It’s Easter! That means it’s time to drag out all the arguments why the Resurrection didn’t or couldn’t have happened. Here’s some of the most popular ones found on the Internet:
The Swoon Theory: Jesus didn’t die on the cross - He simply swooned
After being flogged, tortured and enduring a lengthy crucifixion, being stabbed with a spear, wrapped in heavy burial garments and tossed in a dark cave for three days, it’s unlikely that a Christ who simply swooned would appear to be very healthy at all. The sight of a battered and bloody Christ would have been powerful evidence against the Resurrection. However, eyewitnesses describe Christ walking quickly, talking freely and traveling from place-to-place.
The Stolen Body Theory (Part 1): Jesus’ friends snatched His body from the tomb
This most common of anti-Resurrection theories has at least two problems:
The Stolen Body Theory (Part 2): Jews swiped Jesus’ body from the tomb
This theory is that Jews stole the body before the Disciples could do it. However, an empty tomb furthers the Resurrection story. If they made a mistake in stealing the body, then all they had to do to refute the Resurrection was to produce the actual body of Jesus. Why didn’t they?
The Wrong Tomb Theory: Everyone’s GPS goes bad
This theory requires us to believe that all of the Roman soldiers, all of Jesus' friends and all of His enemies went to the wrong empty tomb after His burial. Surely, Joseph of Arimathea knew the location of the tomb that he built for himself. Even if true, this theory doesn’t explain the hundreds of people who saw the risen Lord.
The Hallucination Theory: Everyone was seeing things
This theory suggests those who saw, heard and touched the risen Jesus were hallucinating. However, most of those who encountered the risen Christ were highly skeptical, at first. Mary’s first reaction on seeing the empty tomb was terror and confusion rather than belief. When Mary told of seeing the resurrected Jesus, she wasn’t believed. The Disciples were slow to recognize Jesus and then there’s the story about the doubting Thomas. It seems mass hallucination requires a lot of convincing.
The theories postulated to refute the Resurrection have been around for centuries and offer interesting food for thought. However, none have withstood the test of time as has the story of the Resurrection.
I passed on to you what I received, which is of the greatest importance: that Christ died for our sins, as written in the Scriptures; that he was buried and that he was raised to life three days later, as written in the Scriptures; that he appeared to Peter and then to all twelve apostles. Then he appeared to more than five hundred of his followers at once, most of whom are still alive, although some have died. Then he appeared to James, and afterward to all the apostles. [1 Corinthians 15:3-7 Good News Translation]
God has many favorite numbers that appear repeatedly in the Bible. For example:
Three (3) - Of course, this represents the Trinity, Father, Son and Holy Ghost. Jesus rose the third day and was tempted three times by Satan. Peter also denied Jesus three times.
Ten (10) – God gave Moses the 10 Commandments and gave Egypt the 10 plaques. Jesus uses parables about 10 servants, 10 pounds, 10 virgins and 10 coins.
Forty (40) – Moses lived for 40 years in both Egypt and the Wilderness. He also spent 40 days and nights on Mount Sinai two different times. Jesus spent forty days with the Disciples between His Resurrection and Ascension.
There are also values that God didn’t specifically mention in the Bible. However, trying to understand the magnitude of God’s work, we’ll take a swing at trying to quantify some of these values as best the Laws of Nature and Physics permit.
In the beginning, God created the heavens and the earth. Genesis 1
God called the dry ground "land," and the gathered waters he called "oceans." Genesis 10
So God created man in his own image, in the image of God he created him; male and female he created them. Genesis 27
But not a hair of your head will perish. Luke 21: 18
These incredibly large numbers should put all of us in awe of God. Every time you get sand in your bathing suit or gripe about too many voicemails, be thankful you need only remember one number - Him.