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John 20

Good Morning Blessed!  Today John 20

Coincidently our reading in John has brought us to the empty tomb.  Although our celebration actually occurs tomorrow, it’s weird that our study brings us here - given we started in Matthew just after the first of the year.  I believe coincidence is just another word for when God wants to remain anonymous.  

Jesus told them He would be raised on the 3rd day.  Indeed the tomb is empty.  We believe He was born of a virgin, and came and lived and loved among us giving us an example to follow.  Then, He willingly gave His life on the Cross as payment for our sin - that we might be reconciled to God.  We get to have a relationship with God, and spend eternity with Jesus in Heaven - through His Blood shed for us.  He was raised on the third day as evidence that the payment was sufficient and accepted.  Opponents to Christianity might argue these events didn’t happen. Listen long enough and you may begin to doubt yourself.  

What you may not realize is that The Bible in its original form has been proven by secular standards to be THE MOST RELIABLE HISTORICAL DOCUMENT IN ALL OF HISTORY.  Furthermore, historically speaking, many of the details surrounding Jesus, His life, His, crucifixion and burial, and the empty tomb - are recorded in other widely accepted historical documents other than the Holy Bible.  Those who reject Jesus, and the events which give us hope seem to overlook that.  As Christians we can fall into this “You just gotta have faith”… mentality.  Yes it is by Grace we have been saved, through faith, Eph. 2:8-9 + nothing, but Never forget THESE THINGS HAPPENED, and are not disputed by anyone who does their research.

Many ancient Jewish and Greek Antiquities contain writings collected from famous secularly accepted Historians, and record facts regarding Jesus.  One such Historian was Josephus.  

Check out one of Josephus’ writings from the Antiquities 18:63.  “About this time lived Jesus, a wise man, if indeed one ought to call him a man. For he was the achiever of extraordinary deeds and was a teacher of those who accept the truth gladly. He won over many Jews and many of the Greeks. He was the Messiah. When he was indicted by the principal men among us and Pilate condemned him to be crucified, those who had come to love him originally did not cease to do so; for he appeared to them on the third day restored to life, as the prophets of the Deity had foretold these and countless other marvelous things about him, and the tribe of the Christians, so named after him, has not disappeared to this day.”

Indeed the Bible is all sufficient!  It stands above any other historical document as the INSPIRED WORD OF GOD.  But the Bible is NOT the only historical document that speaks to Jesus and the empty tomb.  It’s not hard to see we live in a world that rejects basic truths based on feelings.  Me not liking or accepting truth does not somehow make it un-true.  In the end, when we all stand before Jesus, any denial of the Truth will be gone.  

“Therefore God exalted him to the highest place and gave him the name that is above every name, that at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, in heaven and on earth and under the earth, and every tongue acknowledge that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father.”  Philippians‬ ‭2‬:‭9‬-‭11‬ ‭NIV‬‬

No reason to fight it - facts are facts.  Believe and be reconciled to God.  Love you all!  Dig in!