“But now is Christ risen from the dead
and become the first fruits of those who
have fallen asleep.” (1 Corinthians 15:30)
The resurrection of Jesus from the dead is the greatest historical fact of antiquity. Author and speaker Josh McDowell has studied, written on, and debated about this for decades now. He writes: “After more than 700 hours of studying this subject, and thoroughly investigating its foundation, I have come to the conclusion that the resurrection of Jesus Christ is one of the “most wicked, vicious, heartless hoaxes ever foisted upon the minds of men, or it is the most fantastic fact of history.”
He points out that the theories to try and explain away the resurrection make less historical sense than the resurrection itself.
When asked if the disciples stole the body of Christ, as some unbelievers assert, he says: “…here was a small band of men—most of them fishermen—just common people. They came out, fought off the Roman guard, some of the most disciplined soldiers in history, broke the Roman seal that anyone feared breaking because of the consequences of it, and then stole the body and spread abroad that Jesus had been raised from the dead.”
But what if He hadn’t really died, but swooned in the tomb? “Four professional executioners signed His death warrant; that was according to Roman customs. And then to try to believe that that damp tomb, instead of killing Him, healed Him, and I guess then He jumped up, hobbled over, pushed the stone out of the way, tied the guard unit up with His linen cloth and appeared to His disciples as the Lord of Life.” No, the only thing to explain the facts are that He is risen. He is risen indeed!
Lord of life, we praise You that You have conquered the grave. We praise You that You changed all history, Jesus, when You walked out of that tomb. Thank You for building Your kingdom on the solid foundation of Your historical resurrection.