16th of April 2017

The Case for Christ

Welcome to St Clement’s, and Happy Easter as we gather today to celebrate that Jesus is alive!

The apostle Paul wrote quite a bit to the church in Corinth about Jesus’ resurrection. Some of the Christians there were sceptical about the idea of resurrection. Paul logically concluded that ‘if Christ has not been raised, your faith is futile and you are still in your sins.’ (1 Corinthians 15:17 NRSV). But Paul knows that Jesus Christ has been raised. Jesus appeared after his resurrection and was seen by eyewitnesses including Paul. Many of these eyewitnesses were still alive at the time Paul wrote to the Corinthians.

Scepticism over Jesus’ life, death and resurrection is nothing new. Maybe you’re unsure or sceptical about Jesus too? We’ve been looking at Jesus’ life from Luke’s gospel this term. Luke wrote his gospel, including the account of Jesus’ resurrection in chapter 24, so that his original reader Theophilus, and all other readers, might have certainty about the things we have been taught about Jesus (Luke 1:4). We can have certainty about Jesus’ resurrection because of the eye witness evidence that has been recorded for us in the New Testament.

One man who investigated this evidence in detail is Lee Strobel. He was a journalist for the Chicago Tribune. Strobel dismissed Jesus and his resurrection as ‘the fanciful invention of superstitious people’. But then his dismissal of Jesus was turned upside down when his wife Leslie become a Christian. Strobel found himself drawn to examine the evidence for Christianity again so he could get to the bottom of the changes in his wife! As he looked, he realised his assumptions of the Jesus story as fairy tale were not true. He eventually accepted the evidence before him, and trusted in what Jesus had done for him in his death and resurrection.

Strobel wrote a book about his investigations into Christianity, called ‘The Case for Christ’. It would be a great book to read if you’re not sure about Jesus – I’ve got a copy you could borrow if you like, just ask me. It’s also just been made into a film which will be released on 4th May. What do you make of The Christ?               Andy