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Apologist says understanding Easter means understanding Christ’s identity

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (BP)–To understand Easter you need to understand the identity of Christ, said apologist and evangelist Frank Harber.

Harber, pastor of the First Baptist Church of Colleyville, Texas, delivered his remarks at a special Easter chapel service for the Southern Baptist Convention building staff on March 28.

“If Jesus wasn’t God, he should have won an Oscar,” Harber said, referring to individuals who claim that Jesus wasn’t the Son of God. “Jesus Christ did an incredible job. He lived as no man ever lived. He talked as no man ever talked. He did things that no human being could possibly ever do.”

Harber, a former atheist, is president of the Institute for Christian Defense and is notable for his effectiveness in apologetic presentations. He is the author of “Reasons for Believing: A Seeker’s Guide to Christianity,” as well as a co-creator of “got life?”, an apologetics-based evangelism strategy. Harber was personally invited by evangelist Billy Graham to speak at Amsterdam 2000 on the subject “The Evangelist and Apologetics.”

“I believe a person does not have to check their brains at the door to become a Christian,” Harber said. “You do not have to commit intellectual suicide.”

Rather, Harber noted, “I believe becoming a Christian is one of the most reasonable, intelligent decisions you can make.”

Harber abandoned his atheism at the age of 21 and became a Christian. Since then, he has “dedicated my life to helping people not only know how to become a Christian but why they should become a Christian.”

Taking his message text from Acts 2:24, Harber spoke of the miracles of Jesus, arguing that the most significant thing Jesus ever did was to rise from the dead.

“The resurrection is the engine that fuels the gospel rocket,” he said. “If you can prove that Jesus did not rise from the dead, then you can prove that Christianity is not the truth. But if Jesus did rise again from the dead, then he is the hope for mankind.”

Yet to understand the resurrection, Harber said individuals must understand the identity of Jesus Christ.

“Once you understand that Jesus Christ is God, you can but not understand how he could but not come back from the dead,” he said. “Jesus Christ had to come back from the dead because Jesus Christ is God.”

Referencing Jesus’ miracles, Harber said, “No one ever disputed the fact that Jesus could do miracles. Jesus did incredible miracles to demonstrate that he was who he said he was.”

It wasn’t until the second century that people began to attack the veracity of the miracles including the resurrection and the virgin birth.

“The virgin birth ensures the sinless nature of Jesus Christ,” Harber said. “Jesus didn’t just claim to be your Savior. He claimed to be your sinless Savior.

“You have to choose a Savior not based on preference but on what that Savior can do for us,” he said. “I would never tell anyone to become a Christian because it was easy. I would tell them to follow Christianity because it is the truth.”

    About the Author

  • Todd Starnes