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“Hallucination” theory (Part 2)

Besides the fact that many people saw Jesus alive after the resurrection, there was physical interaction with Him. Thomas touched Jesus’ nail-pierced hands and spear-torn side in John 20:24-28.

“Now Thomas (called Didymus), one of the Twelve, was not with the disciples when Jesus came. So the other disciples told him, ‘We have seen the Lord!’ But he said to them, ‘Unless I see the nail marks in his hands and put my finger where the nails were, and put my hand into his side, I will not believe it.’ A week later his disciples were in the house again, and Thomas was with them. Though the doors were locked, Jesus came and stood among them and said, ‘Peace be with you!’ Then he said to Thomas, ‘Put your finger here; see my hands. Reach out your hand and put it into my side. Stop doubting and believe.’ Thomas said to him, ‘My Lord and my God!’”

In Luke 24:36-43, Jesus proves His corporeal reality by eating in front of the apostles.

But some of the strongest evidence for the resurrection comes from the testimony of the women who went to the tomb on that Sunday morning. Matthew 28:8-10 says, “So the women hurried away from the tomb, afraid yet filled with joy, and ran to tell his disciples. Suddenly Jesus met them. ‘Greetings,’ he said. They came to him, clasped his feet and worshiped him. Then Jesus said to them, ‘Do not be afraid. Go and tell my brothers to go to Galilee; there they will see me.’”

This is powerful for two reasons. First, groups of women physically touched the feet of the risen Christ, thereby showing that this was no hallucination. Second, the first eyewitnesses of the resurrected Jesus were females, not males. In first century Jewish society, women were held in low regard. Professor and author Dr. William Lane Craig says that rabbinical writings testify to the low esteem of women with entries such as, “Let the words of the Law be burned rather than be delivered to women,” and, “Blessed is he whose children are male, but woe to him whose children are female.” Since females had such poor standing in society, a woman’s testimony was regarded as worthless—they weren’t even allowed to serve as witnesses in a Jewish court. Dr. Lane says, “The fact that women were the first witnesses to the empty tomb is most plausibly explained by the reality that—like it or not—they were the discoverers of the empty tomb. This shows the gospel writers faithfully recorded what happened, even if it was embarrassing.”

After Jesus appeared to the apostles as well, Peter testified to this again and again in the book of Acts. In Acts 2:32 Peter preached to a crowd saying, “‘God has raised this Jesus to life, and we are all witnesses of the fact.’” Peter reiterated this in Acts 3:15. Speaking to another group he said, “‘You killed the author of life, but God raised him from the dead. We are witnesses of this.’” Addressing a man named Cornelius in Acts 10:41, Peter said, “‘He was not seen by all the people, but by witnesses whom God had already chosen-by us who ate and drank with him after he rose from the dead.’” If these were all hallucinated experiences, the Jewish religious leaders of the day could have stopped Christianity in its infancy. In order to put an end to this resurrection preaching that began, Jesus’ opponents would simply have had to go to the tomb and shown everyone the body. This would have proved that the disciples were merely hallucinating, or lying, and not to be trusted.

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June 05, 2018

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