Evidence for the Resurrection
1 Cor. 15:3-5
Know Why You (Can) Believe, cont.1 Corinthians 15:3–8 (ESV) 3 For I delivered to you as of first importance what I also received: that Christ died for our sins in accordance with the Scriptures, 4 that he was buried, that he was raised on the third day in accordance with the Scriptures, 5 and that he appeared to Cephas, then to the twelve. 6 Then he appeared to more than five hundred brothers at one time, most of whom are still alive, though some have fallen asleep. 7 Then he appeared to James, then to all the apostles. 8 Last of all, as to one untimely born, he appeared also to me.
A Sampling of the Evidence
For the empty tomb
· The disciples would not have believed the resurrection if Jesus body was still in the grave.
· No one else would have believed them if someone could have produced Jesus’ body
· The discovery of the empty tomb has numerous independent sources
· The resurrection stories in the gospels are simply stated. They don’t contain the characteristics of legend.
· The tomb was discovered empty by women
· Early efforts to discount the resurrection acknowledge that the tomb was empty
For the physical appearances after the resurrection
Paul’s list of appearances in 1 Corinthians 15:3-5 guarantees that they happened
· See text above
· The stories of the appearance in the gospels have numerous independent sources
· The appearances were physical
· They were no more likely to expect this then than we are now
For the beginning of the Christian faith and the church
· A crucified Messiah was a contradiction in terms
· Belief in the resurrection turned this reality on its head
· This belief transformed the disciples and ultimately all of history
Mark 14:48–50 (NIV) 48 “Am I leading a rebellion,” said Jesus, “that you have come out with swords and clubs to capture me? 49 Every day I was with you, teaching in the temple courts, and you did not arrest me. But the Scriptures must be fulfilled.” 50 Then everyone deserted him and fled.
John 20:19–20 (NIV) 19 On the evening of that first day of the week, when the disciples were together, with the doors locked for fear of the Jewish leaders, Jesus came and stood among them and said, “Peace be with you!” 20 After he said this, he showed them his hands and side. The disciples were overjoyed when they saw the Lord.
Most people think that, when it comes to Jesus’s resurrection, the burden of proof is on believers to give evidence that it happened. That is not completely the case. The resurrection also puts a burden of proof on its nonbelievers. It is not enough to simply believe Jesus did not rise from the dead. You must then come up with a historically feasible alternate explanation for the birth of the church. You have to provide some other plausible account for how things began. Keller, Timothy (2008-02-14). The Reason for God (p. 200). Penguin Group. Kindle Edition.