Christians in the United States and all over the world celebrate Easter every year because they believe that Jesus rose from the dead. Why do Christians believe that Jesus rose from the dead even though his resurrection seems so difficult to believe? Isn’t this belief just wishful thinking?
The evidence from the Bible and other ancient sources makes it clear that Jesus was crucified and must have received a proper Jewish burial. The New Testament Gospels, the Roman historian Tacitus, and the Jewish historian Josephus all indicate that Jesus was executed by the order of Pilate. The four Gospels all say that Jesus was buried in a rich man’s tomb, and both Josephus and Roman law suggest that Jesus would almost certainly have received a proper Jewish burial. We can be sure that Jesus’ body was not left on the cross on the eve of Passover to be consumed by dogs or thrown into a shallow common grave!
Christians believe in Jesus’ resurrection for three main reasons: 1) his tomb was found empty on Easter Sunday; and 2) his disciples and other believers said that the risen Jesus appeared to them after he was crucified and buried; 3) the alternative theories to explain Jesus’ empty tomb and his postmortem appearances make much less sense than his actual physical resurrection from the dead. Jesus’ empty tomb provides indirect evidence for his resurrection, and his postmortem appearances to his disciples and to many other people provide direct evidence for his resurrection.
The most important facts that we know about Jesus and my new argument for Jesus’ resurrection also make a strong case for Jesus’ resurrection from the dead. You can find my new argument for Jesus’ resurrection on pages 118-120 of my book The Life Changer.
For much more interesting and important information about Jesus’ resurrection, please see chapter 7 of my book The Life Changer. You can buy my book at Amazon, Barnes & Noble, Bookshop, Books-A-Million, and ThriftBooks.
May God bless you with a Happy Easter!