We can be sure that Jesus resurrected from the dead for the following reasons:
1-The testimony of the Scriptures. The NT writers wrote about Christ’s resurrection in Matthew 28:1-20; Mark 16:1-20; Luke 24:1-53; John 20:1–21:25; Acts 1:1-11. And we can trust the Bible account because of its reliability as a historical document. Historians and archaeologists continually affirm the accuracy of the Bible in matters of history. Further, the number of ancient manuscripts of the Bible far exceeds that of other ancient documents.
2-The empty tomb. The disciples placed Jesus in the tomb that the Roman soldiers guarded. But Jesus resurrected and the angels declared that He had been raised from the dead as He had promised (Matthew 28:5-7). There was no body in the tomb. The authorities could have easily put this entire issue to rest by merely producing the dead body of Jesus. There is no historical documentation, from either the Bible or other ancient documents, that even suggests that a body was produced.
3-The testimony of the Jews that crucified Jesus. These Jews admit that the tomb was empty. And the Jew’s attempted to refute Christianity by saying that the disciples stole the body (Matthew 28:11-15). The Toledoth Jesu, a compilation of early Jewish writings, is another source acknowledging this fact.
4-The eye witness testimony of people who saw Jesus after His resurrection (Matthew 28:5, 9, 16-17; Mark 16:9; Luke 24:13-35; John 20:19, 24, 26-29, 21:1-14; Acts 1:6-8; 1 Corinthians 15:5-7). The Bible records that over 500 people witnessed the resurrected Christ. The existence of the Christian church is strong proof for the resurrection because even the most skeptical NT scholars admit that Jesus’ followers had no doubt whatsoever about His resurrection and were even willing to die for their belief.
5-The testimony of Paul who saw the glorified Christ on the road to Damascus (Acts 9:1-6). In 1 Corinthians 15, the apostle Paul explains why it is crucial to understand and believe that Jesus resurrected.
6- The writings of a non-Christian historian-Josephus. Josephus was a first century Jewish military leader-turned-historian when captured by the Romans. His writings gave an extra-biblical account of Christ appearing to His disciples after the crucifixion:
“Now, there was about this time Jesus, a wise man, if it be lawful to call him a man, for he was a doer of wonderful works—a teacher of such men as receive the truth with pleasure. He drew over to him both many of the Jews, and many of the Gentiles. He was [the] Christ; and when Pilate, at the suggestion of the principal men amongst us, had condemned him to the cross, those that loved him at the first did not forsake him, for he appeared to them alive again the third day, as the divine prophets had foretold these and ten thousand other wonderful things concerning him; and the tribe of Christians, so named from him, are not extinct at this day.”
7-The resurrection of Jesus was the surety of men’s salvation. If Jesus had not risen from the dead, His sacrifice would not be sufficient to save sinners from death (1 Corinthians 15:16-19). The transformed lives of millions that believe in Jesus is the greatest testimony to the power of God who raised Jesus from the dead and can likewise raise the dead in sins from the power of darkness (Romans 8:11).
Today’s scholars and critics do not deny that Jesus resurrected from the dead. Jacob Kremer, who is a NT critic, said: “By far most exegetes hold firmly to the reliability of the biblical statements about the empty tomb” and he lists twenty-eight scholars to back up his fantastic claim. And D.H. Van Daalen added, “It is extremely difficult to object to the empty tomb on historical grounds; those who deny it do so on the basis of theological or philosophical assumptions.”
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In His service,
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