Then he appeared to more than five hundred brothers at one time, most of whom are still alive, though some have fallen asleep
-1 Corinthians 15:6
The Bible, if from God, must be true
If the Bible truly is the Word of God, then the events that it describes must be true. This means the bible should be historically verifiable; we should be able to look back and find things that prove the Bible to be true if God wrote it (while guiding the human authors with his Spirit).
The biggest historical claim the Bible makes (with which Christianity itself depends on) is the resurrection of Jesus Christ. Many people either completely avoid thinking about this topic, or simply believe that it must be false. After all, how many people have you seen come back from the dead?
But if Jesus really was resurrected from the dead, then he must in fact be God. If he is God, then what he said about salvation (through faith in Jesus alone), as well as his ethics and morals he called us to live by, must also be true.
The New Testament book of 1 Corinthians gives us an incredible way to verify the credibility of Jesus’ resurrection. Even the most liberal biblical scholars agree that the apostle Paul is the author of this book, and that it was most likely written between 52-55 A.D.
Why is this important?
Jesus is alive
In 1 Corinthians 15:1-11, Paul not only claims that Jesus in fact resurrected from the dead, he claims that Jesus appeared to many after being risen.
For I delivered to you as of first importance what I also received: that Christ died for our sins in accordance with the Scriptures, that he was buried, that he was raised on the third day in accordance with the Scriptures, and that he appeared to Cephas, then to the twelve. Then he appeared to more than five hundred brothers at one time, most of whom are still alive, though some have fallen asleep.
-1 Corinthians 15:3-6
Paul then goes on to list others that Jesus appeared to as well. However, if Paul is lying, then there would be no one else to verify this story; no one would have believed him that Jesus rose from the dead. Some had since “fallen asleep ” (died), but most were still alive. Each of Jesus’ disciples (other than John son of Zebedee) were martyred and killed not because they believed Jesus was God, but because they claimed that Jesus rose from the dead.
If someone you knew died and I told you they had come back to life and that others could also verify that they in fact had come back to life, would you not also go ask these other people as well?
It is also interesting how many historians of the early Church point out that there were many other people running around claiming to be the Messiah during Jesus’ time, yet no ordinary person today follows any of these other “messiahs,” nor could anyone name the names of any of these “messiahs.” Why? Because none of these “messiahs” did what Jesus did; came back to life.
Strangely, Christianity continued to spread despite it’s harsh persecutions in the Roman empire and the killings of those who didn’t just believe in Jesus, but claimed they witnessed Jesus after he resurrected from the dead.
In short, although certainly cannot prove that Jesus came back from the dead, it’s not as if it simply wishful thinking.
Jesus rose from the dead and is alive, and he will change your life if you let him.
[He] was declared to be the Son of God in power according to the Spirit of holiness by his resurrection from the dead, Jesus Christ our Lord.