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The Resurrection: Are the Stories Really Different?

The Resurrection: Are the Stories Really Different?

The following is an outstanding resource on the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead, by Tim Chaffey. His work is sure to build your faith, and perhaps the faith of someone you know . . .

Christ’s Resurrection — Four Accounts, One Reality

by Tim Chaffey on April 5, 2015 Audio Version

Christ’s Resurrection led to a confusing day, as His followers raced around the city. Skeptics point to alleged contradictions to prove Scripture wrong. Can the four Gospels be reconciled?

The Gospels can’t keep their stories straight! How many women went to the tomb and when did they leave? How many angels visited the tomb? Did Jesus appear to all the women or just Mary Magdalene?

Actual contradictions in the Resurrection reports would raise serious concerns for Christianity. If these discrepancies are legitimate, they would be a strike against the preservation of Scripture, but errors would not prove anything against the truth of the Lord’s Resurrection or the infallible original records. Nevertheless, Christians need not worry. These accounts can be reconciled. Indeed, when we put all the pieces together, the wonder of the Resurrection shines out in even greater glory.

Early Morning

When did the women go to the tomb, and how many went?

The Gospels refer to different times and name different women who arrived at the tomb. Matthew states that “Mary Magdalene and the other Mary” came to the tomb as it “began to dawn” (Matthew 28:1). Mark adds Salome to the group and claims that they came “very early in the morning” (Mark 16:1–2). Luke agrees that it was “very early in the morning” and names “Mary Magdalene, Joanna, Mary the mother of James, and the other women” as those who came to the tomb (Luke 24:1, 24:10). John wrote that “Mary Magdalene went to the tomb early, while it was still dark” (John 20:1).

When we put all the pieces together, the wonder of the Resurrection shines out in even greater glory.

Regarding the timing of the women’s trip, the sticky point is John’s claim that they went to the tomb “while it was still dark” (John 20:1). Was it very early in the morning at dawn, or was it still dark? One plausible solution is that the phrases used in the Gospels all refer to the same general time. Much of the sky is still dark when the day begins to dawn very early in the morning.

Perhaps a better solution is that John may have described when the women initially left for the tomb, while the other Gospels described when the women arrived. If they lodged in Bethany, as they had done earlier in the week, then the women would need to travel about two miles to reach the burial site (John 11:18), plenty of time for the sun to rise.

Resolving the differences in the number of women listed is straightforward. At least five women went to the tomb, since Luke names three of them and then says “other women” went too (at least two). Notice that Matthew does not say that only two women were there. Mark does not say only three women were there. They simply focus on the women they name. Although John names only Mary Magdalene, he is clearly aware that she was not alone. Reporting to Peter and John, she said, “They have taken away the Lord out of the tomb, and we do not know where they have laid Him” (John 20:2, italics added).

Was the tomb already open, and how many angels appeared?

Mark 16:4, Luke 24:2, and John 20:1 state outright that the stone had been rolled away from the tomb prior to the women’s arrival. Matthew’s wording has caused some consternation. After writing about the women going to the tomb he writes, “And behold, there was a great earthquake; for an angel of the Lord descended from heaven, and came and rolled back the stone from the door, and sat on it” (Matthew 28:2). Although this description follows his mention of the women heading to the tomb, Matthew does not claim that this event occurred as the women arrived. Instead, he provides helpful details about what had already happened.

The angelic appearances have also drawn criticism. Was there one angel at the tomb, as described in Matthew 28:2–7 and Mark 16:5–7, or two angels, as stated in Luke 24:4–7 and John 20:12? This minor difficulty is easily explained. There were two angels. Neither Matthew nor Mark claims that only one angel was at the tomb. The complete number does not appear in their accounts. It is not a problem that Mark and Luke call the angels “men,” since angels frequently appeared in the form of men and were identified as such elsewhere (Genesis 18:1–2; Daniel 9:21).

Order of Appearances

The alleged contradictions already mentioned are relatively easy to reconcile, but resolving the diverse accounts given in the four Gospels and 1 Corinthians 15:5–8 concerning the post-Resurrection appearances is more difficult. None of these accounts mentions all of the Lord’s appearances, so the information must be pieced together from all five sources.

When and where did each woman see Jesus?

This is the most complex issue concerning the reporting of appearances.1 Matthew asserts that the women visited the tomb and saw an angel. While they were on the way to tell the disciples, Jesus appeared to them. There would be no difficulty here except that John has Mary Magdalene individually returning from the tomb to report to Peter and John that the body had been taken away. Only after her return to the tomb with the two disciples is she granted the privilege of being the first to see the risen Savior. So how can both accounts of women seeing Jesus be accurate? Many Gospel harmonies have been written, and there are a handful of plausible solutions. I believe the following scenario makes the best sense of the available data (see map).

As mentioned above, at least five women set out for the tomb in the early morning, probably from Bethany. As they neared the tomb, they noticed the stone had been removed. Apparently, Mary Magdalene left the other women to alert Peter and John. Based on her comment about not knowing the location of the Lord’s body, it seems that she was not among the women who encountered the angels at the tomb.

Meanwhile, the other women entered the tomb and encountered the angels. One of the angels proclaimed that the Lord had risen, and then “the women went out quickly from the tomb with fear and great joy, and ran to bring His disciples word” (Matthew 28:8–9).

So how could Jesus first appear to Mary Magdalene (Mark 16:9) and then to the other women? As they headed for the tomb, why didn’t Mary, Peter, and John cross paths with the other women who were going to tell the disciples?

The key to resolving these dilemmas is to understand that Peter and John were probably not staying in the same place as the other disciples. Remember, although all the disciples “forsook Him and fled” at His arrest (Matthew 26:56), Peter and John were brave enough to enter Jerusalem to find out what would happen to Jesus (John 18:15). Of course, Peter fled in shame at the rooster’s crow (Matthew 26:75), but John was present at the Cross (John 19:26). At some point, John and Peter met up, and they were likely staying together in Jerusalem when Mary Magdalene came to the door on Sunday morning.

Where were the other disciples, then? We cannot be certain, but they may well have stayed in Bethany. After all, this is where Jesus often stayed on trips to Jerusalem, and Bethany was on the eastern slope of the Mount of Olives (Mark 11:1), the location of Christ’s arrest.

If these suppositions are correct, then all of the difficulties are resolved nicely. Mary Magdalene first left the tomb and entered nearby Jerusalem to get Peter and John. During that time, the other women encountered the angels and then left the tomb to set out on the two-mile trip to Bethany to tell the other disciples. They may have stopped along the way to tell Clopas and an unnamed disciple about the morning’s events (Luke 24:22–24), or they may have split up so that a couple of them could inform these men. In all likelihood, “the wife of Clopas” was among these women (John 19:25).

Meanwhile, Peter, John, and Mary raced to the tomb. The men entered the tomb, saw the grave clothes, and then left. Mary stayed behind, weeping outside the tomb. When she looked into the tomb, she saw two angels (John 20:12), and after explaining her grief to them, she turned around and saw the Savior (John 20:16). After Mary departed to tell Peter and John about seeing the risen Lord, Jesus appeared to the other women who were on their way to Bethany (Matthew 28:9).

Three More Appearances on Sunday

The remaining appearances of Christ on that day are much easier to follow. Luke wrote about Clopas and a companion meeting the Lord while they walked from Jerusalem to Emmaus. They did not recognize Him until He broke bread with them (Luke 24:30–31).

They immediately returned to Jerusalem to share the good news with the disciples, who were gathered together without Thomas (John 20:19–24). Upon their arrival, they were told by the disciples that Jesus had appeared to Simon Peter (Luke 24:34; see also 1 Corinthians 15:5). It is unclear whether Peter saw Jesus before the two disciples saw Him on the road to Emmaus.

As they shared exciting details about the day’s events, Jesus appeared to the whole group. At first they were frightened, but the Lord showed them His scars and then ate some broiled fish and honeycomb (Luke 24:40–43).

Remaining Appearances

Jesus continued to appear to people over a forty-day period (Acts 1:3). Eight days after His Resurrection, Jesus appeared to the disciples again, and this time Thomas was present (John 20:24–29).

Over the next few weeks Jesus appeared to seven disciples at the Sea of Galilee (John 21:1–2). While still in Galilee, the disciples also saw Jesus on a hillside (Matthew 28:16–17). This may have been the event Paul mentioned where Jesus appeared to over 500 people at once (1 Corinthians 15:6). After that, Jesus was seen by His half-brother James, the son of Mary and Joseph (1 Corinthians 15:7).

The disciples returned to Jerusalem, where Jesus appeared to them a final time. He delivered the Great Commission, led them out to Bethany at the Mount of Olives, and ascended into heaven (Luke 24:50–51; Acts 1:9–11).2

Conclusion

Luke declared that after Jesus suffered and died on the Cross, He showed Himself alive “by many infallible proofs” (Acts 1:3). Skeptics will surely continue to question Scripture and neglect reasonable solutions to the dilemmas they propose. It’s hard for them to be open-minded about sensible answers because Christ’s Resurrection, if true, is a miracle that demonstrates Jesus is Lord—a truth contrary to their secular worldview, which rejects miracles and the supernatural. No matter how many objections unbelievers raise, Christians can be confident there are no contradictions in the Word of God.

To read the original article, courtesy of Answers in Genesis, click here.

HOW HAS THIS ARTICLE ENCOURAGED YOU, OR SOMEONE YOU KNOW? DIDN’T TIM CHAFFEY DO AN OUTSTANDING JOB?

Michael Anthony Blog - Godfactor.comABOUT ME: Most of the lessons I’ve learned in life I’ve learned through failure. I typically publish my blogs Tuesday through Friday, here and on Facebook. We welcome and read comments from readers just like you because they help us (and others) think and grow. Don’t be shy. Chime in.

My first book, published by Thomas Nelson, is slated for release in March, 2018. For more about me, click on the image or here. If you’d like to request an interview, or to explore the potential of my speaking to your group, click here.

 

 

The Crown of Thorns: A Helmet, Not A Ring? (Free download, too)

The Crown of Thorns: A Helmet, Not A Ring? (Free download, too)

When we think of Good Friday and what Jesus endured on the cross, many of us envision a ring of thorns wrapped around the sides of Jesus’ head. Movies and television almost universally depict the crown that way. Historically, however, that depiction may be inaccurate. The crown of thorns Jesus wore may have looked more like a helmet than a ring, digging into not only the outer part of his scalp, but also His entire head.

The pain would have been excruciating. There are six (6) nerves that encapsulate the human scalp – and they are very sensitive.[1] Aggravated by the piercing of a sharp object, such as a thorn, even more pain could then be inflicted by something as gentle as a gentle breeze. If the scalp were carpeted with thorns, as was most likely the case with Christ, the pain would have been out of this world.

“Don’t confuse being unworthy with being worthless . . . You are worth a GREAT deal to God.”

Fitting that the Son of God, Who was and is out of this world, would endure out-of-this-world pain for you and me. Why? One reason is because you are valuable to God. He doesn’t make junk — and He certainly wouldn’t send His unique, one of a kind Son to die for junk. While He hates your sin, He LOVES you so much that He would send Jesus to take your place. Remember that the next time you think you’re worthless. No, you’re not junk at all. While none of us is worthy of Jesus’ death, we are worth more than we realize. You are worth a great deal to God. Don’t confuse being unworthy with being worthless.

To help make your Easter special, we’re offering you this free download, “The Physical Death of Jesus Christ.” Written by a medical doctor, and originally published in the Journal of the American Medical Association (JAMA), it will open your eyes to what was really involved in Jesus’ crucifixion. We hope it opens your heart, too, so that this Easter – and every day of the year – is one filled with the love and grace of Jesus Christ. CLICK HERE TO GET YOUR INSTANT DOWNLOAD.

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[1] Nerves of the Human Scalp: Supratrochlear, Supraorbital, Zygomaticotemporal, Auriculotemporal, the Lesser occipital, and the Greater occipital nerve


Michael Anthony Blog - Godfactor.comABOUT ME:
Most of the lessons I’ve learned in life I’ve learned through failure. I typically publish my blogs Tuesday through Friday, here and on Facebook. We welcome and read comments from readers just like you because they help us (and others) think and grow. Don’t be shy. Chime in.

My first book, published by Thomas Nelson, is slated for release in March, 2018. For more about me, click here. If you’d like to request an interview, or to explore the potential of my speaking to your group, click here.

 

 

The Magic of Wisdom

THE MAGIC OF WISDOM

At the end of the day – this day – you will have had a good many chances to be a sexy, magnetic, a person of high moral character whom others find irresistible. You’ll also have many chances to be the exact opposite. Which will it be? The choice is largely up to each of us. Today, that choice is up to you. 

Wisdom is magnetically . . . sexy. Yes, sexy. It makes us irresistible. It transforms us. If you think about it, you’ll agree. When we detect wisdom in a person, we’re drawn to them with a magnetic pull that’s indescribable, likely because we each realize our own need for what they have.

We all want wisdom, and when we get it, we become the kind of person others seek. We become sexy – without doing a single thing to alter our physical appearance. Wisdom is a really magical thing.

Proverbs 15:2* says,

“The tongue of the wise makes knowledge attractive, but the mouth of fools blurts out foolishness.”
 

Throughout the Book of Proverbs, a foolish person is synonymous with the person who lacks discernment, knowledge, integrity and high moral character. It is the fool, for example, who is impatient and has a short tempter (Prov. 14:16, 17, 29) that drives other people away.

When we see people who lack intelligence, integrity and good moral character, we’re typically turned off. We find foolish people repulsive. Yes, certain celebrities and Twitter personalities have done well attracting a following precisely because of their deviant lifestyles and comments, but other people follow them not because they want to be like them, but because they are looking for a source of twisted entertainment.

Foolishness is a freak show. No one, for instance, fantasizes about marrying a fool. Wisdom is respectable.

HOW TO MAKE YOURSELF MORE ATTRACTIVE
No one wakes up eager to show the world their morning face. We all do our best to present our best face to the rest of the world, because we know that without it the day will be an uphill battle. Why add insult to injury by making life, which is already hard, more difficult? Looking good simply makes things easier, better, more enjoyable.

These days, wise speech is so uncommon that when we hear even mildly wise words, everyone sits up and takes notice. One of the best ways to make yourself more attractive is to make sure the words that come out of your mouth are words of wisdom. This is what Proverbs 15:2 is all about. There is nothing more attractive than wisdom rolling off the tongue of a mere mortal, no matter how otherwise unattractive he or she may be.

If you want to make yourself more attractive, consider the words that come out of your mouth. Are they self-centered? Do you tear down other people? Do you gossip or slander? Do you lie? Do you whine or complain? Do you do what Proverbs 12:16* says by showing your displeasure immediately?

“A fools’ displeasure is known at once, but whoever ignores an insult is sensible” – Proverbs 12:16*

 
Sensibility is another trait of a wise person. Every day is filled with opportunities to be sensible or to become incensed. Opportunities to become insulted abound – but if you are wise, you will not immediately show your displeasure, but learn how to master the fine and rare art of overlooking an offense, as Proverbs 19:11* reminds us:

“A person’s insight gives him patience, and his virtue is to overlook an offense” – Proverbs 19:11*

What kind of person will you be, today? Will you be wise and sexy or foolish and ugly?

WHAT’S ONE THING YOU BELIEVE YOU CAN DO THIS WEEK TO BE WISER, AND MORE ATTRACTIVE, LESS LIKE A FOOL?

TODAY’S TIP: Try one chapter from the Book of Proverbs each day, first thing in the morning. There are 31 chapters, more than enough wisdom for every month of the year. Proverbs will help you learn the traits of a wise person – an irresistible, intelligent, moral, magnetically attractive person – and move toward becoming one.

The National Week of Repentance is coming October 30 – November 6. Get yourself and your people ready at RevivalMatters.com. It is time for the hope and change only God can deliver. The humble courage we so desperately need will only arise if there is a real move of repentance in America, and it needs to begin with you and me.

*Scripture quotations taken from the Holman Christian Standard Bible, Copyright 1999, 2000, 2002, 2003 by Holman Bible Publishers. Used by permission.

 

Becoming Unoffendable

“UNOFFENDABLE” MAY NOT BE AN ACTUAL WORD – BUT IT SHOULD BE. WE IGNORE PEOPLE. WE LEAVE CHURCHES. WE BECOME BITTER – ALL BECAUSE WE WON’T FORGIVE AND WE BECOME . . . OFFENDED.

Janet Paolicelli, Godfactor co-founder and wife of Michael Anthony, is passionate about what the Bible teaches on forgiveness. She delivered this two-part message at Grace Fellowship in York, Pennsylvania’s “Revive” gathering for women, but it will ignite your life for God and challenge you to ask and answer these vital questions:  

1. Can forgiveness happen without a sacrifice

2. Can relationships happen without forgiveness?

3. Is it a sign of weakness or courage to forgive someone?

4. What are the real reasons why we won’t forgive? 

5. How can we move from being offended to becoming unoffendable?
 

What about you? Are you unoffendable? You just may be after listening to this life-igniting, two-part message. 

YOU CAN BECOME

YOU CAN BECOME “UNOFFENDABLE.” LISTEN TO THIS TWO-PART MESSAGE ON FORGIVENESS AND TURN THE DREAM INTO REALITY. THIS IS A SPECIAL MESSAGE FROM JANET PAOLICELLI, GODFACTOR CO-FOUNDER AND WIFE OF MICHAEL ANTHONY.

What about you? Are you unoffendable? You just may be after listening to this life-igniting, two-part message. 

This podcast, like all Godfactor resources, is made possible through generous listener and viewer support. You can donate by texting the word “Godfactor” to 50155, visiting Godfactor.com, or by hitting the “Connect” tab on the Godfactor app.

 

The Elephant In The Nation

IS THERE AN ELEPHANT IN THE NATION? Maybe you’ve heard the metaphor “there’s an elephant in the room.” When someone says this, they are referring to a huge problem that everyone sees, but no one is willing to address because it’s more comfortable – at least in the immediate term – to pretend it doesn’t exist. But the long-term consequences of ignoring the elephant in the nation could be catastrophically irreversible. When it comes to America’s problems, there seems to be an elephant in the nation. What is it? And, how should American Christians address the elephant in the nation in a biblical manner that honors God? 

Has God been speaking to American Christians? We’re long overdue for a real revival in the United States of America, but how does real revival come? This riveting message was delivered on the opening day of 2016 The National Week Of Repentance (RevivalMatters.com). What should Christians be doing at this vital time in American history?

THE ELEPHANT IN THE NATION - This special message was the kick-off of The National Week of Repentance, April 3, 2016 - yet it's timeless, and an important one for every Christian in America at this key time in history.

THE ELEPHANT IN THE NATION – This special message was the kick-off of The National Week of Repentance, April 3, 2016 – yet it’s timeless, and an important one for every Christian in America at this key time in history.

Even if America doesn’t experience real revival, Christians everywhere need to heed God’s voice at this key time in history. Christians in America have not yet begun to respond to the elephant in the nation the way the Bible says must happen if we have any hope of real revival.  It’s time we start – before it’s too late. 

This podcast, like all Godfactor resources, is made possible through generous listener and viewer support. You can donate by texting the word “Godfactor” to 50155, visiting Godfactor.com, or by hitting the “Connect” tab on the Godfactor app.

C&P Copyright, Michael Anthony. All rights reserved.

The Physical Death of Jesus Christ

“No one takes it from me, but I lay it down of my own accord. I have authority to lay it down, and I have authority to take it up again. This charge I have received from my Father.” – Jesus, John 10:18 (ESV)

Here’s a very special resource to help you appreciate all Jesus did for YOU and for His Father when He went to the Cross. It’s an AMAZING article originally written by medical doctors and published in the Journal of the American Medical Association (JAMA), and is called “The Physical Death of Jesus Christ.” It will absolutely inspire you to Remember: Jesus was not murdered. He voluntarily gave His life for you and me because of love, love, love. And, because without the shedding of blood, there can be no forgiveness of sin (Hebrews 9:22). CLICK HERE TO DOWNLOAD THIS AMAZING, FREE RESOURCE THAT WILL IGNITE YOUR LIFE WITH AN APPRECIATION FOR WHAT JESUS DID FOR YOU ON THE CROSS.

Isaiah 53:5 helps us understand that through the cross of Jesus Christ, God simultaneously displayed His love, while dealing with the problem of sin:

But he was pierced for our transgressions; he was crushed for our iniquities; upon him was the chastisement that brought us peace, and with his wounds we are healed

Mercy and judgment kissed at the cross. “For God so loved the world that He gave His one of a kind, uniquely brought forth son, that WHOEVER believes in Him will not perish, but have eternal life” (John 3:16).

Have you given your life to Christ as your Savior and God? Download the article and read it. Why wait another moment? And if you already know Christ, why not share this blog with someone you know who needs to trust in Christ?

Click to download

Click to download “THE PHYSICAL DEATH OF JESUS CHRIST”

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