The Guarantee of Life Everlasting
We have trust-like faith in science — accepted theories based on valid explanations of phenomenon. But is there evidence that Jesus’ resurrection actually occurred? And if it did, what does it matter to you as an individual? If true, it is the most momentous event that ever rocked the world and is the Christian’s guarantee of everlasting life.
- Prophecies documented centuries before Jesus’ birth predicted His life, death, and resurrection. There are specific details of these prophecies that Jesus or His followers could not control, such as the crucifixion adopted by the Romans centuries after the prediction.
- Jesus predicted His death by crucifixion, His burial, and His resurrection. His dying by crucifixion is especially noteworthy as He could not control that. It was a manner of death that only Roman authorities could administer at that time. Jesus’ claim that His death by crucifixion followed by His resurrection on the third day would prove that who He was, what He taught and had accomplished were all true.
- Scholarly skeptics, pagans, and Jewish writers throughout history report that those of the Christian faith believe Jesus had risen from the dead. Multiple ancient manuscripts, including by Jewish historians, give details of a man called Jesus of Nazareth, who lived in first-century Palestine, was executed.
- The tomb where Christ lay had a broken Roman seal which meant immediate death for those responsible, but no perpetrator was found. The tomb, being found empty, had been admitted by both Jewish and Roman sources, including Josephus, the Jewish historian. Although there is plenty of historical evidence that the tomb was empty, there was none to counter it.
- The gospels of the Bible are four ancient biographies of Jesus Christ. They all say Jesus rose from the dead and these were written by eyewitnesses or based on eyewitness accounts. These were written and disseminated while other eyewitnesses still lived and could verify them. Letters also supported these biographies and were written by eyewitnesses while many of them still lived.
- There are eleven recorded accounts in the Bible of Jesus appearing after His resurrection, excluding Paul. Jesus appeared to men and women, to individuals and groups, and at least one large gathering of over 500 witnesses. He was seen indoors and outdoors at various locations and was touched, heard, and ate meals with witnesses. They all knew Jesus while He lived and acknowledged He was the same Jesus who was crucified. These witnesses did not believe that Jesus would be resurrected after His death.
- In the weeks that followed Jesus’ death, an explosive growth of the Christian movement occurred in the place where He died. Central to this movement was Jesus’ resurrection. Despite growing hostility and persecution, believers in Christianity continued to spread.
- Many witnesses of the resurrected Christ died because they claimed Jesus rose from the dead. People are willing to die for causes but not for ones they know are untrue. These witnesses died hideous deaths because of their knowledge of the crucifixion and the risen Christ. Authorities might have been pardoned them if they recanted. Instead, their deaths became their final testament to the truth of the resurrection.
- The message of this singular event of Christ’s resurrection reached across the Roman empire and spread within a few centuries despite opposition. Christ’s message greatly influenced cultures, politics, geography, religions, arts, literature, morality, ethics, and languages. The resurrection laid the groundwork for Western civilization. All this was accomplished by a handful of Jews from a nondescript territory under ancient Roman occupation.
Many scientists find that historical evidence is consistent with the resurrection. For more evidence of Jesus’ resurrection, including the grave clothes, the Roman guards, hostile witnesses, disciples’ lives, and more, read Josh McDowell’s “Evidence for the resurrection.” Learn what some top scientists have to say about the resurrection in “Can a Scientist Believe in the Resurrection?” Or, read Justin Bass’s article on what skeptical scholars admit about the resurrection.
After a preponderance of historical evidence pointing to the resurrection of Jesus Christ, how does that affect you personally? If you are a Christian, it serves to validate further your belief in Jesus Christ and the Gospel message. Not that you need validation, because Christians know that the just shall live by faith.
But if you are not a Christian, can you deny the historical evidence? It takes much more faith to believe the resurrection never happened than it does to acknowledge the overwhelming historical evidence that it is true. If Jesus resurrected just as He said He would, and also said you would be too if you believed on His name, then what is keeping you from being a believer? The evidence is clear. The resurrection is the guarantee of everlasting life, and you can have it by putting your trust and faith in Jesus Christ.
==> And read Giving Thanks to Our Great God.
==> Also read Museum of the Bible.
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