by George Whitten, Editor of Worthy Devotions.
Ecclesiastes 3:11 He has made everything beautiful in its time. Also He has put eternity in their hearts, except that no one can find out the work that God does from beginning to end.
Phillipians 3:9-11 and be found in Him, not having my own righteousness, which is from the law, but that which is through faith in Christ, the righteousness which is from God by faith; that I may know Him and the power of His resurrection, and the fellowship of His sufferings, being conformed to His death, if, by any means, I may attain to the resurrection from the dead.
Numerous modern critics of the Bible say the resurrection of Yeshua (Jesus) is simply a myth based on pagan stories of "resurrected gods" from around the world, and that the authors of the New Testament borrowed from these myths and incorporated them into the Bible. But the similarity of two stories proves nothing about their origin or truth content. The Jews of Yeshua's time were steeped in Old Testament monotheism which had a well developed tradition of resurrection believed and taught by the Pharisees. Polytheistic pagan ideas would have been abhorrent to men who understood and practiced the Judaism of the apostles and New Testament writers.
But the strongest evidence for the historical truth of Yeshua's bodily resurrection comes from the testimony and lives of its eyewitnesses. Eleven of the twelve apostles suffered violent deaths for simply refusing to renounce their conviction and stop preaching the message that Yeshua was alive, that he was the Son of God and savior of the world. People don't generally give their lives for something which they know to be untrue. But they had seen him, and touched him, and eaten with him after his crucifixion; and they were filled with wonder. And because the apostles lived in the power of the resurrection their message went out to the whole world, not as a pagan myth, but as a deep revelation of life-changing truth and hope, for which they were willing to suffer and even give their lives.
King Solomon wrote: "He (God) has placed eternity in the hearts of men…"; [Ecclesiastes 3:11] The resurrection stories of ancient pagan civilizations point to this deep desire in the hearts of men…to be resurrected and to live forever. Is it such a strange thing to hope that there is a life after death?
We know that the resurrection of Yeshua is true because it has been revealed to us by God Himself, and because of what it has accomplished in our own lives. Our faith is a conviction centered in this one, historical fact, and evidenced by the undeniable effect it has upon us. Resurrection of the dead is not a myth or a fable; and resurrection power from God's Holy Spirit is the very source of our new life. Live in the real power of the resurrection. It will transform everything you are and everything you do…especially knowing that you too, will soon obtain the resurrection from the dead, a glorified body just like the Lord's!
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