Dr. Robert Jeffress, senior pastor of First Baptist Dallas and Fox News contributor, focused his Easter message on proofs for the resurrection of Jesus Christ, "the single most important fact in human history."
In Jeffress' remarks, delivered at "America's Church," a magnificent campus in the heart of the city updated in 2013 with over $130 million of renovation and upgrades, he focused on four proofs for the resurrection.
First, Jeffress addressed the proof of logic—namely what happened to the body of Jesus? Jeffress noted, "If the authorities had it, they could disprove the resurrection by producing it. If the followers of Jesus stole the body, what did they have to gain from this for themselves other than persecution, imprisonment and death?"
Concerning the proof of human nature, Jeffress noted the fearlessness of the once cowering disciples: "If friends objected to their faith, they would give up their friends. If family members objected, they would leave their family. If their job interfered, they would give up jobs. If threatened with death, they would give up their life. Why? Their courage was tied to their belief in the resurrection. Most people are unwilling to die for truth, much less a lie."
Concerning the proof of early acceptance, Jeffress observed: "The majority of the New Testament was written between A.D. 40 and 65. In other words, many people who witnessed the events of those days were still alive—and well able to refute false claims. Yet the church prospered because people living during those times knew the resurrection to be true."
Concerning the proof of the eyewitnesses, Jeffress said, "The resurrected Jesus appeared to over 500 witnesses, many of whom had no expectation that He would rise again, yet that encounter changed their lives. More than 2,000 years later, millions of people around the globe are enduring persecution and death because they claim to have had a personal encounter with Jesus Christ. A willingness to die for a claimed experience with God argues strongly for the veracity of that experience. As Pascal said, 'I believe those witnesses who get their throats cut.'"
Jeffress summarized his message this way, "The historical reality of the resurrection of Christ means nothing unless you are related to Christ, have applied that truth to your life, and received the forgiveness of sins. But if you are a believer, the resurrection offers you the assurance of life after death, of reunion with loved ones, of healing, of peace and of everlasting joy. That's the hope those of us who are Christians have on Easter day and every day."
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