St Paul said that if Christ did not rise from the dead we are the greatest of fools. But if Jesus did rise from the dead everyone else could be considered the greatest of fools. Now Easter is over, I thought it appropriate to present 10 reasons why the resurrection happened.
10. If the Apostles made it up, they would have arrived before the women. In first century Israel a women’s testimony did not have the value of law. Anyone wanting to fake it would have legitimate witnesses, men, there first.
9. The Apostles are transformed by it. By their own accounts, they all go into hiding after the crucifixion but somehow a month and a half later, St. Peter appears in public and proclaims it using words that would get him killed if not true. The resurrection is the only logical explanation.
8. If the Apostles stole the body, somebody would have found it. Many in Jerusalem were against them and would have looked for the body to discredit them, remember how the Sanhedrin pays the guards to say the apostles stole it. The apostles message couldn’t have survived 10 minutes if someone displayed the dead body.
7. St Paul has a memorized and received formula by 50AD. Most scholars put the First Letter to the Corinthians around 50AD but St Paul states a formula he had received and previously passed on to the Corinthians that clearly expresses resurrection faith (15:3-8). Obviously the resurrection wasn’t invented decades later.
6. Myths always develop later. Hindus and others have the mythical presence of the gods in history but this is either in pre-history or millennia before. Buddhists have myths about Buddha but these were first written over 500 years after Buddha. No religion is known to make up historical myths to which the original authors claim to be eyewitnesses.
5. The evangelists don’t stick to a story. When a group of people make up a story, they make sure they all say exactly the same thing, but the four Gospel accounts seem hard to harmonize exactly so they refer to real memories which tend to vary a little in the details.
4. The history of Christianity. Who would have thought that in 70 years Churches would be founded in every major city on the Mediterranean and in 300 years it would be the official religion? Without the truth of the resurrection, it makes no sense.
3. The soldiers were professionals. Some claim Jesus was just very weak but professional Roman soldiers confirmed death then jabbed a spear through his heart to confirm it.
2. His enemies confirm his identity on the cross. If someone other than Jesus was crucified, the mockers would have realized. Jesus really died.
1. Nobody would go to death for something he made up. 11 of the 12 apostles were put to death for their belief in the resurrection; if they made it up, at least one would have recanted and told where they hid the body.
Bonus: It really happened and we can share in it. This is the reason above and beyond all the other reasons. Faith, not just reason and history.