Jesus Vindicated

The Gospel Coalition Conference 2013

In this 52-minute session, Timothy Keller, the founding pastor of Redeemer Presbyterian Church in Manhattan and author of The Reason for God and Center Church, highlights four themes from the last chapter of the book of Luke that show why the Resurrection of Jesus is so important. 

The Resurrection makes or breaks our faith. Without it, our Savior has rotted away in a grave. But with the Resurrection comes hope and promise. Tim drew out four themes on the Resurrection from Luke 1:1–53: 

  1. The Resurrection is a shattering historical event.
  2. The Resurrection is the key to understanding all of Scripture.
  3. The Resurrection gives us a powerful message to take to the world.
  4. The Resurrection proves that Jesus is the True King. 

Tim first pointed out that the Resurrection of Jesus is a shattering historical event. Despite doubts that liberal theologians have about the historicity of the event, the fact remains it happened. And it happened for real. Tim raises several points about the historical factualness of the Resurrection: the presence of women at the tomb, the limited point of view, the inclusion of specific names, and the fact that Jews started worshipping a human.  

Tim said, “The Resurrection makes Christianity the most irritating religion on earth.” It means we have to deal with the rest of the Bible. How does the Resurrection impact your view of Jesus?
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If Jesus truly rose from the dead, what does that say about His authority over you? What would keep you from obeying Him?
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Tim made the comment that, if Jesus rose from the dead, then everything in the Bible is true and summed up in Christ. The Resurrection explains the Cross, and, together, they explain all of Scripture—even the hard parts. Tim challenged us to “preach Christ” in every text.  

As you read your Bible, do you see God’s redemptive plan in every text? Why or why not? Does it change how you apply the passage to your life?
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As you lead your small group, Sunday school class, or family in reading God’s word, do you feel confident in pointing to Jesus through every verse? Why or why not?
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How does Tim’s exhortation to “preach Christ” change the way you look at the Bible’s overall message?
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The fourth point of Tim’s talk emphasized the powerful message that the Resurrection equips us with to take into the lost world around us. The Resurrection provides hope of a personal future that restores everything lost to death. It’s a message that the world longs to hear. 

Reflect on your own attitude toward death. Do you fear it? If so, why? How does the Resurrection impact your personal attitude toward death?
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We live in a world that largely believes life ends with death. How can the Resurrection change the way you approach evangelism? What kind of impact would it have on your unbelieving friends, coworkers, or family?
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Tim concluded by pointing out that the Resurrection proves Jesus’ claim to ultimate kingship. Living in a self-absorbed, democratic country, it can be hard for us to accept the supreme authority of a king—particularly one who has something to say about our money or our sexuality. We were made to be ruled—humans will be ruled by something. Every day, we must choose what will rule us. 

As you look at your life, where do you feel the tension the most between Jesus’ kingship and your own desires?
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Are there spheres of your life that holdout against Jesus’ rule? If so, what are they?
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What would your life look like today if you submitted every aspect of it to Jesus’ authority? Do you want that? Why or why not?
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We live in a world focused on self, and thoroughly without hope or meaning. The power of the gospel transforms not only our view of our future, but our view of our selves. Jesus rose from the dead—He paid the price, bought us, and offers us the hope of restoration. In turn, He asks us to follow Him faithfully. Today, choose to serve Jesus.  

For more information about The Gospel Coalition or to attend their next event, click here.