Today is Resurrection Sunday, the day when Christians all over the world celebrate the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead. It commemorates the most inexplicable day in history. For many readers, talk of the resurrection of the dead seems nonsensical, a matter for mockery, perhaps, or to be dismissed as foolishness. But Christians are quite serious about regarding the resurrection as real. Without it, there is no point to following Christ.
The resurrection is not just a matter of faith. All the extraordinary claims Jesus made hinge on the resurrection. All the gospel accounts have Jesus predicting his own death and resurrection. If what he predicted happened, then it tends to authenticate the other things he said. If it did not happen, then it tends to call into question all the teachings of Jesus about himself and the kingdom of heaven. Not only that, but the apsotles taught that Jesus’ death and resurrection somehow broke the tyranny of sin and death over the human race so that followers of Jesus need no longer fear death. Without the resurrection, sin and death still reign; Jesus was just a well-intentioned madman; and Christianity is delusion.
All the gospel accounts, written by eyewitnesses or collected from eyewitness accounts, agree on the main events: that Jesus was crucified after a mock trial, buried in a stone tomb for three days, and that the tomb was inexplicably empty when the women went after the Sabbath to finish the burial preparations. The resurrection is as well attested as any fact in ancient history.