Though particulars vary, the gospel is something all Chris-tians agree on: “that Christ died for our sins in accordance with the Scriptures, that he was buried, that he was raised on the third day” (1 Co rin thi ans 15:3 – 4). At first glance,
of Jesus of Nazareth is easy enough to embrace. While there has been considerable debate over the so-called “historical Jesus,” it is beyond dispute that Jesus existed in history. It is also well documented that the Roman authori-ties crucified people regularly, and in fact, Jewish historian Josephus documented Jesus’ death.
What ruffles feathers is the God-sized claim beneath his self-sacrifice. Jesus asserted his death was necessary for humanity. His insistence that we all need an atoning representative troubles our dignity. Jesus represented all of us? What gives him the right? Who says we need a representation or sacrifice anyway?The bull’s-eye of the gospel is the death
of Jesus. We don’t have to dive deep to surface doubt regard-ing the resurrection. Its surface value is, well,
. The notion that a first-century Jewish man, crucified between two common criminals, was actually God and rose from the dead is hard to believe. In our experience, people don’t beat death, especially after being in a grave for three days. In light of recent horror trends, we might be more inclined to believe in a zombie emerging from the dead than a resurrected and fully restored person. Yet, at the center of historic Chris tian faith is the belief that a Jewish man named Jesus was “raised.”If you doubt the resurrection, I’m glad. Anything worth