Proofs Laid out for Jesus' Resurrection

By Brink, Chris | The Billings Gazette (Billings, MT), July 15, 2017 | Go to article overview

Proofs Laid out for Jesus' Resurrection


Brink, Chris, The Billings Gazette (Billings, MT)


The resurrection of Jesus Christ is the central question of the Christian faith, regardless of whether or not it is Easter. The Apostle Paul wrote in 1st Corinthians 15:17, “And if Christ has not been raised, your faith is futile; you are still in your sins.” So providing evidence that the resurrection actually happened is part of what is known as apologetics, which comes from the Greek word “apologia” meaning “a formal defense.”

We know that Jesus of Nazareth was a real person because multiple secular sources, including Roman historian Tacitus and Jewish historian Josephus Flavius, wrote about him, including his crucifixion. According to the Gospels - the first four books of the New Testament, which detail Jesus’ life - he was placed in a stone tomb before sundown on the Jewish Sabbath.

The day after the Sabbath, several of Jesus’ female disciples, including Mary Magdalene, went to the tomb to anoint his body with spices. They found the tomb empty, and when they reported back to the rest of the disciples, the women said they had seen Jesus alive.

In that time in Judea, women were second-class citizens. If a woman saw a crime, she couldn’t testify to it in a court because her word was given no validity. Stating that the women were the first to see Jesus would have been embarrassing for a Jewish man in that era, but all four of the Gospels tell us this story. Why would the men write something that was embarrassing if it wasn’t true? That embarrassment factor should lead us to conclude that the men believed the women’s stories.

All of Jesus’ disciples had experiences that made them believe Jesus was alive, including sharing a meal with him. Thomas didn’t believe the news until he touched Jesus - which is where we get the phrase “doubting Thomas.”

Immediately after the crucifixion, these men were terrified and in hiding. …

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