03 Creed : Suffered under Pontius Pilate

posted 17 Nov 2012, 12:25 by Unknown user   [ updated 17 Nov 2012, 12:31 ]

Did Jesus rise from the dead?

It’s a tremendous story - but can it really be true that Jesus died on the Cross and then rose from the dead?

After all, there are many who will tell us that such things just don't happen - or that Jesus lives in our hearts, so we don't need to believe he actually came back to life. 

But to reject Jesus's resurrection cuts to the heart of Christianity. What on earth is the point of his suffering and death on the cross, if it all just ended in defeat? It all becomes pointless, a waste of time

From the earliest times, the opponents of Christianity denied the resurrection - even made fun of the idea - and Christians had to defend it. 

St Paul himself writes in his first letter to the Corinthians,  that if there is no resurrection, then everything we believe is a complete waste of time. 

Of course, if you start with the idea that people do not rise from the dead (because it ‘just doesn’t happen’) then you have already made your mind up, no evidence can convince you that it might be true. But this is just prejudice, and is not rational. 

Let’s start with an open mind. Is there evidence that it might true? 

Well - first, we can be sure that Jesus truly died on the cross. We are told that when the soldier put the spear in his side ‘blood and water’ came out. This proves Jesus had suffocated and was dead on the cross. 

Secondly, everyone knew where Jesus’ body was placed. The women visited the tomb. They knew who the tomb belonged too. Soldiers even guarded it. They knew the person who the tomb belonged to. No one seems to have denied any of these facts. 

Thirdly, even the enemies of the first Christians agreed that the tomb was empty after his death. It would have been easy to prove he’d not risen if his body could be found. It couldn’t. It has disappeared. None of those who reject the resurrection try to show where the body was - on the contrary, they try to explain where it had gone (typically they said the disciples had stolen it).

And fourthly - most importantly - when Jesus was arrested and crucified his disciples fled in fear for their own lives. One of them had betrayed him. Another denied he ever knew him. Yet in three days they were transformed from fear to joy. No longer afraid that they might die, they were ready to give their lives for what they had seen. They were prepared to die for their claim that the body had disappeared and that Jesus - who had truly died - had now returned to life. Hardly the action of frauds and liers. And their message has spread throughout the world ever since. 

What more proof could we need?