The resurrection is the central element of our Christian faith. Jesus promised us that on the third day after his death, he would return from the dead to walk again on Earth. That's just what he did! Because Jesus did rise from the dead, we know and have faith that all his claims are true and we can know for sure that there is life after death.
Although Christianity is based largely on faith, it is still unbelievable that even those looking for scientific evidence and support of the resurrection still don't believe in the wondrous gifts God gives us. There is an abundance of evidence that exists to support the resurrection.
Jesus foretold of his death and the resurrection, and it occurred just as he said it would.
John 2:19-21 "Jesus answered them, 'Destroy this temple, and I will raise it again in three days.' The Jews replied, 'It has taken forty-six years to build this temple, and you are going to raise it in three days?' But the temple he had spoken of was his body."
John 10:17 "The reason my Father loves me is that I lay down my life--only to take it up again."
John 16:16-23 "In a little while you will see me no more, and then after a little while you will see me.' Some of his disciples said to one another, 'What does he mean by saying, 'In a little while you will see me no more, and then after a little while you will see me,' and 'Because I am going to the Father'?' They kept asking, 'What does he mean by 'a little while'? We don't understand what he is saying.' Jesus saw that they wanted to ask him about this, so he said to them, 'Are you asking one another what I meant when I said, 'In a little while you will see me no more, and then after a little while you will see me'? I tell you the truth, you will weep and mourn while the world rejoices. You will grieve, but your grief will turn to joy. A woman giving birth to a child has pain because her time has come; but when her baby is born she forgets the anguish because of her joy that a child is born into the world. So with you: Now is your time of grief, but I will see you again and you will rejoice, and no one will take away your joy..."
Matthew 12:40 "For as Jonah was three days and three nights in the belly of a huge fish, so the Son of Man will be three days and three nights in the heart of the earth."
Matthew 16:21 "From that time on Jesus began to explain to his disciples that he must go to Jerusalem and suffer many things at the hands of the elders, chief priests and teachers of the law, and that he must be killed and on the third day be raised to life."
Luke 18:31-33 "Jesus took the Twelve aside and told them, 'We are going up to Jerusalem, and everything that is written by the prophets about the Son of Man will be fulfilled. He will be handed over to the Gentiles. They will mock him, insult him, spit on him, flog him and kill him. On the third day he will rise again."
The resurrection is the only way that makes sense to explain the empty tomb.
A battery of Roman soldiers was placed in front the tomb where Jesus' body was laid to prevent followers from "stealing the body." A huge stone also covered the grave's entrance. There were some that claimed Jesus was not dead, but only weakened. So, what they are saying is that after being whipped, beaten, nailed and hung on a cross for six hours, stabbed with a spear, and wrapped in linen, Jesus was not only able to roll a 4000-pound stone up hill, but was also able to slip past many soldiers to escape.
No other explanation had any validity because the Jewish Leaders could not produce Jesus' body (it could not be found because Jesus had indeed risen from the dead.
More people than just the disciples saw the resurrected Christ.
After he rose from the dead, Jesus appeared at least ten times and to as many as 500 people at one time.
Luke 24:36-39 "While they were still talking about this, Jesus himself stood among them and said to them, 'Peace be with you.' They were startled and frightened, thinking they saw a ghost. He said to them, 'Why are you troubled, and why do doubts rise in your minds? Look at my hands and my feet. It is I myself! Touch me and see; a ghost does not have flesh and bones, as you see I have.'"
John 20:26-29 "A week later his disciples were in the house again, and Thomas was with them. Though the doors were locked, Jesus came and stood among them and said, 'Peace be with you!' Then he said to Thomas, 'Put your finger here; see my hands. Reach out your hand and put it into my side. Stop doubting and believe.' Thomas said to him, 'My Lord and my God!' Then Jesus told him, 'because you have seen me, you have believed; blessed are those who have not seen and yet have believed.'"
1 Corinthians 15:3-8 "For what I received I passed on to you as of first importance: that Christ died for our sins according to the Scriptures, that he was buried, that he was raised on the third day according to the Scriptures, and that he appeared to Peter, and then to the Twelve. After that, he appeared to more than five hundred of the brothers at the same time, most of whom are still living, though some have fallen asleep. Then he appeared to James, then to all the apostles, and last of all he appeared to me also, as to one abnormally born."
Many scholars of the scientific and historical community accept the fact of Jesus' resurrection.
After examining the evidence for the resurrection given by the Gospel writers, the late Simon Greenleaf, an authority on legal issues at Harvard Law School, concluded: "It was therefore impossible that they could have persisted in affirming the truths they have narrated, had not Jesus actually risen from the dead, and had they not known this fact as certainly as they knew any other fact." Mr. Greenleaf was a Jewish professor who became a believer in Jesus the Messiah after studying the facts for himself.
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