Why the Resurrection of Jesus is Believable

Cheri Strange

The concept of the resurrection of Jesus has been a subject of intrigue and debate for centuries. While skeptics question the plausibility of such a miraculous event, believers, like you and me, staunchly defend it as a cornerstone of our faith. Yet we often don’t know why. What is it about the resurrection that is so important that the crux of Christianity lies in its authenticity? Today, let’s delve into this quandary. Allow me to offer seven compelling reasons why the resurrection of Jesus is not only believable but also essential to the Christian faith.

Reason #1: Eyewitness Testimonies

The accounts of Jesus’ resurrection in the Bible are supported by multiple eyewitness testimonies. According to the Scriptures, Jesus appeared to various individuals and groups after his resurrection, including Peter, the Twelve disciples, over 500 people at once, James, and all the apostles. These eyewitness testimonies provide strong evidence for the reality of the resurrection (1 Corinthians 15:3-8).

Reason #2: Empty Tomb

The empty tomb of Jesus on the third day after his crucifixion is a well-established historical fact. The presence of the empty tomb tradition in early Christian sources underscores the reality of this event. As noted by scholar William Lane Craig, the empty tomb serves as compelling evidence for the resurrection of Jesus (“The Son Rises: The Historical Evidence for the Resurrection of Jesus”).

Reason #3: Transformation of Disciples

The transformation of Jesus’ disciples from fearful individuals to bold proclaimers of his resurrection is another powerful piece of evidence. Following Jesus’ death, his disciples were initially devastated and afraid. However, after encountering the risen Jesus, they became fearless evangelists who were willing to endure persecution and martyrdom for their faith. Scholar N.T. Wright argues that the best explanation for this radical transformation is the reality of Jesus’ resurrection (“The Resurrection of the Son of God”).

Reason #4: Early Creedal Formulation:

Early creedal formulations found in the New Testament provide additional evidence for the resurrection. These creeds, which date back to shortly after Jesus’ death and resurrection, serve as early eyewitness-based testimony to the event. One such creed is found in 1 Corinthians 15:3-7.

For I delivered to you as of first importance what I also received: that Christ died for our sins in accordance with the Scriptures, 4that he was buried, that he was raised on the third day in accordance with the Scriptures, 5and that he appeared to Cephas, then to the twelve. 6Then he appeared to more than five hundred brothers at one time, most of whom are still alive, though some have fallen asleep. 7Then he appeared to James, then to all the apostles. 

Reason #5: Martyrdom of Apostles

The martyrdom of Jesus’ disciples further supports the historical truth of the resurrection. Despite facing persecution and death, the disciples remained steadfast in their belief. Their willingness to suffer and die for their faith underscores the conviction they had in their eyewitness experiences (Acts 5:30-32).

The God of our fathers raised Jesus, whom you killed by hanging him on a tree. 31God exalted him at his right hand as Leader and Savior, to give repentance to Israel and forgiveness of sins. 32And we are witnesses to these things, and so is the Holy Spirit, whom God has given to those who obey him.

Reason #6: Historical Consensus

There is a broad consensus among scholars, both Christian and non-Christian, regarding the historical reality of Jesus’ resurrection. Scholars recognize the sincerity and genuineness of the early disciples’ belief in their encounters with the risen Jesus. Apologist Gary Habermas has extensively documented this consensus in his work “The Case for the Resurrection of Jesus.”

The Jewish historian Flavius Josephus, writing in the first century, (not a Christian) makes reference to Jesus, his crucifixion by Pilate, and reports of his resurrection by disciples in his work “Jewish Antiquities.” While the authenticity of Josephus’ references to Jesus is debated among scholars, they provide additional historical support for the events surrounding Jesus’ resurrection (Flavius Josephus, “Jewish Antiquities,” Book 18, Chapter 3, Paragraph 3).

Reason #7: Inclusion of Women as Witnesses

In the cultural context of the time, the testimony of women was often deemed less credible and held less legal weight than that of men. However, all four Gospels (Matthew 27:61, Mark 16:1-8; Luke 24:1-12; John 20:1-18) include women as primary witnesses to the resurrection of Jesus. This inclusion is significant because if the Gospel writers were fabricating a story to persuade others, they would have likely chosen male witnesses to lend greater credibility to their accounts. The fact that they chose to include women, despite the cultural bias against their testimony, suggests a commitment to recording what they believed to be true events. This willingness to include the testimonies of women, despite potential social stigma, adds credibility to the accounts of Jesus’ resurrection.

The faith-building bottom line is that the evidence is both compelling and multifaceted. From eyewitness testimonies to historical consensus and extra-biblical corroboration, the case for the resurrection stands strong. As believers, it is essential that you and I understand and articulate these reasons, not only to strengthen our own faith but also to share the hope we have in Christ with others.

FREE PDF: Why the Resurrection of Jesus is Believable

To help you dive deeper into this topic and equip you to share these reasons with others, I’ve created a free PDF Quick Guide outlining these seven reasons to believe in the resurrection of Jesus. Download your FREE copy HERE and let’s continue to explore the incredible truth of the resurrection together.

For His glory,

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