6 Proofs of Christ’s Resurrection

Chances are you know someone who doesn’t believe in the resurrection of Jesus Christ.   They simply don’t believe the bible.  So you and I have to get them thinking about the evidence outside of the scriptures.

Not only are we told plainly  in the word of God, (which is absolute truth from cover to cover), that Jesus rose from the dead.  (Acts 1:3, 2:32, 10:38-41, 13:30-31, 13:37, Matt.28:6-7,  Eph.1:20, Heb. 13:20 to name a few.)

But we have proof outside of the bible as well.  The life, death, burial, and resurrection of Jesus Christ are historical facts, backed up by historical evidence.  Here are 6 proofs of the resurrection:

  1. The empty tombSo many security precautions were taken with the sealing and guarding of Christ’s tomb that is very difficult for someone to prove that Christ didn’t rise from the dead. Both Jewish and Roman sources and traditions admit to an empty tomb.  So if the tomb is empty, where did the body go?
  2. The Roman seal was broken– Which meant automatic execution by crucifixion upside down if caught. People feared breaking the Roman seal it’s not likely that anyone in their right mind would have done that- especially not the disciples who had run off when Jesus was apprehended in the garden before his mock trial.
  3. The stone was rolled awayThe stone that was in front of the opening to the tomb where Jesus was laid was a 1-2 ton stone.  Not easily moved without the knowledge of the Roman guards who were assigned to keep watch over the tomb.
  4. The grave clothesIn John 20:6-7 and Luke 24:12, the grave clothes are mentioned as being left in the tomb.  If someone were bold enough to risk certain death, and powerful enough to roll away that enormous stone, and stole the body, they wouldn’t have taken the time to unwrap him from his grave clothes and fold them neatly.  They would’ve been in a mad rush to get him and get out before getting caught and put to death.
  5. The witnessesIn 1Corinthians 15, Paul says that the resurrected Christ was seen by the disciples and by more than 500 eyewitnesses at one time who were likely still alive at the time Paul was writing this letter to the Corinthian church.  Eyewitnesses are one of the most important elements to solving crimes and mysteries.  To have this many people recorded as seeing the resurrected Lord is amazing evidence.
  6. Changed LivesThe once cowardly disciples were now bold to share the message of the life, death, and resurrection of their Lord and Savior Jesus Christ.  They were completely loyal to Him because they had seen the risen Lord.  They believed that he was who he said he was and that he did what he said he would do. Every conceivable method was used to try to stop them from sharing the gospel.  They were beaten, stoned, thrown to lions, tortured, crucified, and burned alive.  This shows their complete confidence in the truth of the message they shared.  They had nothing to gain and everything to lose here on earth, so they could gain eternal reward in heaven for a faithful life lived for the glory of the Lord who bought them with his own blood.

I think that it takes more faith to stand against the resurrection than for it.  There’s just too much evidence to prove that Jesus did in fact rise from the dead.

Belief in the resurrection of Jesus Christ is necessary for salvation.  If you don’t believe it, you’re not a Christian, plain and simple.  Romans 10:9~That if thou shalt confess with th mouth the Lord Jesus, and shalt believe in thine heart that God hath raised him from the dead, thou shalt be saved.  1Corinthians 15:12-19~Now if Christ be preached that he rose from the dead, how say some among you that there is no resurrection of the dead?  But if there be no resurrection of the dead, then is Christ not risen:  And if Christ be not risen, then is our preaching vain, and your faith is also vain.  Yea, and we are found false witnesses of God; because we have testified of God that he raised up Christ:  whom he raised not up, if so be that the dead rise not.  For if the dead rise not, then is not Christ raised: And if Christ be not raised, your faith is vain; ye are yet in your sins.  Then they also which are fallen asleep in Christ are perished.  If in this life only we have hope in Christ, we are of all men most miserable.

Pray for those who don’t believe, whose hearts have been hardened, and eyes have been blinded, whose ears don’t want to hear the truth.  Share the scriptures and the historical evidence.  Let your transformed life speak of the miraculous power of God to raise the dead to life.

 ~Revelation 1:18~ “I am he that liveth, and was dead; and, behold, I am alive for evermore, Amen; and have the keys of hell and of death.” ~ JESUS

 

The Bridegroom Beckons His Bride

As I was working my way through Titus 2:3-5, I went down a rabbit trail researching ancient Jewish wedding customs to understand why women would need to be taught by an older woman how to love her husband as instructed by the apostle Paul. Women today typically get married because they love their man, but that wasn’t the case when this passage was written.

Marriages were arranged, and this is how they would go down:

The bridegroom’s family would pay a dowry, which was either a sum of money, jewels, animals, or other goods and services, to a virgin’s father to be betrothed to her. The dowry was paid because the daughter helped water the flocks,work the fields and serve the family. Without her the father would be shorthanded, so the dowry was what it would cost to replace her.

  • Similar to a dowry, Jesus shed his blood to pay the price to redeem a bride for himself. 

If he accepted it, the couple entered into a marriage covenant, but they wouldn’t live together or consummate the marriage yet. The young man would tell his new bride “I am going to prepare a place for you and I will return when it is ready.

  • John 14:2-3 Jesus tells us that he has “gone to prepare a place for us”.

He would leave the family with a parting gift for the bride, a special dowry for her as a promise to return again.  The man would then return home and begin building the wedding chamber onto his father’s house. His father would have to approve the work and he told the bridegroom when it was finished so he could get his bride.  If anyone asked the date of the wedding he would have to reply “only my Father knows.”

  • The Holy Spirit is a gift given at the moment of salvation, when we enter into a marriage covenant with Jesus.  Ephesians 1:14 describes this as the earnest or down payment of our inheritance until the Lord comes back to claim his purchased possession.
  • The bridegroom’s response to those who asked when the wedding ceremony would begin is like what Jesus says when speaking of the end times in Matthew 24:36- But of that day and hour knoweth no man, no, not the angels of heaven, but my Father only.

During the year or so that he would be working on this, the bride would be purifying herself, and preparing her heart and mind for life as a wife.  She would immerse herself in a pool of water called a “mikvah” for a ceremonial cleansing.

  • The bride’s waiting period to watch and prepare for her bridegroom’s coming is what we’re supposed to be doing as New Testament believers. Mark 13:34-37.
  • The bride’s ceremonial cleansing for purification is what Paul referenced in Ephesians 5:26-27 about the Church being sanctified and cleansed with the washing of the water of the word so that Christ can have for himself a glorious and holy bride without spot, wrinkle or blemish. That’s why the body of believers must spend time teaching, preaching and living out the word of God to wash the sin out of their lives and be purified for her Bridegroom.

When the wedding chamber was ready, the bridegroom would send his best friend to collect his bride.  She wouldn’t know exactly when this was so she had to be ready at all times.  She would keep a lamp full of oil, her veil and other things by her bed.  Her bridesmaids had to be ready and waiting with oil in their lamps as well, because they would accompany the groom and his best man to pick up the bride and head to the wedding ceremony.

  • In the parable of the ten virgins in Matthew 25 who needed to have oil in their lamps and be ready for the bridegroom, Jesus was using a common custom to illustrate a biblical truth and ends that parable with an admonition for all of us to “Watch therefore, for ye know neither the day nor the hour wherein the Son of man cometh.”

Night after night she would wait with eager anticipation, wondering if this could be the time when her husband would come sweep her away in his arms to their wedding chamber.

He would usually came in the middle of the night. His best friend would give a shout and blow a trumpet to let the bride know they were coming. They would collect the bride and head to the father’s house where they would enter into the wedding chamber to consummate the marriage.

  • This is how the Lord Jesus will return to gather his bride. 1Thessalonians 4:16-17 says For the Lord himself shall descend from heaven with a shout, with the voice of the archangel, and with the trump of God: and the dead in Christ shall rise first: then we which are alive and remain shall be caught up together with them in the clouds, to meet the Lord in the air: and so shall we ever be with the Lord.

They would honeymoon for 7 days while the friends and family celebrated outside the chamber.  When they emerged, the marriage supper began.

  • This is similar to the 7 year Tribulation period, when the Church will be in heaven with Christ, while the Antichrist is doing damage and the wrath of God is being poured out on the earth.
  • Revelation 19:7-9 speaks of the marriage supper of the Lamb, like the feast that takes place after the consummation of the Jewish wedding.

Understanding the ancient Jewish wedding customs gives us more insight into the things that Jesus said as the Bridegroom beckoning his Bride. He was continually pointing us to the spiritual picture that physical marriage portrays, the mystery revealed: Christ and His Church.

Look Back- Remember the Goodness and Grace of God

unsplash-logoAnnie Spratt

As this year comes to a close and a new one begins, I can’t help but wonder what adventures await us.  2017 has been a blur of busyness and blessings! Sometimes I get so caught up in the present, and excited about the future, that I forget to take the time to look back and remember the goodness and grace of God up to the present time.

It’s important to look back and praise God for his presence, power, provision, and people he’s placed in your life.  Look back at your prayer journal and see all of the answered prayers.  Look back at where you were last January, and where you are now.

How have you grown in your faith, character, and in ministry? What trials did the Lord bring you through? Who were you able to invest in and bring closer to Christ, or who helped you grow this year?

As you look back, remember to thank God for each and every answered prayer, and divinely appointed person who had an impact on your spiritual growth.  Praise him for his goodness and grace.

Psalm 107 is a song of remembrance of all God had done for the children of Israel.  It begins with: O give thanks unto the LORD, for he is good: for his mercy endureth for ever, and closes with: Whoso is wise, and will observe these things, even they shall understand the lovingkindness of the LORD, with 41 verses in between recounting the story of God’s deliverance, chastening, provision, and character.

There are two sets of key verses that repeat themselves, and one key word, that I think we can learn from as we look back on 2017.

Four times we see:

  • Then they cried unto the LORD in their trouble, and he delivered them out of their distresses. (v.6)
  • Then they cried unto the LORD in their trouble, and he saved them out of their distresses. (v.13)
  • Then they cry unto the LORD in their trouble, and he saveth them out of their distresses. (v. 19)
  • Then they cry unto the LORD in their trouble, and he bringeth them out of their distresses. (v.28) (emphasis mine to show the slight difference in these very similar verses.)

and

  • Oh that men would praise the LORD for his goodness, and for his wonderful works to the children of men! (v.8, 15, 21, 31)

(These four verses imply that the people were lacking in the area of thankful and grateful hearts. They took advantage of God’s goodness and were forgetful of his works.)

The key word is: Mercy

While it only appears as this English word one time in this psalm, the Hebrew word checed appears 6 times as:

  • mercy (v.1)
  • goodness- 4 times (vs.8, 15, 21,31)
  • lovingkindness (v.43)

Checed is goodness, kindness, faithfulness, favor, and mercy.  This psalm perfectly combines God’s character and his conduct.

Even in his chastening for their disobedience and rebellion (and ours), he is at his core and in the very essence of his being, good, loving, and kind.  That’s evident in all he does.

This psalm also showcases God’s sovereignty.  Just highlight all of the verbs related to God in these verses!  Doing so you’ll see that he redeemed, gathered, delivered, led, satisfied, filled, humbled, healed, saved, brought, and blessed (and more).

What action words can you write down to recount how God has revealed himself to you this year?  Maybe you can write your own psalm of remembrance!

As I look back on all of the answered prayers, the miracles, the faithfulness, the love, and the fruit that has come in this year, I can’t help but praise God for his checed.

[ctt template=”10″ link=”S7Z5f” via=”yes” ]His goodness is astounding and his works truly are wonderful!   [/ctt]

Did we have some tough times? Of course.  Were there trials and tribulations? Absolutely. Have I made mistakes and missed the mark?  You betcha!  But through it all, God’s mercy endures forever.

Pause to ponder the goodness of the Lord this past year. Look back on the Lord. Even in the heartbreak and hard times, he has been faithful.

He is good and is working all things out for good.

Believe it and move forward by faith, trusting that whatever lies ahead, the same Lord who was with you this year, will be with you in the next, and the year after that until he comes again or calls you home.

~Psalm 107:9~ For he satisfieth the longing soul, and filleth the hungry soul with goodness.

 

Proper Perspective

~Psalm 101:2~ I will behave myself wisely in a perfect way. O when wilt thou come unto me? I will walk within my house with a perfect heart.

David, the king of Israel, a man after God’s own heart, a lover of the word, and a passionate pursuer of God’s glory, wrote those words. He was concerned about his behavior and his heart as he walked within his house.

That prompts me to examine my own heart and behavior in the home.

As a homeschooling, babysitting, blogging, writing, cleaning, cooking, shopping, chauffeuring, praying, stay at home mom- I die daily.

I have to.

I can’t chase after my own plan and dreams and forsake the needs of those that God has entrusted me with caring for.

When the day goes opposite of my agenda, and I feel so very unproductive, I can respond with peace and joy, or in frustration and anger. I don’t always get it right. The difference is where my mind and will is at.

I have to surrender my day to the Lord and pray for the right heart attitude to serve these precious people with humility. And I have to be intentional to put my mind on  three things:

1) It’s worth it! Whatever you have to give up, or put on hold, to minister to the souls God puts in your life, it’s totally worth it. Jesus is worthy, and the eternal rewards for a faithful and fruitful woman definitely outweigh the temporal sacrifices.

~Colossians 3:24~ Knowing that of the Lord ye shall receive the reward of the inheritance: for ye serve the Lord Christ.

2) Your labor is not in vain! You may not see the fruit of your time, talent, treasures, or truth, this side of heaven, but God’s word doesn’t return void, it accomplishes what He wills it to. What you’re doing today matters!

~1Corinthians 15:58~ Therefore, my beloved brethren, be ye stedfast, unmoveable, always abounding in the work of the Lord, forasmuch as ye know that your labour is not in vain in the Lord.

3) This is just for a season! Before you know it your kids will be grown and gone, your house will be quiet and clean, and you’ll ache for those babies to be back in your arms. Enjoy the season you’re in!

~Ecclesiastes 3:1~ To every thing there is a season, and a time to every purpose under the heaven:

So when it feels like they’re pushing you to the brink of exhaustion or insanity, and your to-do list gets buried under homeschool or homework, be intentional to think on those three things- It’s worth it, It’s not in vain, and It’s just for a season! 

Even if you’re not in the exact same situation as me, I know you can relate. Dying to self is something we all are called to do.

~Luke 9:23~ And he said to them all, If any man will come after me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross daily, and follow me.

Dying to self daily is painful, but necessary in the sanctification process as God conforms us to the image of Christ.

Praise the Lord we don’t have to try to do it on our own. God supplies the grace, peace, joy, and strength that we need to lay aside our will to follow his.  His Spirit within us provides the power to obey his word and glorify him in every area of our lives.  We just have to rely on the Spirit, rest in the Lord, and remain in his word.

Here’s a great prayer to help us on those trying days:

~Psalm 143:7-8~ Hear me speedily, O LORD: my spirit faileth: hide not thy face from me, lest I be like unto them that go down into the pit. Cause me to hear thy lovingkindness in the morning; for in thee do I trust: cause me to know the way wherein I should walk; for I lift up my soul unto thee.

Practical tips for proper perspective:

1)Proper perspective comes from prayer. Ask God for help!

2)Proper perspective comes from the word. Take a few minutes to read or listen to the Bible!

3) Proper perspective comes from remembering why you do what you do. Be purposed to turn your thoughts from yourself to your tribe!

4) Proper perspective comes from praising the Lord. Recount your blessings and list them back to the Lord. Turn on the praise music and rejoice in the Lord!

5) Proper perspective comes from lifting your eyes up from yourself and your problems to Jesus as Lord, Savior, Redeemer, and Friend!

6) Proper perspective comes from being filled with the Spirit. Repent of any sin, do the things above, and let the Spirit rule your heart and home!

 

 

Memorizing Scripture from A to Z

One of the most important things a disciple must do is memorize scripture.  For some that’s an arduous task, for others it’s a breeze.  Writing them out on index cards, putting them to a beat or familiar tune, and practicing them over and over again are some ways that I’ve found to be helpful in memorizing scripture.

There are some key memory verses that have helped me tremendously in my walk with the Lord, and I decided I’d share them with you!  There’s one for every letter of the alphabet, with the exception of “X”, because I use the KJV and there’s not a single verse that begins with that letter.

There are verses for evangelism, discipleship, faith building, renewing the mind, praising the Lord, prayer, and Spirit-filled living.  I hope they’re as big of a blessing to you as they have been to me!

A ~ All scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness. 2Timothy 3:16

B ~ Behold, I am the LORD, the God of all flesh: is there any thing too hard for me?  Jeremiah 32:27

C ~ Come unto me, all ye that labour and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest.  Matthew 11:28

D ~ Delight thyself also in the LORD; and he shall give thee the desires of thine heart.  Psalm 37:4

E ~ Every word of God is pure, he is a shield unto them that put their trust in him.  Proverbs 30:5

F ~ For the word of God is quick, and powerful, and sharper than any twoedged sword, piercing even to the dividing asunder of soul and spirit, and of the joints and marrow, and is a discerner of the thoughts and intents of the heart.  Hebrews 4:12

G ~ Great is the LORD, and greatly to be praised, and his greatness is unsearchable.  Psalm 145:3

H ~ Hearken unto the voice of my cry, my King, and my God: for unto thee will I pray.  Psalm 5:2

I ~ I will love thee, O LORD, my strength.  Psalm 18:1

J ~ Jesus saith unto him, I am the way, the truth, and the life: no man cometh unto the Father, but by me.  John 14:6

K ~ Keep thy heart with all diligence; for out of it are the issues of life.  Proverbs 4:23

L ~ Let the words of my mouth, and the meditation of my heart, be acceptable in thy sight, O LORD, my strength, and my redeemer.  Psalm 19:14

M ~ My heart is fixed, O God, my heart is fixed: I will sing and give praise.  Psalm 57:7

N ~ Now unto him that is able to do exceeding abundantly above all that we ask or think, according to the power that worketh in us.  Ephesians 3:20

O ~ Only fear the LORD, and serve him in truth with all your heart: for consider how great things he hath done for you.  1Samuel 12:24

P ~ Preach the word: be instant in season, out of season: reprove, rebuke, exhort with all longsuffering and doctrine.  2Timothy 4:2

Q ~ Quench not the Spirit. 1Thessalonians 5:19

R ~ Rejoice in the Lord always and again I say rejoice.  Philippians 4:4

S ~ Submit yourselves therefore to God.  Resist the devil, and he will flee from you.  James 4:7

T ~ Trust in the Lord with all thine heart; and lean not unto thine own understanding.  Proverbs 3:5

U ~ Unto thee O LORD, do I lift up my soul.  Psalm 25:1

V ~ Verily, verily, I say unto you, He that heareth my word, and believeth on him that sent me, hath everlasting life, and shall not come into condemnation; but is passed from death to life.  John 5:24

W ~ Walk in wisdom toward them that are without, redeeming the time.  Colossians 4:5

X ~ None in the KJV

Y ~ Yea, doubtless, and I count all things but loss for the excellency of the knowledge of Christ Jesus my Lord: for whom I have suffered the loss of all things, and do count them but dung, that I may win Christ.  Philippians 3:8

Z ~ Zadok therefore and Abiathar carried the ark of God again to Jerusalem: and they tarried there.  2Samuel 15:29

The verse for “Z” was a little hard to find, and not one that I have memorized yet.  It isn’t the typical verse for victory, but it does remind me that these guys had a job to do and they did it.  They were a part of bringing the presence of the Lord back into the midst of the holy city. What a blessing!

Have you ever done an exercise like this?  If so, what are your favorite verses?  Do you have any tips to share for memorizing scripture from A to Z?  I’d love to hear from ya’ll on this, drop me a comment below!

~Colossians 3:16~ Let the word of Christ dwell in you richly in all wisdom; teaching and admonishing one another in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing with grace in your hearts to the Lord.