Easter Sermon: The Historicity of the Resurrection
The resurrection is the lynch pin of the Christian faith. If Jesus had died and not been raised we would be lost, 1 Cor. 15:17 (ESV) “And if Christ has not been raised, your faith is futile and you are still in your sins.” The resurrection has been denied from many sides. There are those who deny the resurrection on certain scientific assumptions. That because we don’t see dead people resurrecting today, therefore it could never happen. Modern day scholar Bart Ehrman disqualifies the resurrection on the basis that miracles cannot be proven by repetition. There have been other theories such as Jesus only swooned and did not die, and revived in the cold tomb. Or that Mary Magdalene who was love-struck, and a little crazy thought she saw Jesus because she really wanted to, but only saw the gardener. Or that the women approached the tomb in the dark and couldn’t see that they went to the wrong tomb. Or that all the disciples were the victims of mass hallucination. Or that the Jews, or Romans, or disciples had stolen the body. Or as Islam believes, it was not Jesus who died on the cross, but Judas, satan, Simon of Cyrene, or another disciple, and therefore Jesus did not resurrect but was raptured and will return again one day.
We will see from the evidence that we have that the overwhelming conclusion that is forced upon us is that Jesus truly did resurrect from the grave. More liberal views think that a physical resurrection is not necessary for our faith, and that Jesus rose spiritually and is now the good in every person. All these other theories cannot account for all the data that we have from both biblical and extra-biblical sources, the irrepressible conclusion is that Jesus has indeed resurrected from the dead. Not only because we accept this on the basis of the authority of God’s word, but also because the evidence is best accounted for by accepting the Bible’s testimony.