Download In the World for April 16 here.
SEVERELY DESTROYED . . .
Early on April 4, bombs bearing poisonous gas fell on Khan Sheikhoun, Syria, killing dozens of civilians. US intelligence determined the planes involved flew from a Syrian government airbase. Two days later, US warships in the Mediterranean fired 59 Tomahawk missiles at the base. Initial reports from the Pentagon asserted that 58 of the 59 missiles “severely degraded or destroyed” their intended targets. But the Kremlin contended that only 23 of the missiles reached the base. Within a couple of days the Syrian government, which claims not to even use chemical weapons, said it had resumed using the airbase.
. . . BUT ALIVE AGAIN!
Jewish and Roman authorities thought they had destroyed Jesus and dealt a death blow to the movement he had started. The evidence three days later, however, showed they were wrong. The tomb the authorities had made as secure as they knew how (Matthew 27:65) was empty. No body was found because Jesus was alive and observed by many witnesses. The heartbreak of the disciples had turned to inexpressible joy.
- Do conflicting accounts of events like the attack on the Syrian airbase cause you to be skeptical about the reliability of news reports? Why or why not?
- Whether Gospel accounts or current news reports, what factors go into your decision to believe them or not?
- Critics of Christianity deny the truthfulness of the “news reports” in the Gospels about Jesus’ resurrection. How would you respond to their skepticism?
- Have you ever discussed your faith in the resurrected Christ with a nonbeliever? What discussion points did you use? What was the result?
- What does Peter’s encouragement in 1 Peter 1:3-9 suggest about how we can witness to a culture that no longer believes in objective truth?
—Charles R. Boatman
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