Friday, June 2, 2017


I am expecting that, when I die, I will enjoy a blissful love with my Savior. But perhaps I have been deceived by a God who certainly has the power to deceive.

When I was struggling with intense depression and panic attacks, this question was very real to me. It felt like God was sitting somewhere above joyously watching the freak show below. I couldn't shake this feeling or the doubts it birthed. Nor were the Bible's declarations of God's love enough for me.

Even God's creation provided little consolation. Yes, He had stocked it with good things like food, drink, friends, family, sunsets, and music. However, maybe these pleasures had been designed to deceive us into thinking that God is benign and heaven will be blissful. However, I had no assurance that I wouldn't awaken from this life to find myself imprisoned in God's zoo where I'd be tortured daily for all eternity.

However, one evening while tearfully praying, the Holy Spirit made the truth of these verses startlingly real for me:

·       ...but God shows his love for us in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us. Since, therefore, we have now been justified by his blood, much more shall we be saved by him from the wrath of God. For if while we were enemies we were reconciled to God by the death of his Son, much more, now that we are reconciled, shall we be saved by his life. (Romans 5:8-10)

It all came together. If God the Son died for me, He loved me so much that He couldn't possibly be a sadist. The Cross proved my doubts wrong.

The Spirit left me with such a vivid impression of His sacrificial love that it drove my doubts away, far away. However, being always the skeptic, I later began to wonder if He had actually died as Scripture claimed. However, I found that the evidence for the crucifixion was beyond doubting. Here are some of the quotations that the former atheist, Lee Strobel, had assembled in “The Case for the Real Jesus”:

  • NT scholar and skeptic, John Dominic Crossan wrote: “That He was crucified is as sure as anything historical ever can be.” (113)

  • “Both Gerd Ludemann, an atheistic NT critic, and Bart Ehrman, who’s an agnostic, call the crucifixion an indisputable fact.” (113)

  • Tacitus, Roman historian, 110 AD, had written: “Jesus suffered the extreme penalty under the reign of Tiberius.” (113)

  • “Josephus [the Jewish historian, 90 AD] reports that Pilate ‘condemned him to be crucified’…Even the Jewish Talmud reports that ‘Yeshu was hanged.’” (113)

  • Apologist Michael Licona claims that “Lucian of Samosata, who was a Greek satirist, mentions the crucifixion, and Mara Bar-Serapion, who was a pagan, confirms Jesus was executed.” (113)

Even the skeptics endorse the fact that Jesus died on the cross:

  • The crucifixion of Jesus is recognized even by the Jesus Seminar as "one indisputable fact.”

What a blessing it is to know that God actually died for me, and He will come back for me as Jesus promised:

·       "Do not let your hearts be troubled. Trust in God; trust also in me. In my Father's house are many rooms; if it were not so, I would have told you. I am going there to prepare a place for you. And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come back and take you to be with me that you also may be where I am.” (John 14:1-3)

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