Faith – Easter is upon us, and it’s one of two annual special holidays for Christians. Christians celebrate it as the time when Christ arose from the dead. Doubters claim many reasons not to believe in the resurrection, from the belief that Jesus never existed to that he only fainted on the cross and never really died but went on to marry and have children.
One of the foremost atheists in America, Bart Ehrman, will tell you there is more than enough evidence to prove Jesus existed. There is even more textural evidence for Jesus than for Alexander the Great. People who deny Jesus’ historic existence simply don’t know their history
So, can the Bible be trusted to give an accurate account of Jesus’ crucifixion and resurrection, or is it biased? More than a billion people believe it provides a reliable account of the resurrection
One might question the accuracy of the gospels (Matthew, Mark, Luke, John) because they don’t agree with each other. According to one atheist turned Christian, that is precisely what led him to believe that the narratives were true eyewitness accounts. J. Warner Wallace is a former cold case detective from Los Angeles whose cold cases have been featured on television.
Wallace said he had discovered witnesses who testified to the same exact thing had gotten together before they testified and got their stories straight. He said when he was called out on a case, he always asked if there were any witnesses and, if so, to separate them. Because the gospels are not similar is what led Wallace to believe the accounts of Jesus found there in could be trusted.
Another thing. Who would make up a resurrection story in which the first witnesses to the resurrection were not even people who could testify to the event in a Jewish court? Women could not testify in a court in those days, yet this is who the Bible says first discovered Christ had arisen.
The Bible says the guards who stood to watch over the tomb to ensure his disciples did not come and take the body. These guards were under penalty of death if they allowed anything to happen to the body. Yet, the Bible said they were not killed but paid off to declare the disciples came and took Jesus’ body. The guards would have been killed if the powers that be didn’t need them for the cover-up.
Then one of the most convincing pieces of evidentiary proof comes in the book of 1 Corinthians chapter 15 where Paul challenges the Corinthians, saying, “For I delivered unto you first of all that which I also received, how that Christ died for our sins according to the scriptures; And that he was buried, and that he rose again the third day according to the scriptures: And that he was seen of Cephas, then of the twelve: After that, he was seen of above five hundred brethren at once; of whom the greater part remain unto this present, but some are fallen asleep.
He told the Corinthians that if they wanted to check out the truth, there were still hundreds left that could testify to the resurrection. That’s an excellent way to get into trouble if you are promoting a lie. If just one of the 500 left had said “no,” they didn’t see him, the gig would have been up
All the disciples of Jesus (except for one), including Paul, who had once been a zealot against the Christians and killed them, were willing to be martyred for their eyewitness testimony.
Now, before you start saying, Well, plenty of people are willing to die for their faith, whether they’re Christian, Muslim, Buddhist, etc.’ Yes, that’s true. People are willing to die for what they believe is true, but these disciples were willing to die for what they said they personally saw with their own eyes, and for what? There was no gain in sticking with a lie when all they had to do was renounce it and end their persecution. Instead, they claimed the truth of the resurrection unto their deaths.
There are other sources of Jesus’ resurrection, including Jewish historian Josephus, who wrote, “About this time there lived Jesus, a wise man, if indeed one ought to call him a man. For he … wrought surprising feats…. He was the Christ. When Pilate …condemned him to be crucified, those who had…come to love him did not give up their affection for him. On the third day he appeared…restored to life…And the tribe of Christians…has…not disappeared.”
So Christian, this Easter, rest assured in your faith of the resurrection, and if you have not, the Bible says belief is all it takes to rest in that truth.