11 Reasons Why It's Logical to Believe the Real Jesus Rose from the Dead.
by Scott Cherry—
In the 1st century the Christian faith mushroomed throughout the Roman Empire despite waves of persecution against Christians. Unlike Islam, it spread without military force or any sort of violence perpetrated by Christians for three whole centuries. It was literally unstoppable, but why?! Because it was credible, and thousands of average people believed it even though they had nothing to gain and everything to lose during those three centuries. There is no other logical way to explain the growth of Christianity but that Jesus rose from the dead and appeared to the disciples and "more than 500 brethren at one time". (1 Cor. 15)
How the resurrection is made compelling by beauty, coherence and historical evidence
What is confirmed by even the most skeptical skeptics using modern historical methodology? 12 Non-Negotiable Facts About the Resurrection of Jesus, by Gary Habermaas
- Jesus died by Roman crucifixion.
- He was buried, most likely in a private tomb.
- Soon afterward, the disciples were discouraged, bereaved, and despondent, having lost hope.
- Jesus’ tomb was found empty very soon after his interment.
- The disciples had experiences that they believed were actual appearances of the risen Jesus.
- Due to these experiences, the disciples’ lives were thoroughly transformed, even being willing to die for this belief.
- The proclamation of the resurrection took place very early, at the beginning of church history.
- The disciples’ public testimony and preaching of the resurrection took place in the city of Jerusalem, where Jesus had been crucified and buried shortly before.
- The Gospel message centered on the death and resurrection of Jesus.
- Sunday was the primary day for gathering and worshipping.
- James, the brother of Jesus and former skeptic, was converted when, he believed, he saw the risen Jesus.
- Just a few years later, Saul of Tarsus (Paul) became a Christian believer due to an experience that he believed was an appearance of the risen Jesus.”
Gary R. Habermas, The Risen Jesus & Future Hope (Lanham, MD: Rowman & Littlefield, 2003), 9-10.
Do the Narratives of Jesus's Resurrection conflict?
Dan Barker, many years ago issues a challenge to Christians to take the 4 gospels and build a reasonable narrative of them. Presumably, he feels it is difficult, when in fact, the 4 gospels harmonize nicely without adding any commentary at all.
The conditions of the challenge are simple and reasonable. In each of the four Gospels, begin at Easter morning and read to the end of the book: Matthew 28, Mark 16, Luke 24, and John 20-21. Also read Acts 1:3-12 and Paul's tiny version of the story in I Corinthians 15:3-8. These 165 verses can be read in a few moments. Then, without omitting a single detail from these separate accounts, write a simple, chronological narrative of the events between the resurrection and the ascension: what happened first, second, and so on; who said what, when; and where these things happened. ...His premise is that the gospels contradict and cannot be reconciled.
The Search for the Missing Corpse
In 33 AD, Palestine was the Roman name for the geographical region encompassing Judea and Galilee at that time over which the Romans were firmly in control of their Jewish and other Levantine subjects. I call this a CSI story because it focuses on the human capacity and function of forensic reason that is required to solve perplexing crimes such as some murders, abductions and others are. Based on actual historical events of the early first century and documented by histor- ians of the day, that's the kind of story this is. It masterfully depicts the reality of worldview presuppositions at work, and the application of both inductive and deductive reason that are unavoidably relied upon to unravel mysteries of this nature within the complex Judeo-Roman milieu.