Tuesday, May 10, 2005

Did Jesus Really Rise From The Dead? – Conclusion

Over the past 8 posts you’ve joined me on a journey to determine whether or not Jesus of Nazareth really died on the cross and rose again from the dead, or if the story is just a legend passed on for centuries. In our journey we covered a lot of territory and I want to briefly recap what we learned. First we looked at what the resurrection is and is not.

We then looked at five separate factors increase the reliability of information we are looking at. While none of these factors alone can 100% prove anything, taken together they make for a powerful argument.

Next we looked at the evidence of the empty tomb. We examined the burial procedures that were used and we identified participants and eyewitnesses that ensured Jesus’ body made it into the tomb. We learned that both believer and skeptic alike agreed that the tomb was empty and we identified by name, those that discovered and verified that the tomb was empty.

We then examined the multiple appearances of Jesus after his death. We saw how sometimes he appeared to individuals and other times he appeared to large groups. We also saw the consistency that ran throughout these appearance narratives.

After looking at the appearances we examined the behavior of the eyewitnesses. In other words, we put their words aside and looked at their actions. We saw that despite having every reason not to, the disciples were convinced of Jesus’ resurrection. We concluded by determining that no one dies for what they know to be a lie, and yet every single disciple (minus 1 who was banished to a remote island) were executed for their belief in the resurrection.

We then finished our study by looking at some of the alternative views to the resurrection. We examined what each theory claims and then looked at them in light of what we learned about the resurrection.

I hope you have been able to see that there are clear, rational, and logical reasons for believing in the resurrection of Jesus as a true historical event. Perhaps in the past you’ve asked yourself “What makes Jesus so different from any other historical figure?” Well, I can take you to the grave of Buddha, Mohammad, and Gandhi, but I cannot take you to the grave of Jesus Christ. Jesus is the only person in all of history to claim to be God, and then back it up by raising himself from the dead. I can’t think of any stronger evidence one can show than by single handedly conquering death and for that I believe in him and his message; that because of our sins, the only way to God is by belief in his Son Jesus.

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