The Infallible Proofs of the Resurrection (Acts 1:3)
The Bible teaches us that after Christ rose from the dead, He gave to His apostles, during a forty day post-resurrection period, many infallible proofs of His resurrection. According to the Apostle Paul, the resurrection of Jesus Christ is the cornerstone of the Christian faith. As he teaches in 1 Corinthians 15:12-19, without the bodily resurrection of Jesus Christ:
- Both the preaching of the Gospel and the Christian faith are “vain”—worthless and meaningless.
- Christians are “false witnesses of God.”
- There is no salvation from sin.
- All Christians who have died are perished.
- And Christians alive in the world today are the “most miserable” people on earth.
In 1 Corinthians 15:32, Paul adds for emphasis that if Christ is not risen from the dead we may as well “eat and drink [and be merry], for tomorrow we die.”
If the whole of the Christian faith hinges on the resurrection, then how important is it for Christians to know the infallible proofs of the resurrection? Without a knowledge of them, how can we possibly “contend for the faith which was once delivered unto the saints” (Jude 3)?
Infallible Proof # 1 — There is more historical evidence to support the fact that Jesus Christ rose from the dead than there is to support the fact that Napoleon Bonaparte was defeated at Waterloo?
Infallible Proof # 2 — According to the New Testament, there were numerous eyewitnesses to the resurrection of Jesus Christ. There was even one occasion when the resurrected Christ was seen by more than “five hundred” people at once (1 Corinthians 15:6).
Infallible Proof # 3 — Although the Apostle Peter cites the accounts of eyewitnesses like himself as proof of Christ’s claims and resurrection, he points to the “more sure word of prophecy” as even more incontrovertible proof (2 Peter 1:16-21). The fact that the Bible—the only holy book of any religion in the world that contains prophecy—predicted the events of Jesus’ death, burial and resurrection hundreds of years before they happened is proof positive that the Bible is true and Jesus is risen.
Infallible Proof # 4 — If Jesus didn’t rise from the dead, then why didn’t His enemies expose His tomb and produce His body? Why didn’t the Jewish leaders do so, putting an end to Christianity before it ever got started? Why didn’t the Romans do so; after all, they controlled the city and all the surrounding area? Obviously, neither the Jews nor the Romans could produce Christ’s body and explain away His empty tomb. If they could have, they would have. Thus, the silence of Christ’s enemies serves as additional proof of Christ’s resurrection.
Infallible Proof # 5 — Many have attempted through the years to dismiss the voluminous and irrefutable evidence of the empty tomb by suggesting that Christ’s resurrection was a mere hoax perpetrated on the world by His disciples. Yet, such a proposition is utterly preposterous. Would our Lord’s disciples have willingly suffered such persecution and died martyrs’ deaths for what they knew to be a lie? Would those virtuous men have founded the most ethical faith the world has ever known on nothing more than a pure fabrication? Truly, such an assertion is an absolute absurdity.