If Jesus of Nazareth is still dead, with bones buried somewhere in Jerusalem, then Christians are pitiful, hopeless, fools with a futile faith and no escape from their sin. That’s what Paul of Tarsus claimed in 1 Corinthians 15:17–19 after explaining why he and so many others saw the resurrected Jesus and had their lives forever changed.
The Gospel Coalition has posted an excellent essay from Benjamin C. F. Shaw laying out six facts that support the credibility of the historical claim that Jesus rose from the dead:
- Death by crucifixion was not something that the followers of Jesus were likely to invent.
- Burial account fits with all historical evidence that we have.
- The claim of the empty tomb was easily verifiable, but there are no contradictory accounts.
- The apostles claim to have met the resurrected Jesus face-to-face.
- These apostles were willing to suffer and die for these claims.
- Those who were very unlikely to be converted to this belief were, nonetheless, converted by means of personal experiences of the resurrected Christ.
The two videos below, from the Reasonable Faith ministry of William Lane Craig, they focus on three main facts that need to be explained:
- The discovery of Jesus’s empty tomb
- The appearance of Jesus alive after his death
- The disciples’ belief that Jesus rose from the dead