Evidence of The Resurrection
 

Witnesses Knew
Jesus
Really Died

Consider Compelling Proof of
The Resurrection of Christ

 

Swoon Theory

Did Jesus swoon and later revive in the cool dampness of the tomb? Some think this is what happened. They believe that Jesus merely passed out and then later recovered.

This view has been called the swoon theory to explain away the resurrection of Jesus.

But ask yourself this question -- how could a pitiful victim of crucifixion inspire those early disciples and believers to die martyrs' deaths?

It's important to verify the fact that Jesus actually died, so here is compelling evidence of the Resurrection for you to examine.

Proofs that Jesus Died

1. The crowd that watched His crucifixion was convinced Jesus was dead.

They saw Him die. They were there.

2. Joseph of Arimathea and Nicodemus were convinced He was dead.

These rich and powerful men removed his body from the cross and wrapped it with linen cloth filled with spices and ointment. They wrapped the cloth totally around his body encasing it like a mummy. If He was still alive, they certainly would have noticed.

3. Pontius Pilate received news of Christ's death from the Roman centurion who oversaw His crucifixion.

It was the Roman centurion's clear testimony that Jesus was dead. Pontius Pilate had inquired whether Jesus was dead already. And the soldier who had witnessed and participated in the crucifixion confirmed that He was dead. One of the Roman soldiers thrust a spear into Christ's side and out came blood and water. Medically speaking -- this shows that Christ pericardium had ruptured and was proof of His death.

4. The guards who watched the tomb knew Jesus was dead.

In Matthew 28:11 we read that guards were ordered to watch the tomb.

Great precautions were taken to secure the burial of Jesus because the religious leaders were concerned what could happen if Jesus' followers decided to steal His body.

A large stone was rolled in front of the opening and guards were ordered to guard the grave. A Roman seal was placed on the grave stone. The breaking of this seal no doubt would result in execution (probably by crucifixion) if someone broke it. So who would want to take the chance of breaking the seal and being crucified as a result?

But the body of Jesus vanished while the soldiers were on duty. The death penalty was in force in Rome for soldiers who fell asleep on the job. The Jewish leaders told them to say the disciples stole the body while the soldiers were sleeping. The Jewish leaders promised the soldiers they would protect them from the sure penalty to come if they would only say that the disciples stole the body while they slept.

Here's a question for you to answer.  How did the soldiers know who stole the body if they were sleeping? Also, the Jews did not order the soldiers to say that Jesus had revived in the tomb. In the end, the soldiers lied and said that the disciples had carried off the body while they slept. And the Jewish leaders paid them for lying.

5. The enbalming and burial of Christ would have insured His death if He had merely passed out.

The body of Jesus was wrapped in a linen cloth according to Jewish burial customs and then it was placed in a cave in a solid rock tomb. If Jesus was still alive, He would have suffocated. That's because the burial cloth and spices were wrapped around his entire body. And there was a separate cloth wrapped entirely around his head which covered his mouth.

6. No one could produce the body.

Empty tomb -- missing body!

Three days after Jesus was buried the tomb was empty! What happened to His body?

Jesus rose from the dead right outside the city of Jerusalem where He was crucified. Therefore, His body was still around there somewhere for His enemies to find -- if in fact, His body was still there!

The facts are -- no one could produce the body!

What happened next is astonishing! Those timid disciples, who were in fear of their lives, boldly preached right there in the very city where Christ was crucified!

Enemies would have loved to have produced the body and squelch the fledgling church. But they could not produce the corpse.

That in itself is evidence of the Resurrection!

One of the most prestigious teachers of Judaism, Gamaliel, even defended these early believers. He warned the religious leaders that they should be careful about fighting the believers. He counseled that if this wasn't of God, it would come to nothing. However, if it was of God, the Jewish leaders would even be found fighting against God!

Believe it or not, Jesus Christ -- the Messiah -- actually did rise from the dead and is alive right now! The importance of the resurrection is a matter of life and death -- Yours! What have you concluded about the compelling proof of
the resurrection of Christ?

What will YOU do with this risen Savior?




The Burial of Christ

It was getting toward the end of the day on which Jesus was crucified. Now what was to be done with His body? As a crucified criminal He would not be entitled to an honorable burial.

But at this point, two rich and influential men stepped out of the shadows and made a public stand for Jesus.

One of them, Joseph of Arimathea, was a wealthy and respected leader among the Jews. He was known for his fair dealings and good character. This honorable man was waiting for the kingdom of God. Although a religious leader himself, Joseph had not agreed with the council's decision to crucify Jesus.

After it was certain that Jesus had died on the cross, Joseph went to Pilate and begged that he be given the body of Jesus, and the governor allowed him to take the corpse.

Another secret disciple joined Joseph that late afternoon and they buried Jesus together. This formerly timid follower was Nicodemus, who was also a religious leader. He had secretly interviewed Jesus at night -- probably so the other religious leaders wouldn't find out about it.

He brought with him about a 100 pounds of myrrh and aloes purchased with his own funds. The two men took the body of Jesus down from the cross and wrapped it in a linen cloth -- winding it round and round with the mixture of myrrh and spices according to the Jewish burial customs of that day.

Then Joseph and Nicodemus placed the body of Jesus in Joseph's own tomb which had been dug out of a rock near a garden. This was a new grave not far from where Jesus had been crucified.

Joseph rolled a large stone in front of the cave and then the two companions left.

Joseph of Arimathea and Nicodemus have gone down in history as true friends of Jesus of Nazareth. They risked their reputations to give a proper Jewish burial to a supposed common criminal.

There is often a high price for taking a public stand for Jesus today as well. Those who are truly redeemed will pay the price by God's grace. They will never regret it -- just as I'm sure Joseph and Nicodemus never regretted their public stand either.