Did Jesus truly rise from the dead? Did Jesus’ biographers—Matthew, Mark, Luke and John—record actual historical events? Were they capable historians? These are just some of the many questions that arise in our minds as we read the Bible.
Check out this video by Dr. Peter Williams as he gives a summary of the biblical evidence for the heart of the Christian faith – Jesus’ bodily resurrection. Dr. Williams is the Warden of Tyndale House in Cambridge:
As we read the Scriptures, it is evident that the gospel writers had access to eyewitness testimony. We are to read the gospels as historically accurate and reliable documents. As Christians, we rejoice in the promise of the historic, bodily resurrection of Christ each Lord’s Day.
The gospel itself is the life, death, resurrection, and ascension of Christ. If Christ did not rise from the dead, then Christianity is a sham. But if Christ did rise bodily on the third day, then as Christians we have a certain hope that death has been defeated and we have the promise of the resurrection of our bodies and life eternal.
In 1 Corinthians 15, Paul says:
13 But if there is no resurrection of the dead, then not even Christ has been raised.
14 And if Christ has not been raised, then our preaching is in vain and your faith is in vain.
17 And if Christ has not been raised, your faith is futile and you are still in your sins.
19 If in Christ we have hope in this life only, we are of all people most to be pitied.
20 But in fact Christ has been raised from the dead, the firstfruits of those who have fallen asleep.
21 For as by a man came death, by a man has come also the resurrection of the dead.
22 For as in Adam all die, so also in Christ shall all be made alive.
23 But each in his own order: Christ the firstfruits, then at his coming those who belong to Christ.
24 Then comes the end, when he delivers the kingdom to God the Father after destroying every rule and every authority and power.
25 For he must reign until he has put all his enemies under his feet.
26 The last enemy to be destroyed is death.
55 “O death, where is your victory? O death, where is your sting?”
56 The sting of death is sin, and the power of sin is the law.
57 But thanks be to God, who gives us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ.