Easter is all about the resurrection of Jesus Christ. While Easter eggs and bunnies are nice, Easter stands on the grounds of the truth of the resurrection of Jesus Christ.
Josh McDowell was one person who was supremely skeptical of the claims of Christianity and especially Jesus Christ. While a student at the University of Michigan, McDowell met some Christians who challenged him to research the subject of the claims of Christ since he was so skeptical. McDowell told them, “That’s [Christianity] for unthinking weaklings, not intellectuals”. But McDowell took them up on their challenge and started to research the resurrection of Jesus. Was it historical? Was it probable? What evidence is there for it?
McDowell says of it,
“I accepted my friends’ challenge, mostly out of spite and to prove them wrong. I was convinced the Christian story would not stand up to evidence. I was a pre-law student, and I knew something about evidence. I decided to start with the Bible. I was sure that if I could uncover indisputable evidence that the Bible is an unreliable record, the whole of Christianity would crumble.”
But Josh McDowell, in his book “More than a Caprenter” said that he found just the opposite as he did his serious research. Josh’s research became so serious that he dropped out of school for a while to travel and research in some of the best historical libraries in Europe. At the end of his research he concluded that the Bible did hold up under scrutiny and the evidence for the resurrection and other claims of Jesus were rock solid (no pun intended). To make a long story short, Josh McDowell eventually decided to become a Christian and follow Jesus in his life. Through his search for the truth he came to have what God wants for all His people – to have a personal relationship with Him. After graduation he worked with CRU in the USA as a speaker on university campuses taking the evidence of the claims of Christ to university students. Josh is also the author of many Christian books including “Evidence that Demands a Verdict”.
McDowell says about the resurrection:
- Jesus was buried with almost 100 pounds of embalming, spices and cloth on his body (“The Bible”, John 19:39-40)
- Jesus’ body was placed in a solid rock tomb (Ibid, Matthew 27:60)
- A heavy rock was rolled in front of the entrance to Jesus’ tomb (using levers). The rock weighed approximately two tons. (Ibid, Mark 16:4)
- Roman soldiers were stationed to guard the tomb (George Currie, “The Military Discipline of the Romans from the Founding of the City to the Close of the Republic”, 1928, pp 41-43.)
- The soldiers affixed the Roman seal on the tomb attributing the power and authority of Rome to the grave in order to prevent vandals. (A.T. Robertson, “Word Pictures in the New Testament”, p. 239.)
- The followers of Jesus reported that he had risen from the dead and appeared to them in the space of forty days after his death a number of times with “convincing proofs”. (Acts 1:3)
- Paul the apostle noted in his letter to the Corinthians that Jesus had appeared to more than 500 of the followers of Jesus the majority of whom were still alive and could confirm this report. (I Cor. 15:3)
- More can be found in “More than a Carpenter” by Josh McDowell
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