No other event on the stage of world history is as important as the resurrection of Jesus Christ. Skeptics have long sought to discredit Christianity’s claims with attacks on the foundational veracity of the gospel. So is it really true? Let’s take a look at the facts that are recorded in the secular history of the time.
The Jewish and Roman historical records note that a man named Jesus from Nazareth was crucified at Golgotha and buried in a garden tomb. The grave was sealed and Roman guards were posted to prevent the theft of the body. History records that the condemned man’s tomb was found empty three days later, despite the extreme measures the Romans took to secure the grave. Jewish records note the claims of Jesus’ followers that their Lord had been resurrected. Historical writers of the time frequently mention eyewitnesses to the risen Jesus, just as Paul spoke of Peter, the Apostles, more than five hundred brothers, James (Jesus’ own doubting brother), and finally Paul himself (1 Corinthians 15:3-8). In these verses, Paul reminds the believers of the gospel message “that Christ died for our sins, according to the Scriptures, that he was buried, and he was raised on the third day according to the Scripture” (v. 3-4). These verses are almost certainly a creed that was well established in the ancient church and based on the testimonies of the very ones who firmly and emphatically believed they saw the literal resurrected Lord. These are men who had been transformed from terrified, despondent fellows cowering behind locked doors (John 20:19) to bold witnesses willing to die for their faith, confident in what they saw (Acts 4:1-20).
The gospel message – the death, burial, and resurrection of Jesus – is strongly supported by men and women who had an encounter that transformed their lives and the landscape of world history. The evidence is clearly shown in their testimonies and the traditions that are built on the foundation of their testimonies. The eyewitness accounts of Peter, James, John and Paul, and hundreds of others, combined with the early creedal statements of the church provide good support for the claims of the resurrection of Jesus.
Still, facts alone cannot convince anyone of the reality of Jesus’ life, death, and resurrection. Generations of believers who have also experienced this life-changing Jesus provide the greatest proof that the claims of Christianity are true. People like me. I was a sinner, lost and bound for hell, but I heard the good news that God loves me and send His Son to die for my sins and rose to life three days later. I believed in Jesus. His Spirit lives in me and I have been changed. Forever.
Beloved, this same Jesus died for you too. He can change your life and your eternal destiny. Will you believe today?