Did Jesus Really Rise From The Dead?
The Apostle Paul tells us in 1 Corinthians 15 that everything hinges on the fact of Jesus’ resurrection. Paul tells us that if Jesus didn’t really rise from the dead, then the Christian faith is useless and Christians are the most pitiful people in the world. Everything hinges on Jesus’ resurrection. But did it happen? And how could we know if it did?
As historians have studied this question, they have arrived at three indisputable facts regarding Jesus’ resurrection:
(1) “Jesus died by crucifixion.
(2) Very shortly after Jesus’ death, the disciples had experiences that led them to believe and proclaim that Jesus had been resurrected and had appeared to them.
(3) With a few years after Jesus’ death, Paul converted after experiencing what he interpreted as a post resurrection appearance of Jesus to him” (Licona, 302-303).
The question for each of us then becomes, “What best explains the facts?” There have been many hypotheses offered as the best explanation, but the beautiful truth is that the answer that best explains the historical facts is that Jesus truly did rise from the dead. It is true that many people may disagree, but often their protestations are rooted not in historical inquiry, but rather in a priori philosophic positions regarding the impossibility of miracles or the non-existence of God. It should be obvious that denying the historicity of a particular event simply because one believes miracles never occur is a classic example of begging the question. In contrast, when one chooses a more open-minded historical inquiry, the resurrection of Jesus transcends the other hypotheses in its explanatory scope and power. For further study, we highly recommend the resources below.
To conclude, if you do not yet believe in the resurrection of Jesus, we encourage you to strongly consider the possibility that Jesus did rise from the dead, and that He is offering you forgiveness and reconciliation to God if you would just call upon His Name. If you already believe in Jesus, we hope the historical reliability of Jesus’ resurrection encourages you in your faith and inspires you to worship Him with increasing faithfulness.