The resurrection of Yeshua is perhaps the most convincing vindication of his claims to be Messiah, especially since he predicted it.
An assortment of explanations has been offered to explain away the resurrection as either non-historical (It never happened.”) or as non-supernatural (“Here’s how it happened.”). Run down the possibilities for yourself and see which makes the best sense.
Did the Roman authorities steal the body of Jesus from the tomb? Then why didn’t they produce it when the word started being spread that Jesus was risen? Or maybe the disciples stole it. But could such a fabrication on their part account for the change in their attitude? Three days earlier they were disillusioned, defeated idealists who had hoped that Jesus would bring in a new world; could a lie, which they knew to be a lie, account for their hope, their boldness in the face of persecution?
Or perhaps Jesus never died: he just fainted on the cross and revived in the tomb. This idea was popularized in the book The Passover Plot by Hugh Schonfield. Unfortunately the author overlooked the fact that the Romans pierced Jesus’ side, which would have most certainly killed him. Also, there was a contingent of Roman soldiers guarding the tomb as well as a huge stone that blocked its entrance. How could a resuscitated Jesus have escaped and then convinced hundreds of skeptical eyewitnesses that he had conquered death forever?
Or was it all a mass hallucination? It must have been quite a hallucination to be seen by vastly different kinds of people at different times of day in many different places. You might be able to fool one person, but can you fool five hundred who saw him at one time? And unlike most hallucinations, these appearances of the resurrected Jesus stopped as suddenly as they started, forty days after the resurrection took place, when the New Testament portion of Scripture indicates that Yeshua ascended into heaven.
Is it possible that the resurrection actually occurred, just as the record says? And if that’s the case, is this amazing event not a solid basis for accepting the Messiahship of Jesus?
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