The Resurrection is vital because upon the Resurrection of
Christ all Christianity either stands or falls.
What solid evidence exists for Jesus’
Resurrection? We will now present that evidence point by
Did Jesus unequivocally claim He would
rise from the dead on the third day?
Who else in all human history, but Jesus
Christ, ever said he would come back from the dead
after being murdered? It is a fact that Jesus publicly
announced He would rise from the dead, and not only this,
but that He predicted He would do so on a very specific
date, the third day. In the field of comparative religion,
this immediately places us in the position of uniqueness.
No one else ever made such claims. No sane man ever has,
other than Jesus.
For example, consider the Pope publicly
declaring that he would shortly be executed and rise from
the dead on the third day. Or Billy Graham, the President
of the United States, or any other well-known person
making such a claim.
Because we know that the chances for any
person rising from the dead are zero, we would immediately
know that they were either deluded or lying and attempting
to deceive us. We repeat, no one ever makes such
astounding claims which they know they cannot possibly
But Jesus did. On numerous occasions.
Before His Triumphal Entry into
Jerusalem, Jesus stated: "Behold, we are going up to
Jerusalem; and the Son of Man will be delivered to the
chief priests and scribes, and they will condemn Him to
death, and will deliver Him to the Gentiles to mock and
scourge and crucify Him, and on the third day He will be
raised up" (Matthew 20:18-19).
Again, during His Galilean ministry,
after the healing of the demoniac, He asserted, "An evil
and adulterous generation craves for a sign; and yet no
sign shall be given to it but the sign of Jonah the
prophet; for just as Jonah was three days and three nights
in the belly of the sea monster, so shall the Son of Man
be three days and three nights in the heart of the earth"
Just after Peter’s confession of Jesus
as the Messiah we are told that, "He began to teach them
that the Son of Man must suffer many things and be
rejected by the elders and the chief priests and the
scribes, and be killed, and after three days rise again"
(Mark 8:31). In fact, when Peter rebuked Him for saying
this would happen, Jesus rebuked Peter and said, "Get
behind me, Satan; for you are not setting your mind on
God’s interests, but man’s" (Mark 8:32-33, cf. Matthew
16:21; Luke 9:22).
Early in His ministry, after the
cleansing of the temple, He told the Jews in Jerusalem,
"Destroy this temple, and in three days I will raise it
up" (John 2:19). John comments that, "He was speaking of
the temple of His body" (John 2:21).
After Jesus’ own transfiguration He
again predicted He would be raised from the dead: "The Son
of Man is going to be delivered into the hands of men; and
they will kill Him, and He will be raised on the third
day" (Matthew 17:22-23, cf. Mark 9:31).
Even prior to His crucifixion, Jesus
again emphasized and predicted that on the third day He
would rise from the dead, "And He took the Twelve aside
and said to them, ‘Behold, we are going up to Jerusalem,
and all things which are written through the prophets
about the Son of Man will be accomplished. For He will be
delivered to the Gentiles, and will be mocked and
mistreated and spit upon, and after they have scourged
Him, they will kill Him; and the third day He will rise
again’" (Luke 18:31-33, cf. Mark 10:34).
Jesus even predicted the specific day
of His death by crucifixion: "You know that after two days
the Passover is coming and the Son of Man is to be
delivered up for crucifixion" (Matthew 26:2).
Immediately after the Last Supper, when
the disciples had gone to the Mount of Olives, Jesus again
predicted His Resurrection, "Then Jesus said to them, ‘You
will all fall away because of Me this night, for it is
written, "I will strike down the shepherd, and the sheep
of the flock shall be scattered." But after I have been
raised, I will go before you to Galilee’" (Matthew
26:31-32, cf. Mark 14:28).
Now consider for a moment what you have
just read. On all the above occasions and more, Jesus
predicted in advance that He would die and be raised from
the dead. Who else in all human history ever made such
Further, note the specific nature of the
1. The Resurrection from the dead
would be performed by Jesus’ own power (John 2:19;
2. Many sufferings would be endured
before His death (Mark 8:31). He would be mocked,
mistreated, spit on and whipped (Luke 18:31-33).
3. Rejection by the elders and chief
priests would be involved (Mark 8:31).
4. The events would transpire in
Jerusalem (Matthew 20:18-19).
5. The chief priests and scribes would
condemn Him to death but deliver Him to the Romans
6. He would fulfill all the Old
Testament prophecies concerning the Messiah’s death and
Resurrection (Luke 18:31-33).
7. He would die specifically by
crucifixion (Matthew 26:2).
8. He predicted to the day when this
would occur (Matthew 26:2).
9. He predicted all the
disciples would fall away, despite the fact every one
gave strong emotional protestations to the contrary
10. To the exact day, He predicted
when He would return from the dead—"on the third
day" (Luke 16:31-33).
How does a mere man know such things?
How could he be so specific? How could Jesus be certain He
would not die by natural or accidental death? Or be
murdered, or killed in a war? How did He know He would die
by crucifixion on the Passover in
Jerusalem? Why not in a dozen different locations or on a
hundred different days? How did He know every apostle to
the last man would desert Him? How could He claim He would
fulfill "all things which are written through the
prophets about the Son of Man" (Luke 18:31), or that in
His own power He would conquer death (John 2:19;
10:18)? How could He predict the exact day He would
rise—not to mention all the rest? Had He failed on any one
of these predictions, He would have been shown to be wrong
and His claim (John 5:16-18; 10:27-33) would have been
proven false. Claiming to be God leaves one very few
options. But Jesus was not wrong even once.
We submit that there is only one
explanation: Jesus was who He claimed He was—the divine
Savior of the world, the One to whom our allegiance is
The above are not all of the predictions
that Christ made concerning His Resurrection, but they are
more than sufficient to establish the fact of such
prediction. No one can deny that we have these
Why are the facts of Jesus’ death, the
public location of the grave, the placing of the Roman
guards, and the empty tomb all compelling evidences for
the Resurrection of Christ?
Certain facts about Jesus are accepted
by nearly all historians and other scholars who have
objectively examined the data.
• No one can logically deny the
certain fact of Jesus’ death.
• No one can logically deny the
placing of the body in a grave whose location was known
by all, including the enemies of Christianity.
• No one can logically deny the
employment of the Roman military guard at the request of
the Jewish leaders to guard the tomb (See Matthew 27:27,
• No one can logically deny the fact
of the empty tomb.
These historical points form a unit.
Together these provide strong evidence that Jesus rose
from the dead.
(to be continued)