Ask a hundred people what the most important day in history is and answers will vary widely.
The scientifically naïve might say the day of the Big Bang when the universe came into being. (Naïve because there was no ‘day’ at the moment of creation. The Big Bang wasn’t an event in time but the beginning of time.)
A biologist might say the day when life first appeared on planet Earth.
Historians might reference the day when agriculture or writing was invented, Gutenberg’s invention of the printing press, the harnessing of electricity, or the creation of the Internet.
But for serious Christians, one day ranks supreme over all others: the day of Christ’s resurrection.
In my book The Third Day: The Reality of the Resurrection, I quote Christian apologist Josh McDowell who hit the nail on the head:
“After more than seven hundred hours of studying this subject and thoroughly investigating its foundation, I have come to the conclusion that the Resurrection of Jesus Christ is one of the most wicked, vicious, heartless hoaxes ever foisted upon the minds of men, OR it is the most fantastic fact of history.”
Wilbur Smith poignantly puts the Resurrection in context when it comes to the New Testament:
“It is what we may call one of the great fundamental doctrines and convictions of the church, and so penetrates the literature of the New Testament, that if you lifted out every passage in which a reference is made to the Resurrection, you would have a collection of writings so mutilated that what would remain could not be understood.”
In 1 Corinthians 15, the apostle Paul puts the matter as pointedly as one can:
“If Christ has not been raised, our preaching is useless and so is your faith.”
Get that? Not a lot of interpretative wiggle room here. Not a lot of space for hermeneutical or exegetical gymnastics, nuance, or academic word spinning:
If Jesus was not raised from the dead, your faith is WORTHLESS.
That’s “stout” truth, no doubt. And yet it’s one that far too many Christians fail to adequately appreciate. As I wrote in The Third Day,
“During an age in which the Resurrection is under siege, knowing how to defend its reliability serves to strengthen our faith… The Resurrection is not merely important to the historic Christian faith; without it, there would be no Christianity. It is the singular doctrine that elevates Christianity above all other world religions.”
That’s why during this Easter season I want to strengthen the faith of fellow believers. And why I’ll ask for your generous support.
While The Third Day and my related books (see product description here) do a deep dive into the centrality and criticality of the Resurrection, three aspects are vital:
- Existential — Christ’s resurrection speaks to one of the most critical aspects of existence for Christians. His triumph over death enables our triumph over death, and the deep-seated assurance of eternal life made possible by His resurrection should pervade every aspect of our lives.
- Apologetical — In an age of increasing skepticism and scientism (the conviction that science is the only reliable arbiter of truth), Christians should be able to speak convincingly to the historic reliability of Christ’s resurrection.
- Cosmological — The awesome power released in Christ’s triumph over death is not merely a matter of individual or even collective human importance. In truth, the same Logos by which the world was made is the same Logos by which the world is now being re-made. Grasping even a sliver of this truth should turbo-charge our faith and give us the undying assurance that the One who has redeemed us is also redeeming His Creation!
If you have one or all the books (listed here), let me encourage you to re-read one this Easter season. I’m confident it will bless you and deepen your faith in the event that “elevates Christianity over all other religions.”
Let me also encourage you to get an additional copy or copies of these books for friends and loved ones by making a gift today to undergird and strengthen all of CRI’s 24/7 outreaches.
During these challenging times, hope for the future is as vital as oxygen for our lungs. And I’m persuaded that nothing in history provides more hope than the event that birthed the victorious proclamation, “He is risen!”
…because Life and Truth matter,
P.S. Reviewing the case for the Resurrection is like getting a spiritual adrenaline rush. Along with fortifying your spirit, it will strengthen your faith and your witness as you stand for life and truth!