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Power to Transform for Good Define Easter's Importance, Power

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(Choo Woul Lee/ 

Scott Powell By Monday, 25 March 2024 10:50 AM EDT Current | Bio | Archive

In response to humankind's suffering, people sought refuge, solace, and meaning by turning to prophets and teachers.

Judaism, Hinduism, Buddhism, Taoism, Christianity, Islam, and other religions were all founded to provide people direction and meaning in an uncertain, harsh, and temporal world.

Only Christianity has a founder professing to be the Messiah — the son of God.

Jesus Christ is unique, in being the only figure in recorded history who was widely pre-announced, beginning 1,000 years prior to his birth.

There are over 100 prophetic accounts — predicting the specifics of his coming birth, life, and death — from 18 different prophets: from the Old Testament between the 10th and 4th centuries B.C.

Hundreds of years later, the details of Christ’s birth, life, betrayal, and death validated those prophecies.

In fact, 1,000 years B.C., David prophetically wrote about the crucifixion of Christ at a time when crucifixion was not yet means of execution.

The Easter weekend commences with Good Friday, the day of the crucifixion when God sacrificed his only Son, Jesus Christ, to fulfill his plan to provide salvation from sin for all who believe in Christ.

Easter Sunday is the celebration of Christ’s resurrection, the third day from his death by crucifixion, and the completion of God’s plan for the world to know who Jesus was.

Every other religious founder in history came into the world to live.

The death of other religious leaders: Abraham, Moses, Buddha, and Mohammad — brought an anticlimactic end to their lives and their work.

Christ came into this world to die, to benefit all humanity — opening the way to eternal life and a full relationship with God.

Christianity's uniqueness lies in there being no imperatives, rules, or rituals to join Christ.

Other religions have formalities and "works" that must be performed to qualify.

Christ accepts us as we are.

We need only acknowledge why we need him and invite him to come into our lives.

Additionally, among the other world religions built on personalities, only Christianity claims its founder still lives, having overcome death through resurrection.

Jesus taught truth but modeled God’s love in unprecedented ways.

He still shows love to the disenfranchised: the misfits, outcasts, and immoral.

He heals the physically afflicted, casting out demons.

The resurrection was central to God’s providence because it provided "seeing is believing" evidence of God bringing Jesus the savior back from being dead in a tomb to being alive — resurrected — for 40 days. Thus, we have irrefutable living proof of who he was.

The New Testament provides accounts from sources who witnessed Jesus firsthand following the resurrection.

Jesus made at least 10 separate appearances to his disciples between the resurrection and his ascension into Heaven, over a period of 40 days.

Note, there were no accounts of witnesses who came forth and disputed these appearances or called it a "hoax."

Nor do we find any historical record of any witness accounts that were contradictory.

While there are skeptics of the Biblical Jesus, there’s far more reliable historical evidence for his life, teachings, miracles, death, and resurrection than for other leading historical figures of ancient times, such as literary greats, Virgil and Horace and military-kings like Alexander the Great.

The veracity of ancient history revolves around three things: the number of eyewitness accounts, the lapse of time between the eye-witness events and the written record, and the number of surviving manuscripts of that record.

No one doubts Virgil and Horace lived and originated great poetic masterpieces a few decades before Christ, although the written manuscripts of their works were recorded more than 400 years after they died.

While no one doubts the accomplishments of Alexander the Great in the 4th century B.C., accounts of Jesus were recorded in writing within a generation of his life.

And there are about 1,000 times more manuscripts that preserve the deeds and teaching of Jesus in the New Testament (about 25,000 total) than there are preserving other classical ancient works of historic figures who lived at the same time, with the exception of Homer, whose "Iliad" is backed by 1,800 manuscripts.

But that's still less than one-tenth the number of ancient manuscripts that back the authenticity of the New Testament.

We know the historical Jesus through four different accounts known as the Gospels —Matthew, Mark, Luke, and John — written within a generation or two of Jesus’s life.

Apostles Matthew and John provide eyewitness accounts from their years of walking with Jesus as disciples. Mark also had eyewitness experience, when he was a teenager, when Jesus began his ministry. Luke, the doctor, learned about Jesus from his friend Paul, the apostle who wrote the most letters in the New Testament.

Because of their experience with the resurrected Jesus --- his ministry, miracles, and death, and resurrection --- the apostles knew with certainty that Jesus was truly the Son of God.

If the claims about Jesus were a lie, the apostles would have known it.

Additionally, the apostles’ willingness to die for their claims has tremendous evidentiary value, confirming the truth of the resurrection.

Seeing, talking to, and touching the risen Jesus transformed the apostles, who then committed the rest of their lives to educate and advocate for the truth about the message of salvation through Christ.

Eleven of the twelve apostles — including Matthias who replaced Judas, the betrayer of Jesus — died as martyrs for their beliefs in the divinity of Christ.

The twelfth, John, was exiled to Patmos Island, recording the book of Revelation.

Let us well-remember John 3:16: "For God so loved the world, that he gave his only Son, that whoever believes in him should not perish but have eternal life."

Easter is the commemoration and celebration of God’s loving sacrifice for us — that has more power to transform the human heart for good and love than anything.

Scott S. Powell, a member of the Committee on the Present Danger: China and senior fellow at Discovery Institute, is the author of "Rediscovering America," a new release in the history genre. You may reach him at Read Scott S. Powell's Reports — More Here.

© 2024 Newsmax. All rights reserved.

Easter is the commemoration and celebration of a single event, God’s loving sacrifice for us, that has more power to transform the human heart for good and love than anything.
disciples, easter, gospels
Monday, 25 March 2024 10:50 AM
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