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The Many Eyewitnesses of Jesus' Resurrection

The Many Eyewitnesses of Jesus' Resurrection

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Published by Ross
This study will show that Jesus' resurrection from the dead is no myth. It is one of the most reliably corroborated facts in ancient history.
Is the empty tomb a fact or a fraud?
Today, the gospel story of the resurrection of Jesus Christ is under assault as never before. It's detractors would have us believe that Matthew, Mark, Luke, John and others only fabricated the story of the resurrection. They would have us believe Jesus is dead; that He either never rose from the tomb, or that He did not actually die at Calvary. But both are preposterous notions, to be dismissed as certainly as other far-fetched claims - that Jesus was secretly married, or that He was a homosexual, or that He had children, etc. None of those claims have any legitimacy, especially in the light of certifiable evidence to the contrary.
"Could fraudulent claims of Jesus' resurrection have survived if Jesus had not truly risen?"
If Jesus really did come back from the dead after several days, after accurately predicting His own resurrection, that would certainly be the most persuasive and noteworthy argument in favor of the New Testament claims. On the other hand, if this man, who had been brutally crucified, did not revive, then Christianity is the world's biggest hoax.
Historical realities must be taken into account.
This matter cannot be left to conjecture. There are historical facts to be considered. The political system in authority at that time (the Roman government) went to great lengths to conceal the evidences that Jesus was indeed alive. False witnesses (the Roman soldiers who guarded the tomb) were given sums of money to report that Jesus' disciples had stolen the body out of His tomb, according to Matthew 28:11-15. Their lies, however, were rendered ineffective, because we find no historical evidence that their story ever got any traction within the general public. Everybody knew that Jesus had risen. On the subject of Jesus' resurrection, C.S. Lewis famously said, "If the thing happened, it was the central event in the history of the earth." We should all agree. In fact, if Jesus had not risen from the dead, His birth would never have become the dividing point on the calendar. The author of "Skeptics Answered," Dr. D. James Kennedy, argued that one of the most convincing evidences of Jesus' resurrection is the fact that virtually all of the New Testament Christians declared that Jesus was alive, to their own personal detriment. He proposed that anyone would have been fools for defending the resurrection story, knowing that they would be persecuted or perhaps killed for taking that position. The entire drama begs the question, "Why would thousands, even greater multitudes of people allow themselves to be killed to defend a lie, or a faker, an impostor?" It is quite apparent that Jesus' own friends, companions, peers and contemporaries had no doubts at all that He had indeed risen from the dead. How can we overstate the significance of a man returning from three days and nights in his grave? Never in the history of the world - before or since - has it ever happened on that order, anywhere else. It is all the more wondrous that Jesus specifically notified His followers that after three days, He would rise.
Jesus prophesied His death, burial and resurrection after three days.
"And he began to teach them, that the Son of man must suffer many things, and be rejected of the elders, and of the chief priests, and scribes, and be killed, and after three days rise again," Mark 8:31. "For as Jonas was three days and three nights in the whale's belly; so shall the Son of man be three days and three nights in the heart of the earth," Matthew 12:40. "Jesus answered and said unto them, Destroy this temple, and in three days I will raise it up," John 2:19.
Jesus' prophecies were known far and wide. After His crucifixion, the Chief Priests and Pharisees went to Pilate begging security guards to be placed at the tomb. Why? "Now the next day, that follo
This study will show that Jesus' resurrection from the dead is no myth. It is one of the most reliably corroborated facts in ancient history.
Is the empty tomb a fact or a fraud?
Today, the gospel story of the resurrection of Jesus Christ is under assault as never before. It's detractors would have us believe that Matthew, Mark, Luke, John and others only fabricated the story of the resurrection. They would have us believe Jesus is dead; that He either never rose from the tomb, or that He did not actually die at Calvary. But both are preposterous notions, to be dismissed as certainly as other far-fetched claims - that Jesus was secretly married, or that He was a homosexual, or that He had children, etc. None of those claims have any legitimacy, especially in the light of certifiable evidence to the contrary.
"Could fraudulent claims of Jesus' resurrection have survived if Jesus had not truly risen?"
If Jesus really did come back from the dead after several days, after accurately predicting His own resurrection, that would certainly be the most persuasive and noteworthy argument in favor of the New Testament claims. On the other hand, if this man, who had been brutally crucified, did not revive, then Christianity is the world's biggest hoax.
Historical realities must be taken into account.
This matter cannot be left to conjecture. There are historical facts to be considered. The political system in authority at that time (the Roman government) went to great lengths to conceal the evidences that Jesus was indeed alive. False witnesses (the Roman soldiers who guarded the tomb) were given sums of money to report that Jesus' disciples had stolen the body out of His tomb, according to Matthew 28:11-15. Their lies, however, were rendered ineffective, because we find no historical evidence that their story ever got any traction within the general public. Everybody knew that Jesus had risen. On the subject of Jesus' resurrection, C.S. Lewis famously said, "If the thing happened, it was the central event in the history of the earth." We should all agree. In fact, if Jesus had not risen from the dead, His birth would never have become the dividing point on the calendar. The author of "Skeptics Answered," Dr. D. James Kennedy, argued that one of the most convincing evidences of Jesus' resurrection is the fact that virtually all of the New Testament Christians declared that Jesus was alive, to their own personal detriment. He proposed that anyone would have been fools for defending the resurrection story, knowing that they would be persecuted or perhaps killed for taking that position. The entire drama begs the question, "Why would thousands, even greater multitudes of people allow themselves to be killed to defend a lie, or a faker, an impostor?" It is quite apparent that Jesus' own friends, companions, peers and contemporaries had no doubts at all that He had indeed risen from the dead. How can we overstate the significance of a man returning from three days and nights in his grave? Never in the history of the world - before or since - has it ever happened on that order, anywhere else. It is all the more wondrous that Jesus specifically notified His followers that after three days, He would rise.
Jesus prophesied His death, burial and resurrection after three days.
"And he began to teach them, that the Son of man must suffer many things, and be rejected of the elders, and of the chief priests, and scribes, and be killed, and after three days rise again," Mark 8:31. "For as Jonas was three days and three nights in the whale's belly; so shall the Son of man be three days and three nights in the heart of the earth," Matthew 12:40. "Jesus answered and said unto them, Destroy this temple, and in three days I will raise it up," John 2:19.
Jesus' prophecies were known far and wide. After His crucifixion, the Chief Priests and Pharisees went to Pilate begging security guards to be placed at the tomb. Why? "Now the next day, that follo

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Published by: Ross on Sep 25, 2010
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The Many Eyewitnesses of Jesus' ResurrectionThis study will show that Jesus' resurrection from the dead is no myth. It is one of themost reliably corroborated facts in ancient history.Is the empty tomb a fact or a fraud?Today, the gospel story of the resurrection of Jesus Christ is under assault as never  before. It's detractors would have us believe that Matthew, Mark, Luke, John and othersonly fabricated the story of the resurrection. They would have us believe Jesus is dead;that He either never rose from the tomb, or that He did not actually die at Calvary. But both are preposterous notions, to be dismissed as certainly as other far-fetched claims -that Jesus was secretly married, or that He was a homosexual, or that He had children,etc. None of those claims have any legitimacy, especially in the light of certifiableevidence to the contrary."Could fraudulent claims of Jesus' resurrection have survived if Jesus had not trulyrisen?"If Jesus really did come back from the dead after several days, after accurately predictingHis own resurrection, that would certainly be the most persuasive and noteworthyargument in favor of the New Testament claims. On the other hand, if this man, who had been brutally crucified, did not revive, then Christianity is the world's biggest hoax.Historical realities must be taken into account.This matter cannot be left to conjecture. There are historical facts to be considered. The political system in authority at that time (the Roman government) went to great lengths toconceal the evidences that Jesus was indeed alive. False witnesses (the Roman soldierswho guarded the tomb) were given sums of money to report that Jesus' disciples hadstolen the body out of His tomb, according to Matthew 28:11-15. Their lies, however,were rendered ineffective, because we find no historical evidence that their story ever gotany traction within the general public. Everybody knew that Jesus had risen. On thesubject of Jesus' resurrection, C.S. Lewis famously said, "If the thing happened, it was thecentral event in the history of the earth." We should all agree. In fact, if Jesus had notrisen from the dead, His birth would never have become the dividing point on thecalendar. The author of "Skeptics Answered," Dr. D. James Kennedy, argued that one of the most convincing evidences of Jesus' resurrection is the fact that virtually all of the New Testament Christians declared that Jesus was alive, to their own personal detriment.He proposed that anyone would have been fools for defending the resurrection story,knowing that they would be persecuted or perhaps killed for taking that position. Theentire drama begs the question, "Why would thousands, even greater multitudes of peopleallow themselves to be killed to defend a lie, or a faker, an impostor?" It is quite apparentthat Jesus' own friends, companions, peers and contemporaries had no doubts at all thatHe had indeed risen from the dead. How can we overstate the significance of a manreturning from three days and nights in his grave? Never in the history of the world - before or since - has it ever happened on that order, anywhere else. It is all the morewondrous that Jesus specifically notified His followers that after three days, He would
 
rise.Jesus prophesied His death, burial and resurrection after three days."And he began to teach them, that the Son of man must suffer many things, and berejected of the elders, and of the chief priests, and scribes, and be killed, and after threedays rise again," Mark 8:31. "For as Jonas was three days and three nights in the whale's belly; so shall the Son of man be three days and three nights in the heart of the earth,"Matthew 12:40. "Jesus answered and said unto them, Destroy this temple, and in threedays I will raise it up," John 2:19.Jesus' prophecies were known far and wide. After His crucifixion, the Chief Priests andPharisees went to Pilate begging security guards to be placed at the tomb. Why? "Nowthe next day, that followed the day of the preparation, the chief priests and Phariseescame together unto Pilate, Saying, Sir, we remember that that deceiver said, while he wasyet alive, After three days I will rise again," Matthew 27:62-63. And that is exactly whathappened. The Roman guards could not prevent it. This was not some freakish event, or spontaneous resuscitation. It was a divinely-orchestrated pre-ordained miracle. An evenmore miraculous component is the fact that prophets had been foretelling it for centuries.Among the billions of people who have ever lived on this planet in over six thousandyears of human history, not one single person in antiquity ever accomplished a similar feat. None of the ancients are alive today with the exception of Jesus Christ.Even the wealthiest and most powerful men on earth have no power to avoid death. Noexceptions. None of us had power or control over our own birth. Neither do we have the power to avoid death and the grave, unless we happen to be alive when Jesus returns for His living saints. Solomon, the wise man and preacher, wrote, "For to him that is joinedto all the living there is hope: for a living dog is better than a dead lion. For the livingknow that they shall die: but the dead know not any thing, neither have they any more areward; for the memory of them is forgotten. Also their love, and their hatred, and their envy, is now perished; neither have they any more a portion for ever in any thing that isdone under the sun," (Ecclesiastes 9:4-6).What is more final than death?In any other context, Jesus' death would have been the end of Him. But He was Godincarnate, and that made all the difference. Jesus' disciples must have been horrified whenthey looked at His lifeless body hanging there on the cross on that eerily dark andmysterious afternoon. For His disciples, the previous three years in Jesus' company had been an exhilarating experience. They watched Him perform countless miracles andhealings. The blind could see, the deaf could hear, the lepers were purified, the crippledcould walk. They even saw Jesus raise several from the dead. Less than a week earlier,they had paraded alongside Jesus through the streets of Jerusalem, as the people cheeredand worshipped Him as their King and Messiah. But in a lightning-fast chain of eventsunfolding in less than one full day, He was captured, imprisoned, tried, convicted and brutally murdered. The shock and awe of these terrifying events must have left their minds numb. But even more breath-taking was the actual sight of Him standing again,alive in their presence, only three days later! The things they saw and heard and reported
 
to the rest of the world have changed all the tides of history for all of time.Evidences Of Jesus' ResurrectionAncient prophecies fulfilled (Acts 2:25-35; 13:33-35, 41) Peter was a true eyewitness. Hesaw and spoke with Jesus for several days after Jesus' resurrection. Peter explained allabout the Old Testament prophecies that he knew applied to this miracle, when he preached to the multitudes in the streets of Jerusalem on the day of Pentecost. "For Davidspeaketh concerning him, I foresaw the Lord always before my face, for he is on my righthand, that I should not be moved: Therefore did my heart rejoice, and my tongue wasglad; moreover also my flesh shall rest in hope: Because thou wilt not leave my soul inhell, neither wilt thou suffer thine Holy One to see corruption," (Acts 2:25- 27).Jesus was dead for three days. That was long enough to give irrefutable proof that He hadreally expired. The idea that He might have only been in a coma, then awakened andimmediately walked the length and breadth of the land from Jerusalem to Galilee is morethan preposterous. The massive injuries that Jesus sustained - His beatings, the nails inHis hands and feet, being pierced with spears, the massive blood loss, and being left for dead for hours on a cross - all of these facts completely argue against the ridiculousnotion that He could have somehow resumed an active lifestyle apart from divine,miraculous intervention.Even if Jesus had been in a coma, the massive injuries He sustained would have beenfollowed by deadly infections, fevers and illness that would have prevented Him fromwalking from Jerusalem to Galilee, or teaching and ministering to the hundreds of peoplewho saw Him alive. The truth of the matter is that Jesus fulfilled the ancient prophecies.Peter clearly explained how Jesus fulfilled the prophecies of David. "Men and brethren,let me freely speak unto you of the patriarch David, that he is both dead and buried, andhis sepulchre is with us unto this day. Therefore being a prophet, and knowing that Godhad sworn with an oath to him, that of the fruit of his loins, according to the flesh, hewould raise up Christ to sit on his throne; He seeing this before spake of the resurrectionof Christ, that his soul was not left in hell, neither his flesh did see corruption.This Jesus hath God raised up, whereof we all are witnesses. Therefore being by the righthand of God exalted, and having received of the Father the promise of the Holy Ghost, hehath shed forth this, which ye now see and hear. For David is not ascended into theheavens: but he saith himself, The LORD said unto my Lord, Sit thou on my right hand,Until I make thy foes thy footstool. Therefore let all the house of Israel know assuredly,that God hath made that same Jesus, whom ye have crucified, both Lord and Christ,"(Acts 2:20-36)Peter and the apostles were forceful and unapologetic. They believed that Jesus' death, burial and resurrection was a fulfillment of Bible prophecy. Furthermore, they believedthat Jesus Christ was the heir to David's throne as King of Israel. Peter was so convincingthat the multitudes begged his further instructions. "Now when they heard this, they were pricked in their heart, and said unto Peter and to the rest of the apostles, Men and brethren, what shall we do? Then Peter said unto them, Repent, and be baptized every

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