Acts 1:3a – After his suffering, he showed himself to these men, and gave many convincing proofs he was alive
Christian literature was a booming industry in the eighties. And one of the most popular titles was a book by Josh McDowell entitled Evidence that Demands a Verdict. At a time when scepticism was becoming more and more fashionable, McDowell states the compelling historical evidence for the bodily resurrection of Jesus, in the hope that it might lead people to faith. The book was a bestseller.
The idea of offering proof goes back to Jesus himself of course. Luke reminds his friend Theophilus, here in this opening prologue, that after his suffering Jesus showed himself to the apostles and gave them many convincing proofs that he was alive – many more than we have recorded at the end of Luke’s gospel. And although I am one of those who thinks you can’t argue a person into the kingdom, it sure is good to know that our faith in the resurrection is not a vague fantasy but founded on eye-witness reports. When faith feels weak, and doubts assail, you can rest on the truth that the apostles saw him alive, and then faithfully went on to proclaim the Good News. It may not be the most exotic way to sustain faith in the dark times, but it’s a pretty reliable one: Jesus rose from the dead, the apostles saw him, I believe it.
Prayer: Almighty God, thank you for the proof of the resurrection. Thank you I don’t always need a fiery faith in order to find assurance. Sometimes just knowing the apostles saw him alive is enough. Praise you.