Why I Believe in the Resurrection
- Monday, April 05, 2004
Can a well-educated person really believe all that “Jesus stuff”? Is there compelling evidence to support a faith in the Jesus of the Bible—a man who claims to be God, who claims to be the giver of eternal life and who claims to be the source of absolute truth?
The answer to these questions begins with one central block, one foundation. If this central block is true, we're set. If it is false, everything we believe in Christianity is a hoax. That central block is the resurrection.
The validity of our faith is held up by the intellectual feasibility of the resurrection. Put simply, if Christ didn't die on the cross and come alive again three days later, our faith is worthless. Think I'm being over zealous? Consider what the Apostle Paul tells us in 1 Corinthians 15:13, "But if there is no resurrection of the dead, not even Christ has been raised; and if Christ has not been raised, then our preaching is in vain, your faith is also in vain."
The writers of scripture say that if the resurrection—the literal physical bodily resurrection of Jesus—isn't true, Christianity doesn't hold water. Here are six brief reasons why the resurrection is true and ultimately why we can put our faith in Jesus.
One: The Historicity of Jesus of Nazareth is Airtight
Did He really exist? Did that really happen? Or is this like King Arthur? Is it myth, legend, or did Jesus of Nazareth historically live in space and time and walk upon the earth?
The reality of His historicity is airtight. The quality and quantity of the biblical manuscripts as well as first century Greek documents overwhelmingly demonstrate that He actually lived.
The New Testament is built on history. An example of this history stems from Luke 2:2 where we learn that at the time of Jesus' birth a census was taken while Quirinius was governor of Syria. In the last 30 years an archeologist has found a coin with the name Quirinius on it placing him as proconsul of Syria from 11 B.C. until after the death of Herod—confirming Luke's account (Luke 2:1).
In the last thirty years archeologists have one after the other, after the other found specific archeological facts validating people in New Testament times. For example, in the gospel of John the Pool of Bethesda (John 5:1), the Pool of Siloam (John 9:7), Jacob's Well (John 4:12) and the Stone Pavement near the Jaffa Gate (John 19:13) have all been located.
Two: The Works of Jesus Went Unchallenged
Stories and miracles; feeding five thousand people, raising people from the dead, lame men walking, blind men seeking, that's pretty incredible stuff, did Jesus really do that?
One of the most important things to note is that Jesus' miracles were never disputed by his foes. His number one archenemy, the Jewish establishment, never claimed that His miracles ceased to occur. They attested to the feats Jesus had done, however they attributed His power to Satan (Matthew 12:24). Yet, Jesus disputed their claim immediately, saying, "Any kingdom divided against itself is laid waste; and any city or house divided against itself will not stand. If Satan casts out Satan, he is divided against himself; how then will his kingdom stand?" (Matthew 12:25).
They never questioned the validity they only questioned the source; and Jesus knew how to deal with it. That's powerful! He was making outrageous claims and He backed His statements up with miracles -- power over nature, unprecedented teaching, divine insights into people, etc. He healed chronic illnesses in mere seconds, such as blindness and leprosy.
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