Easter was yesterday. What a celebration we had at church. It was awe-inspiring. We were reminded about the veracity of the resurrection of Christ, along with creative presentations and worship. It is wonderful to be a part of church that celebrates the arts along with strong biblical theology.
The preacher, David Frye, spoke about six reasons the evidence for the resurrection is overwhelming:
- There were hundreds of eyewitnesses to his fleshly resurrection. (1 Corinthians 15:6; Acts 10:40-41; Luke 24:39; John 20:27)
- The enemies of Jesus didn't dispute his resurrection. Instead of producing the body of Christ to end all argument, they could only invent excuses. (Matthew 27:62-66; Acts 2:23-24)
- Jesus' brothers became believers. As family they found it hard to accept Jesus as the Messiah. It was only the resurrection that could explain their conversion. (Mark 6:3; John 7:5; 1 Corinthians 15:1-7; Acts 1:14)
- Numerous Jewish priests became Christians. The reason this is significant is that it would take something radical like a physical resurrection to convince these men to give up their livelihood, family, and standing in the community. (Acts 6:7)
- The disciples of Jesus were transformed from understandable cowards to men willing to become martyrs for Christ's sake. It is true that many people die for a lie. But no one dies for what they know to be a lie. They were so convinced that Jesus indeed rose from the dead that they all willingly suffered for this fact. And all but one were martyred, while some were martyred through excruciating torture. (Acts 4:19-20; Acts 12:1-3)
- The church grew rapidly in a short amount of time. When we see the effects, even today, of the expansion of the church, we must ask what was the cause and was the cause sufficient for the results. The resurrection makes the most sense, especially when you consider that many of the early followers were Jewish people and priests who became Christians — abandoning many of their Jewish practices. And conversions spread rapidly throughout the Roman world — many were formerly Jewish converts, people who believed in the God of the Jews, and people who came from a pagan background. And, I would add, the conversion of Paul, who was an enemy of this Christian movement. (Acts 2:41; Acts 4:4; Acts 6:7; Acts 9:1-19; Acts 9:31)
These may not be enough reasons (nor will there ever be enough reasons) for someone who refuses to believe the resurrection actually happened. But for any person willing to examine the facts and come to a reasonable conclusion these facts are compelling.