How Do We Know Jesus Was Raised From The Dead?

Good question. 

From an archeological standpoint, all of the claims of Scripture stand up firmly. From Jerusalem to the rulers who were in power, even down to the practice of crucifixion and burial described in Scripture, everything lines up with what historians and archeologists have found about the claims of the culture and historical setting of Jesus’ life. There are even references to Jesus and the claims of resurrection in non-Christian texts from that day. 

One reason we know about Jesus’ resurrection and ascension is due to the consistant witness of those who saw him. In 1 Cor 15:3-8, Paul recounts what he told the church in Corinth about Jesus Christ. In doing so, he says that Christ died and was raised, that he appeared to Peter, to the 12 disciples, to over 500 people at the same time, to the Apostles and James, and lastly to Paul himself. The number of witnesses to the resurrection is profoundly large, and given the political and religious climate around the founding and early life of the church, it is quite odd that there is no record of any of these witnesses denying or changing their testimony about what they saw. Many of these early witnesses were killed for their faith, yet none of them revealed or confessed that they were lying about Jesus’ resurrection. It is odd that even persecution and death left these witnesses unwaivering in their confession about Christ. For that many witnesses to collectively stick to their guns about the resurrection, they would either have to all be lying, all had the same hallucination at the same moment (500 at the same time? really?) or it must be true.

Another reason we can attest to the truth of the resurrection is because the enemies of the church could have done one thing to thwart the movement of the early church and yet could not: they simply could have produced the body of Jesus. If Jesus’ body was found, the entire movement of Christianity would have ceased. Even the testimony of the guards who were at the tomb could have stopped its momentum. Yet none of these voices can be heard. 

There are plenty of books written about this subject: William Lane Craig’s Reasonable Faith and The Son Rises, J.P. Moreland’s Scaling the Secular City, and Gary Habermas’ The Case for the Resurrection of Jesus and Did Jesus Rise from the Dead?, a debate with then-atheist Anthony Flew. Check them out for more information on this question. 

 

(Answer Provided by Drew Causey)

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