The resurrection stands at the center of Christianity. All history leads up to it and proceeds from it. Some deny it, some praise it, some cry over it. There’s no denying, the resurrection was the defining moment of the greatest man who ever lived.
The other day a man who didn’t come to Christ until his 60’s told me that he proved the resurrection of Jesus to a coworker! I was excited! You see, once you prove the resurrection the rest just follows naturally right? That’s what I thought and boy was I wrong.
The resurrection doesn’t just need to be believed, it needs to be defended. Along with the resurrection you need to defend the deity of Jesus.
A New Breed of Skeptics
You see there’s a new breed of skeptic. They believe nothing, defend nothing, and judge everything. Moreover, the historicity of the resurrection has strengthened the faith of countless Christians.
It’s not just unbelievers who have questions and feel doubt rising in their hearts. Believers do as well.
Dr. Habermas is considered one of the world’s leading experts on the resurrection of Jesus. He is Distinguished Professor of Apologetics and Philosophy and chairman of the department of philosophy and theology at Liberty University.
In 1985, Habermas and leading atheist of the time, Antony Flew, debated the question of Jesus’ resurrection as a literal event before a crowd of three-thousand people. The debate was scored by professional judges and Habermas declared the winner.
If the Resurrection Happened… Christianity Follows
As long as we’re sure that Jesus is the son of God, who died on the cross for our sins, and was raised from the dead, Christianity follows. So says Dr. Habermas.
He backs up his claim with argument after argument (he’s counted 23 for vs 14 against) for the resurrection. In fact, there are more than 300 verses in the New Testament that refer to the resurrection.
Since the mid-1970s, the field of theological studies has experienced a mild shift to the right. The preponderance of evidence says Jesus was raised. And most scholars are starting to accept that something happened to Jesus after his death.
The Resurrection Has Competition
The resurrection has a lot of competition. Not from other religions but from skeptics who will look for any explanation besides the biblical one.
Maybe someone stole Jesus body and that’s why the tomb was empty. Maybe the women who claimed the tomb was empty got turned around and actually went to the wrong tomb. In fact, there’s even a Jedi Jesus theory you won’t want to miss.
Maybe Jesus swooned and didn’t die at all? This particular theory is a favorite among Muslim apologists. You need to know how to handle this one.
What if the disciples hallucinated that they’d seen Christ (a favorite of 19th century German liberalism)? Is it possible that Jesus’ followers to desperately wanted to believe he’d risen from the dead that they just imagined it?
What if Christians stole the idea of the resurrection from other, earlier, myths and legends? This has been a favorite of skeptics in recent years. Watch the video below for more details.
So far Dr. Habermas has defeated all of the arguments against the resurrection. But that’s not enough. It’s time to go on the offensive. An position that defeats all opposition still needs to present a positive case.
Have you ever heard someone claim that women weren’t allowed to testify in court in Jesus day? That’s actually not true! They were allowed to testify. But their testimony wasn’t given much weight. It seems suspicious, therefore, that all four gospels make women the heroes of the resurrection story. It’s also worth noting that the women expected to find Jesus dead. After all, they brought anointing spices for his body.
- The Importance of the Resurrection of Jesus
- A Priori Objections (Part 1)
- A Priori Objections (Part 1)
- Principles of Historiography
- Methodology: How Do We Use Historiography in Apologetics
- Approaching Scripture
- Minimal Facts Method
- Preaching before Completion of the New Testament
- Naturalistic Theories: Alternative Explanations for the Resurrection
- Naturalistic Theory 1: The Disciples Stole the Body
- Naturalistic Theory 2: Someone Else Stole the Body
- Naturalistic Theory 3: The Swoon Theory
- Naturalistic Theory 4: The Hallucination Theory
- Naturalistic Theory 5: The Copycat Theory
- Supernatural Alternative Theories
- Categorical Problems with Naturalistic Theories
- Understanding the Mind of a Skeptic
- Changing the Skeptical Mindset of the Naturalist (Part 1)
- Changing the Skeptical Mindset of the Naturalist (Part 2)
- Evidence for the Death of Jesus
- Evidence for the Appearances of Jesus
- Evidence for the Empty Tomb
- Constructing a Historical Timeline
- Apologetics: Building a Bridge from Miracles to Christianity
- Apologetics: Establishing a Connection between the Resurrection and the Existence of God
- Who Did Jesus Think He Was? Establishing the Deity of Christ
- Grounding Theology (Part 1)
- Grounding Theology (Part 2)
- Grounding Christian Practice: Application Based on the Resurrection
- The Resurrection of Jesus