Why do Christians believe Jesus rose from the dead?

This is an old question. Speaking to a King in AD 59, Paul, the great missionary statesman, asked Agrippa, ‘Why should it be though incredible to you that God raises the dead?’

People constantly asked Jesus about life. If anyone knew about real life, Christ did. Ultimately His greatest demonstration of this was His resurrection from the dead.

Both secular and Christian history records that Jesus was cruelly beaten. He was scorned and spat upon, buffeted and bruised, crucified and killed. Roman executioners guaranteed that He was dead by thrusting a spear into Him and watching blood and water pour from His body. This body was to be embalmed, laid in an empty tomb and sealed in by a large boulder which was then guarded by soldiers. For three days His cold corpse lay there until the first Easter. Jesus rose and appeared to two women, two disciples, a couple walking, then ten of his disciples, and eventually to all including Thomas, who said he would not believe unless he could put his fingers in the wounds and his fist in His side. When he saw Jesus he knelt in awe and said, ‘My Lord and my God’. At one time Jesus appeared to a group of over five hundred people. He showed Himself in different places, at different times, and in different settings. He invited doubters to touch and see Him. Romans and Jesus would gladly have brought the body to the early Christians to silence their preaching about the risen Jesus. But they could not. He had certainly died, His body could not have been stolen; but the tomb was empty and many people actually saw, talked to and ate with the risen Christ. He transformed the disciples from timid, fearful followers, into bold witnesses of the death and resurrection of Christ who would die for the truth of what they had seen. Early Christians even changed their day of worship from Saturday to Sunday to commemorate His resurrection.

If people honestly question the resurrection they have to explain why the guarded tomb where the body of Jesus lay, was empty. Who was it who appeared to hundreds and convinced them that He was risen from the dead? Who changed the lives of the disappointed disciples, and who changes lives of those who turn from their sin, trusting the risen Saviour today? What Christ did in dying and rising from the dead was in fulfilment of both Old Testaments prophecy and His own words. It proves he is who he claimed to be; that He has power over sin and death, and that there is judgment and life after death.

Dr Frank Morrison, a London barrister, believed that the resurrection was only a fairytale happy ending. He wanted to write a book to disprove the resurrection once and for all. However, upon studying the facts, the sheer weight of evidence compelled him to conclude that Jesus actually rose from the dead. Frank Morrison wrote his book, but not the one he planned. It is called ‘Who Moved The Stone?’ The first chapter is called, ‘The Book that Refused To Be Written’.

Paul the Apostle said, ‘I declare to you the gospel … that Christ died for our sins…. That He was buried, and that He rose again the third day according to the Scriptures’ 1 Corinthians 15:1-4

Consider the evidence here.

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