Did Jesus really rise from the dead?
Each spring Christians around the world gather to celebrate Easter, commemorating the resurrection of Jesus Christ and His victory over sin and death. The Bible provides convincing evidence of Jesus’ resurrection, yet even Scripture records that some people in Jesus’ day doubted His return from the grave.
Today, skeptics echo these sentiments. Some even provide alternative explanations for Jesus’ 40 days on earth following His crucifixion. So the question remains: Did Jesus really rise from the dead?
Yes, says Jeremy Howard, managing acquisitions editor of Bibles, reference books and commentaries for B&H Publishing Group and author of such books as “The Holman QuickSource Guide to Understanding Jesus.”
Recently, I had the opportunity to interview Howard for an “Inside LifeWay” podcast. In the interview, Howard said there are many good reasons to believe that Jesus died, was buried and rose on the third day.
“One thing everyone agrees on is that Jesus’ tomb was empty on the Sunday morning after His crucifixion,” said Howard, arguing that the best explanation is that Jesus in fact rose from the dead. Even though doubters raise alternative theories – someone stole Jesus’ body, for example, or the disciples went to the wrong tomb – Howard said the evidence for Christ’s resurrection is solid.
“The resurrection matters,” said Howard. “If Jesus did not rise from the dead, Christianity is untrue, the Bible bears false witness and humanity is left searching for answers. But since He did rise from the dead, we have a word from God, by faith we have forgiveness from God, and we’re left neither in our skepticism nor our sins.”