If Jesus rose from the dead, we should take his claims seriously! Christianity is true.
And if he didn't, he's just another dead guy with wrong ideas. Christianity is false.
The Bible even says this:
And if Christ has not been raised, our preaching is useless and so is your faith.
(1 Corinthians 15:14)
So how strong is the evidence for the resurrection of Jesus from the dead? What do we know?
This video explores that...
There are 3 main well-attested historical facts that require explanation:
1. The discovery of Jesus' empty tomb.
- 6 independent early sources (Lk 24:1-12, Jn 20:1-8, 1 Cor 15:3-5, Mk 16:1-8, Mt 28:1-10, Ac 2:29-32).
- Women discovering the tomb (likely true because a plausible hoax in that culture would have had men discovering it).
- The Jewish authorities circulated a false story about the empty tomb. This should also increase our confidence that there was one!
2. The appearances of Jesus alive after his death.
- Paul's list of witnesses: Peter, the 12, crowd of 500+, James, the apostles, himself (1 Cor 15:3-8).
- Various appearances are independently confirmed in the gospel accounts.
- We can be confident that many individuals and groups had experiences of Jesus appearing to them alive after his death.
3. The disciples' belief that Jesus rose from the dead.
- As Jews they had no concept of a Messiah being killed and raised.
- They would have believed Jesus was under God's curse when he died (Dt 21:22-23).
- Yet Jesus' disciples suddenly and sincerely believed he had risen from the dead and were even willing to die for this belief.
So why was Jesus' tomb found to be empty after he had been buried in it?
Why did so many people experience appearances of Jesus alive after he died?
Why were Jesus' disciples willing to face death for their belief that he had risen from the dead?
These are all questions for the next video, but for now, let's consider the CERTAINTY of these facts...
1. Why should we think that the empty tomb of Jesus is a historical fact? If this were the only known fact, what alternative explanations could be suggested?
2. Why should we think that people really did have experiences of seeing Jesus alive after he died? If this were the only known fact, what alternative explanations could be suggested?
3. Why is it curious that the Jewish disciples of Jesus suddenly and sincerely believed he had risen from the dead? How do we know they were sincere?
4. Why do these 3 historical facts require explanation? And what possible explanations are there?
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