March 2024

An Argument for the Resurrection

It’s Easter and the celebration of the greatest miracle of all time: the resurrection of Jesus.

I read the excerpt below many years ago as a teenager and it had big impact on me. I came across it again just last week and I still find it very powerful. It is from a sermon by James Francis in 1926 called “One Solitary Life,”

“He was born in an obscure village, the child of a peasant. He grew up in another village, where he worked in a carpenter shop until he was 30. Then, for three years, he was an itinerant preacher.

He never wrote a book. He never held an office. He never had a family or owned a home. He didn’t go to college. He never lived in a big city. He never travelled 200 miles from the place where he was born. He did none of the things that usually accompany greatness. He had no credentials but himself.

He was only 33 when the tide of public opinion turned against him. His friends ran away. One of them denied him. He was turned over to his enemies and went through the mockery of a trial. He was nailed to a cross between two thieves. While he was dying, his executioners gambled for his garments, the only property he had on earth. When he was dead, he was laid in a borrowed grave, through the pity of a friend.

Twenty centuries have come and gone, and today he is the central figure of the human race. All the navies that ever sailed, all the parliaments that ever sat, all the kings that ever reigned—put together—have not affected the life of man on this earth as much as that one, solitary life.”

His life is so pivotal that today’s date, 2024, is measurement of time passed since his birth. Over 30% of the world’s population follow him exclusively and he is mentioned directly or indirectly 109 times in the Quran which makes up a further 25%. Even the non-religious, who add another 15%, will call out his name when they are stressed, surprised or in trouble, often in anger (watch any movie today!) and there is no other person in history whose name is used in that manner.

Yet why? Why is he in the hearts, in the minds and on the lips of 70% of the people alive today? What makes this one solitary life so unique? Many others have lived, preached profound messages, performed supernatural acts and died so what makes him not first among equals but in a class all of his own?

The singular defining difference that separates this man’s life from all others is his resurrection from the dead. If there was no resurrection, how could this man be the most influential person who ever lived? There simply is no other explanation.

Logically then, he is alive today. God, in fact. As close as a prayer.

Happy Easter