Did Jesus Really Rise From the Dead? (article)
Article 14 of 30 from the Ponder This - 2001 series
April 2001 – On this Easter Sunday we join with Christians around the world to celebrate the resurrection of our Lord and Savior. But how do we know that 2,000 years ago a man named Jesus actually died and came back from the dead? The only way to answer that question is to examine the original documents-the four gospels of the New Testament. A study of the historical record reveals the following facts:
1) Jesus predicted his death and resurrection.
2) Jesus really died.
3) His body was embalmed and then buried.
4) The disciples didn’t expect a resurrection.
5) No one believed it at first.
6) The disciples had to be convinced he had risen.
7) The Jewish leaders tried to cover it up.
8) The seal was broken and the stone was rolled away.
9) The angels testified, “He is risen.”
10) The grave clothes were still in place.
11) The tomb was empty.
12) No one ever found his body.
13) He appeared to many people.
14) He showed his wounds to Thomas.
15) He ate with the disciples.
16) He stayed with them for 40 days.
17) The disciples were utterly transformed once they met the risen Christ.
18) The first Christians all believed he had risen from the dead.
19) The Resurrection was the centerpiece of their preaching.
20) The apostles died testifying to the truth of the Resurrection.
To this we may add that for 2,000 years no one has produced a convincing answer to the question, “If Jesus didn’t rise from the dead, what happened to his body?” Today over 1.8 billion Christians testify that Jesus is alive. For those who are not convinced, we simply say, “Examine the evidence and come to your own conclusion.” We believe the facts point in only one direction-that on Easter Sunday morning Jesus Christ walked out of the tomb, alive from the dead. He is risen! He is risen indeed!
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