by: Rich Vaughan
Biblical history is a fascinating subject. It revels fascinating details and opens up passionate arguments. Those arguments arise between believers and non-believers both in the scholarly field as well as just average everyday persons. One of the most interesting facts that makes believers smile and non-believers fret, is the fact that there has NEVER BEEN AN ARCHAEOLOGICAL FIND THAT DISPROVES THE BIBLE. Now, there are things that have not been discovered yet, but to date, everything that HAS been found has supported accounts in the Bible.
How does this support the reality of Jesus? Well to start with, the Bible has proven over and over again that its records of locations of ancient cities, people, and dates are very accurate. That type of track record certainly does not hurt the recordings of the New Testament. When you take those facts along with the writings of Josephus (ancient Jewish historian of Jesus’ time period), the ancient Roman historians and officials, the Jewish writings we have access to, the letters of Paul and the letters of the early church fathers (like Ignatius, an early Bishop of Antioch in Syria who was martyred in 117 AD) a compelling case is presented that Jesus not only lived, walked this earth, and died, BUT THAT HE ROSE AGAIN. (And I am not even going back over the physical evidence of the Shroud of Turin that I did several devotionals on!)
Part way into his Book, “The Case for Christ”, Lee Strobel asked one of the scholars he was interviewing, “you have spent over 40 years studying ancient history and archaeology…have your studies bolstered or weakened your faith in Jesus Christ?” Edwin Yamauchi, the scholar being interviewed, replied, “For me, the historical evidence has REINFORCED MY COMMITMENT TO JESUS CHRIST AS THE SON OF GOD WHO LOVES US AND DIED FOR US AND WAS RAISED FROM THE DEAD. It’s that simple” (p. 118-119).
In spite of heresies, persecutions, scholarly attacks (and of course support as well), in spite of apathy from a percent of His “followers” and the ATTRACTION of a world that believes and offers much that is opposite of many of Jesus teachings, JESUS LIVES! Reasonable scholars and people admit that Jesus existed. They agree he taught wonderful teachings. They will even admit that “something happened in Jerusalem at His time of death that caused a movement to catch on fire, and that ‘something’ caused a group of timid, scared disciples to become an unconquerable army of men who would change the world.” But some of those same reasonable scholars and people will not accept His miracles or His resurrection.
“YOU SHALL KNOW THE TRUTH AND THE TRUTH WILL SET YOU FREE (John 8:32).
The reality is this: There is too much evidence that the Gospels are true and that something major happened in the time Jesus lived and died (and rose). His name,
His impact, the writings about Him, really set Jesus apart as one of the most fascinating figures of history and as the son of God. Try to explain Paul without Jesus! Here is the major persecutor of the early Christians – Saul/Paul – that completely changed his life once he encountered Jesus. It set Saul/Paul on a path that would turn him into the greatest missionary, church planter, leader, and author in the early church. That, my family, friends and flock, is the power of the Risen Christ!
So, the final note is simply this: The “case for Christ” is unshakable. The reality is that Jesus is who he claims to be (I serve a Risen Savior). His Grace is for all and that Grace lifts us to eternity. I guess the final word is I BELIEVE. I believe that Jesus lived, died, and rose again and is the Son of God. I believe that He loves me, BECAUSE THE BIBLE TELLS ME SO! :)
Dad, Papaw, Uncle Rich, “Butter, Rabbi, Turkey, Rev. Turkey,” Son-in-Law, Rich, & Rev. Rich