The foundation of Christianity is centered not just on the existence of Christ but also on the truth of one particular event: Christ’s resurrection. If Christ truly did die on the cross and rise from the dead three days later as each of the writers of the gospels in the New Testament emphasized, then it stands to reason that all of Christ’s teachings are worth listening to. If the resurrection never occurred, there are those that argue that you cannot, therefore, trust anything written in the New Testament.
There are five theories about the resurrection, four of which many believe show that it never happened. But biblical experts have refuted their arguments and shown that these very theories prove that it did happen.
Theory 1: This is based on eyewitness accounts of the events. Hundreds were said to be present at the crucifixion, and the disciples recorded the events, both of Christ’s death and of his resurrection and revelation to them and Mary Magdalene, in the Gospels. Others, however, have called these hallucinations that arose from a desire for Jesus to be alive. However, if this was the case, surely the authorities could have produced Christ’s body from the cave and proved the lie. This did not happen because they knew that there was no body in the tomb.
Theory 2: The Gospels were allegorical, and not intended to be read factually. They were written as a myth because the events were a myth. The evidence denying this is based upon the style of writing used in the Gospels. They are written in a factual manner – as eyewitness accounts rather than as allegories and myths that tend to use a different style of prose. The Gospels were written within a few years of the events, whereas myths take years to develop before people believe them to be true.
Theory 3: The resurrection was a deception carried out by the disciples for their own ends. They removed Christ’s body from the grave, then got together and made up the story of him appearing to them. However, were this true, then surely at least one of them or their followers would have broken under the torture to which many were subjected and admitted the fact. Many broke, but none claimed the resurrection to be fiction, and the disciples were martyred without confessing to a deception.
Theory 4: Jesus actually did not die on the cross, but was left unconscious and was therefore entombed while still alive. But hundreds of witnesses saw both blood and water flow from the wound in Christ’s chest, which indicates a punctured heart. If Christ was buried alive, why didn’t he bleed to death in the tomb and how did he have the strength to roll aside the stone?
Theory 5: The final possibility is that the story of the resurrection is completely true – that Jesus did actually die on that cross, he rose from the dead three days later, and this became the basis of Christianity as we know it.
Many individuals and organizations have tried to disprove the resurrection and have failed. Some have even converted to Christianity after realizing the truth: that the resurrection really happened and that the Christian faith is based on history and spirituality, and not on myth.