Have you checked MythBusters out? If not, MythBusters is a show on Discovery Channel that basically tackles urban legends, internet rumors, movie scenes and the like with the scientific method to test their validity.
One of my favorites was Shark Week, when they answered critical questions like:
Can sharks detect a struggling fish?
Does chili powder repel sharks?
Will a pack of sharks ignore you if you play dead?
Could you reach a shark's eye while inside its mouth?
These are questions that go through my mind pretty much every time I stick more than a toe in the ocean.
Then there are other key questions in life that they examine. For example,
Can you cut down a tree with a machine gun?
Can you hold a conversation with someone while falling at terminal velocity?
And of course, many many myths are 'busted' - even though at face value that seemed to make sense.
In other words, you definitely shouldn't believe everything you see or hear.
Now, I'm for sure no Adam Savage and Jamie Hyneman, who use their great special effects training and common sense to help keep the story straight, but I have one myth that I would like to 'bust' for you right now. Here is the question for the week:
Is Jesus Christ a mythical figure?
Important question - wouldn't you say? If Jesus is just a made up figure designed to impose control and power over weak-minded fools, then I would like to know. By the same token, if Jesus Christ is a real historical figure, then based on what He claimed it would be sheer madness to simply dismiss Him as "another religious dude."
Those that believe Jesus is a myth on par with Bigfoot, unicorns, and the Flying Spaghetti Monster base their perspective largely on the concept that Jesus Christ is a copycat Sun god who shares key elements from dozens of "gods" before Him. For example, they point to themes like virgin birth, star in the east, 12 disciples, death on the Cross, resurrection etc. as the same storylines that have been attributed to many so called 'gods' before Jesus' time. So there never really was a flesh and blood person in the 1st Century that walked on water, healed the sick and resurrected from the dead.
OK, so now we have our myth. But let's look at the evidence.
The fact of the matter is that we have four eyewitness accounts of Jesus' existence that were written within a generation of His time on earth. The New Testament books, Matthew, Mark, Luke, and John are considered some of the most reliable historical documents in the world.
And here are a few other things to consider:
The Encyclopedia Britannica uses over 20,000 words to describe Jesus, which is more than Aristotle, Cicero, Alexander, Julius Caesar, Buddha, Confucius, Mohammed, or Napoleon.
Sorry, but the pretty doggone smart folks at the Britannica generally do their homework before they use 20,000 words about someone who "might be" a myth.
Eleven of Jesus' disciples were tortured and murdered for spreading the message of Jesus. Wait - they would all die for something they knew to be a lie?
The gospel message of Jesus spread from a band of 12 men in a tiny region of Israel to thousands of people across thousands of miles to Rome in just 30 years. Wait, an entire civilization being duped by an obvious copycat religion?
Plus we have non-Biblical references to Jesus coming from Roman historians, government officials, and even the Jewish literature of that time. Wait one more time, the people that wished Jesus was a myth write about Him? Not a great way to get rid of a copycat Sun god - wouldn't you say?
• There are over 5000 historical source documents to support the validity of the New Testament, much more than any other ancient book. All the Gospels were published within the lifetimes of eyewitnesses, and yet there's no record of anyone ever proving them false.
• The Romans tried for 250 years to stamp out Christianity before accepting it as their state religion. By that time the books of the New Testament had been a published fact for two centuries.
• The Bible recounts a 6000 year history of God first saying He'll do something and then doing it. You know them as prophecies, and non-Christian history books document their fulfillment all over the place.
Because the idea of Jesus being a myth is a myth that in my opinion is more easily busted than proving that a jet engine really can't fly a Chevy.
The biggest question you should ask is:
Is Jesus Christ really who He claimed to be - which is God in the flesh and the Savior of the world? This is a question that has already been confirmed - now all you need to do is confirm your place in heaven by trusting in Jesus alone as your only hope of salvation.
Head: The Jesus Christ who is described in the Bible is definitely not a myth. He is God in the flesh and the Savior of the world.
Heart: Feel confident that your faith in Jesus Christ is not a leap into the dark, it is a step into the light. There is more proof of His existence than any other ancient figure.
Hands: Bring up a conversation with friends who don't have a relationship with Jesus using the facts from this week's Soul Fuel. It's a great way to share your faith!