The Rest is History

Nearly six years ago, one of our contributors posted this blog on the resurrection of Jesus. In the post, John offers three pieces of evidence that support the resurrection of Jesus from the dead.

  1. The eyewitness testimony of the disciples.
  2. The transformed lives of the disciples.
  3.  The empty tomb.

The bodily resurrection of Jesus lies at the heart of Christian theology. If the body of Christ did not rise from the dead, the Christian faith means nothing. Since belief in the resurrection relies on the evidence, it’s worth our time as either believers or skeptics to evaluate the quality of the evidence.

The mistake that many people make (including those who believe in Jesus) is to remove the New Testament from its historical connections. In his book Reasonable Faith, William Lane Craig states, “Christianity is not a code for living or a philosophy of religion; rather it is rooted in real events of history.” Dr. Craig argues that the New Testament is different from other pieces of religious literature. While it communicates a code for living and promises spiritual insight and transformation for those who follow it, it does so in the midst of real events that happened to real people in real places some 2,000 years ago.

Whether or not the New Testament accurately portrays of the people, places, and events of the first century affects the credibility of the spiritual truths it teaches. Why should I believe that Jesus is “the way, the truth, and the life,” if the man who recorded that statement claimed the distance between Bethany and Jerusalem was 8 stadia rather than 15 (John 14:6 and 11:18)? In other words, if John could not accurately record well-known, verifiable facts, why should I trust what only he and a handful of other men heard a few chapters later?

The twelve disciples claimed that they witnessed Jesus alive from the dead. They ate with him, touched him, talked to him, and received critically important teachings from him during this time. Do we know if these were reliable men? What evidence do they offer for a bodily resurrection? And, if Jesus is in fact alive from the dead never to die again, how should that truth affect my life?

I plan to dedicate the next few weeks to answering these, and other, questions. However, I’m interested in what you think. If you’re a believer, what parts of the gospel convinced you that the disciples were trustworthy? If you’re a skeptic, what stands in your way from believing that Jesus rose from the dead?

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  1. Wilma Darlington
    February 11, 2015

    Not only did the Old Testament predict events in the New, hundreds of years before they happened; but the teachings of the NT are about trusting beyond ourselves: a faith not to be shaken, which also requires an obedience above all others. When I’ve studied Jesus’ obedient life, and realized that here, we have the Son of God surrendering His words, His actions, and His entire earthly existence to the Father; it impresses upon me that I can do no less. “If you love Me, keep My Commandments.” Love is expressed in obedience. And with obedience, comes the peace that passes all our understanding or comprehension. I’m thankful perfection is a continuing process; but just as thankful that the Son of God loved me enough to surrender His life for my salvation. Will I surrender mine, for an eternity with Him? We answer that question every day.

  2. February 12, 2015

    Thanks Wilma, very well said. The prophecies fulfilled by Jesus are convicting and convincing. The foresight of God as well as His power to work human events together to bring about His Son’s entry into the world is awe-inspiring. And all He tells us to do is obey Him! What grace and what love!

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