says what came out was blood and water.

what about Paul? It was not the empty tomb that ultimately changed his life; in fact, that would not have changed his life. Paul had no desire to see Jesus because he wanted everyone who believed in him to die. He was a rising star in Judaism, but he was transformed into an Apostle who was willing to give his life for Jesus. Paul describes this in Philippians (3:4-8), no matter what he has done, no matter what he is attained, it is all meaningless in the face of Jesus Christ. How did Paul the murderer of Christians who hated Jesus miraculously changed so much? The empty tomb did not convince the apostles. John is the only one who believed simply because the tomb was empty.  The others were terrified; they could not believe women’s witnesses.  They did not believe until after they saw the risen Christ. We often think of doubting Thomas but all of them doubted except for John. Jesus’s brother James was also a skeptic, he wasn't persecuting Christians but he's a traditional Jew. His brothers thought him crazy; they were ashamed of him (Mark 3:21). James, however, went from being a skeptic to becoming the head of the Jerusalem church. Paul mentions three pillars of the faith and one of those is James. In the book of James, he describes not his brother but the risen Lord Jesus Christ; his Lord and savior and he was willing to give his life for him.

If you were to write the story, you wouldn't have your hero die the most horrible death that was reserved for the worst people. You wouldn't have women be the first eyewitnesses to the resurrection; you would have someone who was reputable, for at the time of Jesus women weren't thought of very highly; their testimony was not trusted. But He gave that privilege to women, not to a rabbi. In fact, one of these women was possessed with Seven demons before Jesus cast out. No wonder why the apostles didn't believe them. You would not write a story where his own family did not believe in him. But something happened between the crucifixion and Act chapter one, because there was Mary and the other brothers when Jesus appeared. They radically changed their mind and their lives; they were willing to die for Jesus. You can trust not only in the fact that Jesus died but that he rose again from the grave. A rumor about the resurrection, or lack thereof, would and could not have changed the lives of so many. There is no one in recorded human history who recanted their account of the resurrection. When Corinthians was written many of the eyewitnesses were still alive; it would’ve been easy to disprove the resurrection. However, though many of the witnesses were tortured; none recanted. It was not the empty tomb but seeing the risen Lord Jesus Christ that transformed their lives.

 The real question is where are you with the resurrection of Christ? Are you confident in it?  The crucifixion of Jesus Christ is the most documented event in history. It is documented not only by the scriptures but by many other sources outside the scriptures. The crucifixion is where Jesus paid the ultimate price for our redemption but if he didn't rise from the dead; if he hadn't appeared to all of these people, 500 or more at one time, then all of our faith would be in vain and we would be liars. As we think about how our faith impacts the world around us, everything hangs or falls on the resurrection of our Lord Jesus Christ. He's either a liar or a lunatic or he is the Lord of Lords and the King of Kings and the creator of all. That's a decision that you have to make, but this is not only clear in the scriptures, it is evident through history. Something radical happened in the lives of these people and caused to be willing martyrs for the cause of Christ. The real question is in Matthew chapter 16; what do you say about Jesus Christ? Who do you say that he is? In Matthew 17 God says, “This is my beloved son, listen to him”. The resurrection transformed the skeptic, the doubters and the cowards; what about you?

 

More Info
575 American Legion Hwy
Roslindale, MA 02131
Phone: 617-323-3107
Fax: 617-323-3165
Come Worship with us Live
Every Sunday at 10:45am