“… to know Him, and the power of His resurrection, and the fellowship of His sufferings, being conformed to His death …” (Phil. 3:10, MEV).
The apostle Paul expressed that Jesus Christ’s resurrection is the cornerstone of our faith in Him (1 Cor. 15:14). And although skeptics have tried to refute this, the evidence for God and the resurrection of Jesus Christ is undeniable, if one is willing to objectively look at all the evidence. The truth is being a believer is not a blind leap of faith but a real relationship with a living God whose fingerprints seem to be everywhere we look.
There are many verifiable facts of the resurrection of Jesus Christ, and the following are only seven of them.
1. The empty tomb. Even the enemies of Christ never denied the empty tomb. And all other explanations, body stolen, He wasn’t really dead, and so on, are easily debunked when examined.
2. Post-resurrection appearances. People saw, touched, walked along side, ate with, and listened to Jesus. Hundreds of witnesses (over 500!) saw Him at one time (1 Cor, 15:6), which psychologists confirm could not have been the result a mass hallucination as some skeptics claim.
The resurrection of Christ was a bodily one. Following His resurrection He presented Himself as proof that He indeed was alive! He offered Himself to be touched, revealing His crucifixion scars, then eating with the disciples. He presented clear evidence He had risen bodily from the grave.
“… to whom He presented Himself alive after His passion by many infallible proofs, appearing to them for forty days, and speaking concerning the kingdom of God” (Acts 1:3, MEV). This is the only place in the Bible the word “infallible proof” is used. This word meaning solid proof in a court of law.
3. The testimony of women. The fact women were the first to discover and testify of the empty tomb and that He had risen is noteworthy because in the Greco-Roman world the testimony of women was not considered reliable. If the gospel writers felt the liberty to make things up, they certainly would not report that women discovered the empty tomb, for that would only weaken their case and cause. They however, reported what they saw with their own eyes, trusting the truth would bear out.
4. Transformed lives of disciples. There is no doubt something very real and dramatic happened that transformed eleven cowardly men, hiding in fear for their lives, into bold outspoken evangelists. These men became willing to risk imprisonment, excommunication, torture, and even death in order to proclaim the resurrection of Jesus Christ in the very city he was crucified! They would not willingly die if they knew this was all a lie. The fact is they knew Christ had indeed risen — they saw Him, talked to Him, touched Him, and ate with Him. Knowing the truth of the resurrection they were willing to die for Him.
5. Birth of the Christian church. It’s evident that something of great significant and supernatural took place that caused the Christian faith to explode in growth in the very city Christ was crucified and buried in. Within a few centuries, from Jerusalem all the way thru the Roman Empire Christianity became the dominant religion, displacing centuries of pagan practices. All this without any modern forms of communication, travel or media. Only something as compelling and persuasive as Jesus Resurrection could account for such a remarkable transformation.
6. James conversion. Jesus’ half-brother James was a skeptic until he encountered the risen Christ. As a result became a strong leader in the early church.
7. Saul’s conversion on the road to Damascus. Some supernatural encounter must have occurred to cause such a radical change in Saul, transforming him from a fanatical hater and persecutor of Christians into the greatest defender, missionary, and evangelist the church has ever known.
The Truth from Two of the Worlds Greatest Legal Minds
1. Sir Lionel Luckhoo (1914-1997), Considered one of the greatest lawyers in British history. He’s recorded in the Guinness Book of World Records as the “World’s Most Successful Advocate,” with 245 consecutive murder acquittals. He was knighted by Queen Elizabeth II – twice. After his complete examination of the facts, Sir Luckhoo declared:
“I humbly add I have spent more than 42 years as a defense trial lawyer appearing in many parts of the world … I say unequivocally the evidence for the Resurrection of Jesus Christ is so overwhelming that it compels acceptance by proof which leaves absolutely no room for doubt.” – Sir Lionel Luckhoo
2. Simon Greenleaf (1783-1853) was one of the founders of Harvard Law School. He authored the authoritative three-volume text, A Treatise on the Law of Evidence (1842), which is still considered “the greatest single authority on evidence in the entire literature of legal procedure.” Greenleaf literally wrote the rules of evidence for the U.S. legal system. He was certainly a man who knew how to weigh the facts.
Greenleaf was an atheist until he accepted a challenge by his students to investigate the case for Christ’s resurrection.
Simon Greenleaf Investigation
After personally collecting and examining the evidence based on rules of evidence that he helped establish, Greenleaf became a Christian and wrote the classic, Testimony of the Evangelists … after thorough investigation of the resurrection, concluded…
“The resurrection of Christ is the most verifiable fact of ancient history” – Simon Greenleaf
What more could be said?
Note: Some of the information in this article was also gleaned from authors such as Lee Strobel, Josh McDowell and others who have done exhaustive research on this topic.
Darrel and Cindy deVille are founders and directors of Shekinah Today Ministries, which was birthed in 2007, and the Pray America, Pray! campaign which was launched in 2010. Their mission and passion is to exalt Christ and help raise up the Glorious Church, reveal God’s Glory, and transform lives and nations.