Many do not believe that a man could rise from the dead and ascend to heaven. Some even say Jesus was not dead when buried in the tomb and simply woke up within three days. He somehow moved the bolder in front of the opening, or his disciples did it to deceive all into thinking that Jesus rose from the dead. I wondered why anyone should believe the claims of Jesus’ resurrection. How do we know that Jesus really rose from the dead?
Several historical resources record the claims of the Apostles and others that Jesus rose from the dead. The critics and opponents of that time could have easily disputed those claims by producing the body. However, it was never recovered. Instead, they seemed to try to cover up what really happened.
For example, they paid the guards that watched Jesus’ tomb to lie about what happened. The Roman historian Tacitus mentions Jesus and how Pontius Pilate crucified him. Unfortunately, most of Tacitus’ writings have not survived. The Jewish historian Josephus also mentioned Jesus Christ in his writings.
The Reliability of the Bible
The Bible provides much evidence of the resurrection of Jesus Christ. However, is the Bible a reliable historical source? Yes. It is. We can believe the claims in the Bible when we read it in context. Its claims about the resurrection of Jesus have not been disproved, though there remain many points of contention.
The Bible is one of few or the only document closest to the historical events recorded in it. Furthermore, it is unlikely that the disciples would welcome death, knowing that the claims about the resurrection were false because they stole His dead body from the tomb. The evidence suggests that a man named Jesus (Yeshua Ben Yosef of Nazareth) was killed by Pontious Pilate and claimed to have risen from the dead.
It was only necessary for the opponents to the disciples’ claims of Jesus’ resurrection to produce the body, which they could not do.
It seems incredible that a human would rise from the dead. However, that happens even to this day. Just because something is incredible doesn’t mean that it didn’t happen. We can now do things that would have been science fiction several years ago. Perhaps sometimes a thing is incredible only because it hadn’t been done yet.
Also, consider that God raised Jesus from the dead Is anything impossible to God? Jesus’ resurrection had nothing to do with people’s capabilities, only God’s power. He created the universe and everything within it, so it seems silly to believe that he couldn’t raise a person from the dead just because it is farfetched.
Why Fabricate the Resurrection
Why would anyone fabricate a situation and allow themselves to suffer for it and even die? I alluded to this point earlier. Suppose the disciples were lying about Jesus’ resurrection. In that case, it seems somewhat irrational that they would allow themselves to be persecuted for a lie they made up.
It seems even more unlikely that the masses of people, even Jews, that did believe would allow themselves to be persecuted and killed because of a lie. I think they genuinely believed Jesus was raised from the dead, proving that he was the son of God (Romans 1:4).
Given all the evidence we have about the resurrection claims, it is more probable that Jesus really did rise from the dead.
If Jesus was a real person in human history and he actually rose from the dead, then we should consider his other claims. What if he really is the son of God? What if he really came to die for our sins? What if, without him, we are all headed for destruction? What if we only have to believe in him, i.e., believe that he died for our sins and rose from the dead, and we would be saved and enter into an eternal relationship with the Father, the creator of all that exists, the God of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob?
We have much to think about if the Bible is a reliable document because it reveals much about God and Jesus. We have a lot of information if the Bible is a reliable document. The Bible has stood the test of time. Even when targeted for destruction, it could not be destroyed.
Christians celebrate an actual event in human history, namely the resurrection of our Lord and Savior, Jesus the Christ. Jesus came to save his people from their sins. Jesus came so that we all would have everlasting life and not destruction, an abundant life. Jesus came so that we could enter into a relationship with Yahweh, God our heavenly Father.
The historical evidence about Jesus suggests that he did exist, was killed, and arose from the dead. Considering the Bible as a reliable historical source of the resurrection, we again see that the evidence supports it.
Therefore, we can confidently conclude that the resurrection of Jesus Christ was a real event in human history.