Whose Child Is This?

Yesterday the much ballyhooed Nixon film opened to record crowds across the country. I hope you haven't wasted your money on Oliver Stone's latest flight of fantasy, but the movie does something he never expected. It helps confirm the central truth of Christianity. Christians believe that Jesus died on the cross—and that he rose again. It is the Resurrection that validates Jesus' divine nature. "Whose child was this?" the carol asks, to which Christians answer: "He was God's Son." What's the movie Nixon got to do with this? Well, the film centers on the Watergate scandal during the Nixon years. But there is one crucial sequence of events to remember about that scandal: On March 21, 1973, John Dean for the first time told the president all that was involved in Watergate. When that happened it was only a matter of time before Nixon and the cover-up were doomed. Twelve of the most powerful men in the world couldn't contain a lie for three weeks. Compare this with the eleven apostles who claimed to see Jesus resurrected. Now, the critics say that the apostles were religious fanatics who fabricated pious stories to support their new religion. But consider this: In the decades following Jesus' death, the apostles were hunted down one by one. They were powerless, and every one was imprisoned and tortured. All but one were martyred. Yet not one of them ever renounced his testimony of seeing the risen Christ. But remember the Nixon era. Twelve men surrounding the most powerful office on earth could not conceal the cover-up for even a few weeks. No. It is impossible that the apostles could have maintained a lie for 60 years. Peter would have been like John Dean and turned in Jesus. How could this be? The only explanation—which happens to be a powerful argument for the Resurrection—is that the apostles actually saw what they claimed to have seen: the resurrected Christ. Men will sometimes die for what they believe to be true, but no one dies for what he knows to be false. The same is true today. In my many trips to the world's prisons—just last month in South America—I have seen inmates existing in desperate and horrid conditions—but alive in Christ. And I have also seen something that is utterly astonishing: thousands of volunteers around the world leaving their comfortable existences and descending into those hell holes to share the risen Christ with prisoners. This life-transforming power of Christianity stretching back to the first century can only be explained by the reality of the events upon which our faith is built. So thank you, Oliver Stone, for demonstrating at this Christmas season that lies and cover-ups are eventually and inevitably exposed. It's one more confirmation of the truth of the Resurrection. Call us and we'll send you a special booklet entitled A Historian Looks at Jesus. And when you hear people talking about the film Nixon, explain to them the words of the song: Whose child is this? Clearly, He was God's Son.


Chuck Colson


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