In today’s sermon, I mentioned that Christians’ belief in the resurrection of Jesus Christ is not based on blind faith; rather, it is based on the extraordinary evidence we have for the extraordinary claim that Jesus was raised from the dead.

As historian and philosopher (and former atheist) Antony Flew once said: “The evidence for the resurrection [of Jesus] is better than for claimed miracles in any other religion. It’s outstandingly different in quality and quantity.”

The evidence for the resurrection can be summed up by the “Five E’s”:

  1. Execution – both religious and secular scholars unequivocally believe that Jesus of Nazareth, who claimed to be the Son of God, did exist and was executed on a cross by the Roman Empire
  2. Empty Tomb – both religious and secular sources corroborate the Bible’s story of an empty tomb
  3. Eyewitnesses – hundreds of people saw and experienced Jesus alive after his crucifixion
  4. Early Manuscripts – historians evaluate the truth of ancient events by the amount of written records for those events and the closer the written record is to the event, the more trustworthy that record is considered to be; no historical event in antiquity comes close to matching the early and voluminous amount of manuscripts related to the resurrection of Jesus
  5. Extraordinary Change – this refers to the radical change that is seen in those who claimed to see the resurrected Jesus; as historian N.T. Wright says, “If Jesus had died and stayed dead, [Jesus’ followers] would either have given up the movement, or they would have found another messiah. Something extraordinary happened which convinced them that Jesus was the Messiah…that is why, as a historian, I cannot explain the rise of early Christianity unless Jesus rose again, leaving an empty tomb behind him.”

If you want to learn more about the evidence for the resurrection of Jesus, here’s a few links to video resources…

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