Book Review | The Case for Easter

The Case for Easter by Lee Strobel is an excellent read anytime…but particularly right now over Easter Weekend. The book is available for $1.99 on Kindle right now if you click here. I’m writing this post on Good Friday. Good Friday is a time to reflect and remember what took place on that day over 2,000 years ago when Jesus Christ willingly subjected himself to death by crucifixion in order to pay the penalty for our sin debt…for my sin debt. The Good part about that is that it was only the beginning of what would transpire over the course of three days leading up to Matthew 28:5-6, But the angel said to the women, “Do not be afraid, for I know that you seek Jesus who was crucified. He is not here, for he has risen, as he said. Come, see the place where he lay, where we see that Jesus was resurrected from the dead. Have you ever had questions about the crucifixion or the resurrection? This book is a great read and super helpful.

Lee Strobel started his career as a Yale Law educated investigative reporter for The Chicago Tribune. He was also an atheist. Have you ever heard his story? His testimony of investigating the resurrection with the purpose of overturning it…that led to him ultimately placing his faith in Jesus Christ…can be found in the book The Case for Christ. The book was also recently made into a movie which can be found for free on Netflix HERE. Our family watched the movie the other night and it was really helpful! Even if you have been a Christian for a while, it’s so good to consider other perspectives and questions that you may or may not have wrestled with.

Another great spot to check out Lee’s testimony and hear more of his story is on this week’s Linch with a Leader Podcast with Northstar Church Pastor Mike Linch.

I highlighted several things while reading and have posted those notes below…

  • “This is a known medical condition called hematidrosis. It’s not very common, but it is associated with a high degree of psychological stress. p. 14
  • “What this did was set up the skin to be extremely fragile so that when Jesus was flogged by the Roman soldier the next day, his skin would be very, very sensitive.” p. 15
  • “The pain was absolutely unbearable,” he continued. “In fact, it was literally beyond words to describe; they had to invent a new word: excruciating. Literally, excruciating means ‘out of the cross.’ Think of that: they needed to create a new word because there was nothing in the language that could describe the intense anguish caused during the crucifixion. p. 19
  • “This fulfilled the Old Testament prophecy in Psalm 22, which foretold the crucifixion hundreds of years before it took place and says, ‘My bones are out of joint.’” p. 19
  • “Once a person is hanging in the vertical position,” he replied, “crucifixion is essentially an agonizingly slow death by asphyxiation. p. 20
  • “So when you ask what motivated him,” he concluded, “well . . . I suppose the answer can be summed up in one word—and that would be love.” p. 20
  • The apostle Paul said in 1 Corinthians 15:17 that the resurrection is at the very core of the Christian faith: “If Christ has not been raised, your faith is futile; you are still in your sins.” p. 32
  • Theologian Gerald O’Collins put it this way: “In a profound sense, Christianity without the resurrection is not simply Christianity without its final chapter. It is not Christianity at all.”1 p. 32
  • The resurrection is the supreme vindication of Jesus’ divine identity and his inspired teaching. It’s the proof of his triumph over sin and death. It’s the foreshadowing of the resurrection of his followers. It’s the basis of Christian hope. It’s the miracle of all miracles. p. 32
  • For one thing, the burial is mentioned by the apostle Paul in 1 Corinthians 15:3–7, where he passes on a very early creed of the church.” p. 36
  • “This creed is incredibly early and therefore trustworthy material,” Craig said. “Essentially, it’s a four-line formula. The first line refers to the crucifixion, the second to the burial, the third to the resurrection, and the fourth to Jesus’ appearances. As you can see, the second line affirms that Jesus was buried.” p. 37
  • With that Craig added this clincher: “As long as the existence of God is even possible, it’s possible that he acted in history by raising Jesus from the dead.” p. 56
  • Cambridge-educated Sir Norman Anderson, who lectured at Princeton University, was offered a professorship for life at Harvard University, and served as dean of the Faculty of Laws at the University of London. His conclusion, after a lifetime of analyzing this issue from a legal perspective, was summed up in one sentence: “The empty tomb, then, forms a veritable rock on which all rationalistic theories of the resurrection dash themselves in vain.”9 p. 57
  • With that Habermas picked up a book and read the conclusion of scholar John Drane: The earliest evidence we have for the resurrection almost certainly goes back to the time immediately after the resurrection event is alleged to have taken place. This is the evidence contained in the early sermons in the Acts of the Apostles. . . . [T]here can be no doubt that in the first few chapters of Acts its author has preserved material from very early sources. p. 73
  • John 1:12 says, “Yet to all who received him, to those who believed in his name, he gave the right to become children of God.” Essentially, then, the formula for becoming adopted into God’s family is: Believe + Receive = Become. p. 88

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