Did Jesus Really Rise From The Dead? Apologetics Talk
Last Friday, Ronke and Janet gave a special talk about the resurrection and why it's so important for our faith. The apologetics question they covered was: Did Jesus Really Rise From the Dead?
This is actually a very important question to know the answer to, because all of our faith is based on the fact that Jesus rose from the dead! If he didn't rise, then that means our faith is pointless, because it was likely Jesus was just a regular man and not God, and everything he said about conquering sin/death, being our substitute, forgiving our sins, and preparing a place for us in heaven...would be a lie.
So how do we know that Jesus really rose from the dead? Let's take a look!
Well Ronke and Janet talked about the 3 key facts that all scholars agree on surrounding Jesus' death: (You can remember them with the handy mnemonic--Jesus rose from the BED):
- Belief of the Disciples: The disciples couldn't have stolen the body and lied about it because most of them actually died very painfully for that belief. Many were beaten/stoned to death and even beheaded/crucified for preaching about Jesus' resurrection. If it was all a lie, they could have easily just admitted it and saved their lives.
- Empty Tomb: The tomb they laid Jesus' body in was definitely empty, according to all testimonies of the time, even from Jesus' enemies (Pharisees, Roman philosopher Celsus) as well as Roman historians. No one could find the body! If people were claiming to have seen Jesus' body walking around, it would be easy to prove them wrong by simply producing the body. But because they couldn't find it, it stands to reason that they weren't hallucinating.
- Death by Crucifixion: Jesus couldn't have merely fainted--he definitely died on the cross. The very process of crucifixion guaranteed death through the dislocation of limbs, asphyxiation, and if necessary, the breaking of the victim's legs. Additionally, even before the cross, we know that Jesus was brutally beaten and flogged, and that afterwards, the soldiers made sure that he was dead by piercing his side with a spear.
After going over the BED facts, they showed that those 3 facts can easily debunk the most common alternate theories that people use to explain away the resurrection, like:
- The Stolen Body Theory: The disciples obviously stole the body of Jesus and then lied about it! (Refer to Fact B, yo!)
- The Hallucination Theory: Everyone hallucinated seeing Jesus' resurrected body at the same time! (Just pull out Fact E)
- The Swoon Theory: Jesus just fainted/pretended to be dead! (BOOM! Fact D)
So don't be afraid when people ask you to prove that Jesus really rose from the dead! Just pull out the 3 BED facts!
Because at the end of the day, if Jesus rose from the dead, that means:
- He was indeed God in the flesh
- All his Words were true, and we should obey them
- All of our sins have been forgiven, and we will one day be with God in heaven
And that means that not only do we need to know this stuff, but our friends do too! So now, let us be bold and confident, knowing that our faith is sound!