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Not a Fairy Tale
Everywhere you go, you hear the statement.
“Sure,” they'll say, “I think Jesus was real. I think he lived. I think he was a good guy. But I don't think he was the 'Son of God' and all that.
“Where's the evidence?” they ask, “Where's the historic, written evidence?”
The Bible, you might say, to which they'll promptly reply, “Stories! Fairy tales.”
So what's the truth?
Put ALL of your previous bias aside right now and take a step back. Here's the story, plain and bare, how the BIBLE tells it, to clear up all confusion.
The Bible says Jesus was the Son of God. That he came to the Earth born as a baby. That he lived and preached for years. And that he died on a cross.
Okay. Believable, maybe, except the “Son of God” part sounds a bit sketchy. But the other things sound good, right?
Then it goes on to claim that after three days, Jesus rose from the dead, walked about for a good few weeks, and then went back to heaven.
Wow, you say, stop right there. Maybe he was a good guy, a prophet, but risen from the dead?- seems bit crazy, right? Like, cuckoo. Cuckoo for cocoa puffs.
It takes a great amount of faith to believe it.
But faith alone isn't the only prop.
As you may or may not know, Jesus has twelve “disciples” - “apostles” - whatever you want to call them. For purpose of discussion, we'll call them his “best friends”, for in truth, that's what they were.
Each and every one of his best friends saw Jesus rise from the dead. They heard his preachings, and then they witnessed him go back to heaven.
Then they promptly left and preached the “good news”, going to distant countries to tell everyone about Jesus.
Now look at this fact. Excepting one, every single best friend of Jesus was killed for their beliefs. Executed. Kicked the bucket. The only one who wasn't killed was John, who was exiled for the rest of forever on an island!
In fact, Peter, Jesus' absolutely-one-hundred-percent-bestest-pal-in-the-world, was scheduled to be put to death on a cross. (Imagine the last drop of blood being squeezed from your body, then suffocating. Yeah. That's crucifixion.) But he refused. He instead asked to be crucified UPSIDE DOWN, an even worse death, because he wasn't worthy enough to die the same death as Jesus.
I ask you this. If these men had made up the story of Jesus rising from the grave, would they – each and every one of them – DIE for a fairy tale?
If you doubt the fact that they all died, I tell you THIS – you cannot find records of their deaths in the Bible – however, you CAN find them in historical, written evidence [exactly what they asked for before!] . The proof of their death is 100%. No question about it.
Would they die for a fairy tale?
Imagine you went around telling everybody that a leprechaun was God. All of a sudden somebody came up, pressed a gun to your head and told you they would shoot if you kept saying that. [They were being dead serious.] Would you keep on saying that you worshipped a leprechaun even though you knew it wasn't true? Would you die for a fairy tale?
Obviously these men were willing to die for their faith. That is one reason the rising of Jesus should not be considered a falsehood. And if Jesus rose from the dead, it invariably means that he is the Son of God.
Point two. Paul. Originally named Saul.
Saul was the ultimate Christian-killer/arrester. I mean, this was the guy you'd see on COPs when you flip on the TV during lunch, beating the heck out of yet another Christian. And let me tell you, he LOVED it. He firmly, undoubtedly believed Christians were liars. He was a full-blooded Pharisee (if you don't know what that terms means, google it).
Then one day he's headed into Damascus. Whistling as he goes along with his trust cop-friends. Goin' out to arrest some more Christians. Stop the lies from being spread.
Then – BAM! He's on his knees, cowering.
His cop-friends are like. “Dude, what the heck. Why are on the ground. You'll get all dirty,” because they can't see a thing besides the road.
Meanwhile, Saul is seeing Jesus coming down from heaven. And Jesus is like. “Man, Saul, you're messed up.”
Saul's all like, “Man, who the heck are you?”
And Jesus is all, “I'm the one you've been persecuting.”
Long story short, the vision passes, Saul is blind. Like, blind blind. Forever blind. He checks in with a doctor and it's like a soap opera. “I'm sorry, Saul. You'll never see again. There's nothing we can do. It's permanent.” Saul's all weeping and crying, when all of a sudden – BAM! God's all like, “Saul, man, go see this one man. He's my go-to-guy. We're like, tight. He'll help you see again.”
And – BAM – this one guy named Ananias is like, “In the name of Jesus, I give you your sight back,” waves his hands, and Saul can see.
Saul changes his name to Paul, writes half of the New Testament, goes through shipwrecks, snake bites, jail multiple times, stoning, beatings, and is eventually beheaded for his faith.
So that's basically the story of Paul (slanged up to make it more relevant to today's culture).
I ask you this – why would a man so opposed to Christianity convert and die for the same religion?
Only if he went through a truly miraculous and completely genuine experience.
Only if he saw God.
I tell you this today. Jesus wasn't a good guy. He wasn't a prophet, and he wasn't a fake.
Jesus was the Son of God, the second part of the Trinity, and he died for our sins, and he rose again on the third day.
It's not a fairy tale. It's not make-believe.