What is it about the resurrection of Jesus Christ that makes non-Christians tremble in fear, distrust and continued disbelief? Why is this fact so controversial even though it was an actual historical event verified by a multitude of witnesses?
Edwards Cinema, a California theater chain, thought Compass Bible Church’s ad promoting a local Easter service was too hot to handle—and pulled the plug—even though there was a signed contract and thousands of dollars paid to run the commercial in it’s theaters. Here’s the reason why, according to Senior Pastor Mike Fabarez: “[They said] it uses the name of Jesus and so we’re not going to accept that ad.”
Pastor Fabarez offers further explanation.
“You can show movies and contract with movie companies and producers and show all kinds of things that use the name of Jesus in all kinds of pejorative ways and as expletives and everything else.
You can enter into contracts about all kinds of controversial topics on the big screen—but when it comes to an ad that just asks the question, ‘Did Jesus rise from the dead? Come to our church and check it out,’ they said no.”
NCM Media Networks, which handles pre-show advertising for many theaters in Orange County, says it gave Fabarez content guidelines, which prohibit nudity, drug use, and promotion of religious figures. The pastor acknowledges having received those guidelines, but says the written contract included no prohibition of religious figures. He feels the decision is nothing short of hypocrisy.
Further conversations were to no avail, says Pastor Fabarez, who adds that the decision violates free speech rights.*
It’s amazing how people continue to shrug off and deny the bodily resurrection of Jesus Christ, even to the point of censoring this great message! If He is not risen, then our future is no better than the atheist’s. If only for this life we have hope in Christ, we are to be pitied more than all men. If the dead are not raised,
“Let us eat and drink
for tomorrow we die.”
It’s not like there aren’t any witnesses…. Thankfully, Scripture gives us a list of all who saw Jesus after He died for our sins, was buried and was raised on the third day.
FROM THE WRITINGS OF PAUL (From 1 Corinthians 15:5-8):
- He appeared to Cephas (Peter)
- He appeared to the Twelve
- He appeared to more than 500 brothers at the same time
- He appeared to James
- He appeared to all the apostles
- He appeared to Paul
FOUND IN THE GOSPELS:
- He appeared to Mary Magdalene (John 20 (10-18)
- He appeared to other women (Matthew 28: 8-10)
- He appeared to Cleopas and another disciple on the road to Emmaus (Luke 24: 13-32)
- He appeared to eleven disciples and others (Luke 24:33-49)
- He appeared to ten apostles and others, with Thomas absent (John 20:19-23)
- He appeared to Thomas and other apostles (John 20:26-30)
- He appeared to seven apostles (John 21:1-14)
- He appeared to the disciples (Matthew 28: 16-20)
- And he was with the apostles at the Mount of Olives before his ascension (Acts 1:4-9)
British Theologian Michael Green concluded: The appearances of Jesus are as well authenticated as anything in antiquity…. There can be no rational doubt that they occurred.”**
What will you do with the fact of the Resurrection, my non-born again friend?
I suspect I already know.