Summary: Christianity rests on the amazing story of the Resurrection of Jesus Christ. How can we be sure this resurrection really happened? What are the other possibilities and are there any facts that support the reality of the resurrection of Jesus Christ?
Fables that Deny the Resurrection
The “Stolen Body” Fable
The “Didn’t Really Die” Fable
The “Wrong Tomb” Fable
Facts that Support the Resurrection
The Empty Tomb
The Effects on the Lives of the Disciples
The Existence of Christianity today
Video - Follow
Who do you follow?
In this age of social media, choosing to be a friend of someone on Facebook or to follow someone on Twitter takes just the click of a button.
That is a little different than what it meant to follow someone in the time of Christ.
To follow someone was to really commit your life to learning from them and trusting them.
Have you ever thought about what it really means to trust Jesus?
To trust someone you have to believe they are trustworthy and honest and reliable.
Is Jesus trust worthy, honest, reliable?
We believe him to be, but have we ever really stopped and examined his claims and the truth of them?
For instance, today we celebrate the resurrection. Jesus said He was going to rise from the dead.
But can we really know that He did?
I mean, we weren’t there. In fact, I don’t know about you, but I have never seen a resurrection.
Maybe you have seen a resuscitation, someone coming back to life to die again, but a resurrection? Someone coming back to life and changed to never face death again?
To follow Jesus, do we really need to believe in the resurrection…Really?
I want you to turn in your Bibles to Luke 24:1-11. We are going to read the account of the resurrection from Luke and see that the Apostles, whom Jesus told beforehand, even had trouble believing that He was raised from the dead at first.
As you turn there, I want to read you a Scripture from 1 Corinthians to show just how essential a belief in the resurrection is to Christianity. This is not something we can just choose to believe or not and still be a Christian according to Scripture.
Listen to what Paul says in
12 But if it is preached that Christ has been raised from the dead, how can some of you say that there is no resurrection of the dead? 13 If there is no resurrection of the dead, then not even Christ has been raised. 14 And if Christ has not been raised, our preaching is useless and so is your faith.
If Christ did not physically resurrect from the dead, then our faith in Christ is useless. You might as well just live life as you see fit, because if Christ did not raise from the dead, he lied to his followers, and there really is no hope in life.
The resurrection is essential to Christianity.
So, my question is, “how can we know and believe that it really happened” because this is not something that happens every day.
Let’s begin by reading the account of the resurrection in Luke 24:1-11.
24 On the first day of the week, very early in the morning, the women took the spices they had prepared and went to the tomb. 2 They found the stone rolled away from the tomb, 3 but when they entered, they did not find the body of the Lord Jesus. 4 While they were wondering about this, suddenly two men in clothes that gleamed like lightning stood beside them. 5 In their fright the women bowed down with their faces to the ground, but the men said to them, "Why do you look for the living among the dead? 6 He is not here; he has risen! Remember how he told you, while he was still with you in Galilee: 7 ’The Son of Man must be delivered into the hands of sinful men, be crucified and on the third day be raised again.’" 8 Then they remembered his words.
9 When they came back from the tomb, they told all these things to the Eleven and to all the others. 10 It was Mary Magdalene, Joanna, Mary the mother of James, and the others with them who told this to the apostles. 11 But they did not believe the women, because their words seemed to them like nonsense. NIV
The resurrection, even though Jesus told them, seemed like nonsense. It was beyond their understanding because they had never seen one before, either.
If the resurrection is so essential to Christianity, how are we supposed to believe if even the Apostles at first had difficulty?
Well, they didn’t have difficulty for long, as we shall see. And through the evidence that we will look at we too will see that the resurrection of Jesus is one of the best attested events in all of history.