Thursday, March 24, 2016

Living Proof

Religious leaders admitted that the body of Christ had gone missing.

"Without Jesus, I don't think any of us would be here." 

So said one of my Adventure Rangers, the class of fifth and sixth grade kids I teach on Wednesday nights at church. 

That's a powerful statement. We are all - individually, and collectively - living proof of a risen Savior.

I have the opportunity to teach the Adventure Rangers group every Wednesday night at my church. This year, we studied Lee Strobel's "Case for Christ for Kids." It was a great study that really grabbed the minds and hearts of the kids.

When Jesus walked this earth during the three years of his ministry leading up to his death on the cross, he used many names for himself - Son of God, Son of Man, the Way, the Truth, the Life, the Bread of Life, and many others.

We asked the question - how do you know Jesus is who He says He is? 

Or, to put it another way, how do you know Jesus is the Son of God, and not just a great man?

That's a really good question and one that my Ranger group grappled with over the weeks.

When I posed the question, there was a huge outcry in the room - it says it in the Bible!

I countered - how do you know the Bible is true?

A hard question for fifth and sixth graders, as well as for adults! It is a question that every Christian should be able to answer with conviction. It is not enough to say that we believe because our parents believed. Each of us must believe for ourselves and be fully convinced in our hearts.

We talked it through and came to a resounding, unshakable conclusion: the Bible is definitely true and Jesus is THE SON OF GOD. 

How did my class reach that conclusion? Well, here are a few of the many powerful supporting facts that are indisputable and which they, and every Christian, can stand upon:

  • There were about 60 important prophecies about Jesus in the Old Testament. Jesus fulfilled all of them!
  • Jesus performed miracles in front of thousands of people. At the time the gospels were written, many of these eyewitnesses were still living and could have disputed the gospel accounts if they were not true. (And let's not forget that Jesus still performs miracles today!)
  • If Jesus was not the Son of God and was lying about himself, he was willing to die for that lie. This simply makes no sense - who would die for a lie? 
  • Although his tomb was guarded by professional Roman soldiers, his body was missing. The Jewish leaders admitted the body was missing.
  • More than 500 people saw Jesus after he had risen from the dead, including all his disciples.
  • The men who were his disciples were radically changed by being with him. They were not educated men - just common people who made an enormous impact on the world.
  • All of the disciples, with the exception of Judas (who killed himself) and John (who was exiled to Patmos) were killed for their belief in Jesus. Again - who would die for a lie?

Around the globe this Easter Sunday, millions of Christians will gather: 

  • in churches large 
  • in churches small
  • in churches adorned with stained glass windows 
  • in churches adorned with a plain, rugged cross
  • in churches that meet outdoors
  • in crystal cathedrals
  • in country churches with plain old wooden pews 
  • in city churches that meet in schools and use folding chairs
  • in main street churches or secret underground gatherings
  • praising the risen Savior in thousands of languages

All around the globe - all worshiping Jesus - the Son of Man, the Son of God, sent into the world to save us from our sin.

"Without Jesus, I don't think any of us would be here."

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