“When I Survey the Wondrous Cross”

When I survey the wondrous cross on which the prince of glory died,

My riches gain I count but loss, and pour contempt on all my pride.

Forbid it, Lord, that I should boast, save in the death of Christ, my God!

All the vain things that charm me most, I sacrifice them to his blood.

See, from his head, his hands, his feet, sorrow and love flow mingled down!

Did e’er such love and sorrow meet, or thorns compose so rich a crown?

Where the whole realm of nature mine, that were a present far too small;

Love, so amazing, so divine, demands my soul, my life, my all! Amen!

-Isaac Watts 

“The next day, which followed the preparation day, the chief priests and the Pharisees gathered before Pilate and said, ‘Sir, we remember that while this deceiver [Jesus] was still alive, He said, ‘After three days I will rise again.’  Therefore give orders that the tomb be made secure until the third day.  Otherwise, His disciples may come, steal Him, and tell the people, ‘He has been raised from the dead.’  Then the last deception will be worse than the first.’”  Matthew 27:62-65

“For I passed on to you as most important what I also received:  that Christ died for our sins according to the Scriptures, that He was buried, that He was raised on the third day according to the Scriptures.”  Paul, 1 Corinthians 15:3, 4

“Christ’s resurrection is linked with the fullness of eternal glory.”  Charles H. Spurgeon

“His resurrection is glorious in its effects.  He was ‘delivered for our offenses,’ but ‘he was raised again for our justification.”  Charles H. Spurgeon

“The Resurrection is the central theme in every Christian sermon reported in the Acts of the Apostles.  The Resurrection, and its consequences were the ‘gospel’ or good news which the Christians brought:  what we call the ‘gospels,’ the narratives of our Lord’s life and death, were composed later for the benefit of those who had already accepted the gospel…The first fact in the history of Christendom is a number of people who say they have seen the Resurrection..”  C. S. Lewis, Miracles

 “It is quite difficult to know where to start, because actually the evidence for Jesus is so massive that, as a historian, I want to say we have got almost as much good evidence for Jesus as for anyone in the ancient world.”  N. T. Wright in Antony Flew, There Is A God: How the World’s Most Notorious Atheist Changed His Mind, p. 187

“My father read my long book, The Resurrection of the Son of God, when he was eighty-three.  It took him three days to read seven hundred pages.  He read right through it; he just did nothing else.  He phoned me up and said, ‘I’ve finished it.’  And I said, ‘You what?’  He said, ‘Yes.  And I really started to enjoy it after about page 600.’  I thought it was a wonderful backhanded compliment.  My father used to be in the timber business.  I said, ‘Dad, you need to know that the first five hundred or so pages are the root system.  And if the tree doesn’t have a root system, it won’t be able to stand up and it won’t bear any fruit.’  And he said, ‘Yes, I sort of figured that out. But I always preferred the upper branches myself.’”  Ibid., p. 195, 196

“So it’s fascinating that in Matthew, Mark, Luke, and John we have Mary Magdalene, the other Marys, and the other women.  And Mary Magdalene, of all people (we know she had a very checkered career in the past), is chosen as the prime witness:  there she is in all four accounts.  As historians we are obliged to comment that if these stories had been made up five years later, let alone thirty, forty, or fifty years later, they would never have had Mary Magdalene in this role.  To put Mary there is, from the point of view of Christian apologists wanting to explain to a skeptical audience that Jesus really did rise from the dead, like shooting themselves in the foot.  But to us as historians this kind of thing is gold dust.  The early Christians would never, never have made this up.  The stories—of the women finding an empty tomb and then meeting the risen Jesus—must be regarded as solidly historical.”  Ibid., p. 207

“But Matthew, Mark, Luke, and John don’t say, ‘Jesus is raised, therefore we’ll be raised one day.’  They say—and this often comes as a surprise to people:  ‘Jesus is raised—therefore he really was the Messiah. God’s new creation has begun.’”   Ibid., p. 208

“The bodily resurrection of Christ is the crowning proof that Jesus was who he claimed to be, God manifested in human flesh.  Indeed, the resurrection of Christ in flesh is of such importance to the Christian faith that the New Testament insists that no one can be saved without it.” Norman Geisler, Baker Encyclopedia of Christian Apologetics, p. 651

“In addition to all the direct evidence for the bodily resurrection of Christ, there are lines of corroboration.  These include the immediate transformation of the men who became the apostles, the reaction of those who rejected Christ, the existence of the early church, and the immediate, amazingly rapid spread of Christianity.”  Ibid., p. 655

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