Christianity is based on one important miracle: the resurrection. The resurrection was when Jesus rose from the dead three days after being crucified. The resurrection reveals that Jesus is God and the savior of our sins.
But the resurrection seems a little hard to believe. After all people don’t rise from the dead. Well, here are 5 good reasons to believe in the resurrection.
Jesus really died
Over the years, some people have said that Jesus didn’t really die on the cross. He just faked his death or somebody slipped him some drug and he passed out. Later on, he woke up among his disciples and they helped him get his strength back.
This is a pretty ridiculous story. If the Romans were good at anything, they were good at killing people. Remember that Jesus had already been whipped, beaten, and had a crown of thorns stuck on his head. After that, he was nailed to a cross where he was largely deprived of oxygen, and then he had a spear shoved through his side.
There is no way he survived that. There is certainly no way he could have fooled a Roman centurion and faked his death. The Romans crucified thousands of people, so they knew how to kill people. The only explanation is that Jesus died on the cross.
The testimony of the female disciples
OK, this is going to sound weird, but people in Jesus’ day would not believe something if it was only reported by women. For example, women usually did not testify in court because their testimony was generally ignored. Unfortunately, this was because women were second-class citizens in the Roman Empire. Why is this important?
The Gospels say that the first people to find the empty tomb and meet the risen Jesus were women. Not just any women, because among them was Mary Magdalene. Mary had a pretty bad reputation for stuff she did before following Jesus.
This is important because if you were going to make up a story about the resurrection, you wouldn’t have picked Mary as the person to find the empty tomb and meet Jesus. You would have picked a man, and someone more credible like Peter or John. However, the Gospels say that Mary was the first to talk to Jesus because that’s actually what happened.
The testimony of the eyewitnesses
After Jesus died, people saw him, and I’m not talking about seeing his dead body. They saw him alive. Now, if one or two people said that they saw Jesus alive, we might think that they were making things up. I mean, if two people at school said that they saw George Washington walking around, you would probably not believe them. I hope.
But lots of people saw Jesus after the resurrection. Read 1 Corinthians 15:5-8. After the resurrection, Jesus appeared to the disciples, a crowd of 500 people, his brother James, all of the apostles, and eventually the apostle Paul. In other words, a lot of people saw him, and they saw him at different times and in different locations.
How do you explain that? Jesus really rose from the dead.
The changed lives of the disciples
Immediately after the arrest and crucifixion of Jesus, the disciples were a scared group of guys. They were living in fear and hiding. Almost overnight, they turned into a group of fearless people who were willing to withstand persecution, imprisonment, and even death in order to preach the Gospel. The believers went from a small group of men and women in the Roman Empire to a force that spread throughout the entire world.
What changed for these people? The resurrection. They saw that Jesus was alive and it changed everything. They were now willing to die for their faith. How many people do you know that are willing to die for something that they know is a lie?
Also, if the disciples were lying about seeing Jesus, how likely is it that they would have been able to keep the lie alive when so many people would have known the truth? The only explanation is that Jesus really rose from the dead.
The empty tomb
Possibly the best evidence for the resurrection is the empty tomb. It would have been very easy to put a stop to Christianity if Jesus’ enemies would have done one simple thing: produce Jesus’ body. This would have shown everyone that the resurrection isn’t true.
However, no one could produce Jesus’ body because it was gone. It couldn’t have been stolen by Jesus’ followers because the tomb was well guarded by Roman soldiers. But no one could find the body. The only explanation is that Jesus really rose from the dead.
- Watch the video together or invite someone to summarize the topic.
- What is your initial reaction to this video? Do you disagree with any of it? What jumped out at you?
- Have you ever had a hard time believing that the resurrection really happened? Explain. How does this video help with common questions about the resurrection?
- Why is it so important that Jesus’ really did die?
- Why is it so important that Jesus actually rose from the dead?
- Share a time when you were scared to be open about your faith, and a time when you were bold with your faith.
- How do you think you will stand out to others as a result of believing Christ died for all of your sins?
- Write a personal action step based on this conversation.