JESUS ROSE FROM THE DEAD:- FACT OR FICTION?
On this page I answer the common arguments that are put forward to say that the resurrection of Jesus is false or didn't happen. There are many far fetched arguments that attempt to disprove the Resurrection but the ones below are the main ones. Resurrection means a person dies (in a physical and mental sense) and yet returns back to life.
Argument 1 - Christ didn't die he just fainted on the Cross and revived in the tomb.
Point 1: It must be remembered that Crucifixion was a barbaric horrific way to die. Roman soldiers were professional paid solders well aware of how to kill a human being and when someone had died on a cross. Some of these soldiers had probably been present at hundreds of crucifixions prior to Christ's death. If you've seen the film "Gladiator" or Mel Gibson's "The Passion of the Christ" you would get a very clear understanding of the toughness and viciousness of these men. In fact, Pilate was informed that Christ had died by a centurion.See Mark 15: v44 - 45.
Eventually the Romans did away with crucifixion because they deemed that it was too cruel and vicious.
Prior to his crucifixion Christ was flogged. Following the flogging Christ's back was likely to have been a bloody mess of torn and lacerated flesh. See Mark 15 v15.(The Romans used a whip made of several strips of leather into which were embedded (near the ends) pieces of bone and lead. Victims of Roman floggings often did not survive. -- reference NIV Study Bible)
Christ was hammered to a wooden cross with 6 inch iron nails, 2 into his wrists and 1 straight through his ankles. Blood would immediately drain from these 3 points. He was on the cross in the heat of the day with only a sponge of vinegar to drink shortly before he died. See John 19: v30. Christ was on the cross for a period of 6 hours, from the 3rd hour to the 9th hour. A soldier moved to break His legs but determined that Christ was already dead. Instead he plunged a spear into his side and blood and water flowed out. See John 19 v33-34. Therefore, after 6 hours of agony it is highly unlikely that Christ only fainted on the cross.
Point 2: To convince all those who moved or embalmed his body Jesus remained absolutely motionless for several hours. Not a sign of breathing, a flickering eyelid absolutely perfectly still. Just like a dead man. Simply amazing you might say !.
Point 3: How can a revived weakened half dead man with no weapons push back a one and a half tonne rock from a tomb entrance and then knock down two professional armed Roman Guards positioned outside the tomb. Highly unlikely if not impossible.
Argument 2 - The Disciples stole the Body.
This argument is Psychologically improbable. Think about your own family situation during times of grief and after the death of family members. How do you cope with grief? Do you feel like jumping up and telling others that your love one is still alive? or Decide to throw a party? Highly Unlikely! Instead we all go into a grieving process which paralyses us. It may take weeks and sometimes months to recover and to return to normal but the pain remains.
So here we had a group of disciples locked behind closed doors in fear of the Jews. See John 20 verses 19 - 21. We've seen Peter running outside and weeping after he denied knowing Christ prior to the crucifixion. See Matthew 26: v75. The courageous action man Peter reduced to a frightened liar.
If the resurrection did not happen why would the disciples die in the future for their faith in Christ? No sane person will do this. Eventually they would have gone back to fishing and forgotten about the entire affair. If Christ's body was stolen and hidden eventually one of the eleven disciples (Judas was dead) would have spoken up in the end and denied the resurrection as a fabrication. This never happened. There were no denials and no body of Jesus ever found.
It is also noted that this is what the solders were paid to say by the Pharisees. See Matthew 28: v11 - 15.
Argument 3 - The Authorities stole the Body.
This is also a highly improbable position.
Once the disciples starting preaching that Jesus Christ had risen from the dead. What do you think the Chief Priests and Pharisees would have done? They hated Jesus Christ and His preaching. They were the instigators of His death. Obviously they would have produced the body real fast so all the Jews and Gentiles could see that what the disciples were preaching was a lie. They didn't produce the body of Christ because they didn't have the body and neither could they find it.
Argument 4 - Grave Robbers stole the Body.
This is also highly improbable.
The most valuable thing in the grave was the Grave clothes. Why were these left in the Grave? See John 20: v6 - 7. Pretty silly and amateurish robbers. These robbers supposedly bashed two Roman guards senseless, stole a worthless body and left the grave clothes and spices (the items of value) within the tomb. Not a very smart group of robbers and thus a highly unlikely scenario.
Argument 5 - The appearances of Jesus following His resurrection from the dead were merely hallucinations. The appearances were not real.
Point 1: Hallucinations do happen sometimes to highly strung people, highly imaginative or sick people and also to drug takers. Jesus Christ appeared to over five hundred people over a period of 6 weeks. Were these people all highly strung people or drug takers. No, they were common Jewish people, fisherman, housewives, tax collectors, cynics. Why would the same hallucination appear to each of the 500 people He appeared to on the mountain of Galilee. See Matthew 28 v16 and 1 Corinthians 15 v6. Hallucinations generally have no objective reality. See "Ungers Bible Dictionary" page 429 to 430 for a full biblical account of Christ's appearances.
Point 2: Here we have a group of disillusioned heartbroken disciples. They were hiding behind locked door. Once Christ arose their attitude changed dramatically. Their fear of the Authorities disappeared. As we track their future lives in the Bible we learn that many of the disciples spent time in prisons, endured beatings and died for their faith. No one does this for a mere hallucination or vision. Peter is rumoured to have been crucified upside down.
Argument 6 - Jesus was not crucified. Judas was the one who was actually crucified, mistakenly, in the place of Jesus.
This is what some Muslims believe based on a small and unsupported verse in the Koran. Given the Bible states that the Jewish Chief Priests paid Judas that sum of 30 pieces of silver (see Matthew 27 verses 3-10) to ensure they arrested the correct man, Jesus Christ. It is highly unlikely they would accidentally put Judas on the Cross instead of Jesus. Both Mary Magdalene and Mary the mother of Jesus viewed Jesus Christ on the cross and were well aware of his facial features and physical form. Matthew confirms Judas deeply remorseful over what he had done, hanged himself. This argument is both irrational and very very silly.
When you eliminate the improbable what options do you have left? A very clear true conclusion. Christ did rise from the dead and therefore Christ was who He claims He was, that is, the Son of God.
Jesus Christ's death is of key importance to Christianity. Jesus as the Son of God came to earth and died a painful brutal death for mankind to take the Sin of every human being upon himself. He became the sacrifice for our sins. His suffering and death allows a pathway to God for every man and woman. Christ proved He was the Son of God by rising from the Dead. No other human being has achieved this feat. Yes, Lazarus (see John 11 v38 - 43) was raised from the dead but not through his own powers. He was raised by Christ's power.
We welcome your questions, comments and criticisms. Have a very happy EASTER 2010 as you remember with thanksgiving what Jesus Christ has done for you. Praise His Holy name. Without Jesus Christ we cannot get to Heaven.
"Who rolled the stone?" ---------------------------------------------- Kel Willis
"More than a Carpenter" --------------------------------------------- Josh McDowell (Tyndall House / Good News Publishers)
"Evident that demands a verdict" ( Volume 1 & 2) --------- Josh McDowell (Thomas Nelson)
"Leading Lawyers case for the Resurrection" --------- Ross Clifford (Canadian Institute of Law)
"The 10 Most Common Objections to Christianity" (Objection No 5 page 113 - Jesus was just a Man) ------- by Alex McFarland. (Regal Books)
"BEYOND THE FINAL FRONTIER" - Why I believe in the Resurrection (p166)" --------- Dr Richard Kent (Marshall Pickering)
Professor Swinbourne (Cambridge University) a gifted mathematician recently calculated the probability that Jesus Christ did rise from the dead at 97%. A Very Compelling statistic.
Email us with Questions on Christ's Death and Resurrection.
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PRAISE THE LORD TODAY FOR HIS SACRIFICE ON THE CROSS FOR ALL SINNERS PAST PRESENT FUTURE