Tag: Why I Believe Jesus Rose from the Dead

Christ’s Resurrection: The Foundation of Christianity

Christ’s Resurrection: The Foundation of Christianity

Christ’s resurrection is the foundation of Christianity. If you can disprove the resurrection, you can also falsify the claims of Christianity. But how do we know Jesus rose from the dead? Why do Christians believe in the resurrection?

Bible scholars and theologians enumerated several reasons for Christians to believe that Jesus rose from the dead.

Jesus was Executed in Public

During the Jewish Feast of Passover, an angry crowd swept Jesus away into a Roman hall of justice. As Jesus stood before Pontius Pilate, religious leaders accused Him of claiming to be the king of the Jews. The crowd demanded He died. They then tortured Jesus and sentenced Him to a public execution (Luke 23:20-25).

Crucifixion of JESUS

On a hill outside of Jerusalem, Jesus was crucified between two criminals (Matthew 27:38). As the Sabbath neared, Roman soldiers went to finish the execution. To quicken their death, they broke the legs of the two criminals. But when they came to Jesus, they did not break His legs (John 19:32-33). This is because from experience they knew He was already dead.

To make sure Jesus won’t survive, the soldiers thrust a spear into His side (John 19:34). Thus, it would take more than resuscitation for Him to ever trouble them again.

The Tomb was Highly Secured

When the religious leaders met with Pilate the next day, they told Pilate to send soldiers to guard the tomb. They said Jesus had predicted He would rise in three days. To assure that the disciples could not stage a resurrection hoax, Pilate ordered the official seal of Rome to be attached to the tomb. And to enforce the order, soldiers stood guard (Matthew 27:62-66).

Anyone of the disciples who wanted to steal Jesus’ body would have to get by them, which wouldn’t have been easy. The Roman guards better stayed alert because the penalty for falling asleep while on watch was death.

The Tomb was Found Empty

Despite the guards, the grave was found empty on the morning of the Sabbath. When some of Jesus’ followers went to the grave to anoint His body, they found that the huge stone had been moved (Mark 16:1-4). After further inspection, they saw that Jesus’ body was gone.

As word got out, two disciples rushed to the burial site. The tomb was empty and they only saw Jesus’ burial wrappings lying neatly in place (John 20:3-7).

When the soldiers woke up and found the tomb empty, the officials paid the guards a large sum of money to lie and make up a story. They were to say that Jesus’ disciples stole His body while the soldiers were asleep (Matthew 28:11-15).

The Resurrected Jesus Appeared to Many People

In about AD 55, Paul wrote that Peter, the 12 apostles, more than 500 people, James, and himself saw the resurrected Christ. Furthermore, Paul said that many of the 500 people were still alive at the time of his writing (1 Corinthians 15:5-8).

By making this statement publicly, Paul gave his critics a chance to check out his claims for themselves.

Luke also reaffirmed the resurrection of Jesus in the very first chapter of the history of Christ’s followers (Acts 1:3).

Acts 1:3, NKJV

Jesus’ Apostles Dramatically Changed

When Jesus got arrested as a result of Judas’ betrayal, the other apostles ran for their lives. Even Peter, who earlier vowed that he was ready to die for Jesus, lost heart and denied that he knew Him.

But after the resurrection, the apostles went through a dramatic change. They were bold to stand face-to-face with the ones who had crucified their leader. The disciples became unstoppable in their determination to sacrifice everything for the sake of their Savior and Lord.

They were imprisoned, threatened, and forbidden to speak in the name of Jesus. But they told the Jewish leaders, “We ought to obey God rather than men” (Acts 5:29). After everything they suffered for disobeying the orders of the Jewish Council, they “did not cease teaching and preaching Jesus as the Christ” Acts 5:42).

Christ’s Disciples Died as Martyrs

Countless men and women have died for their beliefs. In short, history is full of martyrs.

For this reason, it may not be that significant to point out that the first disciples were willing to suffer and die for their faith. But while many will die for what they believe to be the truth, few if any will die for what they know to be a lie.

The disciples of Christ did not die for deeply held beliefs about which they could have been honestly mistaken. Rather, they died for their claims to have seen Jesus alive and well after His resurrection.

The disciples of Jesus died for their claim that their leader did not only die for their sins. More importantly, He had risen bodily from the grave to show that He was like no other spiritual leader who had ever lived.

Jewish Believers Started Worshiping on a Sunday

From Sabbath to Lord's Day: A Biblical, Historical and Theological Investigation Paperback – January 1, 2000 by D. A. CarsonMany Sabbatarians claim that the Catholic church changed the Sabbath from Saturday to Sunday. The truth of the matter is, it’s the Jews who changed it and started worshiping on a Sunday.

The Sabbath day of rest and worship was basic to the Jewish way of life. Any Jew who did not honor the Sabbath was guilty of breaking the law of Moses. Yet Jewish followers of Christ began worshiping Gentile believers on the first day of the week.

Why the first day of the week? It’s because this is the day on which they believed Christ had risen from the dead. For a Jew, it reflected a major change in life.

Jewish Christians believed that the death and resurrection of Christ had cleared the way for a new relationship with God. The new way was not based on the law but on the sin-bearing, life-giving help of a resurrected Savior.

Read here: What is the difference between the Sabbath and the Lord’s Day?

Conclusion

As presented above, the evidence for the resurrection of Christ is compelling. The resurrection is not a hoax; Jesus did rise from the dead just as He said He would (John 2:19).

And because Christ rose from the dead, there is hope for those who will put their faith in Him (1 Corinthians 15:16-20). Paul said that He who raised Jesus from the dead will also give life to the mortal bodies of those that have the Spirit (Romans 8:11).

This was the experience of Paul, whose heart was dramatically changed by the resurrected Christ. It is also the experience of people all over the world who have died to their old ways so that Christ can live His life through them.

Have you responded to the overwhelming evidence for Christ’s resurrection by acknowledging His lordship in your heart?


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Recommended Resource: 

The Crucifixion of Jesus: A Medical Doctor Examines the Death and Resurrection of Christ by Joseph Bergeron M.D

The Crucifixion of Jesus: A Medical Doctor Examines the Death and Resurrection of Christ by Joseph Bergeron M.D This ground-breaking work offers a unique apologetic argument for the validity of the Gospel accounts of Jesus’ death and resurrection.

Dr. Bergeron’s medical expertise allows him to examine the medical aspects of Jesus’ death as well as the “hallucination hypothesis” which attempts to discount Jesus’ resurrection.

This book explores the following areas:

  • Jesus’ claim to be the son of God and the Messiah of Hebrew prophetic literature
  • Evidence of the trustworthiness of the Gospel as reliable eyewitness testimony
  • The social and political context leading up to Jesus’ execution
  • Roman crucifixion practices in public executions
  • Physiological mechanisms that ultimately led to Jesus’ death
  • A medical analysis of hallucination hypotheses for the disciples’ belief in Jesus’ resurrection and the inability of hallucination to explain away the biblical accounts of Jesus’ resurrection