I firmly believe in the literal, bodily resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead as an actual, historical event, and for very good reasons.
- I hold the resurrection of Christ to be absolute, historical fact because to believe that Jesus did not rise from the dead but rather passed out on the cross and revived in the tomb three days later goes against proven, medical facts. The excruciating torture of the cross resulting in tremendous loss of blood and injury to vital organs, combined with the professional assessment of the Roman guards whose job it was to make sure Jesus was dead, in addition to the lack of physical care and treatment and nourishment Jesus would have physically needed to remain alive in the tomb if He was in fact simply unconscious, combining those essentials together render the so-called “swoon theory” totally implausible.
- I hold the resurrection of Christ to be absolute, historical fact because to believe that the Jewish leaders secretly stole the body of Jesus to prevent the disciples from stealing the body and claiming a resurrection simply does not coincide with the actions of those same Jewish leaders. How could they have stolen the body while the tomb was guarded by soldiers to prevent grave robbery? Why would they have paid the soldiers to accuse the disciples of stealing the body only later to be discovered as the real thieves? And most pointedly, why did they not produce the body of Jesus to quell the rumors of His resurrection and finally put an end to His following? If they had the body, they had the means to stop Christianity, which was their intention and they did not do so. That theory is then implausible.
- I hold the resurrection of Christ to be absolute, historical fact because to believe that the disciples stole the body and then made up the resurrection in order to institute a new religion does not match the facts of history. How could the disciples sneak past the Roman guards who were put in place for the precise reason to keep the disciples from doing so? Furthermore, why would the disciples be willing to experience severe persecution and all but one to die as martyrs for what they all knew to be a lie? Maybe one or two would’ve tried to keep their self-proclaimed religion alive, but eventually one would have broken silence. None ever did. That theory falls as well.
- I hold to the resurrection of Christ to be absolute, historical fact because to believe that every witness of the resurrected Christ was simply hallucinating does not fit the evidence. It is impossible for more than 500 people to have the same hallucination and even more impossible for people to have the exact same hallucination at exactly the same time in exactly the same place. That theory falls.
- I hold the resurrection of Christ to be absolute, historical fact because to believe that the resurrection of Christ is simply a spiritual metaphor used by early Christians to describe the sense of newness of life and uplifting of one’s spirit horribly fails to account for how these early believers spoke of the resurrection. They spoke of it not in figurative language but in literal language. The Gospels recored the eyewitnesses of the risen Christ as speaking with Him, eating with Him, watching as He ascended back into the heavens. It wasn’t a metaphor for them; It was real.
- But far more importantly than all previous reasons, I hold the resurrection of Christ to be absolute, historical fact because the Bible, God’s divine revelation to man, says that it is so. Read Matthew’s account in Matthew 28:1-10.
Given the fact of the resurrection of Christ, that one pivotal event in history has massive implications for life, faith, and salvation.
- The Resurrection of Christ means then that Jesus was indeed God in the flesh as the Bible presents Him because only God could defeat death.
- It means that when Jesus died, His death was indeed a sacrifice to pay for sin, and that His sacrifice to the Father was acceptable to God, the resurrection being God’s vindication upon the work of His Son.
- It means that when Jesus says He is the Resurrection and the Life, that He is the Way, the Truth, the Life, and no man comes to the Father except through Him, that salvation, forgiveness of sin and eternal life in heaven is possible, but it is only possible by faith in Jesus Christ.
- Can you go to heaven when you die? Yes – but only through Christ because only He has paved the way.
- Can your sins be forgiven so that you are made right with God? Yes – but only through Christ because only He has made adequate payment for your sin.
- That is not narrow-minded, religious intolerance; that is grace and truth! You don’t have to die with a question mark, you don’t have to die grasping for hope. You don’t have to die wondering what will happen. You can face death with absolute confidence that you will meet your Maker and you will be welcomed into His everlasting arms, but in order to to do so, you must come to God through His gracious, loving, sacrificial provision of His Son! –Wil Owens, Teaching Pastor