The resurrection of Jesus Christ is an event which demands your attention.
The resurrection distinguishes Christianity from other religions in this way: It is a falsifiable truth claim. The truth and value of Christianity hinge on the truth of the resurrection. Christ’s resurrection is His vindication: If He is raised then His message of repentance and the forgiveness of sins — indeed, His message that you and I are sinners desperately in need of a savior! — is all true. If Christ has been raised from the dead, it seems that there is nothing else in life that is worthy of consideration.
If Christ has not been raised, however, then those who place their faith in Him do so in vain, and are more pitiful than anyone else on the planet (1 Cor. 15:14-19). That’s a strong statement: The only value that Christianity has to offer is a crucified and risen savior.
This post is the first in a series where I will be exploring the historical evidence for the resurrection of Jesus Christ. I’ll be following roughly the same format that Paul uses in 1 Corinthians 15:
Now I would remind you, brothers, of the gospel I preached to you, which you received, in which you stand, and by which you are being saved, if you hold fast to the word I preached to you—unless you believed in vain.
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. Then he appeared to more than five hundred brothers at one time, most of whom are still alive, though some have fallen asleep. Then he appeared to James, then to all the apostles. Last of all, as to one untimely born, he appeared also to me.
There it is: Christ died, was buried, was raised, and appeared. That’s the layout. Over this series of posts, as we prepare for Resurrection Sunday, I pray that God stirs up faith in your heart.
Think about the implications of the resurrection for a moment. If Christ was truly raised from the dead, how does that affect you today? I’d love to hear from you! Please comment below with your thoughts.