The real know-it-alls are twenty-first century materialists because we all know that miracles just can’t happen, or do we?
One of the chief atheistic arguments against the resurrection of Christ from the dead is that the early disciples were plain stupid. Since they belonged to a pre-scientific world, they kind of just took it for granted that folk could get up and rise from the dead once deceased. It was ever so easy to convince them of Jesus’ return to life.
This type of reasoning is what I like to designate as ‘chronological snobbery’. By that I mean the common viewpoint that exists among those who think that every generation prior to the advent of modern science had a nut lodged in their brains. The real know-it-alls are twenty-first century materialists because we all know that miracles just can’t happen, or do we?
When we read the Bible this modern myth is swiftly done away with. Look at old brother Zachariah’s reaction when an angel of the Lord told him that his wife Elizabeth would conceive. He didn’t believe a word of it. Zachariah- just like us science freaks nowadays- knew that aging, barren woman don’t give birth. He’d never heard of Einstein, but he sure knew the way the world worked.
Or what about Joseph, the soon-to-be husband of Mary? When he found out his wife was preggers he wanted to divorce her. Why? Because he didn’t live in cloud cuckoo land. If Joseph had never been in bed with his bride to be then he knew full well that Mary had been flirting about with someone else. Women don’t get pregnant out of thin air. Babies aren’t brought into the world by storks. Joseph was no fool. God eventually revealed to his servant that what was born in Mary was a work of the Holy Spirit and thus Joseph was at peace.
The principle of skepticism at work in the cases of Zachariah and Joseph also apply to the testimony of Jesus’ resurrection. Who would ever believe that a dead man could come back to life? And we’re not just talking about any other man- we’re talking about a man so brutally put to death that he was whipped into a bloody pile of flesh and then agonizingly impaled to a rough Roman cross. Come on! That’s the stupidest message that anyone could have ever invented. Surely if you wanted people to believe what you’re preaching, you’d take time to make it more or less credible. The resurrection message was total folly (humanly speaking). Crucified men cannot come back to life!
Not a bit of wonder Thomas thought his fellow disciples were one sandwich short of a picnic. He was completely justified in disbelieving the message of Christ’s post-Resurrection appearance. I wouldn’t have believed it either. He was trusting in his God-given brains and he was right to do so. Once again, realize that Thomas was no numb nut . He had his head screwed on. He only professed faith in the risen Lord when Christ encountered him to remove all incredulity.
So, were the early disciples stupid? Not at all! They were perfectly conscious of the fact that old women don’t give birth, that young ladies don’t get pregnant without a male counterpart and that crucified men don’t start breathing again after their battered bodies are given a chance to recover. The only really stupid people are the ones who believe this fairy tale explanation offered by contemporary atheism.