Jesus Arose The Third Day (Part 1 of 6)

Jesus Arose The Third Day (Part 1 of 6) March 29, 2023

Easter is right around the corner, on April 9th, thus less than two weeks away. It is not only about the bunny rabbit and kids hunting for boiled, colored eggs. No, Easter is really about Christians celebrating that Jesus rose from the dead. I insist that Jesus’ resurrection is the fundamental basis of Christian faith, and without it Christianity is inexplicable as the largest religion in the world for the past 17 centuries.

The early Jesus Movement and its successor, Christianity, started small and did not become monolithic until centuries later. In fact, the Roman Empire required that religions be approved by the state, and the Jesus Movement and early Christianity were not. But that could not impede the power of the spread of the traditions about Jesus, especially his literal resurrection from the dead.

Jesus had predicted this growth. He taught a parable by saying, “The kingdom of heaven is like a mustard seed that someone took and sowed in his field; it is the smallest of all the seeds, but when it has grown it is the greatest of shrubs and becomes a tree, so that the birds of the air come and make nests in its branches” (Matthew 13.31-32 NRSV).

I also think of the PGA Tour Bible Study that way, which was the subject of a feature article in the New York Post last Saturday which I blogged about Monday. We started this group on the PGA Tour 63 years ago, with just six pros and none of us being among the best players on the Tour. But eventually the group had many regular pro members who won dozens of major championships. (There are four major championships in pro golf: Masters, U.S. Open, PGA Championship, and The [British] Open.) The Post article says nowadays, the group’s meetings may number up to a hundred pros and their wives. So, we started small and look at it now, just as Jesus taught about the whole kingdom of God.

My book, The Third Day Bible Code, is partly about Jesus’ resurrection since the Bible’s New Testament says repeatedly that Jesus was raised from the dead “on the third day.” Also, Jesus predicted this to his disciples privately, and most succinctly, on three different occasions (e.g., Matthew 16.21; 17.23; 20.19). The few times the New Testament says its was “after three days” is a Semitic idiom meaning “third day” (cf. Esther 4.16–5.1; Matthew 27.63-64).

When my book was published, in 2006 by BookPros in their Synergy Books imprint, Amber Childress of Phenix & Phenix Publicity asked me six questions relating to this book, which I answered. So, I thought it might be worthwhile to publish her questions and my answers each of the next six days at noon (ET) each day as we approach Easter. But it’s also because I just posted about that New York Post article about the PGA Tour Bible Study. And Amber’s first three questions to me related to that group and my career as a pro golfer on the PGA Tour. So, here we go:

Amber’s Question: Can you comment on the role of Christianity in sports? Why is it important/why are ministries tapping into the sports industry?

Kermit’s Answer: In recent decades there has been a very noticeable Christian movement in American sports, especially among professionals. It is a result of a fairly worldwide, vigorous, evangelistic movement that has been going on since the mid-20th century that is of historic proportions. This Christian movement in American professional sports is significant. Professional athletics are growing in popularity, largely due to television and improved arenas, so that pro athletes are increasingly having a major influence on our society. Evangelistic Christian ministries always seek to tap into wherever it is believed that their message of faith and hope in Jesus Christ will spread best in society. Much of this movement has occurred outside of mainline church denominational structures. And it hasn’t happened only in pro sports. The Fellowship of Christian Athletes (FCA) has had a major impact on American youth.

[Jesus Arose the Third Day (Part 2 of 6]



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