Does the Resurrection Trump the Bible? Part 2

So, which is more important: the resurrection or the Bible? We are justified by the resurrection, not by the Bible. We cannot go to heaven without the resurrection, but we can go to heaven without having read the Bible. 

But, that being said, the Bible is important... extremely important, because the Bible is the only authoritative source that tells us these things. So, without the resurrection we are lost in our sins; but without the Bible we are lost in our ignorance--and lost is lost! So, for me, the conclusion of the matter is that we must have both the resurrection and the Bible! 

So, why do some religious teachers want to downplay the importance of the Bible? For one reason--they say--our attempts to reach a post-Christian society through Scripture will fall on deaf ears. Speaking such phrases as "The Bible says..." is like speaking in a foreign language to them. Also, many of the more educated doubt the authenticity and integrity of the Bible. "The Bible we possess today," they say, "is full of contradictions and discrepancies. How can it be a reliable source of truth?"

But the Apostle Paul, speaking to a pre-Christian audience, wrote:

For I passed on to you as most important what I also received: that Christ died for our sins according to the Scriptures, and He was buried, and He was raised on the third day according to the Scriptures.
— 1 Corinthians 15:3-4

 

 

Paul seemed to have no qualms about quoting the Scripture to people who were just as ignorant and skeptical as people today! 

So why do modern teachers want to cast dispersions on the integrity of the Bible? Because when biblical authority is rejected then human authority is about all we have left! Without a trustworthy Bible to rely on people will turn to their chosen spiritual leaders as the sole means of spiritual revelation--and when that happens we are in deep trouble! What man can be trusted with the power to pronounce God's will ex-cathedra to the people?  "Listen to us," they will say "we know God's will." The celebrity preachers will declare: "You cannot know the truth unless we tell you what it is." Haven't we heard that before?  When we reject the authority of Scripture and blindly follow religious leaders--no matter how wildly popular they are--then we are sending ourselves back into the dark ages! 

Does the Resurrection Trump the Bible? Part 1

As they were coming down from the mountain, He ordered them to tell no one what they had seen until the Son of Man had risen from the dead. They kept this word to themselves, discussing what ‘rising from the dead’ meant.
— Mark 9:9-10

Jesus had taken James, Peter, and John up on the mountain for a spiritual intensive. There He rolled back the sleeves of His humanity and revealed His hidden divinity! Then He tells them not to mention a word of this to anyone until after He is "risen from the dead." But as they are coming down the mountain what do they discuss? Not the miraculous display of His glory--which obviously impressed them because John later writes about it (John 1:14). What they talk about is the meaning of His words "risen from the dead." Somehow they seem to know this is the big point.  

There is a new controversy swirling. Seems one religious leader is now in hot water for insinuating--if not outright saying--that the resurrection is more important than the Bible. Is that so?  My answer is "Yes," but that is a qualified yes--and here is why:

First, the cross and resurrection were the preeminent declarations of the early church. But, that being said, the Scriptures are the the primary source of this information. There are other sources that mention the resurrection, but the Bible alone exalts the resurrection as the foundation on which the Christian faith stands. 

And if Christ has not been raised, your faith is worthless; you are still in your sins.
— 1 Corinthians 15:17

Second, the resurrection is the proof of our justification--but it is the Bible that tell us this. 

He was delivered for our trespasses and raised for our justification.
— Romans 4:25

What does this mean, "He was raised for our justification"? There is an old adage that goes, "If a judge acquits a guilty man then that judge himself is condemned." If a judge allows a man whom he knows to be guilty of a crime to go scot-free without paying for that crime, then that judge is himself dishonest and discredited. If that is true for human judges--who are fallible--then how much more true would it be for the divine Judge? If a perfectly righteous God would allow guilty sinners to go scot-free without paying for their sins then He would be dishonest and discredited. 

The LORD is slow to anger and rich in faithful love, forgiving wrongdoing and rebellion. But He will not leave the guilty unpunished....
— Numbers 14:18

 

So how does God forgive guilty sinners and still remain holy Himself? He had an amazing plan! Jesus Christ was completely righteous, but He willingly took our sins upon Himself. Then He went to the cross and took God's judgment for those sins. God accepts what Jesus did for us. No one gets off scot-free because Jesus paid the debt for everyone! Now when we put our faith in Jesus as our Savior God is able to declare us to be righteous--and He remains perfectly righteous Himself!

But where do we learn about this amazing plan? The Bible! 

Third, there are other benefits of the resurrection. For instance: Christ's resurrection is the guarantee that we too shall be raised from the dead. And where do we learn about these bonuses? The Bible, of course (1 Corinthians 15:20-28).