You have probably seen the incredible story of the restoration of “The Tomb of the Holy Seplechure” where many believe Jesus’s body was laid to rest for three days before being raised again.
This is the fundamental doctrine of Christianity.
But if there is no resurrection of the dead, neither hath Christ been raised: and if Christ hath not been raised, then is our preaching vain, your faith also is vain. 1 Corinthians 15.13-14.
If Jesus has not been raised, then there is no Christianity–there is no hope. But if Christ has been raised, then there is hope in Christ alone.
Here are some reasons to have confidence in the resurrection of Jesus.
- The historical reliablility of the accounts.
- The extremely early attestation of ancient hymns and statements which predate the New Testament writings but are included in the New Testament writings (1 Corinthians 15.3-5).
- The lack of legendary development around the accounts implies historical accuracy. The “Gospel of Peter” brings up a talking cross following behind Jesus as he emerges with a giant head. This is more Hollywood than inspired account of reality.
- The discovery of the tomb by women imwoukd be inadmissible evidence in ancient courts. Their testimony would have been tossed aside. However, if they really were the first to visit the tomb and spread the news that it was empty, then that lends credence to the veracity of the entire story.
- The earliest Jewish attack on the resurrection was that the body was stolen. This still yet presupposes the empty tomb.
- Furthermore,many individuals claimed to see the risen Jesus for an extended period of time after the crucifixion, burial, and resurrection. Paul wrote, “he appeared to Cephas; then to the twelve; then he appeared to above five hundred brethren at once, of whom the greater part remain until now, but some are fallen asleep; then he appeared to James; then to all the apostles; and last of all, as to the child untimely born, he appeared to me also” (1 Corinthians 15.5-8).
- The birth, remarkable growth, and sustained existence of Christianity demands adequate explanation. If the resurrection was not real, the first disciples would not have sacrificed everything for a lie.
- The centrality of the resurrection in the earliest Christian preaching and theology demands that it was not a later invention. Instead, it was the original impetus of Christianity.
“But now hath Christ been raised from the dead, the firstfruits of them that are asleep” (1 Corinthians 15.20).
“Let every man and woman count himself immortal. Let him catch the revelation of Jesus in his resurrection. Let him say not merely, ‘Christ is risen,’ but ‘I shall rise.'” (Phillips Brooks).