In the great resurrection chapter of the Bible, Paul plainly declares the gospel to be the fact that Jesus “died for our sins…was buried, and…rose again… according to the scriptures” (1 Cor. 15:3-4). As great and deeply significant as was Christ’s death, had he not risen from the tomb his death would have been meaningless. The resurrection of Jesus was, of course, unique. Others had died and were raised to life again, but only to die again. Jesus was raised never to experience death again (Rev. 1:18). Consider the following clear evidences that Jesus really did rise from the dead.
There is the testimony of Jesus himself. Jesus declared that on the third day after his death he would rise up (cf. Mt. 16:21). If Jesus did not rise from the dead then he would be declared an imposter, a deceiver, and a liar. On the other hand, if he did rise from the dead then his claim to be divine is valid.
There is the historic account in the four Gospels. No one has successfully discredited the accuracy of these records! In them are four independent accounts of the resurrection written without collaboration on the part of the writers, and these accounts manifest a wonderful harmony.
There is the significance of the empty tomb. There is no indication in the inspired record or in secular history that anyone questioned the fact that the tomb was empty. How did it become empty? The disciples could not have stolen the body without a conflict with the Roman soldiers who were charged to make it secure (Mt. 27:62-66). If the Roman soldiers took the body away, they would have risked their own lives (Mt. 28:11-15). The Jewish authorities wanted the tomb to remain closed and Jesus’ body to remain in it past the third day in order to discredit Jesus before his own disciples. So, they would not have removed his body. The only logical answer is that Jesus rose from the dead just as he said he would and the empty tomb is evidence of that fact.
Thomas Arnold correctly stated, “The resurrection is the best attested fact in history.” What a day of victory!