Is our belief in the resurrection of Jesus just a religious myth? If you’re reading this then you’re probably already predisposed to believe in the resurrection of Jesus as an unquestioned truth, but looking from the eyes of a skeptic one can easily see the audacity of our claim. A homeless Jewish carpenter rose from the dead? That ancient figure really was God? Our eternal destiny depends on our belief that Jesus rose from the dead 2000 years ago? From a cynical viewpoint our belief in the resurrection can come off as a myth or fable rather than a historical fact.
But historical fact it is. Our religion is not based on myth or fable, but on an event that happened early in the first century: the resurrection of Jesus Christ. Here’s how Paul writes about it, and here’s the evidence he gives for our belief in the resurrection:
3 For what I received I passed on to you as of first importance: that Christ died for our sins according to the Scriptures, 4 that he was buried, that he was raised on the third day according to the Scriptures, 5 and that he appeared to Cephas, and then to the Twelve. 6 After that, he appeared to more than five hundred of the brothers and sisters at the same time, most of whom are still living, though some have fallen asleep. 1 Corinthians 15:3-6Jesus died. History agrees on that. Jesus was buried. History agrees on that. History also agrees that many of Jesus’ followers claim to have seen Jesus after his death. The truth of their claims is up to you, but consider this: 500 believers claimed to see him at once. People can have hallucinations, and a group of people can hallucinate at the same time, but a mass hallucination never happens where everyone sees the same thing. That just doesn’t happen.
These 500 people truly believed they saw Jesus, and they were willing to lose their life over it (and many of them did). Paul, writing this letter decades after the event, references that many of these believers were still alive, and he invited the Corinthians to check with them and get their first-hand experience.
Our belief in the resurrection is so much more than myth or fable. It’s based on an event that happened in human history, corroborated by hundreds of eye witnesses. In today’s court of law, that would convince a jury.
Prayer: God, I thank you that my faith is based on more than just myth or fairytale. Thank you for raising Jesus from the dead.