Did Jesus rise from the dead?

During his three years of public ministry, Jesus predicted that He would suffer and die as a sacrifice for our sins, and then he would come back to life after three days. In spite of His predictions, His closest followers ran away when He was captured and executed.

The Bible says that three days later, on a Sunday, Jesus rose from the dead. Over the next forty days, the risen Jesus appeared numerous times to his followers. He talked with them and ate with them. Once, He even appeared to a group of 500 people (Luke 24:36-44; John 21:1-14; 1 Corinthians 15:3-8).

You might wonder, is this true? Did Jesus Christ really rise from the dead?

Historical records show that three days after Jesus’ death, the Roman and Jewish leaders who executed him could not find his body. Thus, they claimed that Jesus’ followers had stolen it (Matthew 27:62-66; 28:11-15), and paid the soldiers who had been guarding Jesus’ tomb not to tell anyone about the lost body.

Some skeptics have suggested that Jesus did not really die on the cross. They say that he fainted, was still alive when buried and then revived in the cool temperatures of the tomb. This is highly unlikely, even ridiculous, for the following reasons.

First, the Roman soldiers who crucified Jesus would not have released him from their authority if he was alive. It was their job to kill him—and they knew how to be sure he was dead.

Second, John’s account in the Bible said that when Jesus was stabbed by one of the Roman soldiers, the result was a flow of blood and water (John 19:31-35)—an evidence of death.

Third, we must realize that the disciples who saw Jesus alive on Sunday morning would not have been spiritually inspired by one who was barely holding onto life. If Jesus had somehow survived the brutality of crucifixion and was lying in his tomb in a near-dead state, they would not have celebrated him as a miracle-worker. Instead of worshiping him as the one who had conquered death, they would have simply called for a doctor!

Have questions? Contact us.