The Triune God in the Scriptures
Women and Jesus in the Bible
End Times Prophecy
Is this the Jesus Family Tomb
Reliability of the Bible
Mormonism vs. Christianity
Genesis 1: days or ages?
Italian Shroud of Turin Fake Exposed
What is Heaven Like
Da Vinci Code Truth
Who Was Mary Magdalene?
Was Jesus Married?
Early Images of the Apostles
Buddhism vs. Christianity
Prophecy of Jesus
Shroud of Turin
The Gnostic Gospels
Evidence of Design in Genesis 5
History of Jesus
Evidence of Intelligent Design
James Ossuary - Fake or Real?
Evidence of Design in the Bible
Is Jesus LORD?
Da Vinci Last Supper
The Gospel of Judas
Islam and Christian Beliefs
Appearances of Jesus Old Testament
The Holy Trinity
Evidence for the Resurrection
And why is the resurrection of Jesus
so important? First, because it proves the claims He made about Himself are true. He made claims that set Him apart from any other person in history:
1. He claimed to be God in human form: "I and the Father are
one" (John 10:30); He that hath seen Me hath seen the Father"
(John 14:9); "If you had
known Me, you would have known my Father also; and from now on you know
Him and have seen Him" (John 14:7).
2. He predicted numerous times that He would be betrayed, killed,
and rise again.
3. He declared that He was "the resurrection and the life. He
that believeth in me, though he were dead, yet he shall live. And he
that lives and believes in me shall never die" .(John 11:25).
Second, if He rose,
then this fact sets Jesus apart from all the other "holy men" of history
-- including Buddha, Mohammed, and all the rest. These spiritual
leaders are all still in the tomb, proving they were but men. Only
the tomb of Jesus remains empty, proving He was who He claimed to be.
Third, if Jesus has risen, and is who He claimed to be, then we had
better pay attention to all of the things He said -- our eternal destiny
hangs in the balance. For example, Jesus claimed that the Bible is
the inspired word of God, and "cannot be broken" - this sets the Bible
apart and above all other so-called "holy books".
because He rose, we can be assured that one day He will cause
all those who trust in Him to rise also. This is the "blessed hope"
that the scripture speaks of. From Genesis to Revelation, the
central message of the Bible is God's plan of redemption. Through
Adam sin entered the world, and man put his will above the Lord's.
As a result "all have sinned and fallen short
of the glory of God". Our Creator is perfect, holy, just and
merciful. Because He cannot deny Himself, He must punish sin.
But due to His great love for His creation, He formulated the ultimate,
fail-save plan. He Himself would "become flesh",
dwell among men, lead a sinless life, and become the unblemished "lamb of
God who takes way the sins of the world". He would take the penalty
for all of mankind - past, present and future. He would make the
ultimate sacrifice, and be judged and die in mankind's place. Jesus
paid the price for our sins. And as predicted, He did "not suffer
His Holy One to see corruption". God raised up Jesus, just as He had
predicted. His resurrection crushed the head of the serpent --
So What is the Evidence for the Resurrection?
The lines of evidence for the resurrection are many, but
we will focus on the following.
1. Jesus was tortured and crucified by the Romans
predicting that He would be taken by force, put to death, and that He
would rise from the dead.
The gospels cite a number of times that Jesus repeatedly
predicted that he would be taken by force, tortured, be put to death, and
then rise the third day. Keep in mind God tells us that one of His
unique characteristics is telling of something before it happens, so that
we will know the thing is of Him. Here are just a few examples of
His predictions before the event:
Matthew 17:22: "Now while they were staying in
Galilee, Jesus said to them: 'The Son of Man is about to be betrayed into
the hands of men, and they will kill Him, and the third day He will be
raised up." And they were exceedingly sorrowful.
Matthew 20:18: "Behold, we are going up to
Jerusalem, and the Son of Man will be betrayed to the chief priests and to
the scribes; and they will condemn Him to death, and deliver Him to the
Gentiles to mock and scourge and to crucify, And the third day He will
Matthew 26:2: "You know that after two days is
the Passover, and the Son on Man will be delivered up to be crucified."
At the Passover meal before He was taken prisoner, Jesus
said to His followers: "All of you will be made to stumble
because of Me this night, for it is written: 'I will strike the Shepherd,
and the sheep will be scattered.' Bit after I have been raised, I
will go before you to Galilee." (Matthew 14:27-28)
The gospels record that Jesus was scourged by Roman
guards prior to His crucifixion. The instrument used to inflict the
whipping was called a "flagrum", and was composed of leather strips,
pieces of bone and metal at the ends. According the Bishop Eusebius of
Caesarea, church historian of the 3rd century, the sufferer's "veins
were laid bare, and ...the very muscles, sinews, and bowels of the victim
were open to exposure."
Crucifixion was a type of killing perfected by the
Romans, inflicted on those that deserved the most severe punishment.
This form of torture was so horrible to the people of that day that
Cicero, the famous Roman orator, said: "Even the mere word cross
must remain far not only from the lips of the citizens of Rome, but also
from their thoughts, their eyes, their ears." (Marcus Tullius Cicero,
Pro Rabirio, V, 16). The gospels all record that Jesus was crucified
by the Romans after being tried illegally several times by the religious
leaders of that day.
2. He really did die on the cross. He
did not "pass
out" or fall asleep. All the evidence points to the fact that
He really died.
John's gospel records that Jesus died just after He had
received something to drink from the Roman soldiers: "So when
Jesus had received the sour wine, He said: 'It is finished!" And
bowing His head, He gave up His spirit." (John 19:30)
Said Ignatius (A.D. c. 50-115), Bishop of Antioch and
pupil of the Apostle John: "He was crucified and died under
Pontius Pilate. He really, and not merely in appearance, was
crucified, and died, in the sight of beings in heaven, and on earth, and
under the earth. .. at the sixth hour He was crucified; at the ninth
hour He gave up the ghost; and before sunset He was buried."
The gospels record that the Roman guards broke the legs
of the two other criminals, to ensure their death (the breaking of the
legs prevented the individuals from propping themselves up in order to
continue to breath; with their legs broken, they soon suffocated.
But when they got to Jesus, John's gospel records: "...when they came
to Jesus and saw that He was already dead, they did not break His legs."
From modern medical science, we have an article from the
Journal of the American Medical Association regarding the certainty
of Jesus' death: "Clearly the weight of historical and medical
evidence indicates that Jesus was dead before the wound to His side was
inflicted and supports the traditional view that the spear, thrust between
His right ribs, probably perforated not only the right lung, but also the
pericardium and heart and thereby ensured His death. Accordingly,
interpretations based on the assumption that Jesus did not die on the
cross appear to be at odds with modern medical knowledge." (Edwards, PDJC,
3. He was buried in the tomb of a wealthy
Josephus, noted historian of the time, makes these
remarks in the 'War of the Jews' concerning the practice of the Jews to
remove the bodies of those crucified so they might be buried: "...the
Jews used to take care of the burial of men, that they took down those
that were condemned and crucified, and buried them before the going down
of the sun."
Matthew 27:57-60: "Now when evening had come,
there came a rich man from Arimathea, named Joseph, who himself had also
become a disciple of Jesus. This man went to Pilate and asked for
the body of Jesus. Then Pilate commanded the body be given to him.
And when Joseph had taken the body, he wrapped it in a clean linen cloth,
and laid it in his new tomb which he had hewn out of the rock; and he
rolled a large stone against the door of the tomb, and departed."
The two Marys sat at the tomb just after the burial took
place: "And Mary Magdalene was there, and the other Mary, sitting
opposite the tomb." (Matthew 28:61).
In fact, we know more about the burial of Jesus than any
other single character in history:
A. We know who took His body down from the
B. We know of His body being wrapped in a linen cloth, with spices
C. We know the very tomb in which His body was placed, and how it
D. We know the name of the man who owned the tomb
E. We know that the tomb was located in a garden near the place
where He was crucified, outside the city walls
4. His followers were so distraught that they lost
all hope, and abandoned Him in his hour of need.
When Jesus was arrested in the Garden of Gethsemane,
Matthew records in V26:56: "Then all the disciples forsook Him and fled".
Simon Peter, who told Jesus he would never deny Him,
turned his back on Jesus and denied Him three times once they had laid
hold of his master (Matthew 26:69-74).
Once Jesus was buried, the apostles and disciples
secreted themselves in their lodgings and nothing more is heard of them
until news of the resurrected Christ is brought to them by the two Marys
on the morning of the third day. Even at this news, only two - Peter
and John - ventured out to investigate this report. Note the
attitude and demeanor of Christ's followers: cowering, frightened,
totally focused on their own self-preservation.
5. Although made secure by a Roman guard, the
tomb was found empty by several of the
women disciples, then shortly later by several of His closest followers.
In addition, the earliest writings confirm the fact that the tomb was
The Jewish religious leaders were strongly opposed Jesus
and His teaching, and were prepared to go to any length to see that His
body remain in the tomb:
Matthew 28:62-66: "..the chief priests and
Pharisees gathered together to Pilate, saying "Sir, we remember, while He
was still alive, how the deceiver sad, 'After three days I will rise.'
Therefore, command that the tomb be made secure until the third day, lest
His disciples come by night and steal Him away, and say to the people, 'He
has risen from the dead'. So the last deception will be worse than
the first." Pilate said to them, "You have a guard; go your way,
make it as secure as you know how." So they went and made the tomb
secure, sealing the stone and setting the guard."
The next verses in Matthew record Mary Magdalene and the
other Mary coming to the tomb on the first day of the week, with the
intention of anointing the body with spices. To their surprise
"...there was a great earthquake, for an angel of the Lord descended from
heaven and came and rolled back the stone from the door." The angel
recounted to the two Marys how that Jesus had risen, just as He had said.
The disciples preached the resurrection of Jesus first
in Jerusalem, not in some far off land. If the tomb had NOT been
empty, they would never have been able to pull this off. Adversaries
would simply have pointed to the tomb and the body within it and
rejected their message.
In new testament writing there are many references to
the fact of the resurrection, but NONE defending the empty tomb.
Why? The answer should be obvious: this was not a point of
contention -- everyone, friend and foe, KNEW the tomb was empty.
6. Jesus was SEEN alive over a period of weeks by many people, at many different places.
It was Christ's post-resurrection appearances that
assured His followers that He had indeed risen from the dead. After
He arose the Bible reports He was seen by ...
A. the women as they returned from the tomb, after
having seen the angel (Matthew 28:1-10)
B. Mary Magdalene at the tomb, during her second visit to the site
(John 20:10-18, Mark 16:9-11)
C: to Peter the day of the resurrection (Luke 24:34)
D. to two disciples on the road to Emmaus (Luke 24:13-35, Mark
E. to ten of the apostles the evening of Easter Sunday (Luke
24:36-40, John 20:19-23,
F. after eight days to the eleven apostles, including Thomas (John
G. to some of the disciples fishing at the sea of Galilee (John
H. to all of the apostles on a mountain in Galilee (Matthew
I. to James (1 Cor: 15:7)
J. to all of the apostles on the Mount of Olives (Luke
24:50-52; Mark 16:19)
K. to 500 additional believers at one time (1 Cor. 15:6)
L. to Paul on the road to Damascus (1 Cor.15:8)
All of these people were eyewitnesses to His
resurrection. They saw Him, touched Him, ate with Him, and spoke
7. The lives of the disciples were radically
transformed, from cowering followers who abandoned Him to bold proclaimers
of the good news of the gospel. Nearly ALL his apostles were killed
for their faith as a result. And millions of early Christians were
persecuted for proclaiming Jesus as Lord.
"This scared, frightened band of the apostles, which
was just about to throw away everything in order to flee in despair to
Galilee; when these peasants, shepherds, and fishermen, who betrayed and
denied their master and then failed him miserably, suddenly could be
changed overnight into a confident mission society, convinced of salvation
and able to work with much more success after Easter than before Easter,
then no vision or hallucination is sufficient to explain such a
revolutionary transformation." - Jewish Rabbi Pinchas Lapide
8. The message of the resurrection was the core of
the early church, central to the new testament, and a fulfillment of the
9. The resurrection message was first proclaimed
in Jerusalem, where the trial and crucifixion took place -- not in some
far off distant land.
The disciples began preaching the message of Christ
crucifixion and resurrection in the very place it had happened -- not in
some distant land. If Jesus was still in His tomb, they simply could
not have done this -- no one would have believed them. But as Peter
began preaching, "over 3,000" souls were saved that day.
Evidence for the Resurrection is Substantial
It's clear that the evidence of the resurrection of Jesus is overwhelming.
In fact, this single event "turned the world upside down" and split
history in half - A.D. and B.C. Despite nearly three centuries of severe
persecution, the early Christian church grew like wildfire due to their
rock-solid belief in the resurrection. No wonder -- no one could refute
it. The Jewish leaders couldn't produce the body, and neither could the
Romans. Everyone knew where the tomb was, and it was found empty by many
eye-witnesses. And with hundreds of people alive who had SEEN Jesus after
His resurrection, it was hard to argue this miracle of miracles.
So what will be your decision? IF Jesus did rise,
then it follows that the other things He said are true as well. His
resurrection is unique in history. No other "religious" leader made the
claims of Jesus, and no other man rose from the dead. Period. Only
the Lord Jesus.
Why not give Him a chance? Pray a simple prayer and ask
Him, if He is who He claims to be, to come into your life and make you the
person you were made to be. He created you, after all, so why not give Him
a chance to give you the best He has to offer?
Here is a link to Billy Graham's web site that can show you
Steps to Peace with God