Dear ICSV Families:
We are about to head into our Spring Break, during which time we will celebrate Easter. This is a very special time in the Christian calendar, for it is when we remember the death, burial, and resurrection of our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ.
Last week I had the privilege of attending the ACSI International Christian Educators Conference at Black Forest Academy in Kandern, Germany. Christian educators from sister schools in Europe and Africa joined together for professional development, networking with each other, and spending time in worship. Conferences like this are encouraging, as attendees get to see that they are not alone in the work, but that others around the world are serving the same Almighty God.
One session that I attended was called “Confidence in the Jesus of History.” Dr. John Dickson told us that there is consensus among secular/non-Christian historians that the broad outline of Jesus’ life is true beyond a reasonable doubt. He also confirmed that the early eye-witnesses of Jesus had formally passed down the text from I Corinthians 15:3 through 8, where the Apostle Paul says: “For I delivered to you first of all that which I also received: that Christ died for our sins according to the Scriptures, and that He was buried, and that He rose again the third day according to the Scriptures, and that He was seen by Cephas, then by the twelve. After that He was seen by over five hundred brethren at once, of whom the greater part remain to the present, but some have fallen asleep. After that He was seen by James, then by all the apostles. Then last of all He was seen by me also, as by one born out of due time.” A portion of this passage is actually a creed that the early Christians had memorized so that they could verbalize what they believed and the key components of the new Christian faith.
Dr. Dickson also told us that the New Testament texts are the most widely copied and well-preserved of all ancient texts. Certain key portions of Scripture have also been verified with historical artifacts, such as the Pool of Bethesda mentioned in John 5: 2-5 and the Pool of Siloam in John 9:1-11. The town of Nazareth has been uncovered, and the earliest Christian church that predates Constantine has the inscription “God Jesus Christ,” speaking to the deity of Christ.
Receiving affirmation from a highly-respected historical scholar that the New Testament text is accurate only affirms our belief that we serve a God who loved us so much that He sent His only Son, Jesus Christ, to come to earth as full God and full man, who died on the cross as a substitution for the penalty of our sins, so that we might have eternal life.
May we, with the Apostle Paul, rejoice in our salvation, as he said in I Corinthians 15: 57: “But thanks be to God, who gives us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ.” Have a most blessed Easter and vacation with your families.
Because of His Faithfulness,
Sharon C. Brobst, Ed.D.