I. New Testament Testimony:
The New Testament mentions the resurrection over 100 times. It documents at least 17 appearances of Christ after His Resurrection. The historian, Dr. Luke, summarizes these appearances at the beginning of the book of Acts in Chapter 1, verse 3: “To whom also he (Jesus Christ) shewed himself alive after his passion by many infallible proofs, being seen of them forty days, and speaking of the things pertaining to the kingdom of God.”
Jesus Christ appeared to:
1. Mary Magdalene (John 20:11-17, cf. Mark 16:9-11),
2. Various other Woman (Matthew 28:9-10),
3. Cleopas and another disciple on road to Emmaus( Lk. 24:13-32),
4. Peter (Luke 24:33-35, I Corinthians 15:5),
5. Ten disciples, referred to collectively as “the eleven” as Thomas was absent (Mark 16:14; Luke 24:36-43; Jn. 20:19-24).
6. To the eleven disciples a week after His resurrection
7. Seven disciples by the Sea of Galilee (John 21:1-23),
8. Five hundred at one time (I Corinthians 15:6),
9. James the Lord’s brother (I Corinthians 15:7),
10. Eleven disciples on the mountain in Galilee (Matt. 28:16-20),
11. His disciples at his ascension from the Mount of Olives
(Luke 24:44-53; Acts 1:3-12),
12. Steven prior to Steven’s martyrdom (Acts 7:55-56),
13. Paul on the road to Damascus (Acts 9:3-6, 26:12-19),
14. Paul in Arabia (Acts 20:24; Galatians 1:11-17),
15. Paul in the Temple (Acts 22:17-21),
16. Paul in prison (Acts 23:11),
17. The Apostle John (Revelation 1:12-20).
Confucius’ tomb – occupied
Buddha’s tomb – occupied
Mohammed’s tomb – occupied
Jesus’ tomb – empty
II. New Testament observations that support Christ’s resurrection:
1. Verification of Christ’s death (Matt. 27:50; John 19:30; Mark 15:37; Luke 23:46 cf. John 19:33-34), Christ had to be dead to be resurrected.
2. The empty tomb (Matthew 28:6; Mark 16:6; Luke 24:3,6,12; John 20:2, 5-8),
3. The testimony of angles (Matthew 28:6; Luke 24:5-7),
4. The reaction of the soldiers and the Jewish leaders
(Mathew 28:2-4, 11-15),
5. The transformation of Jesus’ disciples and beginning of the N.T. Church (Luke 24:50-53; Mark 16:19-20, Acts 2),
6. The expectation of Christ’s return (Acts 1:9-12).
III. New Testament acknowledgement that the resurrection is the foundation of the Christian faith:
“And if Christ be not raised, your faith is vain; ye are yet in your sins. Then they also which are fallen asleep in Christ are perished. If in this life only we have hope in Christ, we are of all men most miserable. But now is Christ risen from the dead, and become the firstfruits of them that slept.” I Corinthians 15:17-20
IV. Testimony from a non-biblical source: Antiquities
“Josephus, a Jewish historian, writing at the end of the first century A. D., has this fascinating passage in Antiquities, 18.3.3: ‘Now there was about this time Jesus, a wise man, if it be lawful to call him a man; for he was a doer of wonderful works, a teacher of such men as received the truth with pleasure. He drew over to him many Jews, and also many of the Greeks. This man was the Christ. And when Pilate had condemned him to the cross, upon his impeachment by the principal man among us, those who had loved from the first did not forsake him, for he appeared to them alive on the third day, the divine prophets having spoken thus and thousands of other wonderful things about him. And even now, the race of Christians, so named from him, has not died out’” (Josh McDowell; Evidence that Demands a Verdict, pg. 187).
With Prayer, mark