Many people today assume that the resurrection of Jesus Christ is a legend and not a historical event, but are you aware that there are certain facts that go against the resurrection being a myth?
If you’re a skeptic yourself, I want to challenge you to read the rest of this article. Something amazing just might happen to you!
Please consider the following seven points:
1. It takes time for a myth to develop, but belief in the resurrection of Jesus Christ sprang up instantly.
Yes, it takes a long time for a legend to slowly evolve. A myth gradually develops over a period of time as one person adds his or her own view of the original story. The story gets embellished with the retelling of it over a period of time. Thus, it really takes a number of generations for a legend to become stabilized in its final form.
However, in the case of the resurrection, it happened in a particular place at a particular time in history — in Israel during the rule of Pontius Pilate. Then the news rapidly spread over the entire Roman empire.
2. Credible witnesses testified that Jesus Christ actually rose from the dead! In fact, there were over five hundred witnesses. Many of these people lived for a long time and were available to give their eyewitness accounts of their encounter with the risen Jesus Christ of Nazareth.
And these witnesses weren’t all friendly either. One of them persecuted Christians and murdered them. This enemy of Christ was Saul of Tarsus, who later had his name changed to Paul. The Lord Jesus Christ appeared to him as he was on his way to Damascus to get legal documents that were needed in order to persecute Christians in that area. Everything changed for Saul when suddenly the Lord Jesus appeared to him and changed his whole life.
In our court system today, eyewitnesses are significant to the outcome of a trial. If over 500 eyewitnesses to a murder showed up to give their testimony of what they saw, there would be no doubt as to the outcome of the trial.
The resurrection of Jesus Christ was not hidden in some corner, but there were over 500 credible witnesses of this stupendous event!
3. It’s a well-known fact that Jews do not worship pleural gods. They worship one God instead of many. However, the first church that ever existed was originally composed entirely of Jews. What’s so significant about that? Since Jews believe in only one God, the death and resurrection of mythical gods is totally foreign to their way of thinking.
4. There is a strange lack in the Bible of a record of the actual resurrection event itself. If the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead was a legend, His actual resurrection would be described in glowing details.
5. Women were the first witnesses of the resurrection of Jesus Christ. However, in that day the testimony of women did not count in courts of law. So why would somebody want to invent a legend when women were the first witnesses and their testimony didn’t even count?
Not only that, but in that day the society was patriarchal with men as the leaders. In the account of the resurrection, the men who were central to the event were hiding because they were so frightened. So if this was a legend, whoever concocted it made women look like courageous heroes, while the men were portrayed as wimps! This would not have fit in with acceptable societal standards of that day and age.
6. The first appearance of Jesus Christ to one of his followers, Mary Magdalene, was not described in superlative terms. In fact, when Mary first saw Jesus, she assumed He was only a gardener and didn’t even recognize Him! If this was a legend, the description of the legendary death-overcoming hero would have been written in a much more dramatic way. As you know from movies and reading about Greek and Roman gods, the stories glorify these supposedly superhuman characters.
The Gospel accounts lack the essential elements of describing a mythical superhero.
However, the New Testament records what actually happened.
7. Would the entirely Jewish original church have wanted to worship as their Messiah a crucified criminal? Something tremendously impressive must have happened to cause those Jews to follow to the death someone who was considered by Rome to be an enemy of the State.
Something of monumental proportions did occur! Jesus of Nazareth rose from the dead!
Here’s brief summary of the seven points above:
The resurrection does not quality as a myth because it sprang up instantly and there was no time for a legend to develop. Over 500 eyewitnesses encountered the living Christ and were on hand to tell of their experiences. The original church was entirely Jewish, and Jews don’t believe in more than one God. Why would Saul, who later became known as Paul, gave up everything — including his head — to preach the Gospel when he had been the chief persecutor of the first Christians? Why would thousands of believers be willing to give up everything — even life itself — for a lie? These early believers were thrown to the lions, covered with oil and lit as human torches to light up Caesar’s garden at night, and met other cruel deaths.
The truth of the matter is that the resurrection of Jesus of Nazareth from the dead is a historical fact. Many people through the centuries have been encountering the living Christ! As a result, their lives have been completely changed! Those who trust Him receive the gift of eternal life… plus joy and peace in this present life — no matter what problems they face.
What about you? You can meet the living Savior too!
“For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life” (John 3:16).