Why Believe? Did Jesus Really Rise from the Dead?

I heard a song on the radio announce that Jesus had conquered the grave.

Did he really? That’s an extraordinary claim, don’t you think? Do we really believe that a man got up out of the grave and never entered it again?

If that happened, it would sure be a good argument that he was the Son of God, the eternal Word of the Father.

Historical Evidence for the Resurrection of Jesus Christ

Josh McDowell and Lee Strobel have both written books with excellent historical arguments for the resurrection of Jesus.

I love history, so you know I like those arguments. Some of them helped lead to my conversion. Factual things matter to me.

However, they will never result in the conversion of anyone. Or, if they do, the conversion will be useless and temporary.

The fact is, there is . . .

Much Better Evidence for the Resurrection of Jesus Christ

I once heard a Southern Gospel song that I believe was called “Please Don’t Tell My Daddy.”

In the song a young boy overheard two men saying that Jesus wasn’t real. He went up to the two men and said, “Please don’t tell my daddy Jesus isn’t real. Since he met Jesus, he doesn’t drink, and he doesn’t beat up mommy anymore.”

Who’s seen Jesus alive since the supposed resurrection?

I’d argue that little boy has seen Jesus, alive, a couple thousand years after the resurrection.

As a new Christian I watched a young lady from the streets come into a Bible study with a hardened, twisted face. Later that night, she encountered the risen Lord Jesus.

I saw her Sunday morning, and she was beautiful, though you’d never have known that on Friday. Her face was completely transformed, and it shone.

What was more amazing was her comment about the shining eyes she could see in others. She didn’t know any of the people in the Sunday school class, but she had no problem accurately picking out the real Christians from the nominal ones with a glance.

(Sorry if that’s offensive. I’m just telling you a true story.)

That girl’s name was Linda White. She met Jesus. Alive. Two thousand years after he died.

Those Who’ve Seen Jesus

Who’s seen Jesus?

Did you realize the apostle Paul never saw Jesus resurrected “in the flesh” the way that Peter, the other apostles, and Mary Magdalene did?

Yet who doubts Paul saw Jesus?

It wasn’t “better” to see him “in the flesh.” The apostles, and even dear Mary Magdalene, had trouble recognizing him after he rose from the dead. They had to recognize him every bit as spiritually as you and I do.

The Real Historical Testimony

The fact is that millions of people have seen Jesus over the 2,000 years since he died–temporarily.

In the worst of circumstances and in the best of circumstances; in situations where faith in Christ was popular and in situations where it was not; people have met Jesus, and Jesus has utterly transformed their lives in the most remarkable manner.

The recent movie “Fireproof” has one of the characters say about a Christian in the movie, “He’s the real deal.”

There is no better testimony than “the real deal.

Yes, Lee Strobel was moved by historical evidence. Now he passes on that historical evidence to others. Thank God for him.

But you know the real reason Lee Strobel is a Christian? Because his wife is the real deal.

“Whoever does not believe God has made him a liar because he doesn’t believe the testimony that God has given concerning his Son.

“And this is the testimony: that God has given us eternal life . . . He that has the Son has the Life.”

~1 John 5:10-12

About paulfpavao

I am a church historian and pastor, but I do occasionally play APBA baseball for fun.
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2 Responses to Why Believe? Did Jesus Really Rise from the Dead?

  1. Frank Lee says:

    I have seen Him face to face…he killed me….man I love Him 🙂

    I see you finally got an RSS reader link. GREAT!

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