Did Jesus Rise from the Dead? (The Big Question 54)
Jun 11, 2020 366
For many people, the idea that Jesus came back from the dead is no more real than the tooth fairy and the Easter Bunny. But the facts that point to the historical truth of the resurrection are many and convincing.
We have some 5,700 manuscripts of the New Testament with a gap of only one generation from the original text. And the New Testament is written by and based on the evidence of personal, first-hand eye-witnesses.
Here are just a few of the historical questions that have to be answered about the resurrection of Jesus.
1. Who moved the stone? The Romans wouldn’t. The women couldn’t. The disciples were too frightened. But there’s basically no dispute among historians that the stone was moved and the body of Jesus was missing on Sunday morning.
2. How do you explain the eyewitness accounts? The New Testament tells us that hundreds of the eyewitnesses were still alive at the time it was written. It basically challenges sceptics to go and talk to the eye-witnesses themselves.
What reason would hundreds of people have to collectively and consistently make up such a story? They knew that it would only bring them ridicule, poverty, persecution and death. And who has ever heard of that many hundreds of people having exactly the same hallucination?
3. How do you explain the big black hole in history? Without the resurrection of Jesus, you have a great, big, unexplainable hole in history. You have nothing with which to explain the literal explosion of Christianity into the world.
If there was ever a religion doomed to die a quick death, it was Christianity. Who could ever have believed back then that a crucified criminal was the Saviour of the world, God himself? And any religion who even mentioned resurrection back then was considered the height of stupidity.
Only the resurrection of Jesus can account for the historical development of Christianity, it’s victory over the Roman Empire, and its profound influence on western culture.
Non-Christian historians know that something big happened in the first century, but they can’t tell you what. It’s like seeing a huge meteor crater on the surface of the earth, but refusing to accept that a meteor made it because, well, we don’t believe in meteors.
These are all important questions, but the most important question of all is why the resurrection of Jesus matters. And here’s why it matters to me, because Jesus said in John 14:19, “Because I live, you also will live” (John 14:19).
You see, I owe my life to Jesus, not just today, but ongoing. Because when he rose from the dead, he did it so that I can live forever as well. And you too, if you will believe.