What Americans Believe about the Resurrection (04.01.21)

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Plain Bible Teaching Podcast

With Easter Sunday being this weekend, many people are focused on the resurrection of Jesus. While “Easter” may not be in the Bible, the resurrection is a fundamental fact of the gospel. What do people believe about Jesus’ resurrection? What lessons do we learn from the resurrection? We’ll discuss this in this week’s episode.

STORY – “What Do Americans Actually Believe About the Resurrection?”

“The truthfulness of the resurrection is not as controversial today as many Christians may assume. The bigger issue, however, may be helping Americans recognize the relevance of Jesus rising from the dead.

“Two-thirds of American adults (66%) say they believe the biblical accounts of the physical resurrection of Jesus are completely accurate, according to the 2020 State of Theology from Lifeway Research. One in 5 (20%) disagree, and 14% are not sure.”

“One group that is more likely to deny the resurrection is the next generation. A majority of 18- to 34-year-olds (59%) say they don’t believe the biblical accounts of Jesus bodily resurrection.” (Lifeway Research)

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What If Jesus Was Not Raised from the Dead?

Empty Tomb

Photo by Ferrell Jenkins

The “Christian” world uses the Easter holiday to remember the resurrection of Jesus from the dead. It is certainly good to remember the resurrection. After all, it is part of the foundation of the gospel (1 Corinthians 15:3-4). Even so, the observance of “Easter” as a religious holy day is nowhere authorized in the Bible.

However, while people’s minds are turned to the resurrection during this time of year, we often find opportunities to discuss this important event. So in this article, I want us to consider the following question: What if Jesus was not raised from the dead? Paul gave an answer to this in his first letter to Corinth:

And if Christ has not been raised, then our preaching is vain, your faith also is vain” (1 Corinthians 15:14).

Without Jesus’ resurrection, our faith would be in vain. But why? Let us notice six reasons for this.Continue Reading

Does Your Church Do Anything Special on Easter Sunday?

The Empty TombWith the approaching Easter holiday, many of the churches of men are making preparations for their Easter services and programs. Such activities are so common that those in the Lord’s church are often asked by their friends and neighbors: Does your church do anything special on Easter Sunday?

Before answering that question, let us remember what Easter is. Easter is a holiday that is celebrated both religiously (to celebrate the resurrection of Christ) and secularly (Easter egg hunts, candy, etc.). Easter is not mentioned in the Bible, aside from a mistranslation of the word Passover in the King James Version (Acts 12:4).*

Does it matter that the religious observance of Easter is absent from the Bible? Absolutely! Notice what Paul wrote to the brethren in Colossae:

Whatever you do in word or deed, do all in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks through Him to God the Father” (Colossians 3:17).

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Some Thoughts on Easter

Garden Tomb

As the religious world prepares for the Easter holiday this Sunday, let us be reminded of what the Bible has to say on the topic.

Is Easter in the Bible? Yes and no, depending on what is meant by the question. Is the word Easter in the Bible. Yes, if you are reading the King James Version. When Herod killed James and saw that it pleased the Jews, he intended to do the same to Peter. Luke recorded, “And when he had apprehended him, he put him in prison, and delivered him to four quarternions of soldiers to keep him; intending after Easter to bring him forth to the people” (Acts 12:4).

However, if you read from a different translation, such as the New American Standard Bible, a different word is used instead of Easter: “…intending after the Passover to bring him out before the people.” Which is the correct translation? The Greek word used here is pascha (Passover). It refers to the feast of Unleavened Bread that was instituted for the Jews under the Old Law (cf. Exodus 12:1-27). Easter does not belong in Acts 12:4.
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Easter in the Bible

This Sunday is when many religious people celebrate Easter. Easter is used to commemorate the resurrection of Christ. Just when this day began to be observed is unknown. The practice is absent from the pages of the Bible.

However, we do have one mention of Easter in the Bible: “And when [Herod] had apprehended [Peter], he put him in prison, and delivered him to four quarternions of soldiers to keep him; intending after Easter to bring him forth to the people” (Acts 12:4, KJV).

Newer translations, however, do not use the word Easter. Instead, they use Passover. Why is that? Is it because the newer translations are inferior to the “authorized” King James Bible and are, therefore, wrong? No.
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