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A Little Ocean Ambiance
Easter, Did it Really Happen?
Dr. Richard Flanders
Juniata Baptist Church
Unbelievable as it sounds, some churches approach Easter Sunday with the
dark uncertainty of doubting Thomas. Their ministers were trained in
seminary to question the historical validity of the claims made by the
women who visited that empty tomb. It certainly is a strange thing to
celebrate Easter while unconvinced about the resurrection of Christ! It
is just as strange as what the pastors do who doubt or deny the virgin
birth as a biological fact but still lead their congregations in
celebrating Christmas. Anyway, not only "liberal" ministers come to
Easter this year unsure of the great Easter event. Many others go through
the motions of paschal observance while harboring serious questions about
whether Jesus really arose bodily from the dead. Is it important to
believe in the resurrection? Can enlightened people believe that such a
miracle actually took place? The answer to both of these questions is an
It is indeed important that ministers, churches, and everybody that
professes Christianity affirm the miracle of Christ's resurrection. Paul,
the great first-century evangelist, said that the genuineness of the
Gospel depends upon the belief that Christ arose.
"Now if Christ be preached that he rose from the dead, how say
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." (I
The New Testament says that in order to be saved one must believe in the
"That if thou shalt confess with thy mouth the Lord Jesus, and
believe in thine heart that God hath raised him from the dead, thou shalt
be saved."(Romans 10:9)
Christianity is a lie if Christ did not rise. We must believe it if we
are to be Christians.
Furthermore, believing in the physical resurrection of the dead body of
Jesus Christ is entirely possible for any rational person who is open to
the idea that there really is a God, and that the supernatural can
happen. The four gospels (Matthew, Mark, Luke, and John) and the book of
First Corinthians give over thirty of what Acts 1 calls "infallible
proofs" that Christ arose. Among these evidences are the many eyewitness
reports, the open demonstrations Jesus gave that He was not "a spirit" or
a hallucination but rather truly risen, and the abundant proofs
discovered in the tomb. It would be well to give the Easter accounts in
scripture another serious investigation. Perhaps the most powerful proof
is the fact that hundreds of people in the first century spent their
lives convincing others that they had actually seen Jesus alive after He
died. These people went to their deaths giving this testimony. Many
religious charlatans have told a lie to gain a following, along with the
fame and financial rewards of having people follow you. But never has a
liar kept telling the lie when it started costing him something. These
people (many of them) were told that if they confessed that the Easter
story was a hoax, they could live and would even be rewarded. If they
persisted in saying that they saw Him alive after His crucifixion, they
would be executed. Yet they died one after another affirming the truth of
their testimony to His resurrection. This makes that testimony pretty
believable. We can all celebrate Easter without hypocrisy or doubt.
Christ has won the victory over sin and death, and in Him we can have
eternal life! Praise God!
Tue, 18 Apr 2000
by Dr. Rick Flanders
currently Pastor of
Juniata Baptist Church
Juniata Baptist Church|
5656 Washburn Road
Vassar, MI 48768
Dr. Rick Flanders Biographical Data
Converted in 1963 through a radio ministry.
Earned B.A. and M.A. degrees from Bob Jones University.
Honorary D.D. from Pensacola Christian College.
Pastor at Juniata Baptist Church since 1973.
On BCPM Board, (Baptist Church Planting Ministry)
and also MACS. (Michigan Association of Christian School)
Articles published in the;
Sword of the Lord,
Christian View of the News,
Church Bus News,
and other national periodicals.
His Majesty's Service
In His Service,
Teaching the Word
To Glorify Our Lord
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