The Case for Christ
By: Donald V. Watkins
Copyrighted and Published on March 31, 2021
In my spare time, I study comparative religions. Different religions have always fascinated me. Since my college days at Southern Illinois University, I have tried to learn as much as I could about the world’s most popular religions – Judaism, Christianity, Islam, and Buddhism.
A central figure across all religions is Jesus Christ. He is referenced directly or indirectly in all of them.
Lee Strobel, the former legal editor of The Chicago Tribune who has a journalism degree from the University of Missouri and a Master of Studies in Law from Yale, chases down the biggest story in history – “Is there credible evidence that Jesus of Nazareth really is the Son of God?”
After reading Strobel’s book titled, “The Case for Christ”, Zondervan (1998, 2016), my verdict is, “Yes”.
Part 1 of Strobel’s book examines the historical record at the time of Jesus. Strobel chronicles the eyewitness evidence, tests it for trustworthiness and reliability under scrutiny, discusses corroborating evidence for Jesus outside of the eyewitness testimony, uses archaeological evidence to confirm or contradict the eyewitness testimony and compares the Jesus of History to the Jesus of Faith to determine if they are the same being.
In Part 2 of his book, Strobel analyzes the existence and life of Jesus using Identity Evidence, Psychological Evidence, Profile Evidence, and Fingerprint Evidence. The totality of objective scientific evidence supports the conclusion that Jesus – and Jesus alone – was the Biblical Messiah who fulfilled the “Attributes of God” and was the “Son of God”.
In Part 3, Strobel researched the Resurrection by examining the Medical Evidence, the Evidence of the Missing Body from the Tomb, the Evidence of Jesus’s Appearance after his crucifixion, and the Circumstantial Evidence supporting the Resurrection.
Finally, Strobel announces the Verdict of History – Jesus existed and is the unique Son of God.
Frankly, I do not understand how any person can wallow in atheism after reading Strobel’s book. For me, Jesus was more than a wise teacher. He set the standard for my morality. Because of Jesus’s words, I have an unwavering foundation for my choices and decisions, rather than basing them on the ever-shifting sands of expediency and self-centeredness.
Jesus personally knew betrayal, unimaginable physical pain, suffering, homelessness, abandonment, scorn and the price God exacted for our sins. As such, Jesus can comfort me and encourage me in the midst of the turbulence that he himself warned is inevitable in a world corrupted by greed, sin, and antichrists who masquerade as religious leaders.
Remember, no leader of any other major religion has ever pretended to be God. Jesus is God’s son – his one and only son.
“Yet to all who received him, to those who believed in his name, he gave the right to become children of God”. John 1:12. As Strobel points out, this Bible passage spells out with mathematical precision what it takes to go beyond mere mental assent to Jesus’s deity and enter into an ongoing relationship with him by becoming adopted into God’s family: believe + receive = become a child of God.
Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., my childhood Sunday School teacher and pastor at Dexter Avenue Baptist Church in Montgomery, Alabama showed me the way to Christ when I was a pre-school boy in the early 1950s. I am truly blessed that Dr. King led me to Christ as he held my little hand and sang along with my Sunday School classmates, “Jesus loves me, this I know, for the Bible tells me so….”.
Strobel’s book is educational and fulfilling. Check it out.