Evidence for the resurrection
As we are the edge of coming to Easter. I would like to lay out for you the historical evidence for the resurrection of Jesus to be true. Despite many skeptical objections, for over 2,000 year’s generation after generation of people have had a firm belief in the accuracy of the biblical accounts of Jesus raising from the dead.
The heart and soul of Christianity is found in the gospel accounts of Jesus, and at the very core of the gospel is his resurrection. Nicki Gumbel, the pioneer of the global evangelistic alpha course describes Jesus’ resurrection as the lynchpin of it all. In 1st Cor. 15: we see the following. “12 Now if Christ is proclaimed as raised from the dead, how can some of you say that there is no resurrection of the dead? 13 But if there is no resurrection of the dead, then not even Christ has been raised. 14 And if Christ has not been raised, then our preaching is in vain and your faith is in vain. 15 We are even found to be misrepresenting God, because we testified about God that he raised Christ, whom he did not raise if it is true that the dead are not raised. 16 For if the dead are not raised, not even Christ has been raised. 17 And if Christ has not been raised, your faith is futile and you are still in your sins. If in Christ we have hopeb]">[b] in this life only, we are of all people most to be pitied.” So yes, Virginia… the Resurrection is a very big deal!
Obviously asking one to believe in the resurrection is a very big ask indeed. From a materialistic perspective, dead men do not rise. It does take faith in order to take it in. The scriptures say that without faith, it is impossible to be pleasing to God. However, it is not a “blind leap” of faith. The historical accounts are compelling. It also reminds me that the only way that Jesus could have accomplish this, is that he had to be the “real deal.” There is no way apart from his divine power that he could have pulled this off.
In Matthew chapter 28, we see the account of what took place. Some interesting things present in the narrative attest to its accuracy. First we see a definite geographical location of the tomb, this would have easily recognizable to the general public at the time. Next we see that women were the first to discover the empty tomb. This is significant as an embarrassing narrative. In biblical culture, the testimony of women was not valid in a court of law. So, if the story was made up, the last thing that you would want to display is what is listed. Next, the stone covering the entrance was rolled away. Historically the stone was placed on a steep vertical incline, then it was rolled downhill to seal the tomb. In order for the stone to roll away, it would have to be rolled uphill against the force of gravity.
Next we see that the soldiers guarding the tomb, were bribed not to say anything about what took place. Historically, Roman soldiers who failed in their assigned task would most likely be executed, rather than bribed.
Next is the fact that the tomb is empty, there is no corpse there. If this was fake, the authorities would have produced the body of Jesus and it would all just be over.
Some skeptics might say that Jesus really didn’t die, he only swooned. This is an unreasonable explanation. How many people do you see stabbed in the heart with a spear just fake dying?
Lastly and most importantly is the multiple eyewitness accounts of Jesus appearing after the resurrection. Paul describes this scenario in 1 Cor. Chapter 15.
For I delivered to you as of first importance what I also received: that Christ died for our sins in accordance with the Scriptures, 4 that he was buried, that he was raised on the third day in accordance with the Scriptures, 5 and that he appeared to Cephas, then to the twelve. 6 Then he appeared to more than five hundred brothers at one time, most of whom are still alive, though some have fallen asleep. 7 Then he appeared to James, then to all the apostles. 8 Last of all, as to one untimely born, he appeared also to me. 1 Cor. 15:3-8
It is not possible for a large group of people to have hysteria to all believe the same fictional narrative. Particularly when it is a visual eyewitness account.
Happy Easter, Christ is risen, he is risen indeed!
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