Ever see the movie Gladiator? All that “Christians fed to the lions” stuff really happened! These were the Christians going around with the newly written books of the New Testament saying that 6 people that everyone would have known (most importantly, Jesus) had risen from the dead. Being lion food is not much of a reward…makes one wonder what motivated them?
Easter Sunday is coming, which has a lot of people thinking about resurrection from the dead. Two Sundays ago, I preached on how Jesus raised Lazarus from the dead after he had been dead (and smelly) for 4 days (John 11). This was the straw that broke the camel’s back for the religious leaders to kill Jesus once and for all (John 11:47-53). It’s sort of hard to disprove a religion where people keep coming back from the dead, after all.
This got me thinking about the significance of the other New Testament accounts of people being raised from the dead, and wondering if other religions made these same claims. It’s sort of going “all in” once you say that 6 local “Average Joe” types that everyone knew had risen from the dead in spectacular, public fashion, most of them at their very public funerals, and you try circulating that story in the very town you claim it happened. (Knowing your reward for circulating it was persecution, torture, and death by the Roman authorities)
I did a little research…okay I posted in on my Facebook page…to see if other faiths/religions made such audacious claims of local people coming back from the dead or not. If your God is able to make dead people come back to life, that’s a pretty good claim of authenticity. Continue Reading…