Evidence for Resurrection of Jesus Christ

Could Jesus Christ really have risen from the dead?

The truth of Christianity stands or falls with one central issue: the
physical resurrection of Jesus Christ from death
. Christians traditionally celebrate this event on Easter, but it is relevant for every day actually. If this really
happened, then everyone should listen carefully to all that He
taught. If not, then no one should trust the New Testament,
because the New Testament repeatedly says that Jesus did rise
from the dead. Not only did each of the gospel writers give major
emphasis to this at the end of their gospels, but so did the apostle
Paul, a former Pharisee and persecutor of Christians, who was
converted through a direct encounter with the resurrected Christ
whilst on his way to arrest and imprison believers in Damascus. If
these gospel writers and apostles were liars, then it isn’t much
recommendation for the New Testament, even as a source of
moral instruction. Yet it is arguable that the New Testament has
done more for the moral betterment of humanity than any other
piece of literature in the world! How could the writings of liars
produce such wonderful effects?

Take the resurrection out of Christianity and all we are left with is
another man-made religion with its list of do’s and don’ts. The
authority of the message is effectively removed once we deny the
resurrection. Some people may prefer to view things that way, but
I’d challenge such people to come to grips with the powerful
historical evidence out there for the resurrection. I’d challenge
them to offer an explanation as to why belief in a supposedly dead
religious teacher has changed people’s lives so much in modern
times – restoring marriages, getting people off hard drugs, changing
lives and society for the better.

Christianity claims to deal with the living God intervening in history
and finally entering men’s lives through the Holy Spirit. The
resurrection of Christ is offered as the proof that Jesus Christ
really was the Son of God, the one who made it all possible. To
refute Christianity, it is not enough to simply say that these things
can’t happen. You have to explain how it is that such things could
have been written about Jesus of Nazareth and why a whole
movement of people left their religious traditions to trust and
believe it, forming the early church.

To deny the resurrection, we’d have to conclude that all the
apostles (Jesus’ first disciples), most of whom were killed for their
faith in Christ and the resurrection were liars and/or crazy, deluded
fools. But does this really add up?

Non-Christian historians writing within a hundred years of Jesus’
life
talk of Jesus’ existence and the early Christian belief in the
resurrection.

Some people have closed minds and dismiss the possibility of a
physical resurrection (or any miracle for that matter) out of hand.
“We know [read: we assume] that there are no miracles. Why?
I’ve never seen one, and neither have my friends. The only people
who say they’ve seen a miracle are crackpots, fools,
self-deceived! Why’s that? Simple – everybody who is reliable and
has a good brain knows there is no such thing as a miracle.” Do
you see this is nothing more than circular reasoning?

Reasons to Believe in the Resurrection

1. We have the record of the original eye-witnesses of Christ’s
resurrection – the apostles – who gave their lives for their message.
That’s a pretty strong testimony of its truth. You see, someone
might tell a story and deceive me into believing something and
dying for my belief. But when I die for something I claim to have
seen myself, that is something else. No one could prove them
wrong by producing the body. In fact, they proved what they were
saying by continuing the miraculous ministry of Jesus Christ
through their own lives – in healing the sick and casting out
demons.

2. We have the present day revelation of Jesus Christ as alive to
the hearts and minds of multitudes of people around the world
whose lives were changed when they called upon his name. See
my testimonies section for a few hundred examples. There are
also a growing number of people who claim to have seen the
resurrected Christ in a dream or vision
. Significantly, quite a
number of these people were muslims whose religious training
opposed the doctrines of Christianity – yet they saw Christ and
became Christians – many times experiencing severe persecution
for their faith subsequent to that. I am not saying we should believe
everyone who makes such claims, but when enough people who
claim it go on to deny themselves comforts and advantages they
could otherwise have had in order to serve the Lord Jesus, we
should give some weight to what they say.

3. We have the continuing demonstrations of the power of God for
healing and miracles and driving out demons – all done in the name
of Jesus, whom Christians know and claim to be alive. I am a
personal witness of such things, for God has been pleased to use
me also in this way from time to time.

4. We have the textual evidence of the New Testament, and
corroborating writings from other writers of the time. We can see
in the details of this story, which occurred in a place known to us
today also as Jerusalem, various historical accounts, and not just
some nebulous myths or legends concerning things that happened
“once upon a time in a land far away”. These stories could have
been easily challenged and refuted had they not been based on
solid fact, with people totally convinced of the reality of which they
spoke.

What are the possibilities concerning the alleged
resurrection of Christ?

1. All these witnesses were emotionally disturbed and had
hallucinations – thinking they saw Christ when really they
just had over-active imaginations and were operating in
wishful thinking.

If this is so, then why did the Jewish authorities simply not go to
the tomb of Jesus, bring out the dead body of Jesus, and put an
end to the delusion? It would have easily been in their power to do
it. The answer is obvious: they and the soldiers knew that the
grave where Jesus had been put and sealed in was now open and
empty.

Also, people do not tend to have mass hallucinations. Individually,
people may have them, but it is practically unheard of for a large
group to all see a person who in fact was not there at all. Does
anyone know of any examples of this?

2. The disciples stole the body of Jesus. This story we are told
was passed around right from the start by the Jewish authorities.
Let us suppose that the 11 apostles knew that the body of Jesus
was stolen. They lied to more and more people and soon obtained
a popular following. And so Christianity was born.

This theory fails to account for a number of important facts.

1. These same disciples were martyred around the world for their
faith in Christ and their doctrine that He is alive. If they knew they
were lying, why would they not recant in order to save their
necks?

2. How is it that they were able to do miracles in the name of
Jesus? How is it that such miracles are still happening today. (I
have been involved in such events myself.) If Jesus was dead, why
was there power in His name?

3. It is reported in the Bible that Jesus at one time appeared to
about 500 people (see 1 Corinthians 15:6). How could Paul write
such a thing and get away with it if there were no such witnesses?
And if there were, how did it come about for 500 people to see
the same hallucination?

4. Last, but not least – how is that the disciples were able to steal
the body? How did they get past the Roman soldiers who were
guarding the tomb? It is really hard to understand how that could
be.

3. The Romans soldiers stole the body.

Why would they put their lives at risk to do this? They would have
had to violate the Roman seal on the stone. That was punishable
by death. If the order was from higher up, the Roman authorities
could have at any time crushed the new religion of Christianity by
revealing this information. They never did so, at any time. Why?

4. The Resurrection Accounts in Matthew, Mark, Luke and
John can’t be harmonized.

For a harmonization of these accounts, click here. The
harmonisation of these accounts, while not easy, is possible. They
are reports given from different sources, with many corroborating
details. However, things that some writers included others chose
to leave out. By looking at all four accounts, a clearer picture of
the events can be constructed. John Wenham has written an
interesting book on this subject also, called “Easter Enigma”.

5. Jesus never died on the cross, he only swooned.

According to this theory Jesus just swooned on the cross. He was
then buried, and somehow got the stone away and convinced his
disciples that He rose again as promised.

The fact that University professors can come up with such
ridiculous theories only goes to show how desperate some people
are to come up with anything that gives them some kind of
rationale for denying the resurrection of Christ. If this was so:

1. How is it that it was witnessed that blood and water came out
together out of Jesus’ side when it was pierced, medically
indicating a totally collapsed heart?

2. How was Jesus in his weakened state able to avoid bleeding to
death? How did He roll the stone at the tomb up the slope, sneak
past the guards and having survived the ordeal of crucifixion
through purely natural strength, then appear supernaturally to His
disciples and many others, convincing them that He is the
resurrected Lord of life?

3. How and why did the disciples later see Him ascending into the
cloud after giving them their final instructions?

6. The Whole Story is a Legend with no Basis in Reality

Those who wish to make such outrageous claims will have to
make up some really interesting legends to explain how the early
church got going and convinced so many Jews, Romans and other
Pagans of things which had absolutely no basis in reality.

Did the church fathers like Polycarp also make up their stories
about the apostle John? Or maybe the church fathers were a
legend too? Well, tell us, how did the church as we know it come
to exist? How do you know that the things reported to us
concerning the events of 100 years ago are not a legend?

7. Jesus didn’t die on the cross, it just looked like Him.

This is the Muslim version of things. I’d like to ask why we should
believe the dogmatic assertions of Mohammed, who never was
eyewitness to any of the relevant events and wrote what he wrote
600 years or so after the events?

Is there any solid evidence for the Koran’s accounts on anything
that far back?

Of course many muslims simple accept the Qu’ran at face value as
inspired without questioning it. But the truth about God has nothing
to do with what your parents believed, or which country or culture
you happened to be born into. Many muslims don’t consider the
fact that what Mohammed came up with about Jesus could easily
be explained as a deliberate mixture of reports he had heard and
his own imagination. Certainly it was useful for Mohammed to
leverage the credibility of the Jewish and Christian faiths to
establish himself as a divine spokesman. But the Qu’ran denies
everything that is really important and liberating in the Christian
gospel message about God taking our punishment and overcoming
sin and death for us. The attempt to portray Jesus (Isa) as a
prophet of Allah would only be plausible to a person who never
bothered to check out the facts of history. And the most important
historical event in the Christian gospels is the death and
resurrection of Jesus Christ. The muslim still has to deal with all the
historical evidence for the resurrection presented above. It just will
not do to say that God changed Judas, or the prison guard, or
someone else to look like Jesus and had him crucified in Jesus’
place. No, Jesus was crucified in our place – no man was crucified
in His.

8. Jesus Christ actually did rise from death!

As strange as it may sound in some ears, this remaining possibility
is highly plausible. Certainly the disciples believed it. They went on
to suffer and die for their convictions on this matter. They were
convinced that they too would rise one day to rule and reign with
Christ in the New Heavens and the New Earth. They were
convinced that to die for Christ was to their own gain! Their faith
cannot be put down to some kind of mass hypnosis, because it
would have been very easy for the Romans or Pharisees to
produce the body of Christ had it really remained in the grave.
They had every interest in doing so.

Many people who have sought to disprove the resurrection have
ended up becoming believers. I would urge you, if you are not
already a believer, to seriously check this matter out for yourself.
Don’t be distracted by the many secondary issues of life which
clamour for your attention – because if you are wrong on this one
issue – you have lost everything. Be sure that you build your life
on a sure foundation of truth – one which can bring you
triumphantly through both good times and bad. The wonderful part
about the resurrection is, we have a sure foundation about which
we can risk everything for God with total conviction, apparently
lose in this life, and come out eternal winners. For the principle of
resurrection operates not only for eternal life, but can also operate
in our daily lives as we yield ourselves to the living God.

Conclusion

I urge you to believe on Jesus, after considering the evidence for
his resurrection and discussed above. Read the accounts for
yourself in the Bible. Give the matter the attention which it truly
deserves. This is the foundation for our hope as Christians. You
may accept or reject the evidence, but you will never be excused
by God for simply ignoring it. This issue matters a lot. If the
resurrection is true, then so are the other things Jesus taught, and
the message of the Bible itself must be taken seriously. This
message is truly powerful for everyone who believes in with their
heart and not just their head.

May the living Christ come to you and reveal His great love for you! May He
become your personal Savior. To learn more of what it means to consecrate
your life to God through Christ, please visit here.

What do YOU think?

comments

About Michael Fackerell

The Christian faith is about Jesus. He came to save the lost. About Jesus Christ, Bible teaching, Testimonies, Salvation, Prayer, Faith, Networking.

Comments

  1. Dear lord,s people,
    Please we are requesting for you prayers unto our people who are dying in great agony sick with Aids and poor miserable.They are despised ,neglected and mocked for their healthy status.They also needs bibles to read,they also need the basic needs.
    Brother Kennedy

  2. SimpleMan says:

    I would love to hear more about non-Christian sources. The argumentation presented above is of the self-referencing type… like saying that the Bible is the Word of God because the Bible says so. I am not trying to be difficult, just need some more solid, independent source. I agree that the entire Christian Philosophy falls if the Resurrection is denied. I wuold like it to be true, however, since we are talking here about hostorical facts, aceptance of them is based on the logical arguments and evidences rather than “by faith.” It seems to be that once the Resurrection is established as a hostorical fact, the things Jesus claimed about Himself need to be taken by faith. I do not thing the Bible prompts us to believe in Resurrection the same as religious claims once the fact of resurection is established by some independent sources. Please do not take it as an atack, I just need to understand. Best regards.

    • jesseedavis says:

      I truly understand your plea, and I’ve been there. (In a lot of ways I’m still fighting this.)

      There are always so much that I could say, so many corrections, so many things that the Spirit tells me about your heart, about your plea, etc. There are so many things that I could lay out on the table, but there are only a couple of things that is on my heart to say, at least for now.

      Firstly, I just want to caution you, because you are setting yourself up for a trap. In looking for “further evidence” you are rejecting the evidence you already have. I’ll give you some very real examples:

      Everyone has a conscience that pricks and prods and points to God:

      Romans 2:12-16: 12For as many as have sinned without law shall also perish without law: and as many as have sinned in the law shall be judged by the law;
      13(For not the hearers of the law are just before God, but the doers of the law shall be justified.
      14For when the Gentiles, which have not the law, do by nature the things contained in the law, these, having not the law, are a law unto themselves:
      15Which shew the work of the law written in their hearts, their conscience also bearing witness, and their thoughts the mean while accusing or else excusing one another;)
      16In the day when God shall judge the secrets of men by Jesus Christ according to my gospel.

      Everyone can experience, see, hear, smell, etc. creation:

      Romans 1:16-23: 16For I am not ashamed of the gospel of Christ: for it is the power of God unto salvation to every one that believeth; to the Jew first, and also to the Greek.
      17For therein is the righteousness of God revealed from faith to faith: as it is written, The just shall live by faith.
      18For the wrath of God is revealed from heaven against all ungodliness and unrighteousness of men, who hold the truth in unrighteousness;
      19Because that which may be known of God is manifest in them; for God hath shewed it unto them.
      20For the invisible things of him from the creation of the world are clearly seen, being understood by the things that are made, even his eternal power and Godhead; so that they are without excuse:
      21Because that, when they knew God, they glorified him not as God, neither were thankful; but became vain in their imaginations, and their foolish heart was darkened.
      22Professing themselves to be wise, they became fools,
      23And changed the glory of the uncorruptible God into an image made like to corruptible man, and to birds, and fourfooted beasts, and creeping things.

      I understand that these things are rarely enough for anyone, especially here in America. That is why God placed specific signs that follow them that do believe, found in Mark 16:17-20. God understands full well your plea and will come through. (Go to biblegateway.com and search for the word “sign” in the King James Version. Read through some of the verses, especially Isaiah and John. They will reveal some things to you that will help.) Anyways, my point in saying all this, is that God placed things in order so that people like you and me can experience first-hand the reality of Christ and the Godhead. Miracles, signs and wonders are not supposed to be a game show within the walls of a church, they are so that real people can see and experience and know a real God.

      Hebrews 2:3-4: 3How shall we escape, if we neglect so great salvation; which at the first began to be spoken by the Lord, and was confirmed unto us by them that heard him;
      4God also bearing them witness, both with signs and wonders, and with divers miracles, and gifts of the Holy Ghost, according to his own will?

      Since we are talking here about hostorical facts, aceptance of them is based on the logical arguments and evidences rather than “by faith.” It seems to be that once the Resurrection is established as a hostorical fact, the things Jesus claimed about Himself need to be taken by faith. I do not thing the Bible prompts us to believe in Resurrection the same as religious claims once the fact of resurection is established by some independent sources.

      The only thing I want to say about this is straight from the mouth of God, Himself.

      1 Corinthians 2:1-5: 1And I, brethren, when I came to you, came not with excellency of speech or of wisdom, declaring unto you the testimony of God.
      2For I determined not to know any thing among you, save Jesus Christ, and him crucified.
      3And I was with you in weakness, and in fear, and in much trembling.
      4And my speech and my preaching was not with enticing words of man’s wisdom, but in demonstration of the Spirit and of power:
      5That your faith should not stand in the wisdom of men, but in the power of God.

      And again,

      1 Corinthians 4:18-20 18Now some are puffed up, as though I would not come to you.
      19But I will come to you shortly, if the Lord will, and will know, not the speech of them which are puffed up, but the power.
      20For the kingdom of God is not in word, but in power.

      As I said earlier, there is so much I can say, but I’ll end it with this note, which may be of assistance to you:

      2 Corinthians 3:12-16 12Seeing then that we have such hope, we use great plainness of speech:
      13And not as Moses, which put a veil over his face, that the children of Israel could not stedfastly look to the end of that which is abolished:
      14But their minds were blinded: for until this day remaineth the same vail untaken away in the reading of the old testament; which vail is done away in Christ.
      15But even unto this day, when Moses is read, the vail is upon their heart.
      16Nevertheless when it shall turn to the Lord, the vail shall be taken away.

      Feel free to keep this going, if you have other questions/issues, or if I didn’t really answer your question. I’m here for you…

    • Timothy Luke says:

      Its kind of a silly question, isn’t it? Christianity is a faith based belief system that requires one to believe that Jesus is the Son of God. You are saying, in essence, “I want to hear proof from more people who do not believe in Jesus, that He is who He says He is…” Sounds logical on the surface, however, you have chosen to discount the works of a multitude who once were “non-Christian” but who in the course of their own investigation became Christian…. so now that they are Christian, there opinion of Christ is now to be considered tainted and irrelevant?

      I submit to you Lee Stroebel and his works on “The Case for Christ”. He is an investigative journalist, who walked this road you are now on and is now a Christian. You can read his bookThe Case for Christ. It can be ordered from Amazon.com at http://www.amazon.com/Case-Christ-Journalists-Personal-Investigation/dp/0310209307

  3. SimpleMan says:

    I would love to hear more about non-Christian sources. The argumentation presented above is of the self-referencing type… like saying that the Bible is the Word of God because the Bible says so. I am not trying to be difficult, just need some more solid, independent source. I agree that the entire Christian Philosophy falls if the Resurrection is denied. I wuold like it to be true, however, since we are talking here about hostorical facts, aceptance of them is based on the logical arguments and evidences rather than “by faith.” It seems to be that once the Resurrection is established as a hostorical fact, the things Jesus claimed about Himself need to be taken by faith. I do not thing the Bible prompts us to believe in Resurrection the same as religious claims once the fact of resurection is established by some independent sources. Please do not take it as an atack, I just need to understand. Best regards.

  4. Fillipi Limas says:

    Hello, I just wanted to tell what a great page you have.
    Every detail that you explained about the resurrection is spot on.
    I thanks to the Holy Spirit have been given the revelation that Jesus Christ is God and died for my sins and rose again on the third day.
    I pray for you to keep improving many lives and spreading the gospel and make the whole world know the truth about Christ.
    Let your light so shine, so you may glorify your father in heaven.

    God Bless you.

    Fillipi Limas

  5. Hi – just read your views – thanks – they filled me in with some possible answers I have about “God”.

    But I have a question about when JC came back to life and pushed the Rock from the cave – if guards were present what did they report as happend? did they see the rock move (I trust it was a very large rock and it was the thing they were guarding)?

    Just would like to know if any records of this are known? or you views regarding this question?

    Best regards

    DP

    Peace on earth.

    • evstevemd says:

      Hello DP!
      The resurrection of Jesus our Lord was in this order

      Mat 28:2-4 And, behold, there was a great earthquake: for the angel of the Lord descended from heaven, and came and rolled back the stone from the door, and sat upon it. His countenance was like lightning, and his raiment white as snow:And for fear of him the keepers did shake, and became as dead men.

      1.Great Earthquake fell upon that area of the sepulcher
      2.Angel of the Lord [Jesus] Descended from heaven
      3.The Angel[not Jesus Himself] rolled back the stone and sat on
      it [with his Angelic Glory and power explained]
      4.Keepers[soldiers] were too fearful as if were dead!

      Where the lie of resurrection came from? Answer is in context below:

      Mat 28:11-15 Now when they were going, behold, some of the watch came into the city, and shewed unto the chief priests all the things that were done.And when they were assembled with the elders, and had taken counsel, they gave large money unto the soldiers,Saying, Say ye, His disciples came by night, and stole him away while we slept.And if this come to the governor’s ears, we will persuade him, and secure you.So they took the money, and did as they were taught: and this saying is commonly reported among the Jews until this day.

      Hope it helps
      Ev. Steve

      Jesus is Love
      Jesus is God
      By his stripes we were healed

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