Did Jesus really rise from the dead?
Two accounts of the story have been told since the very beginning– which one do you believe?
The Gospel of Matthew tells how the guards at Jesus’ tomb were bribed and given instructions to say that the disciples came in the night and stole Jesus’ body. This lie is still spread today, albeit slightly modernised. The theory today is that Jesus’ death caused such psychological trauma to the disciples that the only way for them to survive it was to form in their minds a belief that Jesus rose from the dead and through their faith still lived in spirit.
The New Testament, however, tells us that there were many people who encountered the risen Jesus in bodily form: women at the tomb, frightened disciples behind locked door, two travellers on the road etc. Doubtful Thomas even had the opportunity to touch Jesus’ wounds. These people did have something in common: they all had a hard time understanding and accepting that Jesus really had risen from the dead.
After his resurrection, Jesus didn’t show himself to his accusers or the whole world. The empty tomb was the only proof. His body was never found.
No amount of detective work, or trying to reason things out, will ever convince someone of Jesus’ resurrection – faith comes when you have an encounter with Jesus. Jesus is in Heaven with His Father but His Word - the Bible- continues to speak to people around the world. His church is proof that Jesus is alive.
Jesus said to him, “Have you believed because you have seen me? Blessed are those who have not seen and yet have believed.”
(John 20:29, ESV)