Why I Believe in the Resurrection

Empty Tomb

I’m explaining why I believe what I believe. Please read my introductory post if you have not done so already.

In my previous post, I began to explain why I believe in Jesus Christ, but I kept the strongest proof for this post. I believe in the resurrection.

The resurrection of Jesus Christ is the ultimate reason to believe that Jesus is who he claimed to be. It’s the one sign that Jesus himself offered as proof for his authority.

“An evil and adulterous generation seeks for a sign, but no sign will be given to it except the sign of the prophet Jonah. For just as Jonah was three days and three nights in the belly of the great fish, so will the Son of Man be three days and three nights in the heart of the earth.” (Matthew 12:39–40, ESV)

“The Son of Man is going to be delivered into the hands of men, and they will kill him. And when he is killed, after three days he will rise.” (Mark 9:31, ESV)

Any lunatic or liar could have made the claims that Jesus made, but such claims would have ended at death.

Jesus prophesied his own death, but he also prophesied that he would rise again. And indeed, God did raise him back from the dead, proving once and for all that he was exactly who he claimed to be.

This resurrection was confirmed by far more witnesses than should be needed to establish proof. Paul wrote that the resurrected Jesus “appeared to more than five hundred brothers at one time, most of whom are still alive, though some have fallen asleep” (1 Corinthians 15:6, ESV). People in Paul’s day could have simply spoken to these witnesses to confirm the resurrection for themselves.

If the resurrection had not really taken place, such a story would have been quickly disproven, and it would not have lasted to this day. I see no possibility that the Christian religion could have taken off like it did if Jesus had not risen.

The early believers faced extreme persecution for their belief. Most of the apostles died horrible deaths. What could possibly have motivated them to hold on to their faith if they had not seen the risen Christ? Remember, people don’t usually die for what they know to be a lie.

Paul wrote that “if Christ has not been raised, then our preaching is in vain and your faith is in vain” (1 Corinthians 15:14, ESV) and that “if in Christ we have hope in this life only, we are of all people most to be pitied. But in fact Christ has been raised from the dead” (1 Corinthians 15:19–20, ESV).

Clearly, Paul and the other apostles believed what they had seen.

For a much more thorough examination of the resurrection of Jesus Christ, I commend to you the following series of articles written by a good friend of mine, Tim Chaffey. He discusses the historicity of the resurrection, and he debunks many of the attempts to explain it away.

Jesus’ resurrection forms the very core of my belief system. Everything hinges on this. If Jesus did rise from the dead, then he is the Son of God, the Savior of mankind, and the one worthy of our worship and allegiance.

The rest of my beliefs that I will explain are all secondary to this. They comprise the specifics of my faith, but this is at the center—Jesus Christ, crucified and risen.

So what do you think? Did God raise Jesus from the dead? Did the apostles suffer and die for a lie?

Why do you believe what you believe?

“Why I Believe” Series