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Why Do You Follow Jesus?

by John Van der Werff, DDS

These are answers I hear a lot: The Bible says so. I grew up in a Christian home. I had an experience with God.

But we are told our lives will be more difficult. That does not sound good. There will be a reward, but not necessarily in this lifetime. Jesus is not always a “nice guy.” Do we want to believe what is pleasant and easy, do we want to believe what is true? Even though I don’t like my phone bill, I know it is true.

Jesus claimed He is the Son of God in Mark 14:62. Why should we believe Him?

In 1 Corinthians 15, Paul said Jesus rose from the dead, and if He didn’t, we should be pitied. Jesus apparently spoke and acted like He was God, but did Jesus rise from the dead or not?

Many people claimed to have seen Jesus after He rose. Any current credible historian, Christian or not, will say Jesus was a real person, that the disciples believed He rose from the dead and that he died on the cross and was buried. But an atheist will not say Jesus rose from the dead. If He was not resurrected, what happened to His body?

The most common possibilities discussed are:

  1. The enemies of Jesus, Romans or Jews took it. But then when the disciples started to proclaim the news of the resurrection, the Romans or Jewish leaders would have brought out Jesus’ body.
  2. The disciples took it. But if we look at what happened to the disciples after they proclaimed Jesus’ resurrection, death by torture, how long would the conspiracy last?
  3. No one knows what happened to it. But it seems unlikely a great teacher like Jesus would just disappear. We know where Buddha, Mohammad, Peter, Paul and Thomas were buried. Why not Jesus? Furthermore, the Jewish leadership knew Jesus said He would return, so it seems unlikely they would allow His body to just disappear. They wanted to make sure they knew what happened to the body.
  4. The appearance was a hallucination. But hallucinations are not group activities. They are individual experiences.

The best explanation that fits the facts is that He did rise from the dead. In 1 Corinthians 15:6, Paul tells us how more than 500 people saw Him after His resurrection. His resurrection would also explain the dramatic change of attitude of the disciples after Jesus’ death. This would include James, the skeptical brother of Jesus, Peter, who denied any association with Jesus, Thomas, also a skeptic, and Paul, a former killer of Christians.

If the evidence supports the resurrection of Jesus, then that would be another great reason to follow Him.

Christian Medical & Dental Associations®

About Christian Medical & Dental Associations®

The Christian Medical & Dental Associations® (CMDA) is made up of the Christian Medical Association (CMA) and the Christian Dental Association (CDA). CMDA provides resources, networking opportunities, education and a public voice for Christian healthcare professionals and students.

1 Comment

  1. David Campbell, DDS on October 3, 2018 at 8:13 pm

    At the Los Angeles Christian Health Centers, there are situations in providing dental care when the work has more cosmetic function than masticatory value. We were recently asked to provide a rush upper denture without lower denture, even though the patient had no dentition. Complete edentulism Is rampant on skidrow. The chronic citizens in these survival life style has very little access to sinks or sink water or toothbrushes. Their meager collection of possessions often get confiscated as they are displaced or periodically incarcerated. Often they loose all hygiene motivations because of psychotic episodes or just common bouts of depression.

    This particular denture request required a review. Are we providing adequate care? Has the patient ever tried a full lower denture? Has the patient ever received adequate instructions for use of denture adhesive. We did not delay the case but as the dental director, I felt it was necessary to inquire.

    Her situation was not too unusual. She was dying. Life expectancy on skidrow is about 55. She was merely trying to finish with a smile. Her cancer was extremely advanced. She was trying to reconnect with a couple of old acquaintances and wanted to create a couple of .memories with whatever family she could find.

    We are serving a horrible community. We are part of the solution but the lives are often bleak. Often we don’t know how to connect with them in time to see any change in their lives. There really are not a lot of victories to speak about. We are called to come alongside and provide as best we can. In this case a half a smile is enough. It’s all she needed. It is a pleasure to try our best to make some differences. However small.

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