Monday, January 01, 2007

Happy New Year to all of you! I hope the new year brings you many blessings.

I can't believe it's 2007--amazing. Where has the time gone? (And how many times do we say that in a year?) We had a very happy New Year's Eve with family and just a hint of snow (which is exactly how I like it). I could get used to this global warming.

The following is an excerpt from one of my father's great talks on the resurrection. It's one of my favorites.


"But Mary stood outside by the tomb weeping, and as she wept she stooped down and looked into the tomb. And she saw two angels in white sitting, one at the head and the other at the feet, where the body of Jesus had lain. Then they said to her, "Woman, why are you weeping?"
She said to them, "Because they have taken away my Lord, and I do not know where they have laid Him."
Now when she had said this, she turned around and saw Jesus standing there, and did not know that it was Jesus.

Jesus said to her, "Woman, why are you weeping? Whom are you seeking?"
She, supposing Him to be the gardener, said to Him, "Sir, if You have carried Him away, tell me where You have laid Him, and I will take Him away."
Jesus said to her, "Mary!"
She turned and said to Him, "Rabboni!" (which is to say, Teacher)."

--John 20:11-16


Nothing can be proven outside the testimony of witnesses or your own eyewitness experience. You and I were not there when Jesus Christ came out of the tomb, but other people saw him alive with infallible proof.

One of the greatest psychological proofs of the Resurrection is this: the same people who ran like scared rabbits when they took Jesus captive and brought him up for trial—these same people, three days later, took a 180 degree turn. They suddenly chose to risk exactly the same death their Master had experienced. Psychologically, that’s incredible, unless something happened.

If you believe every effect has a cause, what was the cause of the effect—the change in those disciples? We’re not talking theology now, just plain old horse sense. What could have changed them from cowards to conquerors? There is only one thing that accounts for it: They saw him alive! When they saw him alive after they knew he was dead, they knew he had been placed in the tomb, and they knew there was a watch on the tomb to prevent anyone from stealing the body—when they saw this, then they knew the Gospel was 100% true and they were willing to die for it. And they did.

You don’t die for a crazy Jewish carpenter whose body was stuffed in some ignominious Palestinian graveyard; you wouldn’t and I wouldn’t, and those boys were smart Jewish boys and they weren’t going to, either. Something changed them, and it was the fact that Jesus presented himself to them.

Eyewitness testimony.

One of the greatest of them all was John 20. Eyewitness testimony shook the foundations of all of their thinking. When Jesus appeared to them and they touched his wounds, they knew immediately he had to be the Son of God because he was alive with infallible proof.

What is infallible proof? Science says that if there is any such thing as infallible proof, it is the repetition of the same experiment. Jesus rose from the dead and Mary Magdalene encountered him—experiment one. The women encountered him—experiment two. The disciples encountered him—experiment three. The Apostles encountered him—experiment four. Five hundred people saw him after the Resurrection—experiment five. Each one of these is the repetition of the same experiment. They all encountered the same phenomenon. What was it? He was alive! That’s what changed the history of the world.


6 Comments:

JohnD said...

The scientific method is the self reciprocating method.

There is unrepeatable proof all around us. The first plane ever built, for example, cannot be built the first time again. But that is NOT proof it was never built for the first time.

Often times we find ourselves the victims of what we grant carte blanche like the scientific method.

11:39 PM  
Jill Martin Rische said...

Perhaps the validity of the method is subjective . . . but in this case, they are the victims, John. Scientific methodology easily proved the resurrection. Not only that, but if people consider our modern judicial system--the fact that it only takes one eyewitness to put someone on death row--than Jesus' appearance to hundreds of witnesses made it an open and shut case.

And that's why the resurrection energized the growth of the Early Church.

12:15 PM  
JohnD said...

Miss Jill,

I covet your opinion / input on my blog.

http://cyberchurch70x7.blogspot.com/

Is it too over the top?

Understand I am not shooting down the lecture format of Bible teaching, just its -one way-> implementation (your father broke with this tradition in that he added a Q&A session after all his lectures or Bible studies).

The current format is a pre-media form of broadcasting and contributes to religion rather than relationship (with God and with fellow believers). In my humble opinion.

Thanks in advance.

John

11:04 AM  
Jill Martin Rische said...

I will definitely take a look at it. :)

12:43 AM  
Sanctifiedbyfire said...

I thank you so much for this site and your minstry to others, Jill!

I admire your stance and have a great admiration for your father's clear teachings. I heard an old sermon of his on the Jehovah's Witnesses on BBN a couple of years ago and wrote down all the Scripture references and read them and locked them into my heart. About six months ago some Jehovah's Witnesses came to my drive way and I was prepared! I told them: "you and I have something in common. We both love the God Jehovah, YHWH, and the Great I Am." I proceeded from there to tell them that the only way we can have a relationship with the Living God was through the Lord Jesus Christ. I gave them scrpture references and enjoyed talking with them. I don't know if they have accepted Christ yet, but I felt blessed to have retained the knowledge that I did and to share it with them and be used by the Lord!

I am attending Southern Evangelical Seminary (Norm Geisler's seminary) in Matthews, NC (near Charlotte) and just wanted to share how your father's teachings have impacted me.

I love your blog! Keep speaking the truth, Sister! You are storing up treasures for yourself in Heaven and serving your God and my God, Jesus, greatly!

Thanks for all the recordings on the site. I plan on using them! I pray that your book writing goes well!

Your Brother in Jesus,

Greg Herrin

12:16 PM  
Sanctifiedbyfire said...

I thank you so much for this site and your minstry to others, Jill!

I admire your stance and have a great admiration for your father's clear teachings. I heard an old sermon of his on the Jehovah's Witnesses on BBN a couple of years ago and wrote down all the Scripture references and read them and locked them into my heart. About six months ago some Jehovah's Witnesses came to my drive way and I was prepared! I told them: "you and I have something in common. We both love the God Jehovah, YHWH, and the Great I Am." I proceeded from there to tell them that the only way we can have a relationship with the Living God was through the Lord Jesus Christ. I gave them scrpture references and enjoyed talking with them. I don't know if they have accepted Christ yet, but I felt blessed to have retained the knowledge that I did and to share it with them and be used by the Lord!

I am attending Southern Evangelical Seminary (Norm Geisler's seminary) in Matthews, NC (near Charlotte) and just wanted to share how your father's teachings have impacted me.

I love your blog! Keep speaking the truth, Sister! You are storing up treasures for yourself in Heaven and serving your God and my God, Jesus, greatly!

Thanks for all the recordings on the site. I plan on using them! I pray that your book writing goes well!

Your Brother in Jesus,

Greg

12:18 PM  

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