Why Did it Win?
Finally, Morison was bewildered by the fact that “a tiny insignificant movement was able to prevail over the cunning grip of the Jewish establishment, as well as the might of Rome. He explains,
“Within twenty years, the claim of these Galilean peasants had disrupted the Jewish church… In less than fifty years it had begun to threaten the peace of the Roman Empire. When we have said everything that can be said… we stand confronted with the greatest mystery of all. Why did it win?”
By all rights, if there were no resurrection, Christianity should have died out at the cross when the disciples fled for their lives. But the apostles went on to establish a growing Christian movement.
Whatever one believes about the validity of Jesus’ resurrection, clearly “something happened” after his death that has made a lasting impact on our world. When world historian H. G. Wells was asked who has left the greatest legacy on history, the non-Christian scholar replied, “By this test Jesus stands first.” What is that legacy?
Let’s look at just some of Jesus’ impact:
- Time is marked by his birth, B.C.– before Christ; A.D. – in the year of our Lord.
- More books have been written about Jesus than about any other person.
- About 100 great universities were established to spread his teaching — including Harvard, Yale, Princeton, Dartmouth, Columbia, and Oxford.
- Jesus’ teaching that all people are created equal laid the bedrock for human rights and democracy in more than 100 countries.
- The high value Jesus placed on each person regardless of sex or race led his followers to promote the rights of women as well as abolish slavery.
- Humanitarian works such as the Red Cross, World Vision, Samaritan’s Purse, Mercy Ships and the Salvation Army were founded by his followers.
A Surprise Conclusion
In the book he finally wrote, Who Moved the Stone, Morison documents the evidence that led him to a belief in the resurrection. Morison is not alone. Numerous other skeptics who examined the evidence for Jesus’ resurrection, also became convinced and accepted it as the most astounding fact in all of human history.
Oxford professor and former skeptic C. S. Lewis, who had once doubted Jesus’ very existence, was also persuaded by the evidence for Jesus’ resurrection. He writes,
“Something perfectly new in the history of the Universe had happened. Christ had defeated death. The door which had always been locked had for the very first time been forced open.”
But there is even more. . .