On Easter I find it puzzling and paradoxical that atheists and anti-Christians often claim that Jesus was a great moral teacher and philosopher, but he never claimed to be the Son of God. Rather, his disciples invented the resurrection and divine sonship due to a combination of wishful thinking and hallucinations.
What this theory requires is that we believe one of the great moral teachers of the ages managed to surround himself only with delusional and hysterical disciples, who were unable to distinguish fantasy from reality. Not only that; he personally picked these people as his disciples. Couldn’t Jesus find a single rational and stable person in Galilee to follow him? Indeed, Jesus must have been unable to even recognize their mental and emotional instability, after living with them for years.
Then, when Jesus died, the disciples had shared hallucinations of his resurrection. The psychological possibility of shared hallucinations is extremely remote, if not impossible. But let’s assume it happened. It had to have happened to every single disciples. Not one of them said, “Hold on! Wait a minute!” When Peter, James, John and Paul were wandering about the world proclaiming the resurrection, not a single disciple said, “I was one of the apostles. I was there. I didn’t see anything. There was no resurrection.” If only one of the disciples had said such a thing, the anti-Christians would certainly have seized upon it and loudly proclaimed it to the world. Indeed, the disciples disagreed about all sorts of things. Yet there is not even the remotest hint of a claim that any of the apostles ever said, “I was there. Nothing happened. There was no resurrection.”
So, we are left to assume that one of the great moral philosophers of all time was unable to attract a single stable disciple. Is this remotely possible? There are really only two options. Jesus was Lord, or lunatic. There’s no middle ground.
He is Risen!