Image via WikipediaThe Resurrection of Christ from the Dead is ONE OF THE MOST IMPORTANT items in the whole fund of human knowledge: the grand event of the ages toward which all previous history moved, and which all subsequent history finds its meaning.
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Is it a Fact? Did he really rise from the dead? If he did not, what became of his body? If enemies stole it, they surly would have produced it, for they stopped short of nothing to discredit the story, even to murdering of those who told it. If friends stole it, they would have known they were believing a lie, but men do not become martyrs to what they know to be false. The Roman soldiers guarding the tomb would not have put their careers, lives and future on the line for a lie.
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Even many of the Jews, the enemy would not have put themselves in line for death by being involved, if it was a lie. An example is Josephus, a Jewish historian of that time, born and educated in Jerusalem, a general in the Jewish army stated: “There was about this time Jesus, a wise man, if it be lawful to call him a man, for he was a doer of wonderful works. He was Christ. Pilate, at the suggestion of the principal men among us condemned him to the cross. He appeared to his followers alive again the third day.”
One thing is Certain: those who were involved at that time and published their involvement in Jesus rising from the dead BELIEVED IT TO BE A FACT. They rested their faith and lives not only on the empty tomb, but on the fact that they had SEEN Jesus A-LIVE after his burial; not once, not twice, but at least ten recorded times; and not singly, nor alone, but in groups of two, seven, ten, eleven, five hundred.
An Hallucination? Could it not have been an ecstasy? a dream? a fantasy of an excited imagination? an apparition? Different groups of people do not keep on seeing the same hallucination. 500 people in a crowd would not all dream the same dream at the same time. More over, they were not expecting it and did not want to believe it until it happened. They considered it an “idle tale” at first (Luke 24:11). They did not believe it until it was proven and they had to.
Only in a Coma? Could it not be that Jesus was not really dead when they buried him, and that he came to again? In the first place, the professional executioners – the Roman Soldiers (who pierced his side and drained his heart fluids and blood) along with the Jewish leaders present would have had to be in cahoots or fooled. Either possibility would be unthinkable. Also in that case, weak and exhausted from the beatings AND the crucifixion, he could hardly have removed the heavy stone door and gotten out of the tomb and past the Roman guards. Besides he had new powers that he had never manifested before – to appear and disappear through locked rooms. The eleven (or 120), in a group, personally saw him slowly rise from the earth, and disappear behind the clouds.
The Records Tampered With? Could it not be that the resurrection was a later addition to the story of Christ invented years later to glorify a dead hero? It is known, from historical records outside Christian approved records, that the sect known as Christians came into existence in the reign of Tiberius, and that the thing that brought them into existence was their belief that Jesus had risen from the dead. The resurrection was not a later addition to the Christian faith, but the very cause and start of it. They rested their faith not on records, but what they had seen with their own eyes. The records were the result of their faith, not the cause of it. Had there been no resurrection there would have been no New Testament, Christianity, and no Church.