Is Jesus’ Resurrection Fact or Fairy Tale?

The Historical Evidence for the Resurrection of Jesus Christ

Excerpt from Chapter 2 of Beyond Blind Faith, copyright 2017, 2019

“This Jesus God raised up again, to which we are all witnesses.”

—Acts 2:32

Christianity stands or falls on the answer to this question: did Jesus Christ die and then come back to life days later? If Christ’s resurrection never happened, then Jesus’s claims of divinity were nothing but the ravings of a lunatic or the inventions of a fraud—and Christianity is worthless. On the other hand, if Jesus truly rose from the dead, then Christianity is Truth itself and the hope of the world.

If you are skeptical of claims about a miracle that occurred almost 2,000 years ago, I quite understand. I grew up believing that miracles do not occur. Yet the alternative is truly startling, although it is seldom honestly confronted by the skeptics—if Jesus did not rise from the dead, then His followers lied. There is no middle ground, no other satisfactory explanation. But the idea that Jesus’s followers made it all up is difficult to believe, because it would mean they were the best—and the worst—liars history has ever known. However, I’m getting ahead of myself. Let’s begin by laying a good foundation.[i]

Laying the Foundation. We cannot discuss whether Jesus rose from the dead until we first establish three historical facts: (1) Jesus lived—that is, He was a real, historical person; (2) He was crucified by the Romans, was believed to be dead, and was buried in a known tomb which was found empty a few days later; and (3) His followers said that He had been raised from the dead and ascended into heaven. By historical standards, these are well established facts, for which there is ample proof and virtually unanimous agreement among historians. Let’s take a look. . . .

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[i] The general outline of this proof is based on the sermons of the late Dr. Gene Scott, former pastor of Faith Center in Glendale, California.