Gerard Chrispin Writes:
The well-known facts of the gospel cannot be denied!
If Jesus Christ had lived in a giant floodlit goldfish bowl, with 24/7 detailed TV coverage, His life could scarcely have been more public than it actually was. It was recorded from four different angles in the gospels by Matthew, Mark, Luke and John. His birth, life, miracles, prayers, teaching, leadership, trials, opposition, rejection, suffering, death, resurrection, and ascension to Heaven are very well documented. It is as if these four different biographies, like four commentators covering the same football match, report the basic facts from ‘each corner of the ground’. Yet they do not all mention exactly the same details surrounding those facts. Similarly the four gospels cover the same basic subject—Jesus Christ—yet without all focusing on exactly the same details. But they never contradict one another. Their accounts are therefore reliable and consistent, without being identical. How can this be? Because God the Holy Spirit is the ‘master writer’ who directs them, as He does all writers of the Bible.4
Like them, Peter also now focuses on Jesus, as the One ‘attested by God’ for doing well-accredited ‘miracles, wonders and signs’. But with the help of ‘lawless hands’, religious Jewish leaders manipulated the crowd to have Him ‘crucified and put to death’. Peter adds that ‘God raised’ Him up, ‘having loosed the pains of death, because it was not possible that He should be held by it’.
None of these events were done secretly in a quiet corner. It was all very public knowledge. People living at the time of Christ’s cross and resurrection and near to where it all happened do not dispute the facts. It was common knowledge that Jesus died and that many people claimed to have met Him as the risen Lord. The stubborn refusal of some to repent and believe in Jesus seems so stupid. But Jesus’ disciples, like Peter, never need to argue that these events actually took place. Those there at the time knew it was true. The disciples now simply explain why. They declare that we sinners can be forgiven and born again if we turn from our sins, believe Jesus died on the cross to take our deserved punishment, and receive Him as Lord and Saviour in our hearts. Those who do repent and receive Him are therefore converted. Their new lives demonstrate that all this really is true. These facts cannot be denied.