Why must we believe in Jesus’ resurrection?

SHARE

By BibleAsk Team


Belief in the resurrection of Jesus Christ is the cornerstone of Christian faith, essential for understanding the significance of His life, death, and ultimate victory over sin and death. This belief rests on multiple facets, including biblical teachings, historical evidence, philosophical considerations, and personal experiences.

Biblical Teachings – Resurrection

The New Testament, particularly the Gospels and the writings of the Apostle Paul, provide the primary biblical foundation for belief in the risen Savior. In the Gospel narratives, we encounter detailed accounts of Jesus’ crucifixion, burial, and subsequent resurrection. For instance, in Matthew 28:6, the angel declares to the women at the tomb, “He is not here; for He is risen, as He said.” Similarly, in Mark 16:6, the angel proclaims, “He is risen! He is not here.” These passages affirm the reality of Jesus’ resurrection as witnessed by those who encountered the empty tomb.

The Apostle Paul, in his first letter to the Corinthians, emphasizes the centrality of the resurrection in Christian faith. In 1 Corinthians 15:14, he argues, “And if Christ is not risen, then our preaching is empty and your faith is also empty.” Paul goes on to assert in verse 20, “But now Christ is risen from the dead, and has become the firstfruits of those who have fallen asleep.” This passage underscores the pivotal role of Jesus’ resurrection in securing victory over sin and offering hope for eternal life to believers.

Additionally, throughout the New Testament, various passages affirm the reality of Jesus’ resurrection and its implications for believers. John 11:25 records Jesus’ words to Martha, “I am the resurrection and the life. He who believes in Me, though he may die, he shall live.” Moreover, Romans 10:9 states, “that if you confess with your mouth the Lord Jesus and believe in your heart that God has raised Him from the dead, you will be saved.” These verses underscore the importance of believing in Jesus’ resurrection as a foundational aspect of Christian faith and salvation.

Historical Evidence

Beyond the biblical accounts, historical evidence supports the reality of Jesus’ resurrection. Numerous scholars, both Christian and non-Christian, have examined the historical reliability of the Gospel narratives and concluded that the early Christians genuinely believed in Jesus’ resurrection.

Additionally, the transformation of Jesus’ disciples from fearful and discouraged individuals after His crucifixion to bold proclaimers of the Gospel following His resurrection is a compelling historical phenomenon. Their willingness to endure persecution and martyrdom testifies to their conviction that Jesus had risen from the dead.

Moreover, the empty tomb itself serves as tangible evidence of Jesus’ resurrection. When Mary Magdalene and the other women went to the tomb on the first day of the week, they found the stone rolled away and the tomb empty (John 20:1). The absence of Jesus’ body despite the precautions taken by the Roman authorities and the Jewish religious leaders suggests that something extraordinary had occurred.

Further, early Christian creeds, such as the creedal statement in 1 Corinthians 15:3-8, provide further historical evidence for the resurrection. This creed, which Paul received and passed on to the Corinthians, affirms that Jesus “rose again the third day according to the Scriptures” and appeared to various individuals and groups after His resurrection. These appearances were not merely subjective experiences but encounters with the risen Christ that were witnessed by multiple people, including skeptics like James, the brother of Jesus.

Philosophical Considerations

Philosophically, belief in the raising of Christ from the dead aligns with the principle of sufficient reason. If Jesus did not rise from the dead, then alternative explanations must be provided for the empty tomb, the transformation of the disciples, and the growth of the early Christian movement. However, none of these alternative explanations adequately account for the historical evidence and the profound impact of Jesus’ resurrection on human history.

Furthermore, the raising of Christ from the dead provides a coherent explanation for the problem of evil and suffering. It offers hope that death is not the end and that ultimately, justice will prevail over injustice, and life will triumph over death. As the Apostle Paul writes in 1 Corinthians 15:54-55, “So when this corruptible has put on incorruption, and this mortal has put on immortality, then shall be brought to pass the saying that is written: ‘Death is swallowed up in victory. O Death, where is your sting? O Hades, where is your victory?'”

Personal Experiences

Personal experiences of encountering the risen Christ also contribute to the conviction of believers. Throughout history, countless individuals have testified to experiencing the presence and power of the resurrected Jesus in their lives. These encounters range from dramatic conversions to transformative spiritual experiences that have led people to embrace the reality of the risen Savior.

Moreover, the ongoing work of the Holy Spirit in the lives of believers confirms the reality of the risen Christ. As Romans 8:11 declares, “But if the Spirit of Him who raised Jesus from the dead dwells in you, He who raised Christ from the dead will also give life to your mortal bodies through His Spirit who dwells in you.” This indwelling presence of the Holy Spirit serves as a constant reminder of the truth of the risen Savior and its implications for believers’ lives.

Conclusion

In conclusion, belief in the resurrection of Jesus Christ is not only reasonable but also essential for Christians because it is grounded in Scripture, supported by historical evidence, aligned with philosophical principles, and affirmed by personal experiences. The identify of the risen Savior as the Son of God, confirms the efficacy of His sacrificial death for the forgiveness of sins, and offers the hope of eternal life to all who believe.

As the Apostle Paul declares in Philippians 3:10-11, “that I may know Him and the power of His resurrection, and the fellowship of His sufferings, being conformed to His death, if, by any means, I may attain to the resurrection from the dead.” Therefore, embracing the reality of the risen Savior is not merely an intellectual exercise but a transformative truth that shapes the identity, beliefs, and mission of the Christian faith.

In His service,
BibleAsk Team

We'd love your feedback, so leave a comment!

If you feel an answer is not 100% Bible based, then leave a comment, and we'll be sure to review it.
Our aim is to share the Word and be true to it.