Wednesday, April 1, 2015

Walking Alive: Jesus Christ’s Resurrection

I was born a Catholic, raised a Catholic, virtually brainwashed as a Catholic and so by default, I am a Catholic. I am one who actually goes to church with my wife every Sunday and all holidays of obligation and even receive Holy Communion.

At our parish, St Luke's Catholic Church in McLean, VA I have shaken the hands of famous people and greeted them with "peace be with you”. The Kennedys – family of the late Robert and Ethel and that of the late Ted (Edward) and Joan were parishioners. I remember chatting with Joseph Kennedy III at one time after mass. Lately, I have been seeing former National Security Adviser Zbigniew Brzezinski and Va. Governor Terry McAuliffe. These people I would say, are from the progressive Left. 

I have also seen the likes of Pat Buchanan, a former Presidential Adviser to both Presidents Nixon and Reagan and a Presidential candidate. Recently, I shook hands with former House Speaker and Republican Presidential Candidate Newt Gingrich. Both, I would say, are from the conservative Right.

We are all Catholics with the ultimate goal of going to Heaven. We all believe in the all-encompassing Commandment – “Love they neighbor”. Yet, politically, we all follow different paths – some to the Left and others to the Right.

Belief of Jesus Christ’s Divinity, however, is a common denominator. And this Divinity is reinforced by a historically proven fact that Christ suffered, died, and was buried. But as evidenced by eyewitness accounts and oral testimonies, He was “raised” from the dead after being buried for three days inside the tomb that was heavily guarded by designated soldiers.

There were of course doubters. They included St. Thomas who gained the alias “doubting Thomas” for obvious reasons. Some say that Jesus did not actually die on the cross. Others say that His Disciples stole His body from the tomb so that they could spread the news of His resurrection as predicted. Many doubted Mary Magdalene’s account of seeing, talking, and walking with a live Jesus. Why? Because she was a woman and women were unreliable under Jewish tradition at that time.

Having relied mostly on Faith all these years, for this Lent I decided to do my own research and discernment. This time, I sought to make use of my Philosophy and Legal background. In church, I procured a copy of a CD made by Dr. Stephen Smith entitled, “The Resurrection of Jesus: FACT or FICTION.” After listening to the entire audio, I followed it up with, what else – the all-reliable Google.

In my research, what impressed me most is the position of a lawyer described as a jurisprudential prodigy and international statesman named Sir Lionel Luckhoo. In the Guinness Book of World Records, he gained fame for his unprecedented 245 consecutive defense murder trial acquittals.

Epitomizing Christian enthusiasm and confidence in the strength of the case for the resurrection he wrote, “I have spent more than 42 years as a defense trial lawyer appearing in many parts of the world and am still in active practice. I have been fortunate to secure a number of successes in jury trials and I say unequivocally the evidence for the Resurrection of Jesus Christ is so overwhelming that it compels acceptance by proof which leaves absolutely no room for doubt.”

Did Jesus Christ really die being nailed on the cross? Did Jesus fake his death and escape from the tomb?

According to eyewitness testimony, “Christ was beaten, tortured, lacerated, and stabbed. He suffered internal damage, massive blood loss, asphyxiation, and a spear through His heart.” Nobody could have survived such an ordeal and fake his death. “Being in the tomb for three days and nights without medical attention, food or water, removIng the massive stone which sealed His tomb, escaping undetected (without leaving behind a trail of blood), convincing hundreds of eyewitness that He was resurrected from the dead in good health, and then disappearing without a trace, that would be ridiculous.” 

I found no one that could dispute the argument that Jesus Christ died.

If He died, was He really resurrected? The Gospels and other historical books cite the eyewitness accounts and oral testimonies that Jesus was walking alive not dead as a ghost, and talking with them. The disciples and hundreds of these eyewitnesses swore over their dead bodies to the truth of their testimonies. Suffered, tortured and died they did. They did not have to. It would have been easier to disown what they witnessed. They did not because they were on the side of truth and saw in Jesus the path to eternal life.

During the forty days after His resurrection, He roamed around meeting with the faithful and commissioning the disciples to spread his resurrection and build the church to be led by Peter starting in Rome.

No amount of persecution, torture, and death by crucifixion of the disciples and other followers could stop the people from spreading Christ’s Divinity due to his resurrection.

The available historical data and evidence really prove the death and resurrection of Jesus. His resurrection likewise proves that He was more than just an ordinary man – in fact, Divine. 

This in fact, is the best argument for the conversion to Christianity.

There are now 2.2 billion Christians in the world. It is predicted that there would be about 300 million Christians in China by 2030. Hundreds of thousands are converted all over the world annually.

In this digital and exponential world we expect more Christians walking alive not dead in the immediate and mediate future.

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