Are the Dead Raised?

“An elderly Vietnamese man thought to have died in a hospital revived after spending the night in the morgue”, Reuters reports. He came in with chest pains and his heart failed so they declared him dead. His daughter found him alive when she came to claim the body.

Everyone knows that no one can come back from the dead so Reuters put quotation marks around ‘dead’ in the title of the piece. Yet, Jesus rose from the dead. So did Lazarus, Tabitha, an elderly woman’s only son and a handful of others. At the crucifixion many rose from their graves and showed up in Jerusalem. But dead people don’t come back. Jesus didn’t die of an apparent heart attack, he died on a cross as is attested to by water and blood issuing from a stab to his side. He didn’t spend the night in a locked morgue, he spent three days in a tomb guarded by Roman soldiers. Mary Magdalene didn’t open the tomb to find him alive, the large stone was rolled back. A doctor wasn’t there to attest to his resurrection, two angles were. Reuters didn’t report on his resurrection, but his disciples and more than 500 people did. No one had any idea that Nguyen Van Quan would come back to life, yet Jesus repeatedly told his disciples he would.

Jesus’ resurrection is better attested than is Nguyen Van Quan and yet it is repeatedly denied. The reason is that Nguyen Van Quan’s resurrection proves nothing and demands nothing. Jesus’ resurrection proves that he was the one the prophets looked forward to, the one he claimed he was. And that demands a response.

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