On Wednesday evening just after Easter I joined the Auckland Jewish community for a memorial service for the Shoah, the Holocaust. During the service, the words “Never forget” were spoken many times. It is an exhortation to an active remembering with the purpose of ensuring that such an event can never occur again; and not just that there could be no such horror again, but that that the seed bed of hatred and discrimination that leads to such things cannot be allowed to be fostered in our society.
Sometime in the predawn hours of a Sunday morning, two thousand years ago, a great mystery transpired in secret. No sunlight illuminated the event. No human being witnessed it. And even now, centuries later, no human narrative can contain it. The resurrection exceeds all of our attempts to pin it down, because it’s a mystery known only to God.
Josh McDowell was a law student who considered himself an agnostic, and who believed that Christianity was worthless. He challenged some Christians on campus; they in turn challenged him – to make rigorous, intellectual examinations of the claims of Jesus Christ. And McDowell decided to do a research paper that would examine the historical evidence of the Christian faith in order to disprove it. Especially the claimed yet improbable resurrection.
“Either a great fact of history, or a great lie forced upon us …”