The Resurrection of JesusQUESTION: What evidence is there for the resurrection of Jesus?ANSWER:
Accounts of the resurrection of Jesus are given in the Gospels. Jesus spoke in Luke 24:46-48: "He told them, 'This is what is written: The Christ will suffer and rise from the dead on the third day, and repentance and forgiveness of sins will be preached in his name to all nations, beginning at Jerusalem. You are witnesses of these things.'"
For two thousand years, the question of evidence has been explored. The event is at the very core of Christianity. Paul examined the consequences of denying the reports - if Christ did not rise:
- Faith is useless.
- We are not forgiven our sins.
- Apostles were bearing false witness.
- Those we love and have passed on are lost.
Romans 10:9 says "That if you confess with your mouth, 'Jesus is Lord,' and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved."
Proof of the resurrection of Jesus begins with the eyewitness testimonies of the people who lived and walked with Him. The fact that many of these people would later die for their testimony rather than deny the truth earns some merit of proof. And it is a witness that has stood for two thousand years.The real proof is the effect of His death and resurrection working together to reunite God with man.
Without Jesus' death there would be no atonement for sin. Without His resurrection, Jesus would not be the Savior. The power to restore relationship between God and man is the power to unite God's Holy Spirit into the living temple of man. (See John 16:7-15.) No other religion or event can bring this about.
Dr. Simon Greenleaf, the famous Professor of Law at Harvard University, produced his famous three-volume work, A Treatise on the Law of Evidence,
which still is considered one of the greatest single authorities on this subject in the entire literature of legal procedure. Greenleaf came to the conclusion that, according to the laws of legal evidence used in courts of law, there is more evidence for the historical fact of the resurrection of Jesus Christ than for just about any other event in history.1
If you receive testimony of others, it is only the start. Much of history has been affected by the names of Muhammad, Buddha and others, but only one name, ever, has reunited body and soul after death. Only by one name can we be saved (John 14:6).
The proof of the resurrection began with the testimonies of strangers, but it truly is proven when we witness the inward dwelling of God's Holy Spirit.