"I had no idea...I had no idea..."

- Jodie Foster



Was Jesus resurrected from the dead?
1) could it have happened?


And if Christ has not been raised, our preaching is useless and so is your faith. ...If the dead are not raised, "Let us eat and drink for tomorrow we die."

- 1 Corinthians 15:14, 32b NIV

It's an incredible con job when you think about it, to believe something now in exchange for something after death.

- Gloria Steinem

5.1 Could it have happened?


When the subject of resurrection from the dead is encountered, it is something that adult non-Christians often approach with a typical preconception. Resurrection and the integrity of Scripture are dismissed almost without consideration by means of this simple argument:

A. Literal, physical resurrection cannot happen, therefore,...

B. Literal, physical resurrection did not happen.

This is probably the Occam's razor of non-Christian thought. The reasoning is simple, powerful, and superficially appears to be the most likely conclusion concerning the resurrection account. This argument is based upon a belief that today's empirical knowledge of the universe is sufficiently complete to determine both what can and cannot happen, and to dictate what has been observed in regard to a man resurrecting from the dead.

Resurrection is certainly not what we expect to see several days after someone has died and been buried. Such an event has no scientific precedent or explanation. But it is also a fact that modern science cannot determine with finality everything that can or cannot happen. Thus this limitation of the scientific method, coupled with the premise that an all-powerful God does or may exist, renders the possibility of the miracle of resurrection a non-issue.

Events which we categorize as miraculous reduce to being one of two things: either facets of the natural realm which are not fully understood due to their infrequent occurrence, or supernatural actions proceeding out from an omnipotent God.

Therefore, the question of whether or not resurrection from the dead is possible is unnecessary. Only one question needs to be asked. That question is Was the resurrection of Jesus a legitimate observation? In other words, "Did it actually happen or not?" For if there was no resurrection, its possibility is irrelevant. But if it really did happen, its possibility is a foregone conclusion.



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NEXT: Was Jesus resurrected from the dead? - part two

See also:

What do we know about Jesus from non-biblical sources?

Do miracles really happen?

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If Jesus did not rise from the dead as both he and the O.T. prophesied, then this may be concluded: he was not the Messiah, we have no proof our sins were paid for, and the Bible is untrustworthy.

But if Jesus did rise from the dead as the N.T. records, we may conclude this: Jesus is the Messiah, God the Father has accepted Jesus' payment for our sins, and the Bible is trustworthy in at least (!) those aspects.