VIDEO “The Case for Christ”, The Movie

 

"The Case for Christ": The Movie

There have been many Christian movies in the history of American cinema, including The Greatest Story Ever Told, Mel Gibson’s The Passion of the Christ, and Ben-Hur. The Case for Christ compares favorably with any of them.

The movie is a dramatization of Lee Strobel’s book by the same name, which has sold 14 million copies. It is the true story of an investigative reporter for the Chicago Tribune who sets out to disprove the Christian faith after his wife becomes a Christian. He is told by someone that if he wants to destroy the Christian religion, then he needs to demonstrate that the cardinal belief of that faith — the resurrection of the Jesus Christ — simply did not happen. Then the remainder of the Christian faith will collapse “like a house of cards.”

Strobel (played by Mike Vogel) and his wife (Leslie) are both non-believers at the beginning of the movie; she later explains to someone that although she was raised in a Christian home, she and Lee had “moved on” from that.

But when their daughter, Allison, almost chokes to death in a Chicago restaurant, and is rescued by a nurse (Alfie), the Strobels’ atheistic worldview begins to change. After they profusely thank her for saving their daughter’s life, Alfie launches the Strobels’ spiritual journey by relating to them that she had felt that Jesus was telling her to change from another restaurant to “this one tonight.”

At home, Allison is naturally curious as to who this Jesus mentioned by her rescuer is. When Leslie (played by Erika Christensen) begins to give her the typical, “he was a good man who lived a long time ago” story, Lee interrupts and tells her that Jesus is like a character in one of the fairytale books they often read to her. “We’re atheists,” Strobel tells little Allison, to which she replies, “I guess I am an atheist, too.”

But Leslie is led to take Alfie some muffins at Mercy Hospital. Alfie then invites Leslie to church, and this first step begins the spiritual journey that leads her to believe in Jesus herself.

Leslie holds back from telling Lee about her interest in the Christian faith, but when she finally does tell him that she has prayed for Jesus to “be in her life,” Strobel is angered, and they argue. Eventually, he tells her that if she persists in this belief, their marriage is over.

Strobel asks for help from a fellow skeptic, who suggests reading Bertrand Russell’s book Why I Am Not a Christian. Recalling his own struggles with a daughter who became a believer, the fellow skeptic advises Strobel that he should consider just “living with it.”

But Strobel is determined to knock down the resurrection story, and thus take out the legs from underneath the Christian faith. He believes that his ability as an investigative reporter will help him find proof that Jesus did not rise from the grave. After all, he was a prize-winning reporter whose series on safety issues with the Ford Pinto had won him wide acclaim. Jesus, however, turns out to be a much tougher opponent than the Ford Motor Company.

As Strobel begins his travels to interview experts who are both believers and skeptics, his relationship with his now-Christian wife is deteriorating. After she is baptized, he accuses her of “cheating” on him with another man: Jesus. But as he tells his skeptic friend, he knows his wife is a different person from before.

While Strobel is searching for answers concerning the resurrection of Jesus, he is simultaneously working on a story for the newspaper — about a man accused of shooting a policeman. His investigative reporting seals the accused man’s fate, forcing him to cop a plea deal to avoid even more time in prison. Unfortunately, Strobel’s journalistic efforts also reveal on the front page of the paper that the accused man had been an informant for the police in the past, which leads his jailmates to beat him almost to death. Later, when Strobel uncovers previously overlooked evidence that reveals that the accused man is actually innocent, this leads him to reconsider his past rejections of the evidence of the resurrection.

Strobel’s theories as to why Jesus did not rise from the dead get shot down one by one, over several months. For example, an agnostic psychologist (played by Faye Dunaway) tells him that his thesis that the 500 people who, the Apostle Paul said, saw Jesus in His risen state were suffering mass hallucination just does not work. “It would be a greater miracle than the resurrection,” she argues, informing him that there is no such thing as “mass delusion.”

When Strobel asks a Christian physician about the Swoon Theory — the belief that Jesus Christ did not die on the cross, but simply lost consciousness — the physician demolishes that theory as unsupported by medical facts, even showing him an article from the New England Journal of Medicine that concludes that Jesus could not have survived the cross. Strobel is left in a quandary, asserting, “Doc, you are not telling me what I wanted to hear today.”

It is becoming clear even to Strobel that he is not just letting the facts take him where they lead — that he is simply rejecting the evidence before his eyes.

Following his talk with the Christian physician, Strobel goes to the hospital to see the man who had been falsely accused of killing a police officer. He apologizes to him and tells him that he had “missed the truth” in his first story. The man peers at him through swollen eyes, and finally tells Strobel that it wasn’t just that he had missed the truth, but that Strobel “did not want to see the truth.”

Finally, Strobel becomes convinced that the truth is that Jesus was resurrected, thus proving the veracity of the Christian faith. He tells his wife that “the evidence for your faith is more overwhelming than you can imagine.” Then he relates to her the final reason that he had come to believe in Jesus Christ as his Lord and Savior.

The Christian will go away from this movie with his faith confirmed, while the skeptic should have many of his questions answered. Both will find the movie great entertainment.

Photo: Mike Vogel playing Lee Strobel in The Case for Christ

by 

https://www.thenewamerican.com/reviews/movies/item/25787-the-case-for-christ-the-movie


The Case for Christ Official Trailer 1 (2017) – Mike Vogel Movie


Lee Strobel – The Case for Faith


LEE STROBEL Case For Christ Full Documentary) Special Upload Movies

A Shepherd for Life

God . . . has been my shepherd all my life to this day. Genesis 48:15

When my son changed grades in school he cried, “I want my teacher for life!” We had to help him realize that changing teachers is a part of life. We may wonder: Is there any relationship that can last a lifetime?

Jacob, the patriarch, found out there is one. After living through many dramatic changes and losing loved ones along the way, he realized there had been a constant presence in his life. He prayed, “May the God . . . who has been my shepherd all my life to this day . . . bless these boys” (Gen. 48:15–16).

God . . . has been my shepherd all my life to this day. Genesis 48:15

Jacob had been a shepherd, so he compared his relationship to God as that of a shepherd and his sheep. From the time a sheep is born through its growth to old age the shepherd cares for it day and night. He guides it during the day and protects it during the night. David, also a shepherd, had the same conviction, but he highlighted the eternal dimension to it when he said, “I will dwell in the house of the Lord forever” (Ps. 23:6).

Changing teachers is a part of life. But how good it is to know that we can have a relationship for life. The Shepherd has promised to be with us every day of our earthly existence (Matt. 28:20). And when life here ends, we will be closer to Him than ever.

Father, I thank You for being the Shepherd of my life. I praise Your faithfulness.

God never abandons us.

INSIGHT:Jacob was the first person in the Bible to affectionately call Yahweh “my shepherd” (Gen. 48:15). The psalmists as well as the prophets celebrate God as a shepherd who leads, cares for, and protects His people. Hundreds of years later, Jesus said that He is the Good Shepherd who knows and loves us (John 10:11–14). And the apostle John envisioned the Lamb of God as the shepherd leading the sheep to springs of living water (Rev. 7:17).

Are you weary from life’s struggles? Refresh yourself with knowing that Jesus is your Good Shepherd who leads, loves, and cares for you.

Goodness of God

Psalm 116

God’s goodness is another attribute of His that’s infinite and unchanging. As a result, everything He does is good. We may look at some difficult aspect of our life and feel that the Lord has not manifested this characteristic to us. However, confusing situations and our limited understanding in no way alter who He is. A circumstance may not be good, but God’s goodness is not dependent upon that.

Scripture tells us that God is good to all (Psalm 145:9) and He does not show favoritism to anyone (Rom. 2:11). Either the Bible is telling the truth that God shows His beneficence to everyone, or else the Bible is false and God is good only when and to whom He chooses. Sometimes we would like Him to be more partial with His generosity when people whom we consider bad are doing well in life. Jesus said that the Lord “causes His sun to rise on the evil and the good, and sends rain on the righteous and the unrighteous” (Matt. 5:45). We may try to argue that wicked people don’t deserve good treatment in this life. But we must remember that we as believers don’t deserve the heavenly Father’s favor, either. He gives it freely because His nature is to be good to those He loves, and He loves the whole world—both believers and unbelievers.

Here’s the difference: If we desire the fullness of God’s goodness, we must believe in Him, receive His love, and live obediently. To those who love Him and walk in His righteousness, He pours out the completeness of His favor eternally—nothing is withheld (Psalm 84:11-12).

Boldness in the Holy Place

“Having therefore, brethren, boldness to enter into the holiest by the blood of Jesus.” (Hebrews 10:19)

In the ancient tabernacle only the High Priest was allowed to enter the “holy of holies” to commune with God, and that only once a year, on the great day of atonement. This most holy place was separated from the rest by a very heavy veil. When Christ died, however, as the one final and perfect sacrifice, “the veil of the temple was rent in twain from the top to the bottom” (Matthew 27:51).

This miraculous rending of the veil was intended by the Lord to symbolize the wonderful truth that we now have open access to come into the very presence of God, “by a new and living way, which he hath consecrated for us, through the veil, that is to say, his flesh” (Hebrews 10:20). Thus, as our text says, we no longer must go by way of priests and sacrifices to come to God. We can enter directly “into the holiest by the blood of Jesus.”

Because of what Christ has done for us, we can come boldly (not arrogantly or presumptuously, however) into God’s presence in prayer. “For we have not an high priest which cannot be touched with the feeling of our infirmities; but was in all points tempted like as we are, yet without sin. Let us therefore come boldly unto the throne of grace, that we may obtain mercy, and find grace to help in time of need” (Hebrews 4:15-16).

We can also have confidence (same Greek word as for “boldness”) in witnessing for Christ. After praying for boldness, “with great power gave the apostles witness of the resurrection of the Lord Jesus: and great grace was upon them all” (Acts 4:33).

Just as did the apostles, in Christ we now “have boldness and access with confidence by the faith of him” (Ephesians 3:12). HMM

“If any man sin, we have an Advocate.”

Exodus 32:15-20, 30-35

Exodus 32:16

It is no small trial to come down from communion with God to battle with other men’s sins. This may fall to our lot this day. The Lord prepare us for it.

Exodus 32:17

Joshua was a soldier, and therefore his thoughts ran that way, but Moses knew better. It would be far better to hear the noise of war with spiritual enemies, than the sound of rebellion against the Lord.

Exodus 32:18, 19

Moses is nowhere blamed for this. It was a symbolical action testifying his great abhorrence of sin, and his zeal for the Lord of hosts. He felt that tables written with God’s finger would be polluted by being brought among such a people.

Exodus 32:20

Thus he put the utmost scorn upon their idol by making them drink it. Is it not beyond measure strange that popish idolaters of our day actually worship the wafer which they afterwards eat, and imagine that it is a religious homage to devour what they declare to be divine?

It is a wonderful instance of the influence of one man, that Moses was able in the midst of thousands of idolaters to tear down their idol, to deface it, grind it to powder, mix it with water, and compel the people to drink. God was with him, or he would have been resisted by the stiffnecked throng. He was very decided in his behaviour, and did not tolerate idol worship for a moment: this decision, no doubt, gave him great moral power.

Exodus 32:30

His one thought was to do them good. He was like our Lord Jesus, a faithful Intercessor.

Exodus 32:31, 32

This was splendid self-sacrifice, of which we find a parallel case in the apostle Paul. Moses meant what he said, but we must not judge his expressions by cold-blooded logic: they were the warm outgushing of a tender heart.

Exodus 32:33

This is the voice of the law threatening to blot out the sinner, but the gospel freely blots out the sin.

Exodus 32:34

The Lord refused to be personally present with the tribes, but graciously promised to direct them by an angelic deputy. This was a sad threatening for Moses, who knew the value of the divine presence; and to the people themselves it was grievous news, especially the sentence that the Lord would visit them for sin.

Exodus 32:35

They were the real makers—Aaron was but their agent: they are neither of them excused, but the guilt of each is clearly staled. It was sad to see such a man as Aaron so far astray. Lord keep thou each one of us by thy Holy Spirit.

 

Thou our sins, our hearts confounding

Long and loud for vengeance call,

Thou hast mercy more abounding,

Jesus’ blood can cleanse them all.

 

Let that love veil our transgression,

Let that blood our guilt efface,

Save thy people from oppression,

Save from death thy chosen race.

 

When Roman Soldiers Were Knocked Flat by the Power of God!

John 18:4-6

Just as the Roman soldiers and temple police were preparing to arrest Jesus, a supernatural power was suddenly released that was so strong, it literally knocked an entire band of 300 to 600 soldiers backward and down on the ground! It was as if an invisible bomb had been detonated. So much explosive strength was released that the power knocked the soldiers flat on their backs! Where did this discharge of power come from, and what released it?

After Jesus received Judas’ kiss of betrayal, He stepped forward and asked the crowd of militia, “… Whom seek ye? They answered him, Jesus of Nazareth. Jesus saith unto them, I am he…. As soon then as he had said unto them, I am he, they went backward, and fell to the ground” (John 18:4-6).

Notice how Jesus identified himself. He told them, “… I am he….” These mighty words come from the Greek words ego eimi, which is more accurately translated, “I AM!” It was not the first time Jesus used this phrase to identify Himself; He also used it in John 8:58 and John 13:19. When the hearers of that day heard those words ego eimi, they immediately recognized them as the very words God used to identify Himself when He spoke to Moses on Mount Horeb in Exodus 3:14.

But let’s look at the two additional examples of the word ego eimi in the Gospel of John. In John 8:58, Jesus said, “Verily, verily, I say unto you, Before Abraham was, I am.” Those final words in the verse, “I am,” are the Greek words ego eimi and should be translated, “I AM!”

In John 13:19, Jesus said, “Now I tell you before it come, that, when it is come to pass, ye may believe that I am he.” If you read the King James Version, you will notice the word “he” is italicized, meaning it was supplied by the King James translators and is not in the original. The Greek simply says, “… Ye may believe that I AM!” In both of these cited texts, Jesus strongly and boldly affirmed that He was the Great “I AM” of the Old Testament.

Now in John 18:5 and 6, Jesus uses the words ego eimi again. The soldiers wanted to know, “Who are you?” They probably expected him to answer, “Jesus of Nazareth”—but instead, He answered, “I AM!” John 18:6 tells us, “As soon then as he had said unto them, I am he, they went backward, and fell to the ground.” A more accurate rendering would be “As soon then as he said unto them, I AM, they went backward and fell to the ground.”

The words “went backward” come from the Greek word aperchomai. In this case, the words depict the soldiers and temple police staggering and stumbling backward, as if some force has hit them and is pushing them backward. The word “fell” is the Greek word pipto, which means to fall. It was used often to depict a person who fell so hard, it appeared that they fell dead or fell like a corpse.

The members of this militia that came to arrest Jesus were knocked flat by some kind of force! In fact, the verse says they went backward and fell “to the ground.” The words “to the ground” are taken from the Greek word chamai, which depicts these soldiers falling abruptly and hitting the ground hard. Some force unexpectedly, suddenly, and forcefully knocked these troops and temple police flat!

Think of it—300 to 600 Roman soldiers and a large number of trained temple police had all come laden with weapons, swords, and clubs to help them capture Jesus. After they announced that they were searching for Jesus of Nazareth, Jesus answered them with the words, “I AM”—thus identifying Himself as the “I AM” of the Old Testament. And when Jesus spoke those words, a great blast of God’s power was unleashed—so strong that it literally thrust the troops and police backward, causing them to stagger, wobble, and stumble as they hit the ground hard.

What a shock it must have been for those military men! They discovered that the mere words of Jesus were enough to overwhelm and overpower them! The tales they had heard about Jesus’ power were correct! Of course He really was strong enough to overcome an army. After all, He was the Great “I AM!”

After Jesus proved He couldn’t be taken by force, He willfully surrendered to them, knowing that it was all a part of the Father’s plan for the redemption of mankind. But it’s important to understand that no one took Him. It was Jesus’ voluntary choice to go with the troops.

The Jesus we serve is powerful! There is no force strong enough to resist His power. No sickness, financial turmoil, relational problems, political force—absolutely nothing has enough power to resist the supernatural power of Jesus Christ! When the Great “I AM” opens His mouth and speaks, every power that attempts to defy Him or His Word is pushed backward and shaken until it staggers, stumbles, and falls to the ground!

What is your need today? Why not present those needs to Jesus, the Great “I AM”? Let Him speak to your heart, directing you to His Word. Once you see the promise you need, get your mouth into agreement with His Word, and you, too, will see the power of God unleashed against the forces that try to defy you!

MY PRAYER FOR TODAY

Lord, I am so glad that You are the Great “I AM” and that You have power over every force in the universe. When You speak, demons tremble, sickness flees, poverty is vanquished, and your Kingdom rules and reigns! Because You live inside me, Your power is resident in me and ready to set me free from any force that tries to come against me. I stand on Your Word, Lord. I speak it out loud by faith and therefore expect to see mountains move out of the way for me!

I pray this in Jesus’ name!

MY CONFESSION FOR TODAY

I declare that there is no force strong enough to resist God’s power in my life. No sickness, financial turmoil, relational problems, political force—absolutely NOTHING has enough power to resist the supernatural power of Jesus Christ that is resident in me! When I open my mouth and speak the Word of God, every power that attempts to defy His Word is pushed backward and shaken till it staggers, stumbles, and falls to the ground. When my mouth gets into agreement with God’s Word, I see His power unleashed against the forces that try to come against me!

I declare this by faith in Jesus’ name!

QUESTIONS FOR YOU TO CONSIDER

  1. Do you have a mountain in your life right now that is so big, only God’s power can move it out of the way?
  2. Can you think of a time in your life when you spoke God’s Word and saw almost instantaneous results in the physical and material realm?
  3. If you are not facing a mountain right now, how might you spiritually prepare yourself for one in the future?

The Jesus we serve is powerful! There is no force strong enough to resist His power. No sickness, financial turmoil, relational problems, political force—absolutely nothing has enough power to resist the supernatural power of Jesus Christ! When the Great “I AM” opens His mouth and speaks, every power that attempts to defy Him or His Word is pushed backwards and shaken until it staggers, stumbles, and falls to the ground!

 

Contentment… Is It Achievable?

J. P. Morgan (1837-1913), the renowned financial and industrial magnate was once asked what it would take to make him happy. His reply? “Just a little bit more.

 

By his response Mr. Morgan was affirming the truth of Proverbs 27:20: “The lust of the eyes of man is never satisfied. (Amplified)

 

How then can a person achieve CONTENTMENT? Let me suggest five Biblical principles:

 

1. Contentment is achieved when seeking God and His kingdom are our first priority:

 

Therefore I tell you, do not worry about your life, what you will eat or drink; or about your body, what you will wearSeek first His kingdom and His righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well.” (Matthew 6:25, 33)

 

2. Contentment is achieved by believing God will meet our needs:

 

Keep your lives free from the love of money and be content with what you have, because God has said, never will I leave you; never will I forsake you.” (Hebrews 13:5)

 

3. Contentment is achieved by graciously accepting what God allows into our lives:

 

I have learned to be content whatever the circumstanceswhether well fed or hungry, whether living in plenty or in want. I can do everything through Him who gives me strength.” (Philippians 4:12b, 13)

 

4. Contentment is achieved through a life of simplicity over greed:

 

But godliness with contentment is great gainIf we have food and clothing, we will be content with theseWhoever loves wealth is never satisfied with his incomeI have seen a grievous evil under the sun: wealth hoarded to the harm of its owner… ” (1 Timothy 6:6, 8; Ecclesiastes 5:10, 13)

 

5. Contentment is achieved by enjoying hard work and its remuneration:

 

It is good and proper for a man to eat and drink, and to find satisfaction in his toilsome labor

 

When God gives any man wealth and possessions, and enables him to enjoy them, to accept his lot and be happy in his work—this is a gift of God.” (Ecclesiastes 5:18, 19)

 

 

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