The resurrection of Jesus Christ is the cornerstone of Christian theology. Without that historical event, faith in Jesus is unwarranted. If His body is rotten in a grave, the Christian faith is a sham. Over the centuries, Christians have experienced the power of the risen Christ in a personal sense, and they’ve defended the historicity of the event using powerful logical and historical arguments.
The Eyewitness Testimony
Over 500 witnesses verified the resurrected Savior — they claimed to see Him, touch Him, and eat with Him. Their belief in Him was so strong that many gave their lives in the effort to convince the world He had risen. (see 1 Corinthians 15 )
The Empty Tomb
The evidence provided in the four gospels gives proof “beyond reasonable doubt” that the resurrection was authentic. The fact that Jesus’ body was gone, coupled with the impossibility that could have been stolen or moved, is hard evidence that something supernatural happened at the tomb that first Easter morning. (see Luke 24 )
The Expansion of the Church
The book of Acts details how the church grew from a small band of followers to thousands upon thousands across the world, all in a very short period of time. If the resurrection had been faked, the enemies of the church could have provided convincing evidence of its fabrication — but no such evidence existed. (see Acts 2 )
The Experience of God’s People
The resurrection life that Jesus experienced was only the beginning of what God planned to do. Christ was the “firstfruits” of a much bigger harvest — where people from every tribe, tongue, and nation would enter into the new life Jesus came to make available. Millions of changed lives stand as living proof that Jesus Christ lives, even today! (see 1 Peter 1:3-5 )
In his book, “Basic Christianity,” John Stott offers an in-depth look at the biblical evidence for the resurrection, as a well as some basic information regarding the extra-biblical evidence. If you are a seeker or a skeptic, I’d recommend checking out this short, helpful book. Another book worth considering is “More than a Carpenter” by skeptic-turned-preacher Josh McDowell.
How has Jesus made a difference in your life? Feel free to share your story in the comment area below, or ask whatever questions you might have.