Posts Tagged ‘ Resurrection ’

VerseD: Joshua 1:9

“Have I not commanded you? Be strong and courageous. Do not be frightened, and do not be dismayed, for the Lord your God is with you wherever you go.”

Joshua 1:9, ESV

Our God has promised to always be with us, and He proved it through the death and resurrection of Jesus.

VerseD: John 10:11

I am the good shepherd. The good shepherd lays down his life for the sheep.

John 10:11, ESV

The most verifiable truth of history is that our faithful God sacrificed His only Son for us.

We can trust in His goodness and verity (truth).

VerseD: Mark 16:6

And he said to them, “Do not be alarmed. You seek Jesus of Nazareth, who was crucified. He has risen; he is not here. See the place where they laid him.”

Mark 16:6, ESV

We have a faith that can be tested: there is no body in the tomb. Don’t let reason be a reason you don’t believe, for it is a reasonable faith.

April 9, 2023 CND Sunrise Service

I preached again!

Specifically, I was honored to preach our special Easter Sunrise Service.

(I also happened to have a fresh cold! Sorry about the coughing.)

As usual, these are my rough notes below.

CND Sunrise Service – April 9, 2023

Let’s test this:
“He is risen!” [“He is risen, indeed!”] [Prayer]

But what about that first Easter? How did the first followers of Jesus react?

First, let’s look back at a few days earlier.
Where was Peter?
Here is the man who said he would never abandon Jesus, even if he had to die.
Yet, we know that he ran away with the others when Jesus was arrested.
Sure, in John 19 for example, he came back during the “trial” of Jesus, but he tried to stay at a distance, and then he called down curses on himself as he claimed to not know who Jesus is.
This was one of the most faithful followers of Jesus, right?

Where was John?
We know he ran away at the arrest, but John 19 also tells us that John may have stayed for the trial with the high priest. It is not clear if this was John, but the way he usually talks about himself as “another disciple” and “the disciple whom Jesus loved” implies it could have been him.
We also see he came to the crucifixion.

John 19:25-27, ESV
but standing by the cross of Jesus were his mother and his mother’s sister, Mary the wife of Clopas, and Mary Magdalene. When Jesus saw his mother and the disciple whom he loved standing nearby, he said to his mother, “Woman, behold, your son!” Then he said to the disciple, “Behold, your mother!” And from that hour the disciple took her to his own home.

John saw Jesus on the cross, but where was he Sunday morning? Hiding with the other disciples. All of the disciples hid in a locked room (John 20:19)
But who is not staying put, during the crucifixion and on that first Easter morning?

John 20:1, 11-18
[v. 1] Now on the first day of the week Mary Magdalene came to the tomb early, while it was still dark, and saw that the stone had been taken away from the tomb.

We know Mary Magdalene was accompanied by Mary (James and Jesus’ mom) and Salome (James and John’s mom). Arguably, these three women were truly faithful, but why would these Mary’s be there?
Jesus’ mom makes sense. She’s His mom and definitely had her life changed by His birth and life. Back to reading, in verse 11:

[vv. 11-15] But Mary stood weeping outside the tomb, and as she wept she stooped to look into the tomb. And she saw two angels in white, sitting where the body of Jesus had lain, one at the head and one at the feet. They said to her, “Woman, why are you weeping?” She said to them, “They have taken away my Lord, and I do not know where they have laid him.” Having said this, she turned around and saw Jesus standing, but she did not know that it was Jesus. Jesus said to her, “Woman, why are you weeping? Whom are you seeking?” Supposing him to be the gardener, she said to him, “Sir, if you have carried him away, tell me where you have laid him, and I will take him away.”

Here is a woman weeping at the tomb of Jesus, and even doesn’t notice the hint of angels being present. She didn’t even notice Jesus as Jesus, thinking He was just the gardener near the tomb.

Here is a woman that Luke 8:2 and a few other places remind us had seven demons cast out of her. She may or may not have been a prostitute (Scripture is not clear on this), but at the very least she had seven demons cast out of her.

Here is a woman who had her life drastically changed by Jesus, making it possible for her to live a normal life after only-God-knows how long under demonic oppression and societal rejection.

Why was Mary Magdalene at the crucifixion and the first to the resurrection while the men all hid?

Because Jesus had touched her with His healing power, making her whole and clean again. The men did not. She was shunned, while they could move about freely (though some like Matthew/Levi did have minor obstacles).

Mary was changed from the inside out.

And in all of their grief, they all still missed Jesus.

Our grief can blind us to God.
Our own self-righteousness can blind us to God.
Our successes and failures can blind us to God.

It is only when God is with us and touches us with His healing and grace and we hear Him calling us by name can we see Him working.

[vv. 16-18] Jesus said to her, “Mary.” She turned and said to him in Aramaic, “Rabboni!” (which means Teacher). Jesus said to her, “Do not cling to me, for I have not yet ascended to the Father; but go to my brothers and say to them, ‘I am ascending to my Father and your Father, to my God and your God.’ ” Mary Magdalene went and announced to the disciples, “I have seen the Lord”—and that he had said these things to her.

Have you let Jesus change your life?
It is His death and resurrection that has brought us change. It is nearly impossible to see it until we are open to hearing His voice.
And when we do, it is tempting to sit and cling to that initial feeling, but He has given us the charge to tell others that He is has saved us.

And He is risen.

Let go of your pain, your grief, your self-righteousness, your works by hearing the voice of our risen Lord.

He is risen!

And He has changed us with His power and healed us of our emotional and spiritual wounds by taking them on Himself.

And He has removed our fear and given us hope through His resurrection.

And He calls us by name in the midst of it all.

And He sends us to tell the world …

… that He is risen!

VerseD: John 20:15-16

Jesus said to her, “Woman, why are you weeping? Whom are you seeking?” Supposing him to be the gardener, she said to him, “Sir, if you have carried him away, tell me where you have laid him, and I will take him away.” Jesus said to her, “Mary.” She turned and said to him in Aramaic, “Rabboni!” (which means Teacher).

John 20:15‭-‬16, ESV

Circumstances in life can make us miss the truth right in front of our own faces.

Don’t let grief, self-righteousness, pain, or good things blind you to the crucified and risen Christ who calls us by name.

VerseD: 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.”

John 3:16, ESV

We like to think we are basically good or can earn a place in heaven, but it is only by faith in the life, death, and resurrection of Jesus that we get there.

Does God Exist? (Presentation at Truth Quest Youth Apologetics Conference Prescott 2023)

The second weekend of April, 2022, many of the youth pastors and leaders of the Prescott, AZ area came together to hold a youth apologetics conference. It was a lot of fun, and very impactful for everyone there. I spoke on the existence of God, but I did not have a good recording and felt it could have been better.

For 2023, Truth Quest took place on the evening of Friday, March 24 and all day Saturday, March 25, and the theme this year was “Truth & Unity”.

I was one of the workshop speakers. Here is my presentation, both video of my presentation and my less-than-rough notes (though I still went off script a few times. I borrowed quite a bit from the original presentation Ryan Lynn made, but I made my own adaptations and additions, especially to include the unity we are called to in Christ because of the unity found in the Trinity.

Presentation slideshow to follow along and see totally excellent graphics and videos:

Notes to follow along with the words:

Truth & Unity: Does God Exist?

“God does not exist.”

  • From from Latin – existere/exsistere = “to step out, stand forth, emerge appear”
    • Therefore, God does not exist
  • Just Kidding! It also means “to be”, and as we know God simply is.
    • Exodus 3:14: “I AM WHO I AM” or simply “I Am”
      • Not “I was” or “I will be” or “I can be” – God eternally is.

Proving God – Approaching Evidence

  • “You can’t prove God exists!”
    • “Your own God said He hides Himself, that He wants you to have blind faith!”
      • Yes, God hides Himself from sin and disobedience (Isaiah 45:15, 59:2; Deuteronomy 31-32; many others).
      • He never calls us to blind faith (Isaiah 1:18; Matthew 11:4-6; 1 Corinthians 15:1-10; Hebrews 11:1; 2 Peter 1:16-18)
  • We should only believe the evidence, right? Is it:
    • Reliable?
      • Can we trust the evidence?
    • Consistent?
      • Does it line up with reality and other evidences?
    • Unbiased?
      • What presuppositions are attached?
      • All worldviews, including atheistic naturalism, use both faith and reason.
  • For example:
    How does gravity work? No one really knows, but it is a Law of Nature
    “However, if we are to be honest, we do not know what gravity “is” in any fundamental way – we only know how it behaves. Gravity is a force of attraction that exists between any two masses, any two bodies, any two particles. Gravity is not just the attraction between objects and the Earth” ( – Retrieved February 28, 2023 from,only%20know%20how%20it%20behaves.&text=Gravity%20is%20a%20force%20of,between%20objects%20and%20the%20Earth.)
    No one really understands how a bicycle stays upright even without a rider [minutephysics video –
    • Can we scientifically measure … science?
      • Science is a method used to study the physical realm, yet it is trusted by most people to find answers.
      • Many have come to say that we can only know things by science, a tool we can’t physically verify.
      • Thus, logic itself is unscientific while being used in science, but that is not a proof we are looking at today.
  • We must remember that no amount of evidence or argumentation can convert people:
    • “Christianity does not profess to convince the perverse and headstrong, to bring irresistible evidence to the daring and profane, to vanquish the proud scorner, and afford evidences from which the careless and perverse cannot possibly escape. This might go to destroy man’s responsibility. All that Christianity professes, is to propose such evidences as may satisfy the meek, the tractable, the candid, the serious inquirer.”  (Bishop Wilson, Evidences of Christianity, 1.38.)
    • “Christians do not claim that their faith gives them omniscience or absolute knowledge of reality. Only God has that. But they believe that the Christian account of things – creation, fall, redemption, and restoration – makes the most sense in the world.”           (Timothy Keller, The Reason for God, p. 127)

What Evidence?

  • The Box
    • Naturalism
      • Naturalism believes that nature is the only thing that has creative properties so
        they reject any creative force outside the box (the universe).
    • Theism
      • “That is, science is assumed to be, not only rational and causal and unified, but also naturalistic, banning by definition even the possibility of a supernatural First Cause of the rationality, causality, and unity of the universe with which science deals. But such an assumption is purely arbitrary (even emotional, as Isaac Asimov had admitted) and was certainly not held by the great scientists of the past, nor is it indicated by any actual scientific data.” Dr. Henry M. Morris, The Biblical Basis for Modern Science, p.23
  • Consider that virtually all of the first scientists were Christians wanting to know more about God and His Creation.
  • Bias: It is closed minded and unscientific to only believe in the material. We all have bias in our approach of discovery but which is the greater bias, naturalism or theism?
    • “The current bias of science arbitrarily eliminates certain answers before the game gets started. Many scientists and historians must come up with conclusions that leave the supernatural out of the picture because their philosophy demands it. A theist is not so encumbered. She believes in the laws of nature, but is also open to the possibility of supernatural intervention. Both are consistent with her worldview. She can judge the evidence on its own merits, unhindered by a philosophy that automatically eliminates supernatural options before the evidence receives a hearing. Ironically, Christians bias broadens her categories making her more open-minded, not less. She has a greater chance of discovering truth because she can follow the evidence wherever it leads.” Greg Koukl, Tactics, p.174-175
    • “For me it is more reasonable to believe, based on the laws of logic as well as the observable scientific evidence that God exists, rather than to believe what the atheist believes that nothing, times nobody, equals everything we see in the universe.” -Charlie Campbell,
    • Romans 1:20
      • This is called General Revelation
      • We see the beauty of built things:
        • “Did a tornado blow through a junkyard and manage to build the Eiffel Tower? A thunderstorm shaped a mountain to have faces? That’s absurd.”
        • “But we believe a beautiful sunset, a spinning galaxy, or strands of DNA ‘just happened’?”
        • What is the evidence of a God?
      • We will look at three clues:
        • Cosmogony/Cosmology with …
        • Physics – Fine-tuning
        • Biology – Biological information
      • [“No Evidence for God” Debunked video]

“Fine Bodies Show God”

Fine – A finite, finely-tuned universe

  • Kalam Cosmological Argument
    • 1. Everything that exists has a cause2. The universe began to exist3. Therefore, the universe has a cause
      • The Universe Is Evidence That God Exists
        • 1. Something exists.2. Nothing does not produce something.3. Something must have always existed.
          • Now, there are only two options as to what that “something (No.3) [that] always existed” might be:
            • A. The universe, or B. Something outside the universe
          4. The universe has not always existed.
          • The Motion of the Galaxies and The Second Law of Thermodynamics
          5. There must be an eternal power beyond the universe that caused the universe to come into existence.
      We all know that nothing happens in isolation. When we try to trace an event to its cause, or causes, we find that we never seem to reach a stopping point. The cause of an event itself is caused by a prior cause, and so on back. Eventually we must face the question of a possible uncaused First Cause.
    • Why? As Dr. Henry Morris explained in The Biblical Basis for Modern Science:
      • An effect cannot be greater than it’s cause.
      • What does a First uncaused cause have to look like?
        • The first cause of limitless space must be infinite.
        • The first cause of endless time must be eternal.
        • The first cause of boundless energy must be eternal.
        • The first cause of infinite complexity must be omniscient.
        • The first cause of love must be all loving.
        • The first cause of life must be living.
  • Fine-Tuning of the Universe
    • [Fine-Tuning of the Universe video by Reasonable Faith]
      • Some even suggest we may live in a simulation … which means … created …
        • So, we have a universe that has a definitive beginning. (Even if arguments are being made saying otherwise.)
          • It is so finely tuned that a severely minor change would mean at best no life and at worst no universe.
          • And Christians get made fun of for discussing “elephants all the way down” (which is what a multiverse is) or something outside of the physical universe (showing they have faith in Science and human potential.)

Bodies – Biology is an expression of information, i.e. DNA, and information only comes from a mind.

  • Creation is getting so loud that we have to cover our ears and close our eyes to not see what is plain before us.
    • “Biology is the study of complicated things that give the appearance of having been designed for a purpose.” -Richard Dawkins, The Blind Watchmaker
    • “Biologists must constantly keep in mind that what they see was not designed, but rather evolved.” -Francis Crick, cited in William Dembski, Science and Design
    • Could you imagine if the CSI came on the scene and said “It looks like arson but we cannot accept that.”
  • The eye is a ball with [Adapted from Hank Hanegraaff, Fatal Flaws, 2003, p. 43 and Geoffrey Simmons, What Darwin Didn’t Know, p. 283]:
    • a lens on one side
    • a light sensitive retina made up of rods and cones inside the other
    • The lens itself has a sturdy protective covering called a cornea
    • and sits over an iris designed to protect the eye from excessive light
    • The eye contains an amazing watery substance that is replaced every four hours
    • Tear glands continuously flush the outside clean
    • Tears bring oxygen to the cornea, carry chemicals that kill bacteria and proteins to coat the eyes, wash the eyes, and move debris toward a lower drain, or lacrimal duct 7
    • An eyelid sweeps secretions over the cornea to keep it moist
    • Eyelashes protect it from dust
    • And extraordinarily fine tuned muscles are attached to the eye that move the eye and shape the lens for the function of focus.
      • It’s all about perspective. The evolutionist has to assume that it is not designed because their bias does not allow for a designer
      • In his famous book, On The Origin of Species (1859), Charles Darwin said, “To suppose that the eye, with all its inimitable [matchless] contrivances [plans] for adjusting the focus to different distances, for admitting different amounts of light, and for the correction of spherical and chromatic aberration, could have been formed by natural selection, seems, I freely confess, absurd in the highest possible degree.” [p. 217]
      • “Now I will just run through some points in your letter. What you say about my book gratifies me most deeply, and I wish I could feel all was deserved by me. I quite think a review from a man, who is not an entire convert, if fair and moderately favourable, is in all respects the best kind of review. About the weak points I agree. The eye to this day gives me a cold shudder, but when I think of the fine known gradations, my reason tells me I ought to conquer the cold shudder.” -Francis Darwin, ed., The Life and Letters of Charles Darwin, Vol. II (New York: D. Appleton and Co., 1899), p. 67.
  • DNA – The code of life – Is it all a happy accident?
    • Francis Crick, one of the two scientists who discovered DNA, having observed the complexity of DNA, estimated that the odds that intelligent life exists on the Earth as the result of non-directed processes to be around … 1:102,000,000,000 (That’s one with ten to the two billionth power.) – [Cited in Gary Habermas and Mike Licona, The Case for the Resurrection, 2004, p. 179]
      • 01000111 01001111 01000100 00100000 01100101 01111000 01101001 01110011 01110100 01110011   è “GOD exists”

Show – The ultimate proof of God is the death and resurrection of Jesus: He presented His physical body to His disciples.

  • Naturalism or Intelligent Design: both require faith because both cannot observe the past, but what is more probable? What is the most likely, reasonable reality?
  • Think 4th Dimensionally:
    • Hearing from an atheist …
      • What is the supernatural?
        • “But we need more than naturalistic sciences. We cannot derive meaning, human value, and equality from a laboratory.” -Abdu Murray, Saving Truth, p. 173D
      • Is there something outside of space and time?
        • The more we understand the cosmos the bigger and the more intricate the design is observed. We have to conclude that there is a God that is incredibly detailed, unfathomably large, and surpassing beautiful.
      • What would a higher being be like?
        • [Flatlanders video by Carl Sagan from Cosmos]
        • It is perfectly reasonable to believe in a more than probable God.
  • “For me it is more reasonable to believe, based on the laws of logic as well as the observable scientific evidence that God exists, rather than to believe what the atheist believes that nothing, times nobody, equals everything we see in the universe.” -Charlie Campbell,
  • The Ultimate Proof: Jesus presented Himself as God and proved it!
    • The Hebrew Bible (what we call the Old Testament) made over 100 distinct prophecies about One who would come to save all people from sin.
    • Jesus of Nazareth was born the way prophesied, lived a life performing miracles and pointing people to God, and then He said He would be killed and raised to life again.
    • And Jesus did that. Evidence? John 20:19-20, 24-29
    • 1 Corinthians 15:17-19

God – God not only is, but He has been in community and unity for eternity.

  • There is enough evidence that God exists that is reliable and consistent, if we are willing to question our biases.
  • And this God has shown He has eternally been in community: unity with others, even though there is only one God:
    • Isaiah 48:16 and 61:1 (God is talking here)
    • Matthew 3:16-17; Mark 1:10-11; Luke 3:21-22
    • Matthew 28:19
    • 2 Corinthians 13:14
  • Community in Unity: The Trinity
    • Father
      • John 6:27; Romans 1:7; 1 Peter 1:2
    • Son
      • John 1:1,14; Romans 9:5; 1 John 5:20
    • Holy Spirit
      • Acts 5:3-4; 1 Corinthians 6:19; Ephesians 4:4-6
  • God exists. God is love (1 John 4:7-16) and invites us into His eternal unity through Jesus Christ.
  • John 17:20-21

Video sources:

VerseD: 1 John 4:9

In this the love of God was made manifest among us, that God sent his only Son into the world, so that we might live through him.

1 John 4:9, ESV

We know God loves us because of the life, death, and resurrection of Jesus, and only by Him can have true life.

VerseD: John 11:25-26

Jesus said to her, “I am the resurrection and the life. Whoever believes in me, though he die, yet shall he live, and everyone who lives and believes in me shall never die. Do you believe this?”

John 11:25‭-‬26, ESV

No one wants to die. It is our God who takes away the fear and permanence of death if we believe and trust in Him.

VerseD: Matthew 28:6

He is not here, for he has risen, as he said. Come, see the place where he lay.

Matthew 28:6, ESV

There is no body in a grave to be seen. Our Lord has risen, and He has ascended on high to right hand of the Father.

Jesus is our living Lord!