Sam reiterated the nub of Christianity namely that:
If there is no resurrection of the dead, then not even Christ has been raised. And if Christ has not been raised, our preaching is useless and so is your faith. I Corinthians 15: 13, 14
In a world where all knowledge is challenged and “fake news” abounds then, Sam suggested, that there are three possible approaches to any claim to truth:
1 believe straight away
2 refuse to believe until you see it for yourself
3 believe only when backed up with evidence
With regard to the resurrection of Christ, Sam assumed that those who attended church tended to fall within the first group!
Since it’s not possible for anyone living today to have witnessed the resurrection for themselves, Sam thought it pertinent to consider evidence of the central and crucial claim of Christianity and which he considered to be:
- the Roman authorities could have stopped the spread of Christianity in it’s infancy by producing the body of Jesus. The could not.
2 the evidence of multiple eye-witnesses
- some 515 witnesses, on 12 separate occasions, spread over 40 days
3 changed lives
- after the death of Jesus the disciples had locked themselves away with fear, and yet following their encounter with their risen leader they were transformed into the greatest missionary team the world has ever seen. Each suffered horrible deaths and yet each one could have avoided death if they had said that Jesus was dead. They did not.
Blessed are those who believe without seeing me.” John 20: 29