The resurrection of Jesus is one of the most provable events of all of history. The resurrection of Christ is the foundational truth of a biblical belief system. Everything we believe as followers of Christ is based on the truth of that single event. At the same time, for the atheist, agnostics, skeptics, or those searching, the resurrection is the event they most deal with if they want to hold their opinion in clear conscious.
At the same time, for the atheist, agnostics, skeptics, believers in other religions, or those searching for truth, the resurrection is the event they most deal with if they want to hold their opinion in clear conscious. To ignore the resurrection of Christ, by not determining whether it is true or myth, would be short-sighted and a version of denial.
Over the next month, I will be writing about the historical evidence of the resurrection of Christ as a supplement to our March series at CrossChurch, “Love Ran Red”. Part 1 is following.
Is the resurrection a hoax or is it a real historical event? How each person answers this question settles all the other questions. All the other questions are just distractions that keep people from focusing on the one question that will determine our eternity. The resurrection of Christ is the one event that all of Christianity is based.
All but four of the world’s major religions are based on mere philosophical concepts. Of the four major world religions (Buddhism, Islam, Judaism, and Christianity) that are based on a person rather than a philosophical system, only Christianity claims an empty tomb for its founder.
Abraham, the father of Judaism, and Moses, seen as a great prophet, are buried in unknown graves or caves, but there are known areas where traditional thought has them located. As for Siddhartha Gautama Buddha, founder of Buddhism, was cremated and had ashes turned into “relics” and placed at various sites. Mohammed, founder of Islam, is buried in Medina, Saudi Arabia.
All the millions and millions of Jews, Buddhist, and Muslims agree that their founders & prophets never claimed to he would raise from the dead, and to this day, they gather at the burial sites or shrines of their founders to worship. A person can visit the tomb of Jesus, but unlike with the other religions, Jesus’ tomb is empty.
At the end of the day, the resurrection of Jesus Christ is either the most wicked, cruel, vicious, heartless, hoaxes of all time, or it is the most fantastic fact of all of history. Christianity and the resurrection stand or fall together.
A. Jesus and the Resurrection are Historical Facts
Dr. Greenleaf, a skeptic who believed the resurrection of Christ to be a hoax, often mocking the Christians in his classes. One day they challenged him to take the three volumes he had written on the laws of legal evidence and apply them to the resurrection. After much persuasion he decided to examine the historical evidence for the resurrection of Jesus Christ to determine the truth using the principles of evidence management found in “A Treatise on the Law of Evidence”.
After careful investigation, Dr. Greenleaf became a Christian and went on to write a book about his search. Greenleaf came to the conclusion that the resurrection of Jesus Christ is one of the best-established, more provable events in history according to the laws of legal evidence. He stated, “The conclusion is clear, according to the laws legal evidence used in the court of law, there is more evidence to prove the historical resurrection of Jesus Christ than for almost any other event in history.”
Upon studying the facts, however, he came to a different conclusion, and became convinced of the resurrection of Christ being an undeniable fact of history. The sheer weight of the evidence compelled him to conclude that Jesus actually did raise from the dead. Morrison did write a book, but not the one he had planned to write.
Finally, contrary to his strong stand against Christianity, after three years of study and research, CS Lewis gave his life to Christ.
Strobel stated, “For most of my life I was an atheist. I thought the idea of an all-loving, all-powerful creator of the universe–I thought it was stupid. I mean, my background is in journalism and law. I tend to be a skeptical person. I was the legal editor of the Chicago Tribune. So I needed evidence before I’d believe anything.”
After his agnostic wife have decided to become a follower of Christ after a period of spiritual investigation, Lee thought her decision to “join this cult” would end his marriage, however he also saw positive changes in her values, in her character, in the way she related to him and the children. Her changes made him want to check things out. So out of curiosity, he went to church one day.
He heard the message of Jesus articulated for the first time in a way that I could understand it. That forgiveness is a free gift, and that Jesus Christ died for our sins, that we might spend eternity with Him. And he walked out thinking, “I am still an atheist, but if this is true, this has huge implications for my life.”
And so Lee decided to use his journalism training and legal training to begin an investigation into whether there was any credibility to Christianity or to any other world faith system for that matter.
After one year and nine months of research, atheist Lee Strobel stated, “I realized that, in light of the torrent of evidence flowing in the direction of the truth of Christianity, it would require more faith for me to maintain my atheism than to become a Christian. Because to be an atheist, I would have to swim upstream against this torrent of evidence pointing toward the truth of Jesus Christ. And I couldn’t do that. I was trained in journalism and law to respond to truth. And so on that day, I received Jesus Christ as my forgiver, and as my leader.”
More to come in a few days…
“But in your hearts set apart Christ as Lord. Always be prepared to give and answer to everyone who ask you to give a reason for the hope that you have.” 1 Peter 3:15