Why are we here worshipping today? Why is there Christianity? Simply put, it’s because Jesus rose from the dead.
13 But if there be no resurrection of the dead, then is Christ not risen: 14 And if Christ be not risen, then is our preaching vain, and your faith is also vain. (1 Corinthians 15:13–14)
I remember the scene from my high school years vividly. I was in the parking lot of the Lutheran church with my friend Chuck. I don’t know why we were there, or what the conversation was about. I remember saying to Chuck, “I think the Bible was made up by one person in order to fool a lot of people.”
Did the disciples make up the story of the resurrection and therefore the Christian Faith?
I want to share with you some reasons today why I believe that the resurrection of Jesus Christ really happened. These reasons—or evidence—are just tip of the iceberg. I won’t go in depth in each one, it will be more like that sampler plate you get at a restaurant.
If you want to learn more, I could recommend several books that you could read: J. Warner Wallace, Josh McDowell, Lee Strobel, and William Lane Craig all have books detailing the evidence for Jesus’s resurrection.
Then, in the second part of this message, I want to share what Jesus’s resurrection shows us about God.
The resurrection of Jesus Christ is one of the most debated issues in history, and it should be—a lot rides on it. If the resurrection of Jesus Christ didn’t happen, then Christianity is a sham. The apostle Paul wrote—
14 And if Christ be not risen, then is our preaching vain, and your faith is also vain. (1 Corinthians 15:14)
If the resurrection of Jesus Christ really happened, then everything about Heaven and Hell is confirmed.
If the resurrection of Jesus Christ is real, then people really do have to make a life-changing choice, destiny-changing decision about Jesus Christ. He cannot be ignored.
So, is the resurrection real? In the ultimate sense, that question can only be answered by faith. Faith is what confirms the realness of the resurrection.
1 Now faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen. (Hebrews 11:1)
But is that a cop-out? No, because biblical faith is not a blind faith. It is not a faith that checks your brains at the door. Rather, it is a faith that has reasons and arguments behind it.
People have the idea that belief in God is non-intellectual—that to be a Christian you have to check your brain at the door and have blind faith.
But to be a Christian is not to be unreasoning. Yes, we believe in unseen things, like God and Heaven and angels, but so does everyone. No one can see electricity, or sub-atomic particles, but we have good reasons for believing in them.
I want to share with you three solid reasons why you can believe that the resurrection of Jesus Christ really happened. First, there’s no better way to explain the empty tomb. Second, there are a number of resurrection appearances, where people saw a living, physical Jesus. Third, there’s the existence of the Christian Faith.