THE RESURRECTION of CHRIST- Introduction
It’s often said that the validity of Christianity rests upon the resurrection of Jesus Christ. But how do we know Jesus rose from the dead?
THE RESURRECTION of CHRIST- A Historical Event
As Paul noted in 1 Corinthians 15:14, if Christ did not rise from the dead then our preaching and our faith are useless. We must therefore be prepared to demonstrate that Christ’s resurrection was an event that occurred in space and time — that it was in fact historical, and not mythological (cf. 2 Pet. 1:16). The importance of this event cannot be minimized as Jesus Himself proclaimed that His resurrection would prove His power over death, and thus His deity (John 2:18-22).
THE RESURRECTION of CHRIST- Appearances and Appeals
Of the variety of evidence for the resurrection of Christ we have available, none is more compelling than the fact that over five hundred individuals saw Jesus (1 Cor. 15:6) during a 40-day period following His death and burial (Acts 1:3). In fact, the Apostles appealed to Christ’s resurrection and the evidence of the resurrection of Christ as proof for the truth of the gospel (Acts 17:18, 31). The historical evidence for the resurrection is so compelling that the famed Harvard law professor, Simon Greenleaf, concluded that any cross-examination of the eyewitness testimonies recorded in Scripture will result in “an undoubting conviction of their integrity, ability, and truth.”
THE RESURRECTION of CHRIST- Alternative Explanations?
And even as we consider alternative explanations, reason drives us back to the conclusion that Christ rose from the dead and the resurrection of Christ was true. We know that the Romans had no intentions of stealing Christ’s body because the last thing they wanted was any turmoil that was sure to follow such an event. The Jewish religious leaders would also have no motive in stealing the body since that would only stir up the very movement they tried to crush. And certainly, the disciples could not have stolen the body; after all, would anyone really suffer and die for a cause that they knew to be a lie? It is conceivable that someone may die for the truth, but inconceivable that hundred’s of his follower’s would, in fact, be willing to die for what they knew to be a lie.All this leads us to only one possibility — that Jesus indeed rose from the dead, and lives to be our Lord and our Savior (cf. Rev. 1:18)!
On the evidence for the Resurrection of Christ, that’s the CRI Perspective. I’m Hank Hanegraaff.