Do We Have A Witness?
One of the issues I see “out there” every year during the Easter season is questioning the historical veracity of Jesus. I find this quite amazing. From historians such as Tacitus and Josephus to the individual Gospel witnesses themselves, the historical facts are overwhelming. One of the things I have found delightful in reading through the Gospel witnesses is the “name dropping.”
For example, from the passion section of Mark 15:20-22, Mark writes, “And they led him out to crucify him. And they compelled a passerby, Simon of Cyrene, who was coming in from the country, the father of Alexander and Rufus, to carry his cross. And they brought him to the place called Golgotha (which means Place of a Skull).”
Notice the name of the man who carried the cross. Notice the detail of who he was and the detail of his sons. Do you know what this meant? If you received this letter you were in fact invited and encouraged to go and find Simeon of Cyrene or one of his sons to ask if this were all true. Jokingly, I’m not sure a modern news agency would actually send an action news reporter out to find Simon, Alexander, or Rufus. But the Gospel writers were careful to point to the many other live witnesses of these events.
So, the question is not that Jesus existed, was crucified and raised from the dead as over 500 witnesses testified to and many died for. No! The question is, what will we do with this Jesus? I pray you will consider that on this Good Friday.