My top 5 proofs the resurrection of Jesus really happened…
1. Who moved the stone?
2. Where’s the body?
3. Liar, Lord or Lunatic?
5. The big change
Here’s some thoughts on those five proofs…
1. Oaky, who moved the stone, the half-ton rock that sealed the entrance to the tomb (Mt 27:59; Jn 20:1)? Did the women who came to the grave early that morning roll the stone away? I think not. Too big. Plus John 20:1 reports that the stone was already rolled away when they arrived. Plus the authorities had set a detail of soldiers to guard the tomb to prevent anyone from stealing the body (Mt 27:62-66). So it wasn’t the women. It wasn’t the disciples for the same reasons. It surely wasn’t the solders themselves. It couldn’t be the authorities since a missing body was the very thing they wanted to avoid. So, who moved the stone?
2. So where’s the body? If Jesus was still dead, all the authorities had to do to prove it was produce the body. Where did it go? They had control. They had the guard detail in place to prevent any funny business for this very reason (Mt. 27:62-66). Is there any good explanation for what happened to the body except that Jesus is alive? Some have suggested that Jesus wasn’t really dead, just in a coma-like state from the horrendous torture, the loss of blood, extreme thirst and exhaustion. They say that in the coolness of the tomb he revived, pushed the half-ton stone away without the guard detail noticing, and just walked away. This is called the “Swoon Theory.” What do you think?
3. Lord, Lunatic or Liar? Multiple times Jesus told the disciples and the crowds and the religious authorities of his day that he would be killed and rise from the dead, and he would do it in three days (Lk 18:32, 33; Jn 2:19-22). This was so well know that it was actually used as a mocking taunt while he hung on the cross (Mt 27:40). Now when Jesus said that, he was either telling the truth, or he was nuts, or he was a liar. Taking off on CS Lewis famous choice in Mere Christianity, Jesus is either who he said he is – Son of God and Lord of all creation; or, he is a lunatic – “on the level of man man who says he is a poached egg” to use Lewis’ words; or, Jesus is a deceitful liar, a con man who tricked everyone. Which do you think he is, Lord, liar or lunatic?
4. 500+. There were more than 500 eyewitnesses who saw Jesus alive after his crucifixion and resurrection (1 Corinthians 15:4-7). There were multiple experiences, not just a single “mass hysteria” experience that some would like to claim. Some, like Mary and Thomas, had very personal and dramatic encounters with the risen Jesus (Jn 20:14-18; 26-29). But the apostle Paul reports that more than 500 individuals, who were still alive and could be identified and cross-examined at the time he wrote to the Corinthians, had seen Jesus alive. That’s pretty cool if you ask me.
5. The Big Change. So, immediately after his death, the 11 remaining disciples, his closet friends and followers, were hiding out behind locked doors, for fear that the authorities might come after them next (Jn 20:19). What changed them from fearful and keeping a low-profile (John 20:19) to outspoken public followers of Jesus (Acts 2:14-41 and Acts 4:13)? What changed them from frightened followers to men who would face trials and persecutions, even martyrdom, for the name of Jesus? Particularly if they knew he was still dead? What do you think explains this dramatic change in the disciples?
What do you think? Convinced? Still not sure? If you are serious about finding out I recommend Lee Strobel’s excellent books, The Case for Christ and The Case for Faith. Want more? Read Josh MacDowell’s classic More Than a Carpenter and C.S. Lewis’ unequalled Mere Christianity.
And I welcome a conversation over a cup of coffee any time.
Resting in Him,