Any 20th century person should believe that Jesus rose physically from the dead for the following reasons:
- If Jesus remained dead, how can you explain the testimony of the disciples? Forty days later, “We’ve seen a dead man walking!”
- In all of the major resurrection narratives, women were the first and primary eyewitnesses. This would be an bad invention since in both the ancient Jewish and Roman cultures the testimony of women were greatly disesteemed therefore their testimony would be regarded as not credible. Given this fact, it is highly unlikely that any perpetrators of a hoax in 1st Century Judea would elect women to be their primary witnesses.
- If Jesus remained dead, Why did Paul, who was of his own admission a violent persecutor of the early Church, willingly suffer and die for his testimony, a fact which attests to the sincerity of his belief (The Book of Acts and Josephus’ Antiquities of the Jews XX, ix, 1).
- If Jesus remained dead, how can you explain the faithfulness of the disciples in testifying that Jesus rose from the dead even in the face of their own deaths? Of the 11 disciples, only one died of old age—All the rest died as martyrs with the truth that “Jesus rose” on their lips. According to the historical record (The Book of Acts 4:1-17; Pliny’s Letters to Trajan X, 97, etc) most Christians could end their suffering simply by renouncing the faith. Instead, they preferred to endure the suffering unto death.
- If Jesus remained dead, why did 500 people say He rose and that they saw Him alive (I Corinthians 15:6)?
- If Jesus remained dead, how can you explain the credibility of the witnesses? In the first century, their story was not proven wrong.
- If Jesus remained dead, how can you explain the inability of the first century skeptics to deal with the fact that He rose and provide an alternative explanation to the empty tomb? All the power of Rome and of the religious establishment in Jerusalem was geared to stop the Christian faith. All they had to do was to dig up the grave and to present the corpse. They didn’t.
- If Jesus remained dead, how can you explain the phenomenal growth of the Christian church in the first three centuries?
The late jurisprudential and international statesman Sir Lionel Luckhoo (of The Guinness Book of World Records fame for his unprecedented 245 consecutive defense murder trial acquittals) epitomized Christian confidence in the fact that Jesus rose from the dead saying:
“I have spent more than 42 years as a defense trial lawyer appearing in many parts of the world and am still in active practice. I have been fortunate to secure a number of successes in jury trials and I say unequivocally the evidence for the Resurrection of Jesus Christ is so overwhelming that it compels acceptance by proof which leaves absolutely no room for doubt.”
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In His service,
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