Can you prove Jesus rose from the dead?
The whole basis of Christianity is that Jesus is God’s Son and that He came down to earth to provide forgiveness of our sins by dying on the cross. Why do we need forgiveness of our sins? Because
heaven is perfect, and if anyone not perfect is allowed in, it won’t be perfect any more. So we need God to forgive us of our sin and wipe us clean so we can be allowed into heaven. But God is also a
just God so the penalty for our sin must be paid. This is why He sent His Son, to pay for our sin. Jesus claimed to be the Son of God. In John chapter two, when Jesus chased the merchants out of the
temple calling it “my Father’s house”, He was saying He is the son of God. The priests immediately questioned Him on this saying can you prove this claim?” Jesus’ answer was basically this “this is
how I will prove I am God’s Son, when you kill me I will rise from the dead after three days. That’s a pretty convincing way to prove His claim, and the scriptures say that he did, but can we prove
that it really happened? That’s what I plan to do because without this proof, Jesus’ resurrection, Christian faith is worthless. If Jesus didn’t rise, then by His own words He isn’t the Christ and is
unable to forgive our sin. Paul said this in 1 Cor. 15: 17-18
And if Christ has not been raised, your faith is futile and you are still in your sins. Then those also who have fallen asleep in Christ have perished.
How can you prove Jesus really did rise from the grave? All four gospels have eye-witness accounts of the resurrection, but if you don’t believe the bible they won’t carry much weight. So I plan to show that the resurrection really happened using sources other than the bible. What I am going to do is use a scientific method called a logic tree. A logic tree is a tool that uses deductive logic to guide thought processes in order to draw correct conclusions. Most Questions have two basic possibilities, like positive and negative, yes and no. Then each possibility may be broken down into two more possibilities. By breaking down and looking at all possibilities and eliminating unlikely ones you come up with the best most logical conclusion.
I’ll start with the Disciples’ claim that Jesus appeared to them three days after his crucifixion. This is what everything is based on. The first thing to determine is did they really make this claim. The possibilities are yes they did or no they didn’t. If no, then it would have to be a myth or a legend, like Robin Hood, King Arthur or Achilles. All are based on real people but the stories have been exaggerated over time
So is it possible that the disciples didn’t claim that Jesus rose from the grave and the stories of Jesus are like those of King Arthur? There are many factors that show that it is not a myth or legend. One is the genre, or literary style of the bible. It reads more like a history book than fiction. The bible is written more as a first hand account than a story about something that happened a long time ago. In most cases we are reading about the author’s own eyewitness account of what happened. And in the instances where the author wasn’t there, such as the birth of Jesus, the author knew someone who was there, like Mary, and had first hand information. There is no “once upon a time” in the bible.
Another thing that shows that it isn’t a myth or legend is the fact that we have outside attestation of the disciples claim. Josephus was a Jew who was a court historian for the Emperor of Rome in the late first century. In one of his major works, Josephus writes, “At this time there was a wise man who was called Jesus. His conduct was good and he was known to be virtuous. And many people from among the Jews and the other nations became his disciples. Pilate condemned him to be crucified and to die. But those who had become his disciples did not abandon his discipleship. They reported that he had appeared to them three days after his crucifixion, and that he was alive.”
Now Josephus doesn’t say if it really happened or not but he does claim that the disciples were making the claim.
Also we have to take into account the time frame, it takes at least twenty years for legendary influence to creep into a story. This is because if someone were to exaggerate a story there would still be eye-witnesses around to say “no I was there that’s not how it happened” and discredit the story. If the disciples were exaggerating the stories of Jesus, He was so well known that someone would have said that’s not how it happened. And even though the earliest manuscripts only date back to the late first century or early second century, which leaves a gap between written accounts and oral ones we do have some scripture we can definitely trace to the disciples. One of the early teaching tools of the church was the use of creeds. A creed was an expression of doctrine that was easily memorized so it could be spread to others accurately. One of these known creeds is 1 Cor. 15:3-5
For I delivered to you as of first importance what I also received: that Christ died for our sins in accordance with the Scriptures, that he was buried, that he was raised on the third day in accordance with the Scriptures, and that he appeared to Cephas, then to the twelve.
This is a creed that Paul got most likely directly from Peter and James, the brother of Jesus. So this would be a quote we know comes from the disciples themselves. So it is not a myth or legend,
the disciples at least claimed that Jesus rose from the grave. Next I’ll look into weather or not this claim is true.
The Holy Bible : English standard version. 2001 . Standard Bible Society: Wheaton (all verses)