Last week got off to a great start when the United Conservative Party of Alberta ended the NDP’s four-year ideological rampage that promised, among other problematic certainties, a future of massive debt for our offspring and ever increasing uncertainty as to who or what is male or female, or neither. More on that next week.
And then last weekend, Christians celebrated what is for them, and is arguably for the whole world, events of infinitely more importance than any election, the pivotal events in human history, namely the death, burial and resurrection of Jesus Christ.
It is one of the most widely attested-to series of events in what we call “ancient history”. And the events are all quite provable by generally accepted standards of courtroom evidence.There were dozens of witnesses to Jesus’ crucifixion and death, and hundreds more who testified to having personally seen him, very much alive, in numerous locations, and on numerous occasions, in the six weeks following his death and burial.
And why would they make up such a story? Rather than having any sort of self-serving upside to making their claim, for most of the witnesses, their unwillingness to renounce their testimony led to their execution.
Christ’s followers were made outcasts, and then thrown to wild animals, or crucified, or beheaded, or burned to death. And yet there is no record of any of them ever saying that they had made up the resurrection story. Many people have died for what they believed to be true; no one will die for what they know is a lie.
So there’s nothing about the Easter story itself that requires faith. (The scientific evidence suggests that our universe appeared, out of nothing, a far bigger miracle as far as nature is concerned.)
The only point at which a step of faith becomes necessary is when deciding whether the events of Good Friday and Easter are relevant for me, and for you. Over nearly 2000 years, billions of people have discovered that they are.
I’m Dave Reesor