Jesus Christ is the only hope for humanity. That’s what the Bible says (John 14.6). And because of the weight of the implications of the claims of Christ and His life, rumors and lies about Him were started before he even ascended back to Heaven:
“Now while they were on their way, some of the guard came into the city and reported to the chief priests all that had happened [the resurrection]. And when they had assembled with the elders and consulted together, they gave a large sum of money to the soldiers, and said, ‘You are to say, “His disciples came by night and stole Him away while we were asleep.” And if this should come to the governor’s ears, we will win him over and keep you out of trouble.’ And they took the money and did as they had been instructed; and this story was widely spread among the Jews, and is to this day.”
– Matt 28.11-15
Somehow the Pharisees understood Jesus’ self-predictions of death and resurrection, even though the disciples did not. And they were prepared at the time of His death to prevent the appearance of a resurrection (setting the stone and guard), and they immediately jumped to action to set in place a cover-up story after Jesus did come back to life. They understood the implications of His claims: He is God, He has authority and He alone can offer eternal salvation. If He was found to be true, then they were the heretics, not Jesus.
Countless books have been written to discuss the authenticity and proof of Jesus’ claims. The disciples, if they truly had stolen Jesus’ body and made the whole thing up, would not have suffered persecution and death for the sake of their lie. People – like Peter and Paul – would not have been radically transformed apart from the power of the Spirit and Jesus’ self revelation. Christianity would not be the largest religion around the world if there were any proof to disprove the Bible or Jesus’ claims. 2000 years have left Jesus unchallenged. I highly recommend “More than A Carpenter” and “The Case for Christ” if you would like to do more apologetic reading on the topic. But now I reflect on the simple question:
What if someone could disprove Jesus’ claims?
The Church that Paul started in Corinth was infiltrated with a variety of false teachings. One of these teachings that came through was that there was no such thing as the resurrection of the dead. This belief, in fact, was was separated the two major Jewish sects of the day: the Pharisees believed in the resurrection of the dead and the Sadducees did not. (Aside: If want to set this to memory, just remember that the Sudducees were “sad, you see” because they did not believe in the resurrection.) Paul wrote a dynamic and strong response to this false teaching in a letter to the church:
Now if Christ is preached, that He has been raised from the dead, how do some among you say that there is no resurrection of the dead? But if there is no resurrection of the dead, not even Christ has been raised; and if Christ has not been raised, then our preaching is vain, your faith also is vain. Moreover we are even found to be false witnesses of God, because we testified against God that He raised Christ, whom He did not raise, if in fact the dead are not raised. For if the dead are not raised, not even Christ has been raised; and if Christ has not been raised, your faith is worthless; you are still in your sins. Then those also who have fallen asleep in Christ have perished. If we have hoped in Christ in this life only, we are of all men most to be pitied.
– 1 Cor 15.12-19
Is your life, is your faith so focused on the glory of God through the hope of Jesus Christ that you would be the most pitiful fool on the Earth if it proved to be untrue? Or would it not really change anything? Do you believe life to be vain? Or do you love your life and Jesus is just the key to have a pleasant eternity? If He is not real, then we will just reincarnate or go into an endless sleep? One of the other religions will kick in? Scripture calls us to complete abandon. To give our lives completely to Him; to do everything to His glory and honor:
Whoever speaks, is to do so as one who is speaking the utterances of God; whoever serves is to do so as one who is serving by the strength which God supplies; so that in all things God may be glorified through Jesus Christ, to whom belongs the glory and dominion forever and ever. Amen.”
– 1 Peter 4.11
Let us live in such a way that if Christ were proven to have never existed, the resurrection to have never happened, or for Him to be a liar, that we are, of all men, to be pitied most. We look like fools. We have nothing else worth living for. I think I would say, “Get me a gun, life’s not worth the living.” Then, and only then, are we fully given to Him.
And there is no need to worry. His Word endures forever. You will not be ashamed. He will not be disproven. People have tried for 2,000 years, but He is God. He is the same yesterday, today and forever, and He is the way, the truth and the life.
Because he lives
I can face tomorrow
Because he lives
All fear is gone
Because I know
He holds the future
And life is worth the living
Just because he lives