In my on-line Bible study this week the leader posed this question for the chapter: Have you ever doubted the validity of the resurrection? If so, what happened to erase those doubts? How did doubt affect your faith and how has that changed?
Can’t say I ever doubted the resurrection. I figured if I can get past the fact that God exists and that He is the one true God then I will believe whatever He says happened and I will do whatever He tells me I have to do. Keller states, “They (first hearers) knew that if it (the resurrection) was true it mean we can’t live our lives any way we want….If Jesus rose from the dead, it changes everything.” With that said, I do think we have to carefully interpret the Bible and take the historical and cultural times into consideration so that we can use the Bible to correctly guide our lives.
I know some people struggle with the resurrection and I do think this chapter brought up some really good points about how we can be sure the resurrection happened the way the Bible said it happened. One of the points, which I have heard before, Keller talked about a book written by N.T Wright where he argues that “there must have been enormous pressure on the early proclaimers of the Christian message to remove the women from the accounts. They felt they could not do so—the records were too well known.” At that time, women were not regarded very highly so to have them be the first ones to see Jesus would not have helped promote Christianity but actually hurt it; however, they had to keep it in the historical story because too many people knew the real story. To me, that helps me know the rest of the story is correct.
Keller talks about a few other points that I have never thought about. He said that, “Skeptics could have easily produced Jesus’s rotted corpse. Also, Paul could not be telling people in a public document that there were scores of eyewitnesses alive if there were not.” Keller uses 1 Corinthians 15:3-6 to support this thought. The fact that Paul is telling the doubters to go talk to the people who actually witnessed the resurrection first hand means there actually has to be eyewitnesses of the resurrection. I don’t think you can just make this all up and then get tons of people to back you up.
As I said earlier, I have never doubted the resurrection and what it means to me and the world. Now if you were to talk to me about some other things mentioned in the Bible like the role of women, what God says about protecting the environment and the lack of most Christians willingness to do so (can you tell where I stand on this issue), I am sure I can come up with a pretty heated argument. Keller doesn’t really go into those issues so that might have to come in a different Bible study.