Monday, March 24, 2008

10 Proofs of the Resurrection

The body of evidence for the actuality of the Resurrrection of our Lord can be grouped into 14 categories of proof. Below are ten of them:

1. Jesus Christ predicted it would happen.

2. He really died and was buried in a known, accessible tomb (He was put to death by professional executioners who knew what they were doing and were expert in making sure their charges were dead. Nicodemus and Joseph of Arimathea certainly thought He was dead and spent a lot of time preparing His body for burial. His enemies in Mt 27:62-64 believed he was dead, and feared that the disciples would take away the body, thus they established elaborate security measures to guard it.

3. The facts of the empty tomb (known and accessible) and the condition of the grave clothes.

4. The post Resurrection appearances of Christ. He appeared for a period of 40 days to many different people. On one occasion to at least 500.

5. The tacit recognition of the resurrection by His enemies. Powerful people in Jerusalem had participated in His execution and certainly would not want stories of His resurrection getting out. They had the ability to take action, to access to the tomb, the witnesses, etc. If it was a hoax, surely they'd have been able to prove that.

6. The character of the witnesses to the resurrection.

7. The dramatic change in disciples after the resurrection. Peter went from denying the Lord and hiding in the upper room, to literally getting in Pharisee's faces: "Let it be known to all of you (Annas and Caiaphas and others), and to all the people of Israel, that by the name of Jesus Christ the Nazarene, whom you crucified, whom God raised from the dead...He is the stone which was rejected by you, the builders, but which became the very cornerstone. And there is salvation in no other name under heaven that has been given among men, by which we must be saved". Acts 2:10-12

8. The origin and perpetuation of the Christian church. (ie that it was started in hostile territory, Jerusalem, where everyone would know if the resurrection was a hoax.)

9. The persecution of the disciples (why continue to proclaim a lie in the face of continued persecution? And if the persecuting authorities had any evidence this was a lie, why not just produce it?)

10. None of the apostles recanted their claim the resurrection was true, though most of them died violent deaths for their beliefs. And they died alone, when they could have recanted without the others' knowledge and lived. None did.