IT’S HARD TO IGNORE THE FACTS OF HISTORY: EASTER DENIERS VS. EASTER’S REALITY
Expect the anti-Christian left to go all giddily gleeful over the April Fool’s Day date of Easter this Sunday. What a juicy opportunity for the God deniers to amp up their full-throated mock-fest against Christians as gullible morons. Deluded idiots who believe against all reason in a God who callously sacrificed his own Son in order to arrange a heavenly reunion with His followers. All we Christian fools have got is faith, they scoff, and faith is nothing but empty, irrational hope.
These deep thinkers have their own faith that they insist relies on the holy writ of reason and science. Reason and science lead them to their catechism: that life began from primal stirrings of an inorganic hot mess that through lucky trial and error “evolved” itself into complex critters like tarantulas and lobsters and elephants and, eventually, human beings. Just don’t ask where the hot mess originally came from. Their version of reason is to believe by faith that a whole lot of something can come from absolutely nothing. And they call this science?
To be fair, there are some God-deniers who do have an explanation of the origination of life on Earth. Sort of. Celebrated DNA discoverer and Pulitzer Prize winner, the late molecular biologist Francis Crick, along with his colleague the late biochemist Dr. Leslie Orgel among others, argued that life developed from seeds spread here by extraterrestrials from an advanced civilization possibly via spaceship. So the entire planet is an experiment in horticulture.
And more recently British professional atheist, evolutionary biologist, and self-anointed “brilliant” Richard Dawkins, joined them in promoting this theory, called “panspermia,” which is Latin for “we’ll go to any wacky lengths to avoid the obvious truth of God the Creator.” It takes a real genius these days to tell science fiction from science. And these are the very same high-forehead gang as the “scientists” who every Easter pen their splendidly-articulated trashing of Christians as hopeless optimists hooked on an elaborate mythology of a God who loves them.
But as outlandish as the Easter story may seem — God coming down to earth in a man-suit as Jesus Christ to reconcile us fallen humans with Him — that panspermia theory certainly beats Christianity for sheer wild-eyed fiction. Bigtime.
Christianity-bashers are also fond of dismissing the Bible as elaborate fairy tales with no basis in fact or history. The marvelous science called archaeology has proved them wrong. Excavations validating the Biblical text have identified hundreds of artifacts, events, ancient place names, and the historicity of individuals such as Herod and Pontius Pilate who figure in Jesus’ story, as well as Jesus of Nazareth Himself. The Popular Handbook of Archaeology and the Bible by Joseph M. Holden and Norman Geisler is a fascinating trove of these discoveries.
There is a factual foundation on which Easter and thus Christianity rests; that the Biblical account is true of Christ’s death as a willing sacrifice by God Himself (as Jesus) so that we could enjoy eternity with Him in Heaven. The philosophical foundation of Christianity is much harder for some to believe than the resurrection miracle itself: that the God who created the heavens and the earth is so crazy about humanity that he arranged this reunion with us at great personal expense and physical pain.
But how do we know that the miracle of Easter actually happened? How do we know the disciples weren’t just inventing a sensational tale that the man they had followed for three years and seen murdered on the cross, after being entombed had conquered death by rising again to life? How do we know that Jesus appeared to them 12 times in the weeks after his “death,” and ate with them, and made them breakfast on a Galilee beach – how can we believe?
The most convincing proof, apart from the first-person accounts of the disciples at the time, may be the dramatic change in His followers who had fled the gruesome scene of Jesus’ crucifixion, their world and their hopes torn apart. But afterwards, when they had seen him, they were instantly transformed from sniveling cowards to bold evangelists.
As they walked and talked with the risen Christ, ate with him and examined the wounds on his hands and side, their emotions turned from despair to overwhelming joy.
His last instructions before he ascended into Heaven were to preach the gospel to all the world. This fragile band of believers became a determined, courageous army that traveled to take Christ’s message throughout the ancient world. The Word would ultimately spread until even in our era, Christianity is the leading religion on the globe with more believers than any other.
Their faith was rooted in reason, as ours is today. All of the disciples except John were eventually murdered by the brutal pagan despots of the time. Many will give their lives for a lie, but who will risk death for a lie they know is a lie?
No, their reason and the miracles they had seen convinced them that Jesus was the Son of God and His parting words were truth: “All authority has been given to Me in heaven and on earth. Go therefore and make disciples of all the nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, teach them to observe all things that I have commanded you; and lo, I am with you always, even to the end of the age.” ( Matt. 28:18-20.)
The Gospel of Jesus in a nutshell. (basic) 2 Cor 5:21