Short Meditations for Easter on the Cross: 12. Confirmed
Acts 10:39 “We are witnesses of everything he did in the country of the Jews and in Jerusalem. They killed him by hanging him on a cross,
There are those who question whether Jesus Christ ever existed as an historical figure. Well, not being unkind, but they are now part of an uneducated, ignorant group. Scholars of all shades now agree he did. Then there are those who deny he was crucified and those who said he never died, and others that he rose again (e.g. Mt 28:12-15)
Stop and think about this for a moment or two because such people need help, and you and I should have answers. Stop and think about what would have to be the greatest fraud in history, a fraud that would have had to have totally conned so many people.
As to Jesus himself: clearly an historical figure and listen to Dr. Luke, a scholar: “Many have undertaken to draw up an account of the things that have been fulfilled among us, just as they were handed down to us by those who from the first were eyewitnesses and servants of the word. With this in mind, since I myself have carefully investigated everything from the beginning.” (Lk 1:1-3) Not the words of the gullible. Four clearly different Gospel writers, all taken in by dozens of “eyewitnesses”?
As to Jesus’ death: brought about by trained killers whose lives would be under threat if they messed up this job, the Roman soldiers, who knew what death looked like when they saw it. A mutilated body consigned to a cold cave for several nights; no way he is going to be walking out looking on top of the world!
As to Jesus’ resurrection: family and friends who looked on as he died, men and women utterly convinced he died, and yet men who were prepared to die for their belief that he rose again, so that ten of the original twelve died as martyrs.
Who are these doubters kidding? Whatever else we might say, we have to go along with the apostle Peter as he shares his testimony with Cornelius and his household: “we are witnesses” and not just witnesses of one or two little bits of Jesus life but, “we are witnesses of everything he did,” and so he is absolutely sure: “They killed him by hanging him on a cross” and, just for the record, note how he continued: “but God raised him from the dead on the third day and caused him to be seen.” There it is again, as we saw it in the previous study – “caused him to be seen.” This is all about witnesses, people who saw what happened, people whose lives were transformed by what happened, and a key element was Jesus’ death and resurrection, so utterly convincing that people wrote, and people lived and died. No it is only ignorance that can doubt.