Q&A: Evidence for Resurrection

Evidence for Resurrection

Question

What evidence is there for the resurrection of Jesus?

Answer

For the Christian, the strongest evidence for the resurrection of Jesus is the internal witness of the Holy Spirit which testifies to the validity of the historical account of Jesus Christ's resurrection in the Bible. Once again, because the Bible is the Word of God, and because God does not lie, we can be certain that Jesus rose from the dead. However, this evidence is unlikely to convince an unbeliever that the Bible's claims regarding the resurrection are true. That does not mean that it is not real and valid evidence, it only means that the unbeliever does not recognize it as such.

If I was going to point to evidence that might be more convincing to an unbeliever especially regarding the resurrection, I would first point to the historical account of the change in the psychology of Peter and the Disciples in the short period after Jesus' execution. The transformation of the disciples from fear ridden cowards in hiding to men who boldly proclaimed the Gospel of Jesus Christ is a matter of historical record that is not easily accounted for. Likewise the martyrdom of Peter and several of the other disciples is difficult to account for if you believe that the resurrection was a fabrication of the disciples. This is because people would probably give up the lie when faced with death by torture.

Similarly, the conversion of Paul, an ardent persecutor of the church stands as historical evidence for the resurrection. Paul not only converted, he devoted himself to building an organization he once sought to destroy. He did this because he saw the risen Christ. So in summary, the evidence is two-fold. First and foremost is the testimony of the Holy Spirit in the Christians heart about the veracity of the scriptures. Second is the historical evidence found in scripture as to the truth of the Christian claims of the resurrection.

Answer by Matt Gross

Matthew Gross received his masters degree from Reformed Theological Seminary, Orlando, in 2004 and was the weekly editor of Reformed Perspectives Magazine.