The Resurrection : The Burial, The Empty Tomb, And The Postmortem Appearances

The Resurrection : The Burial, The Empty Tomb, And The Postmortem Appearances

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On March 27, 2016, many will gather to celebrate Easter. On this day, believers all around the world celebrate the resurrection of Jesus Christ. This is one of the foundational beliefs to the Christian faith. Without this belief, much of the Christian faith would collapse. Although there are many that believe in the resurrection of Jesus, there are also many who do not believe that the resurrection actually occurred. Both sides believe that they are right and have their own beliefs about the resurrection. This paper will look at three evidences for the resurrection: the burial, the empty tomb, and the postmortem appearances.
The first evidence of the resurrection is the burial of Christ. Out of all of the evidences, Jesus’ burial in the tomb is the best established fact (Craig, 361). People do not argue against this evidence. Rabbinic and Roman historians have never contradicted this event. Also, there are multiple independent sources that attest to the burial of Jesus. The burial of Christ is found in Mark, 1 Corinthians 15:3-5, Matthew, Luke, and John.
The book of Mark is the first of the Gospels to be written. It is one of the very first independent sources. Mark 15:42-47 mentions how on Preparation Day Joseph of Arimathea goes before Pilate to ask for Jesus’ body. Pilate has to receive confirmation from a centurion that Jesus had died. Joseph brings linen cloth to the crucifixion site, takes Jesus’ body down, wraps Jesus in the linen, and places Jesus in his own tomb. The tomb is sealed with a large stone.
In 1 Corinthians 15:3-5, Paul quotes an early Christian tradition: “Christ died for our sins according to the Scriptures, that he was buried, that he was raised on the third day according to the Scriptures, and that ...


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...mb. One must either deny the empty tomb or come up with a theory that takes into account the empty tomb. Secondly, if these appearances were merely visions, the disciples would not believe that Jesus was risen from the dead, but that he was truly dead. “For someone in the ancient world, visions of the deceased are not evidence that the person is alive, but evidence that he is dead (385).” The disciples would not base their beliefs of Jesus’ resurrection on hallucinations. Lastly, Jesus appeared to multiple people. It was not only to the disciples or only to believers. No, Jesus appeared to different people, at different times, and at different places. A proponent of the hallucination theory would have to come up with an explanation for how all these people had hallucinations of Jesus. How is it possible that over five hundred people would have the same hallucination?

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