A pair of atheists sought to disprove the resurrection of the Lord Jesus Christ but ended up finding the strong evidences about it instead, leading to their conversion to Christianity.
During the Truth for a New Generation conference, J. Warner Wallace, a cold case expert and Josh McDowell, a writer who did not believe in God when he was younger, spoke about their discoveries to CBN News.
Wallace recalled that being an atheist, he wanted to investigate the theory raised by the skeptics on the resurrection of Jesus, confident that he has the skill to do it. The theory reportedly states that Christ did not actually die on the cross but was only nearly dead and revived later.
The detective explained that the line in the Bible that speaks about the blood and water that came out of Jesus' body is the proof that He did die and was not just unconscious or faking his death.
"Water will collect in your lungs. Now if that happens, if you pierce that cavity, you will see a separation of blood and water," he said.
He added that this piece of evidence, which John has written, is very significant in proving Jesus' death on the cross.
"He was either so clever that he included some little-known biological fact that nobody would discover for 1800 years or he just reported what he saw," he said of the disciple.
"And as a result, we have a good piece of hidden science that confirms that Jesus actually died of cardiac arrest and was dead at the point of the body being taken off the cross," Wallace continued.
McDowell, on the other hand, wanted to prove that the evidence on the resurrection of Jesus was weak by writing the book, "Evidence That Demands a Verdict."
But instead of discovering the findings to support his claim, he found proof that Jesus was dead indeed when buried in the tomb.
"There were a hundred and some pounds of encasement of aromatic spices and gumming of cement consistency around His body, wrapped tightly in three separate linen cloths weighing about 117 pounds," he said.
"Christ was encased in that, and it becomes hardened. Second, how would He be able to move in such a state like that a one-and-a-half to two-ton stone away from the entrance?" McDowell further contended.
He also refuted the theory that the Jewish religious leaders floated at the time to conceal the truth of Christ's resurrection. In Matthew 28:11-15, the chief priests bribed the soldiers who guarded the tomb, instructing them to tell the people that the body of Jesus was stolen by the disciples.
The author said that such scenario is impossible since the tomb was guarded by 16 soldiers and the stone that covers it is so heavy that even 20 men cannot move it.
As a detective, Wallace argued that if the resurrection is just a conspiracy, the story will fall apart in the long run. But he emphasized that none of His disciples ever recanted on their testimonies.
On the theory that Jesus only showed up to people closest to Him, individuals who are most likely to lie about His resurrection, McDowell refuted this claim by stating that Christ also appeared to those who were hostile to Him - the Apostle Paul during his journey to Damascus to persecute Christians and Jesus' biological brother James, who was initially embarrassed by Christ.
Wallace and McDowell went on to contradict another theory that the encounter of 500 people with Jesus after His resurrection is a mere mass hallucination.
McDowell revealed that according to the experts he interviewed, two people can never have the same hallucination.
"There's just no history of kind of group hallucinations with the kind of detail that we see in the gospels," Wallace added.
McDowell and Alex McFarland, the conference's organizer, stressed that Christianity was actually founded on the story of Jesus' resurrection because it changed the culture of Jewish worship: breaking the Sabbath and shifting the practice of worship to Sunday.
"But the Resurrection on a Sunday had been the proof positive that Jesus was indeed the Risen Lord, worthy of worship on that day of the week," CBN News pointed out.
McDowell told the news outlet that Jesus' resurrection gives him hope that someday, he too will be raised from the dead.
"In the empty tomb, we have it all, ironclad, guaranteed. I tell people the tomb was left empty so that your life could be made full," McFarland declared.