The Resurrection of Jesus Christ as Christianity’s Centerpiece - page 5


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From the Spring 2016 issue of Knowing & Doing:  

The Resurrection of Jesus Christ as Christianity's Centerpiece

by Benjamin C. Shaw, Student Fellow, and Gary R. Habermas, Ph.D.

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We have many evidences of the resurrection of Jesus that are noted by a wide array of theological scholars, providing confidence in its historical reality. As the grounding for all of Christian theology and faith, its significance ought to be integrated practically within the lives of those who follow Jesus today.
 So the fact of Jesus’ resurrection exhibits significant effects on our history, in our present theology, and in the future lives of believers. This event provides the hope of eternal life, which then reaches backward and influences our present lives with transformative power to work and minister in our world. Instead of a life that ceases with death, we have the promise of the One who defeated death that those who have followed Him will do the same for eternity. Like turning a many-faceted diamond in different directions, the resurrection sheds light on truth, producing an entire host of applications.
 As C.S. Lewis once observed,

The New Testament writers speak as if Christ’s achievement in rising from the dead was the first event of its kind in the whole history of the universe. He is the ‘first fruits’, the ‘pioneer of life’. He has forced open a door that has been locked since the death of the first man. He has met, fought, and beaten the King of Death. Everything is different because He has done so. This is the beginning of the New Creation: a new chapter in cosmic history has opened.


1 C.S. Lewis, Miracles (1947; reprt San Francisco: HarperOne, 2015), 234.
2 For an accessible source that goes into greater depth on some of these facts, see Gary R. Habermas and Michael Licona, The Case for the Resurrection of Jesus (Grand Rapids: Kregel, 2004).
3 David Strauss, A New Life of Jesus, two vols. (London: Williams and Norgate, 1879), 1:408–12 (esp. 412).
4 Reginald H. Fuller, The Formation of the Resurrection Narratives (1971; reprt. Philadelphia: Fortress, 1980), 37. Fuller says that it is clear that the disciples had real experiences, characterized as appearances or visions of the risen Jesus.  Whether these are explained naturally or supernaturally, this experience “is a fact upon which both believer and unbeliever may agree.”
5 Ibid.
6 See Rom. 8:11; 1 Cor. 6:14; 15:20–23; 2 Cor. 4:14; 1 Thess. 4:14. In addition to Peter and Paul, other texts include Matt. 12:38–40; John 14:19; Acts 4:2, 33; 1 John 3:2.
7 C. S. Lewis, Mere Christianity, (New York: The MacMillian Company, 1953), 104.
8 Lewis, Miracles, 237.

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