Reasons We Believe In the Resurrection
The Reality Of The Resurrection
- 1 Cor 15:12-19
- John 10:36; 12:48
- Mt. 18:16; quoting Deut. 19:15
- Heb 11:1; John 8:32
- Acts 2:32; 3:14-15; 5:30-32; 10:39-43; 13:27-31
- Were the apostles in a position to know the facts? (1 John 1:1-3)
- Did the apostles have any advantages in lying about the resurrection? (1 Cor 15:30-32; John 16:1-3)
- Are the writings of the apostles historically accurate?
- Was there agreement between the numerous witnesses? (1 Cor 15:1-6)
1. He Lived
- Acts 1:3 After his suffering, he presented himself to them and gave many convincing proofs that he was alive. He appeared to them over a period of forty days and spoke about the kingdom of God.
- We have far more sources for Jesus of Nazareth than we do for many historical figures in the first century. We have at least 18. Twelve of those are non-Christian sources.
- Tacitus (56-120AD)
- Pliny the Younger (61-113AD)
- Josephus (37-101AD)
- The Bible itself proves Jesus
- More ancient pages or fragments of the Bible have survived by far than any other book
- 5,800 Greek manuscripts, Over 8,000 Latin manuscripts. And we are discovering more.
- Right now you can almost say every single reference in the Book of Acts has already been verified through archaeology: 600 some references to kings, people, places, everything. In Luke 3, in the first three verses, there are 17 historical references. Every single one now has been confirmed by archaeology."
2. He Died
- John 19:1
- John 19:31-33
- John 19:34
- Medical experts say that the watery fluid indicates that Jesus had suffered from heart failure of some sort, causing fluid to collect around the heart.
- John 19:35-36
3. The Tomb Was Empty
- Set The Scene
- The body was placed in a new tomb. (Matt 27:60)
- The tomb was cut out of rock. (Matt 27:60)
- A large stone covered the entrance. (Matt 27:60)
- A Roman seal was placed on the stone. (Matt 27:66)
- A Roman Guard was placed at the tomb. (Matt 27:65-66)
- The tomb was inspected carefully. (John 20:3-8; John 20:11)
- Who Moved the Stone?
- Did the Jews? (Matt 27:62-66)
- The Jews were the very ones trying to prevent the resurrection.
- If so they had a perfect time to present the body 50 days later! (Acts 2:32, 36)
- Did the Romans?
- The Romans would not want to risk their necks for what they would consider as "silly Jewish superstition.
- The penalty for a Roman guard's failure was death. (Acts 16:26-27;27:42)
- Did the Disciples?
- This was the best explanation the smartest men among the Jews could come up with. (Mat 28:11-15)
- Even the soldiers assigned to guard the tomb and the chief priests admitted it was empty.
- If they were asleep, how did they know it was the disciples?
- Why did they not arrest the apostles as grave robbers?
- Did the apostles give their lives for a lie?
- Their account is believable (Mark 16:9-14)
- Who then moved the stone? (Acts 13:27-31) (NKJV)
- Did the Jews? (Matt 27:62-66)
4. Eyewitnesses Testify Of Him Resurrected From The Dead
- The eyewitnesses credibly confirm the resurrection.
- The list of eyewitnesses to the resurrection appearances quoted by Paul in 1 Corinthians 15:5-7 guarantees that such appearances did indeed occur.
- “...he appeared to Peter, then to the Twelve. After that, he appeared to more than five hundred of the brothers at the same time, most of whom are still living, though some have fallen asleep. Then he appeared to James, then to all the apostles, and last of all he appeared to me also...”
- Paul has effectively offered an invitation. At the time of his writing, there are still literally hundreds of eyewitnesses to these post-resurrection occurrences alive, who could easily serve to corroborate or dispute Paul’s assertion if someone desired to investigate.
- Multiple witnesses, especially 500 in one instance, means corroboration.
- If we were to write a book of eyewitness statements, and each of the 500 took ten pages to describe their experience of the resurrected Christ, the book would be 5,000 pages thick. If the 500 were in a courtroom and each testified for 10 minutes, there would be over 83 hours of onlooker statements.
- It is with great power that the apostles “gave witness to the resurrection of the Lord Jesus” (Acts 4:33).
- How do we account for the change in the apostles without the resurrection? What transformed these weak men into pillars of strength? the resurrection made such a drastic difference in the disciples.
- We are compelled to obey the gospel of Christ. (1 Pet 3:21; 2 Thess 1:7-10)