Powerful Reasons the Resurrection Was Not Faked
As we’ve already hinted to, the resurrection of Jesus Christ is just as much a historical certainty as any other, and more heavily documented than any other in history. In fact, it has only become trendy and chic to doubt the resurrection in the last few hundred years, with the advent of the “enlightenment”.
It is no understatement that the Enlightenment is “unenlightened” in only two categories: the first being the Deity of Jesus and the second, and a necessary one at that, the “imago deo” of humanity; the belief that man was made in the image of God. I find it interesting and puzzling at the same time that while humanists attempted to raise the status of man to “special” and “central” they denied man this very special similarity to God. Of course, the reason being that, in their machinations, man would replace God and not simply resemble Him.
Do the victors write history?
It is often said that “the victors write history.” As a Bible-believing Christian, I am perplexed and amused at the same time: twelve working-class apostles (and a few other men and women) from a backwater province of the Roman Empire from the most despised sect in the region are considered “victors” by historians. After all, the claims go from the absurd to the blasphemous as to how this Jewish Messianic sect reached prominence and eventually hegemony in the western world.
Resurrection of Jesus
Christianity is based on the resurrection of Jesus Christ not because a small group of well-organized elites perpetuated a con job on humanity. It’s based on the resurrection because that is exactly what happened: on the third day, Jesus “woke” from His deathbed in a borrowed tomb, the stone was rolled back miraculously and He walked out on his own two feet.
Consider the guards at the tomb. Whose idea was that? Surely not the disciples’ idea. They didn’t even expect the resurrection. However, the learned and well-read Jewish leaders, aware of Scripture and of the true nature of Jesus’ claims, took every precaution to ensure that no one could claim a risen Messiah by simply stealing the body. That anyone considers the possibility of the disciples being able to bribe the guards at the tomb shows a total lack of understanding of the nature of Roman sentinel duty: those soldiers were responsible for what happened on their watch with their lives: even if they could be bribed, serious doubts as to whether the apostles could afford such a bribe.
Read: God of Heaven
Consider also the fact that the biblical text refers to the women being the first ones at the tomb and the first ones to testify to the disciples themselves of the Lord’s resurrection. In those days the testimony of women was not accepted as reliable witness: the biblical account tells it that way because, obviously, it’s the way it happened: to accuse the Gospel writers of inventing the story and testimony of the women as some sort of “plea to sincerity” is simply ridiculous.
There are dozens of arguments that can be honestly made and won regarding the historicity of the resurrection: from the 500+ eyewitnesses that were alive for decades after the resurrection to tell the story to Joseph of Aramathea himself, being buried in his own tomb. But perhaps the most important testimony to consider is that of the apostles themselves: not necessarily what they said but what they did.
These men went from scared, sheepish second-class citizens to bold, outspoken, and powerful miracle-working witnesses of the resurrected Christ. Of the twelve apostles, only John the Beloved died of old age during his exile on the island of Patmos; the other eleven (including Paul) died violent martyr’s deaths across the then-known world without ever recanting their testimony of the risen Christ.
To attribute it to a shared hallucination or a well-fabricated lie goes against what we know of human nature in general: horrible liars and even worse at keeping secrets. Serendipitously, the 12 well-connected, well-funded, well-protected men involved in the Watergate scandal were only able to keep their story straight for no more than 2 weeks.
What chance did a few fishermen, a pharisee, a tax collector, and other rejects stand against keeping their story straight against the might of Rome? From this, and so much more, we can be fully assured that not only did Jesus die on the cross but that He shed off the grip of Death and walked out of His appropriately borrowed grave.
Bondservant to Jesus Christ, Married to Michele, Dad to Madelyn, Claudia, and Joseph and educator by trade, apologist by calling and saved by Grace. Antonio loves to read, write, and discuss all-things-apologetics. He has many passions in life including reaching, teaching, and keeping men for Jesus Christ. Waiting on God’s big reveal: Antonio knows He has something beautiful in mind.