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Raised? Finding Jesus by Doubting the Resurrection (Excerpt)

Raised? Finding Jesus by Doubting the Resurrection (Excerpt)

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Published by Zondervan
Do you have doubts about the resurrection? A man rising from the dead? In Raised?: Finding Jesus by Doubting the Resurrection, pastors Jonathan K. Dodson and Brad Watson help readers wrestle with tough questions regarding the Christian Savior's miraculous return to life. They help you to see how the resurrection changes everything, offering hope for the future and answers to the life and death questions we all have.
Do you have doubts about the resurrection? A man rising from the dead? In Raised?: Finding Jesus by Doubting the Resurrection, pastors Jonathan K. Dodson and Brad Watson help readers wrestle with tough questions regarding the Christian Savior's miraculous return to life. They help you to see how the resurrection changes everything, offering hope for the future and answers to the life and death questions we all have.

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Published by: Zondervan on Jan 31, 2014
Copyright:Attribution Non-commercial

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03/17/2014

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9
CHAPTER 1
Doubting the Resurrection
 And when they saw him they worshiped him, but some doubted.
 – Matthew 28:17
O
ne out of every five Americans does not believe in a deity. The “none” category in religious polls has doubled over the past ten years, and less than half of the population attends religious ser vices on a regular basis.
1
 As statistics rise on the decline of Chris tian faith in America, you may find yourself wondering if Chris tian ity is really  worth believing. After all, the Chris tian faith makes some audacious claims.
 AUDACIOUS CLAIMS OF THE GOSPEL 
Some of Chris tian ity’s most audacious claims are made right at the center of the faith — the gospel of Jesus Christ.
 
Raised?10
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, the
death
 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.
2
 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
and resurrection
 of Jesus. We don’t have to dive deep to surface doubt regard-ing the resurrection. Its surface value is, well,
incredible 
. 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

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