WHY DOES JESUS MATTER ANYWAY?


The noted historian Will Durant wrote: “The greatest question of our time is not communism vs. individualism,…not even the East vs. the West; it is whether men can bear to live without God.”

If you think about other historical events, it is impossible to find one with such significant implications for human lives as Jesus’ resurrection.  If Jesus really resurrected and this is based on certain truth and infallible proofs as Bible writers repeatedly attest and many elite lawyers, historians and scientists have affirmed, this changes everything. Whether God became man, died and resurrected becomes the sole, primary or major factor in all the major decisions of life as well as many of the minor ones, including these below and many others.

Some time ago I was talking with a sincere secular physicalist scientist, and showed him the Bible’s claims that faith is based on proof, especially the proof of Jesus’ resurrection and a little of the vast academic evidence for it. I also shared some of why it is so important for us to think carefully about including how God’s principles inspired Judeo-Christians to pioneer nearly all major human rights, pioneer the foundational methods and branches of science, how it transforms how we relate to other human beings as fellow beings created by God, and is by far the most solid proof humans have for eternal life being possible. He responded with one of the most profound insights on the significance of the resurrection of Jesus I have ever heard, rivalling that of most Christian pastors and theologians.

“I’ve been pondering your comment, ‘the evidence for the resurrection is vastly superior to pretty much every other event in history according the standards of legal courts and historians’…I tried to think of a few other disputed historical events…I see that there are far far far more witnesses for the resurrection. I see that they are far stronger and more emphatic…As I thought about the resurrection, I came to realize it is entirely in a class of its own, quite separate from all my other examples…

The baggage attached to the resurrection is tremendous! One cannot simply accept the resurrection as if it were some kind of stand-alone event…Jesus resurrection changes what the nature of reality is… In order to accept the resurrection, one must abandon naturalism and accept supernaturalism… It changes whether science can include supernatural conclusions or is only materialistic.  In order to accept the resurrection, one must abandon the idea that consciousness is an emergent phenomenon of the brain and accept that spirits carry our identities. It means ancient people knew more about the high-level nature of our Universe than modern scientists! That’s a big deal! It means there is an afterlife! It means there is a God! It means Christianity is true and all other religions are false! How many lives have been spent just trying to settle that?! It means we need to figure out how to weave the Bible in with scientific understanding. One doesn’t just accept that the resurrection occurred. It requires taking a philosophical leap into a completely different paradigm of thinking.” David Smith, atheist scientist

This is why Jesus’ life has been so contentious and why so many powerful people have tried to stop people from knowing the facts about Jesus’ resurrection. It is the most radical and transformative experience a human being can have on earth. I have written about some other major reasons why if Jesus’ resurrection is a powerful proven fact as the Bible contests, many scholars affirm, and many have experienced for themselves, it is the most life changing fact on earth. Jesus resurrection has deep significance in all the areas below and others.

GOD IS THE ULTIMATE SOURCE OF LIFE AND WISDOM

  • Jesus really is “the way, the truth and the life”, (John 14:6), the Bible is true and since truth sets people free (John 8:32), all who love truth and desire freedom and the highest and most satisfying quality of life should listen carefully and follow what Jesus says as the ultimate source of wisdom in every field of knowledge.
  • The Father, Jesus and the Holy Spirit created this earth and life and thus know how life works best for individuals, communities, nations and the entire planet in all fields and subjects (Genesis 1, Isaiah 40:18-19, 25-26,28, Matt. 19:4, 1 Tim. 4:8, Proverbs 9:10, etc.).
  • Godliness is valuable for eternal life and this life (1 Tim. 4:8).

GOD IS LOVE AND THE BEST GUIDE FOR LIFE AT THE INDIVIDUAL LEVEL

  • Incredibly, the Godhead that created the university want a relationship of love with each and every one of us as friends, not servants, to develop every aspect of our being most fully so that we can experience the best quality of life and contribute the most to the lives of others. (John 15:15, Luke 2:52, Eph. 5:1, 1 Cor. 3, Matt. 5:48)
  • The Bible’s claims that freedom comes from following God’s wise principles are true (Psalms 119:44-45, James 1:27) and the popular idea that freedom is doing what you feel like (which often is heavily influenced by societies, cultures and corporations influencing what people want to do regardless of whether it is good for them) is a deception that exploits people.
  • There will be some suffering and hard times for believers and non-believers on this earth, but we can and should be cheerful through them because Jesus has overcome the world and God can bring good out of evil (Romans 8:28) to help us develop our character, skills, mental strength and maturity (James 1, John 16:33). Science confirms that choosing to be happy helps our brains function ~20-30% and difficulties make us stronger.
  • **God gives us real objective purpose in life in both good/bad times. This adds ~7 years to life according to science and helps brain function.
  • God is the source of every good gift including: Health, happiness, economic justice/stability, marriage/family, creation and Sabbath which points to all of these and many more.

GOD DESIGNED US TO LIVE IN COMMUNITY & THAT IS HOW WE FUNCTION BEST

  • The church community, based on a belief in the resurrection and Jesus’ sacrifice for others, helps us establish an altruistic community. Harvard professor Dr. Wilson says altruistic communities always thrive best vs. selfish ones. Churches best enable interdependence, which is the highest level of success according to Stephen Covey.
  • God is the primary motivation for justice, service, human rights. The Bible says that this is a crucial essence of godliness (Prov. 29:7), that it makes nations great (Prov. 14:34), and that godly people should speak out against injustice (Prov. 31:8,9), as Jesus did in his mission (Luke 4:18-19).
  • God tells us to treat others as equals. This is crucial to help meet and work with people from many places and backgrounds (Gal. 3:28).

GOD HAS THE BEST IDEAS FOR NATIONAL THRIVING AND JUSTICE

  • The rise and/or fall of civilizations is based on how well they follow God’s principles (Prov. 14:34, Deut. 17:17-20, etc.).
  • Justice for billions: Many people have suffered terrible crimes and atrocities because of sin (such as the holocaust). God is the only one who can give justice for them. The resurrection makes this possible. Atheist can’t do this.

    “The most “dangerous” idea in human history remains the belief that Jesus Christ is the son of God and rose from the dead. It turns the universe from a meaningless chaos into a designed place in which there is justice and hope. It alters us all. It’s why so many people [oppressors] turn against it.” Peter Hitchens.

GOD HAS THE WISEST PRINCIPLES OF TRUTH, RESEARCH & SCIENCE

  • God’s truths helps us detect truth vs. deceptions/fallacies/propaganda. We need to evaluate claims of truth in health, economics, environment, education, science, govt., media, parents, friends and culture/society, by what God says because His way will prove true and best long term (John 17:17, 16:13, Psalms 25:5, Prov. 12:19, etc. ).
  • The Bible’s claims that there is true knowledge/science and false knowledge/science and many deceptions that we need to be wary of is very important to understand and avoid (Matthew 24:24, 1 Timothy 6:19-20).
  • The Bible’s claims that greed is the root of all evil (1 Tim. 6:10) and will cause terrible times in the period before Jesus comes is the first place we should check whenever there are abuses in society and nations (2 Tim. 3:1-2).
  • The Bible’s claim that hell is a real place designed to destroy all abuse, sin and suffering (Matt. 10:48, Rev. 20:14-15) is true.

GOD IS THE ONLY SOURCE OF ETERNAL LIFE

  • God’s promise of resurrection is real and if we choose to love and follow God, we will live forever and also see our loved ones who have died in a place where there is no sin or suffering and our bodies will be restored to the original glory as God created humanity with before sin (Rev. 21:1-4, 1 Cor. 15:50-54.)
  • There will be a final evaluation of every life where God will reward all work done for Him in heaven in ways beyond our imagination and also often in this life too (1 Cor. 2:9, Rev. 22:12), but where those who reject God’s offer of mercy will have to experience the penalty of the abusive things they have done to others (Luke 12:40-48). Atheism in stark contrast has no rewards done for good and can do nothing about vast amounts of injustice that people get away with in this world:
    “Atheism is the most cruel hypothesis of all. For it says that in the end injustice cannot be righted, suffering cannot be redeemed, evil triumphs after all. There is nothing more the atheist can say to the victims of Auschwitz.” Francis Bridger “Why Can’t I Have Faith?” p. 72).

  • The Bible’s challenge claiming what profit is there if we gain the whole world and lose our own souls is the most important question in life (Matthew 16:26). This life compared to eternal life is like an ant’s life compared to ours. This is also important because it is usually those who have confidence in eternal life who are most willing to sacrifice to stop injustice done to others and pioneer human rights.

  • The Bible’s claim that there is eternal life where there will be no pain, suffering or tears, and we will be able to know our Creator and Saviour face to face and explore the endless universe and develop the deepest relationships with beings throughout the universe is real. Also real is that the God of the Bible is the only power that can give this gift to those who meet God’s conditions of accepting His grace and learning to live in God’s wise laws of love and freedom on this earth (Rev. 21:1-4, 1 Corinthians 13, John 14:6, John 3:16, 1 John 2:1-6).
  • And many more.

As Oxford professor  C.S. Lewis wrote,

“If you read history you will find that the Christians who did most for the present world were precisely those who thought most of the next. The Apostles themselves, who set on foot the conversion of the Roman Empire, the great men who built up the Middle Ages, the English Evangelicals who abolished the Slave Trade, all left their mark on Earth, precisely because their minds were occupied with Heaven. “

CONCLUSION
Jesus lives and He continually demonstrates this in the lives of many believers who follow His principles. He wants to begin a relationship with you and take you on an adventure that will start on this earth, transform your life, have major impact on the lives of people around you, and eventually enable you to explore the vast universe that He created for you to experience! Won’t you start this journey with Jesus today?

If you want to do that, this link will help you start that journey to the fullest and most abundant life you can imagine!

http://blog.truth-is-life.org/god/salvation-basics/