The resurrection of Jesus is the best-documented event in ancient history. Of all religions in the world, Christianity is the only one in which the founder claimed to be the Son of God. Furthermore, He proved His claim through miracles. However, the greatest miracle of all, and the only one He predicted in advance, was His resurrection from the dead.
The gospels tell us that Jesus raised others from the dead, including the widow’s son at Nain (Luke 7:11-15) and His friend Lazarus (John 11). However, neither of them is alive to tell about it because they eventually died again. Their second chance at life did not fully conquer death.
Jesus ultimately and completely defeated death because He is alive today. When Jesus brought the young man and Lazarus back to life, they got their ordinary bodies back. After His resurrection, Jesus had a physical body able to speak and be touched and eat. But His resurrection body could also pass through walls. (See Luke 24:33-40.) The stone was rolled away from the tomb not so that Jesus could come out but so that others could see that His body was no longer there.
Some skeptics today go beyond denying the miracles of Jesus to deny that He ever lived. No credible historical scholar would make such a claim. An article in National Geographic quoted Eric Meyers, an archaeologist and emeritus professor in Judaic studies at Duke University, saying: “I don’t know any mainstream scholar who doubts the historicity of Jesus…The details have been debated for centuries, but no one who is serious doubts that he’s a historical figure.”
Jesus is real. He is alive! He conquered death! The same National Geographic article said that more than two billion people today believe Jesus Christ is “the very Son of God.” The resurrection was His greatest miracle of all and is the best-documented event of ancient history. It is not a legend that developed years later. The gospels recorded it within a generation of the event when eyewitnesses were still alive. Even before the gospels were written, Paul testified of the resurrection within a few years after it happened (1 Corinthians 15:3-8). He had learned of it less than five years after the event.
The greatest miracle of all is a historical fact. There is no other way to explain the change in Christ’s apostles, who dared to spend the rest of their lives testifying of the resurrection, even when it led to persecution and death. So we can say with confidence, “Christ is risen! He is risen indeed!”
— Roland Earnst © 2023