Christianity is dependent on the fact and truth that Jesus Christ rose from the dead three days after He died on the cross of Calvary. This significant event in history, known as the Resurrection, actually happened and this is proven by many witnesses who can attest to its truth.
J. Lee Grady, minister for The Mordecai Project and the author behind the blog Fire In My Bones, wrote in an article for Charisma News that the Lord Jesus Christ's resurrection has been proven true by many witness both during the time of the early church and even in recent years.
Grady noted that while certain groups threw mud at the Bible's account of Christ's return from the grave, certain people who can be trusted to tell the truth say that indeed the Son of God rose from the dead three days after He died on the cross.
"Of course, for centuries skeptics have tried to disprove the resurrection by concocting various conspiracy theories," Grady wrote. The minister then enumerated a few of these theories.
- First, he said some accuse Jesus' followers of going to the wrong tomb to find His body.
- Second, he said some skeptics accuse the early disciples of experiencing a "group hallucination."
- Third, he said some propagate the so-called "swoon theory," which teaches "that Jesus had not really died but was rather just unconscious after the brutal abuse His body experienced."
- Lastly, he said some claim that "Jesus' body was stolen and never found."
Grady then went on to debunk some of these, particularly the "swoon theory." He noted that this theory is "laughable" considering how a soldier thrust a spear onto Jesus' side, effectively piercing His heart as well.
This incident, which the Bible said resulted in blood and water flowing out of Christ's body, would result in a fatal injury that could not be reversed by a medical recovery even with today's medical technology.
"None of these theories is plausible," Grady remarked.
The minister then wrote about several witnesses who can attest to Christ's resurrection from the dead.
First, he wrote of a doctor named Luke, the same person who wrote several accounts in the Bible. Luke, in Acts 1:3, wrote of people who saw the risen Lord Jesus for a time before His eventual ascension to heaven.
"To these He also presented Himself alive after His suffering, by many convincing proofs, appearing to them over a period of forty days and speaking of the things concerning the kingdom of God."
Luke, a doctor, believed in Christ's resurrection because there was concrete evidence in the form of witnesses who all testify to Him being alive again.
Second, he wrote about Paul, who was once a Pharisee named Saul-the same man who persecuted those who believed in Jesus Christ. Paul testified that Jesus "was raised on the third day according to the Scriptures," and that He appeared to Peter, to the other disciples, and then "to more than five hundred brethren at one time."
Lastly, Grady wrote about journalist Lee Strobel, who himself did not believe in Christ until he tried to disprove Scripture and discovered it is true in the process. In his popular book "The Case for Christ," Strobel explained that the evidence of Christ's resurrection caused him to believe:
"I became a Christian because the evidence was so compelling that Jesus really is the one-and-only Son of God who proved his divinity by rising from the dead. That meant following him was the most rational and logical step I could possibly take."
Strobel, refuting the above-mentioned "hallucination" theory pushed by some skeptics, said a psychologist friend told him that it's impossible to have hundreds of people see the same thing at the same time because hallucinations "are an individual event." To have 500 people have the same hallucination means a "bigger miracle than the resurrection" has to have happened.
A faith that cannot be shaken
Grady wrote of a "mountain of evidence" proving Christ's resurrection. All of these will not be included in this article for sake of brevity, but it's important to note that according to the minister, the "greatest evidence" of Christ's resurrection is not simply the number of people who saw Him risen from the dead.
Rather, it's the people who refuse to renounce their faith in Him even if they are "jailed, stoned, thrown into arenas with savage animals, or burned alive." No amount of persecution would ever sway these disciples into denying the truth.