The resurrection of Jesus Christ is the cornerstone of Christianity. Did Jesus Christ really resurrect? It is possible to arrive at a logical conclusion on the resurrection of Jesus Christ?
Here are some logical conclusions:
1. Paul’s transformation:
Paul and Jesus Christ were contemporaries. Jesus could be ten years senior to Paul. As per the dates commonly agreed by historians, Jesus was born around 4-6 BC and Paul around 4 AD. Paul was approximately in his early twenties by the time Jesus Christ was crucified. Paul strongly believed Jesus was dead and not resurrected. He hated the Christians. He wanted to stop Christianity and hunted for Christian even in the foreign land. He cast his vote against Christians. We know he was there when Steven was murdered.
But on one fateful afternoon on his way towards Damascus, he met Jesus face to face. Paul, who was so passionately believed that Jesus is not messiah was transformed by a supernatural face to face encounter from Jesus. He narrates this personal testimony of his life twice in the book of Acts, first in AD 58 (Approx.) in Jerusalem temple and in AD 60 (Approx.) before Festus and Agrippa II. Both the times Paul recalled how he was persecuting the Christians before having the encounter with Christ. No one in the crowd opposed his statement.
Paul an intellectually brilliant man, trained in rhetoric technique and highly educated in the Institute of Hillel under Gamaliel will never get transformed as a follower of Jesus Christ in a moment unless he had seen Jesus in a supernatural way. Hence Paul dealt with Jesus who is not dead but resurrected and alive.
Well, if someone could say all of the above is a story. Would like to point out Felix and Festus are procurators of Judea. This is documented in history. Felix was banished after recalled to Rome by emperor Nero in AD 60 and Festus took over as procurator after Felix. Agrippa II was the great-grandson of Herod the great. Drusilla Agrippa II’s sister was Felix’s wife. All the names and time period mentioned above are “History” and not “Story”.
2. Where is the body of Jesus Christ?
After the physical resurrection of Jesus, there was one question the Pharisees could not solve. Where is the physical body of Jesus Christ? High priests predicted Jesus body could be stolen by his own disciples (Mat 27:62-66). It means two things. 1. Jesus was dead. Some group believes Jesus never died. He was unconscious when buried and then walked away while everyone was sleeping. Others believed Jesus was not even crucified. Hence there was no resurrection since Jesus never died. But the high priests firmly believed Jesus was dead and buried. 2. High priest knew exactly where Jesus was buried. They made sure the tomb was guarded by Soldier and the tomb was sealed. Anyone who breaks the Government seal, as we know would face severe consequences.
Solving a disappeared dead body is an open and close case in 1st century AD when there is no genetic and forensic technique to prove which is the real body. They would have to replace it with another similar body, keep the tomb sealed and decline any entry into the tomb. On the other hand, Jesus Christ’s disciple, if they would have really stolen the body of Christ would never show it, since the motive was to prove Jesus Christ is alive, not dead. If they show it that means they themselves will prove Jesus Christ was dead and not resurrected. This predicted behavior of disciples should work in high priest’s favor if they keep the stone sealed again as if nothing had happened.
But why did high priest go to the extent of bribing the soldiers and force them to confess they were sleeping, while the disciples of Jesus Christ stolen the body? Truth is there was something supernatural. There was a violent earthquake when Jesus was resurrected. 1. An angel of God rolled the stone and sat on it (Mat 28:2). Now who has the guts to tell the angel to move away from the stone, so that the large stone (Mark 16:4) can be rolled back, closed and sealed? 2. There was also another angel sitting inside the tomb (Mark 16:5). Hence soldiers were scared to enter the tomb. Panicked half dead soldiers refused to go back to the tomb again.
Jesus indeed had a physical resurrection so that everyone who believes in him and follows his way will also have physical resurrection one day.
3. The transformation in the life of disciples:
The disciples of Jesus Christ were ordinary men. They were not bold by birth and did not have the sharp speaking skills. Everybody in the region of Judea knows most of them are unschooled. The disciples really cared about their own protection. When Jesus was arrested, every one of them run away leaving Jesus alone. It was well documented in the gospel. Even after they witnessed the resurrection the disciples of Jesus could not believe it. Peter did not hesitate to disown Jesus on the very night Jesus was arrested.
But what transformed the life of the disciples of Jesus Christ. Few days after the resurrection of Jesus, Peter who was known as unschooled and ordinary started giving bold speeches. They healed the sick. If Gamaliel would not have interfered and thawed down the situation, Peter and John would have been killed by the Jewish Sanhedrin (Acts 5:33). They were willing to sacrifice their life for the sake of Christ and finally, most of them died a violent death for the sake of Christ.
What is the reason for the transformation? How come disciples who were scared and ran away leaving Jesus alone once in the garden of Gethsemane became so bold after the death of Jesus Christ. How did they get the boldness when their leader is not with them? This was not possible unless they had a solid belief that Jesus is resurrected and live.
4. The explanation for Supernatural:
In all the above three evidences the word supernatural repeats. Does that mean the resurrection of Jesus Christ is a legendary story? A finite human’s boundary starts at birth and ends at death. If anyone needs to see anything before and beyond the boundary of human requires supernatural experience. What we have discussed above is all about the supernatural resurrection of Jesus beyond death. The proof is derived based on the visible and tangible impact of the supernatural experience and not directly on the supernatural experience itself. If anyone wants to experience the same impact the above people had experienced, they need to believe in Jesus in order to have personal experience themselves.