A-1 - Encouraged by What You Read?

I like to visit cemeteries because they remind me that I’m mortal and life is very short. Seeing the graves of people also focuses my attention upon eternal issues like what will await me after death. I like to think that reflecting upon my death will help me live a more authentic and focused life.

Having now briefly examined nine evidences supporting Jesus’s resurrection (see part 1part 2part 3part 4part 5, and part 6), let’s explore three more and finish up this Easter-related series.

10. No Tomb Was Ever Venerated as the Burial Place of Jesus 

The burial places of famous people were often venerated in the ancient world. However, Jesus Christ is arguably the most famous person in all of history and yet no grave or tomb was ever said to have permanently contained his body. According to his apostles, Jesus’s tomb is empty for his body has been raised. The unique Christian truth-claim is that the one-of-a-kind Jesus, the very Son of God, conquered death.

11. A Crucified Messiah Would Have Been Viewed by All Jewish Christians as Cursed by God

If Jesus had been merely crucified with no resurrection to follow then he would have been viewed by all Jews as a false prophet who was obviously cursed by the Lord God Yahweh. Yet the viability of Christianity as a true faith was buttressed by Jesus’s resurrection. In other words, Jesus’s glorious resurrection from the dead made sense of his ignominious death. The resurrection that followed turned Jesus’s crucifixion into a divine atonement.

12. All the Alternative Naturalistic Explanations for the Resurrection of Jesus Prove False

If the events surrounding the resurrection of Jesus didn’t involve the supernatural then there should be a viable natural explanation to account for the data. Yet none of the many naturalistic alternative theories hold water.On careful inspection, all of them prove false or inadequate. So the fact that all of the natural explanations fail serves as one more evidence of the truth of Jesus’s resurrection.

I invite you to read through and study these 12 brief evidences for Jesus’s resurrection multiple times. Consult the scholarly resources listed below for more information and context. Grow in your knowledge of the resurrection. Consider sharing this list with other Christians who have doubts, and be ready to talk about this evidence with nonbelievers and skeptics.

If Jesus Christ actually rose from the dead, and there is plenty of good evidence that he did, then all of his followers who know him as Lord and Savior will also rise to eternal life on the last day.

Reflections: Your Turn

What do you consider to be the strongest evidence of Jesus’s resurrection? How would you order the evidence in making a cumulative case? Visit Reflections on WordPress to comment with your response.

Resources

Endnotes

  1. For a list and critique of the common naturalistic explanations for Jesus’s resurrection, see Kenneth Samples, “Objections Examined,” chap. 2 in 7 Truths That Changed the World: Discovering Christianity’s Most Dangerous Ideas (Grand Rapids: Baker, 2012).  

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About The Author

Kenneth R. Samples

I believe deeply that "all truth is God’s truth." That historic affirmation means that when we discover and grasp truth in the world and in life we move closer to its divine Author. This approach relies on the Christian idea of God’s two revelatory books - the metaphorical book of nature and the literal book of Scripture. As an RTB scholar I have a great passion to help people understand and see the truth and relevance of Christianity's truth-claims. My writings and lectures at RTB focus on showing how the great doctrinal truths of the faith (the Trinity, the Incarnation, the Atonement, creation ex nihilo, salvation by grace, etc.) are uniquely compatible with reason. This approach reflects the historic Christian apologetics statement - "faith seeking understanding." I work to help myself and others fulfill Peter's words in 2 Peter 3:18: "But grow in the grace and knowledge of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. To him be glory both now and forever! Amen." As an RTB scholar I have a great passion to help people understand and see the truth and relevance of Christianity's truth-claims. • Biography • Resources • Upcoming Events • Promotional Items Kenneth Richard Samples began voraciously studying Christian philosophy and theology when his thirst for purpose found relief in the Bible. He earned his undergraduate degree in philosophy and social science from Concordia University and his MA in theological studies from Talbot School of Theology. For seven years, Kenneth worked as Senior Research Consultant and Correspondence Editor at the Christian Research Institute (CRI) and regularly cohosted the popular call-in radio program, The Bible Answer Man, with Dr. Walter Martin. As a youth, Kenneth wrestled with "unsettling feelings of meaninglessness and boredom," driving him to seek answers to life's big questions. An encounter with Christian philosophy in Mere Christianity by C. S. Lewis led Kenneth to examine the New Testament and "finally believe that Jesus Christ is the divine Son of God, the Lord and Savior of the world." From then on, he pursued an intellectually satisfying faith. Today, as senior research scholar at Reasons to Believe (RTB), Kenneth uses what he's learned to help others find the answers to life's questions. He encourages believers to develop a logically defensible faith and challenges skeptics to engage Christianity at a philosophical level. He is the author of Without a Doubt and A World of Difference, and has contributed to numerous other books, including: Lights in the Sky and Little Green Men, The Cult of the Virgin, and Prophets of the Apocalypse. He has written articles for Christianity Today and The Christian Research Journal, and regularly participates in RTB's podcasts, including Straight Thinking, a podcast dedicated to encouraging Christians to utilize sound reasoning in their apologetics. He also writes for the ministry's daily blog, Today’s New Reason to Believe. An avid speaker and debater, Kenneth has appeared on numerous radio programs such as Voice America Radio, Newsmakers, The Frank Pastore Show, Stand to Reason, White Horse Inn, Talk New York, and Issues Etc., as well as participated in debates and dialogues on topics relating to Christian doctrine and apologetics. He currently lectures for the Master of Arts program in Christian Apologetics at Biola University. Kenneth also teaches adult classes at Christ Reformed Church in Southern California. Over the years Kenneth has held memberships in the American Philosophical Association, the Evangelical Philosophical Society, the Evangelical Theological Society, and the Evangelical Press Association. The son of a decorated World War II veteran, Kenneth is an enthusiastic student of American history, particularly the Civil War and WWII. His favorite Christian thinkers include Athanasius, Augustine, Pascal, and C. S. Lewis. He greatly enjoys the music of the Beatles and is a die-hard Los Angeles Lakers fan. Kenneth lives in Southern California with his wife, Joan, and their three children.

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