We all know about Thomas not believing the other disciples when they told him that Jesus had risen.
John 20:24-25 “But Thomas, one of the twelve, called Didymus, was not with them when Jesus came. The other disciples therefore said unto him, We have seen the LORD. But he said unto them, Except I shall see in his hands the print of the nails, and put my finger into the print of the nails, and thrust my hand into his side, I will not believe.”
Thomas had deeper understanding of the redemptive work of the Messiah, than many Christians do today.
Many Christians today think that Jesus has scars.
However, Thomas understood that if Jesus was God then He would not have scars. That is why he said he would have to thrust his hand into Jesus’ side and put his finger into the print of the nails.
Thomas understood that if Jesus was God and had just died to save us then He would have eternal wounds like the Bible says in Revelation 5:6 “And I beheld, and, lo, in the midst of the throne and of the four beasts, and in the midst of the elders, stood a Lamb as it had been slain…”
Jesus would not have any blood in His body to produce scars, because He would have put his blood on the Mercy Seat in heaven to atone for our sins. Like the Bible says in
Hebrews 9:11-12 “But Christ being come an high priest of good things to come, by a greater and more perfect tabernacle, not made with hands, that is to say, not of this building; Neither by the blood of goats and calves, but by his own blood he entered in once into the holy place, having obtained eternal redemption for us.”
Thomas understood these deep doctrines of redemption before they were ever written down for us. That is why Thomas had the reaction of “My Lord and my God” when he finally did see Jesus.
John 20:26-29 “And after eight days again his disciples were within, and Thomas with them: then came Jesus, the doors being shut, and stood in the midst, and said, Peace be unto you. Then saith he to Thomas, Reach hither thy finger, and behold my hands; and reach hither thy hand, and thrust it into my side: and be not faithless, but believing. And Thomas answered and said unto him, My LORD and my God. Jesus saith unto him, Thomas, because thou hast seen me, thou hast believed: blessed are they that have not seen, and yet have believed.”
In this article, I will give you proof beyond reasonable doubt that Jesus Christ arose from the dead.
The reasonable doubt standard.
The reasonable doubt standard is the judicial standard. Courts decide everyday whether or not people live or die based on this standard. It is the most sure standard we can have.
The reality of possible doubt.
There is always room for possible doubt, because if someone has a presupposition to not believe something, they can always make up something to deny all evidence that does not agree with their presupposition.
The reality of possible doubt is why lawyers are so careful with Jury selection. They must make sure that no one on the jury has any presuppositions of the suspect being guilty or innocent, because bias could lead to a false conclusion and a false conviction.
So, in order for you, or anyone else, to believe any evidence contrary to what you already believe, you must first get rid of your presupposition.
The Apostles all gave eyewitness accounts that Jesus died on a cross and bodily, arose from the dead.
Luke 24:39 “Behold my hands and my feet, that it is I myself: handle me, and see; for a spirit hath not flesh and bones, as ye see me have.”
1 John 1:1 “That which was from the beginning, which we have heard, which we have seen with our eyes, which we have looked upon, and our hands have handled, of the Word of life;”
Therefore, if Jesus did not die on a cross and rise from the dead, the apostles were either:
Wrong (He did not really die, He was just unconscious.)
Lying (They just made it up.)
Fooled (After Jesus died, an impostor convinced them that He was Jesus risen.)
Delusional (They had a vision.)
Influenced (Only one disciple had a vision and was so influential that the rest believed it.)
Distorted (They or others distorted the account of Jesus’ death and resurrection over time.)
Were they wrong?
There is proof beyond reasonable doubt that the disciples were not wrong about Jesus dying, because:
The Roman soldiers said He was dead and did not break His legs. They broke the legs of the 2 thieves in order to make them suffocate and die faster, because with their legs broken they could not push up in order to breath. If the soldiers had made a mistake like that, (letting a condemned person live) they would have lost their heads.
Blood and water both came out when Jesus’ side was pierced. We now know because of medical science that this happened because His heart had failed and water had collected in Jesus’ lungs (Called Pleural Effusion), so when His side was pierced his lung was also pierced and the water came out. A person cannot survive this, at least not without immediate and expert medical care, which they did not have back then.
The fact that both blood and water came out proves beyond reasonable doubt that Jesus was dead. Now I guess you can try to make up something to say that even with this, Jesus did not actually die. Anything is possible. But the reasonable conclusion is that Jesus was dead at this point. Remember we are just doing away with reasonable doubt, not all doubt, because it is always possible to doubt, but it is not always reasonable to doubt.
Were they lying?
It is also unreasonable to believe that the disciples were lying about Jesus’ resurrection.
All 12 disciples ended up dying horrible deaths for it decades after it happened, and they were scattered throughout the world. They no longer had the support of each other. None of the others would have known if one of them had recanted, but none of them did, they all died. Why would they die for a lie? It is possible, but it is not reasonable.
Also, if they were lying why would they write that women were the first eye-witnesses to see Jesus alive. In the culture back then the word of a man was seen to be more reliable than the word of a woman. The only reason why the Apostles would have written that a woman saw Jesus first was if that is what happened, and they were just recording the facts.
Furthermore, why would they have written of things that made no sense at that time. Like, both blood and water coming out of Jesus’ side, or Him sweating drops of blood (also now known to be a rare medical phenomenon)?
The Apostles could not explain these things. Someone who lies about something makes sure that all facts can be explained, so to make it more believable. The only reason why they would write something unexplainable like this, is because they actually seen it happen, and they were just simply recording what they saw.
Just as they claimed they were.
Acts 4:20 “For we cannot but speak the things which we have seen and heard.”
It may be possible that the apostles lied, but in light of
this evidence, them lying is not a reasonable conclusion.
Were they fooled by an impostor?
The fact that no regular person can walk through walls, or just ascend up into heaven is proof beyond reasonable doubt that the disciples were not fooled by an impostor.
Were they delusional?
It is also unreasonable to believe that they were delusional, because 12 people or even 500 people are not going to have the same vision. That is just ridiculous. I guess if you just did not want to believe it you could claim it is possible. But that is not a reasonable claim.
Were they influenced?
We have proof beyond reasonable doubt that they were not just influenced by one person having a vision.
The Bible gives us multiple accounts of all the disciples seeing Jesus, and says that 500 people saw Him after He arose. The “influenced” argument is “possible,” because anything is “possible”, but it is not reasonable.
Did they distort the account of Jesus’ resurrection over time?
We also have proof beyond reasonable doubt that the account of the Resurrection of Jesus has not been distorted over time.
The Gospels were written within 60 years after Jesus died. The earliest Christian writings of Ignatius of Antioch, Polycarp of Smyrna, Papias of Hierapolis etc all agree with the Gospels and say that Jesus died on a cross and arose from the dead 3 days later. And still today all religions that claim to follow Jesus Christ say that Jesus died on a Cross and arose from the dead 3 days later.
Therefore, it is unreasonable to believe that the account of Jesus’ death and resurrection have been distorted and changed over time.
I have now given you evidence beyond all reasonable doubt that Jesus Christ arose from the dead.
Now it is still possible for you to doubt (only because you don’t want to believe), but it is not reasonable.
Even people who saw Jesus doubted, even though they were looking at Him.
Matthew 28:17 “And when they saw him, they worshipped him:
but some doubted.”
So, it is possible to doubt Christ’s resurrection, but it is not reasonable to doubt it.
Moreover, since it is unreasonable to believe that the disciples were: wrong, lying, fooled, delusional, Influenced or distorted the account of Jesus’ resurrection, or that the account has been distorted by others over time, the only reasonable conclusion is that they were accurate. Jesus truly did die on a cross and arise from the dead 3 days later.
And since, the resurrection of Jesus Christ is true, that proves that:
Jesus Christ is God, because no mere human can raise themselves from the dead.
The Bible is true, because Jesus said it was, and since He is God, He would know. And since the Bible got the most important thing right (Christ’s resurrection), it is reasonable to believe it got everything else right.
John 17:17 “Sanctify them through thy truth: thy word is
Jesus is the only way to Heaven. Since Jesus is God and died to save us, He would decide how we got to heaven.
John 14:6 “Jesus saith unto him, I am the way, the truth,
and the life: no man cometh unto the Father, but by me.”
And that anyone who did not go through Him to get to Heaven would go to Hell, because this is what Jesus said.
Matthew 23:33 “Ye serpents, ye generation of vipers, how can ye escape the damnation of hell?” If you read the few verses before this one you will see he was speaking to the religious leaders who did not believe in Him.
John 8:24 “I said therefore unto you, that ye shall die in your sins: for if ye believe not that I am he, ye shall die in your sins.” If you go to this passage in the Bible and look at verse 13 you will see that he was talking to the religious leaders who did not believe in Him, just like He was in Matthew 23.
So, yes, Jesus did say that people die in their sins and go to Hell if they do not believe in Him.
Jesus said there is fire in Hell.
Jesus said so in Mark 9:43-44 “ And if thy hand offend thee, cut it off: it is better for thee to enter into life maimed, than having two hands to go into hell, into the fire that never shall be quenched. Where their worm dieth not, and the fire is not quenched.” These verses mean to get rid of whatever is stopping you from getting saved, so you do not go to Hell, even if it is a physical body part.”
The phrase “their worm dieth not” is simply saying that people will not die in Hell, but that hey will be tormented in fire forever.
Man is referred to as a “worm” in Job 25:6 “How much less
man, that is a worm? and the son of man, which is a worm?”
Revelation 14:11a “And the smoke of their torment ascendeth up for ever and ever: and they have no rest day nor night,” Another verse showing people are tormented in Hell forever.
Nothing is worth going to Hell for.
Matthew 16:26 “For what is a man profited, if he shall gain the whole world, and lose his own soul? or what shall a man give in exchange for his soul?”
If you have never received Jesus Christ as your Savior, please go to the page How to Get to Heaven to learn how to now.