The Historical Fact
God raised up the third day, and showed Him openly;
to all the people, but unto witnesses chosen before of God,
to us who did eat and drink with Him after He rose from the
10. 40, 41.
of Jesus is the foundation of the Christian faith.
“And if Christ be not risen, then is our preaching
vain, and your faith is also vain. Yea, and we are found
false witnesses of God; because we have testified of God
that He raised up Christ: whom He raised not up, if so be
that the dead rise not......And if Christ be not raised,
your faith is vain; ye are yet in your sins.” (1
The resurrection is the cornerstone of any defense of the Christian
faith. Upon it rests everything that is essential to
resurrection appearances: an overwhelming historical proof.
careful study of the Scriptures will reveal the following
order of events unfolded in the resurrection appearances of
the third day he rose again in accordance with the
to Matthew 28:2-4, the guards saw an angel roll away the
stone from the tomb, and because of this the guards were
terrified. The Scriptures in this way account for the act of
breaking the Roman seal placed on the door of the tomb which
no one would have dared to do. It explains why the guards
were not able to explain what happened to the body of
sleeping during duty was a crime punishable with death.
The report of the soldiers suggested by the chief
priest (Matt 28:11-15) that someone stole the body while
they slept is false on the face of it.
stone was anything small and was not easy to be moved.
It was several tons in weight and needed several
people to move. It
was impossible to carry but was rolled away.
If the disciples were to take the body out, there
would have been several of them and they could not have done
without waking the soldiers even if they were sleeping.
stone was not removed for Christ to get out of the tomb, but
to the world to see that "He is no here."
Jesus was resurrected on the third day.
count our days starting from midnight to midnight.
But the Jews counted days from the sundown to
Sabbath day ended by the sundown of Saturday and the first
day began by sundown on Saturday being the first day.
Thus Jesus was probably resurrected by the midnight
following the sundown on sabbath (Saturday).
After the resurrection Jesus appeared
to many of his disciples and confirmed his resurrection and
gave them the great commission.
after the stone was rolled away, Mary Magdalene, Mary the
mother of James, Salome, and others arrived at the tomb
(Matt 28:1, 5-7; Mark 16:1-11; Luke 24:1-10; John 20:1). They
were met by the Angel who declared the resurrection.
Magdalene runs to tell the apostles with the other women
following more slowly (Matt 28:8; Mark 16:8; Luke 24:8-10;
informing the apostles, Mary Magdalene returns
preceded by Peter and John and sees the empty tomb (John
now Christ is risen”,
“He … presented
Himself alive after His suffering by many infallible proofs,
being seen by them during forty days and speaking of the
things pertaining to the kingdom of God” (Acts 1:3).
are ten recorded resurrection appearances over a period of
almost six weeks.
10:39 We are
witnesses of everything he did in the country of the Jews
and in Jerusalem. They killed him by hanging him on a tree,
but God raised him from the dead on the third day and caused
him to be seen.
(i) To Mary
of Magdala. (John 20:14 ff)
(ii) To others of
the women. (Matt.28:9,10)
Peter on his own. (Luke 24.34; 1 Cor.15.5)
The Lord has truly risen indeed, he has appeared to Simon!”(Luke
(iv) To the two
on the road to Emmaus. (Luke
(v) To a group of
disciples when Thomas was absent. (Luke
To the disciples when Thomas was present. (John 20:26)
(vii) To the seven
disciples by the Lake. (John
(viii) To a company
of more than 500, in Galilee. (1
(ix) To James, the
half-brother of the Lord. (1
(x) To those who
witnessed the ascension. (Luke
24.50,51; Acts 1.9)
He will come again
(i) To Stephen: (Acts 7:56)
(ii) To Paul
Paul on the road to Damascus (Acts 9:3-6; cf. Acts 22:6-11;
Jesus appeared to Paul in Arabia (Acts 20:24; 26:17 ; Gal
at the Temple (Acts 22:17-21; cf. Acts 9:26-30; Gal 1:18),
in prison in Caesarea, when it is recorded that “the Lord
stood by him,” and told him that he would bear witness in
Rome (Acts 23:11).
The final appearance of Christ was to the Apostle John in
the Island of Patmos. (Rev 1:12-20).
post-ascension appearance continues to this day to the
believers to confirm and encourage the believers in the
building of the Kingdom.
ascension of Jesus was not the end of the presence of Jesus
on the earth. Jesus
with a resurrected transformed body became Jesus who lives
on in all the dimensions - human, mind, spirit and divine.
He still appeared to Paul and John.
He continues to appear to every one who seeks him and
confirms his presence through the same old methods of
healing, signs and miracles.
If you do not seek him, you cannot find him.
But once you are confirmed as in the case of Thomas,
your world will be turned upside down.
You will be witnesses to the ends of the earth.
Evidence of the Resurrection
1: The Empty Tomb of Jesus
Tomb must be explained.
the evidence that exists concerning the tomb after the
resurrection of Christ indicates that it was empty.
was the testimony of the disciples Peter and John who
carefully examined the tomb when they found the stone rolled
guard that was stationed at the tomb, according to
Matthew’s account, also reported that the tomb was empty -
"They stole the body while we were asleep."
rolled the stone? Why
was the tomb empty? What
happened to the body?
Then we have the problem of explaining the vast number of
post resurrection appearance of Jesus to many people in many
different occasions in many different locations.
People have been trying to explain it off in
The resurrection of Christ was a
delusion, a hallucination, and otherwise is it possible that
Jesus did not die on the cross.
The Eyewitnesses of women
strange thing about the witnesses was that the first report
was from the women. Women
were a class whose testimony was unacceptable in the Jewish
court. Yet these
were the people who reported the missing body and even the
report "We have seen the Lord."
Jesus' Apostles' New-Found Courage
stranger fact is that the behavior of the disciples who were
hiding for fear of the Jews.
They hid themselves soon after the crucifixion.
But within 50 days after the report Jesus being with
them and seen openly, there they were in the open - in the
midst of the city - proclaiming boldly the resurrection at
the Pentecost. No
other factor can explain this change.
Changed Life of James and Paul
the brother of Jesus was not a believer of his brother's
actually considered Jesus as a lunatic and along with his
mother went to take him forcefully to take him to an asylum.
But soon after the resurrection we see him with the
followers as the leader.
He in fact chaired the first council of the church.
What can make this difference?
is another case where a transformation from opposition to
total surrender came in.
He was with the Jewish leaders, supported the concept
that this messiah was a dupe - another failed attempt.
But once he personally met Jesus in the road to
Damascus, he became the Apostle to the Greco-Roman world
Large Crowd of Eyewitnesses
and mass psychology cannot explain the varied groups of
people who testified to have seen the risen Lord.
ones, twos, six, eleven, twelve, one hundred and
fifty and even five hundred at one time have seen Jesus.
In many cases, they have not only seen Jesus, but
also touched him, conversed extensively and even ate with
him. We have the
greatest scientist mind Apostle Thomas who refused to
believe in the resurrection totally convinced.
They Died for Jesus
The strangest of all is the reality that these disciples
were willing to die. If
they knew that this was a lie, would they have done that? The
ultimate test of credibility for these eye-witnesses was
that many of them faced martyrdom
for their eye-witness testimony. These witnesses knew the
truth. What could they possibly gain by dying for a known
lie? The evidence speaks for itself; these weren’t just
religious fanatics dying for a religious lie. They did that
because they truly believed that Jesus rose from the dead
and established the ultimate religious basis of Christianity
that Jesus was indeed the Son of God.
fact is that this process of transformation is still taking
place. Once you
come to know the living resurrected Jesus and his power,
there is no turning back.
It changes you totally.
To get to that point, you need to examine and
personally experience the reality of this Jesus.
Therefore do not hesitate to examine the evidences.
Ask questions. Test
everything. Finally experience the power of the risen Christ
is something you have to find out and decide yourself. This
is why I write this book.
summarized arguments for historical resurrection of Jesus by
In 1 Corinthians 15:3-6
Paul declares :“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
Manuscript studies indicate that this was a very early creed
of the Christian faith.
Paul is, quoting from an old
tradition which he himself received after becoming a
Christian. This tradition probably goes back at least to
Paul’s fact-finding visit to Jerusalem around AD 36, when
he spent two weeks with Cephas and James (Gal. 1.18). It
thus dates to within five years after Jesus’ death. Therefore, it’s dramatic that Paul ends the passage with “most of
whom are still living.” Paul was inviting people to check
out the facts. He wouldn’t have included a statement like
that if he was trying to hide something like a conspiracy,
hoax, myth or legend.