I hope you all have a blessed Good Friday! Over here this day is called “Long Friday” because people were expected to mourn and have a boring time all day, which made it feel much longer. I think the English name is much better – even if it undoubtedly is sad that Jesus had to die for our sake, it is at the same time amazing since we receive eternal life through His sacrifice.
Christianity stands and falls with the death and resurrection of Jesus being historical events. According to the apostles, these are not just doctrines: they are things that really happened, which they witnessed themselves. In this video, I defend the historicity of both Jesus’ death and His miraculous resurrection:
There are some competing theories on what really happened that Passover weekend 2,000 years ago. For a more detailed discussion on what they’re saying and what their problems are, please watch the video. What follows is a brief summary of each theory and my arguments agains them:
- Jesus never died. While popular among Muslims, this theory is universally rejected by scholars.
- An apostolic conspiracy. The belief that the disciples stole Jesus’ body and made up the resurrection narrative is probably the earliest alternative theory since it’s even mentioned in the Gospel of Matthew (28:11-15). Today, however, hardly anyone believes this since there are no motives for the disciples to do so, nobody likes to die for a lie.
- Mass hallucination. The most popular alternative theory among skeptics has its fair share of problems. Hallucinations exist but multiple people seeing the same thing at the same time is extremely rare, especially when they dialogue with it. For repeated mass hallucinations to occur we would need divine intervention, which is what this theory tries to deny. Furthermore, this theory doesn’t explain the empty tomb – if Jesus was dead and the disciples only thought that they saw Him, why wouldn’t their Jewish and Gentile opponents just point to the body in the tomb?
- Metaphorical resurrection. A not very popular theory, it is sometimes proposed by liberal theologians who don’t believe in miracles. But this is clearly not the apostles’ intention, they really believed in a literal, bodily resurrection of Christ and that’s what they were preaching to the world.
Apart from ruling out alternative theories, we should also pay attention to the positive evidences of Jesus’ resurrection. A resurrected Jesus lives today and so performs miracles today, many of which are verified medically and scientifically. I myself has seen Jesus in visions and experienced His miracles, and so I know that He’s alive and that He loves me. Happy Easter!