Why do Christians make a big deal about the resurrection of Jesus? The claims made in the Bible texts are that Jesus was conclusively killed on a Roman cross, but that a few days later he was conclusively experienced as being alive by multiple hundreds of people. Why should I care about this odd claim? After all – odd things happen every day. This resurrection report was made a long time ago. Why is this report any more significant than any other unexplained phenomena that happens today in our mad world?
I’d suggest that it is because this is not just an isolated, strange event. Rather – it is a central part of a sequence of events that has been trans formative for this world as a whole. I’m talking about the life, the death and the resurrection of Jesus.
What I’m saying here is – the events surrounding Jesus – point to God’s existence, and Jesus identity as God’s Son…saviour of the world. So…how does that work?
1 – Jesus made some very bombastic claims about himself.
I’ll summarise some of those below.
2 – The historical record points to Jesus’ physical, bodily resurrection from the dead.
3 – Given these premises, we can conclude not only that God exists but God verified the bombastic claims that Jesus made about himself and therefore Jesus identity.
So first then, what bombastic claims did Jesus make about himself?
In a religious, monotheistic culture (ancient Israel), Jesus made two mind bending claims:
1 – That he personally had the authority to forgive people’s sins.
For example, “[Jesus] said to the paralyzed man, ‘Son, your sins are forgiven’ ….’[Some people thought] he’s blaspheming! Who can forgive sins but God alone?’”
2 – That he personally is deity, that he is God.
He did this in many complex ways that Jewish hearers would understand by calling himself the Son of Man and the Son of God. One brief incident that makes more sense to Western ears is found in John’s gospel, “before Abraham was born, I am!”
3 – What people do with Jesus – determines where we will spend eternity.
“I am the way and the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me.”
No other ancient religious founder that we know of has done this. Jesus wasn’t following the common trend of religious leaders saying, “I’ve got important words here you must listen to.” No – Jesus was different. He said, “I am personally those words of life.” I’m the saviour.
Some might suppose – maybe Jesus was a cosmic prankster, a twisted person taking advantage of people’s ancient, religious naivety? Well – sure – you can claim that. But you won’t have any historical evidence to support your claim. And you will have a lot of evidence to the contrary that you’ll have to refute!
Second, why do I say the historical record points to Jesus’ physical, bodily resurrection?
I’ve laid out some key parts of this historical record in another blog here.
In summary, these two premises lead me to conclude that it’s no accident Jesus resurrection happened. It wasn’t just a random, unexplained event. There was purpose here, it happened for a reason. God exists and he is verifying Jesus’ identity, and the truth of what he did and said in his life.
Because Jesus’ resurrection happened at a point in time, we can conclude not just that God exists, but that Jesus claims about himself are true and so Christianity is also true. Jesus is the saviour of the world.
That’s one big reason why Christians make a noise about Jesus’ resurrection.
Media from unsplash.com
Blog adapted from Gary Habermas, The Resurrection of Jesus, Credo Courses, http://www.credocourses.com.
 Mark 2:5-6, NIV.
 John 8:58, NIV.
 John 14:6, NIV.