Monday, May 28, 2007

The Resurrection of Jesus Christ

The Resurrection of Jesus Christ is either ...the greatest event, or the greatest fraud — in history!

Did Jesus Christ actually rise from the dead?

As we all knew my dear brothers and sisters that the entire Christian faith relies on the RESURRECTION OF JESUS CHRIST – the very foundation of the whole Christianity.

The Unrivaled Resurrection
What do some of the world's greatest lawyers say about the event that changed history from BC to AD?

Dr. Simon Greenleaf was a key founder of Harvard’s School of Law. He is regarded as one of the principal figures responsible for Harvard’s eminent position among law schools in the United States, and he produced possibly the greatest single authority on evidence in the entire literature of legal procedure.

After a challenge by one of his students to disprove the claims of Jesus and the Bible, Greenleaf was certain that a careful examination of the internal witness of the Gospels would dispel all the myths at the heart of Christianity. He determined, once and for all, to expose the myth of the resurrection of Jesus. After thoroughly examining the evidence, however, he came to an extraordinary conclusion.

With a lawyer’s skill, Greenleaf put his principles to work as he examined the historical evidence surrounding the resurrection of Jesus Christ as recorded in the ancient writings of the biblical text. After careful study, he wrote The Testimony of the Evangelists, in which he stated that it was “impossible that the Apostles could have persisted in affirming the truths they had narrated, had not Jesus Christ actually risen from the dead.”

What caused Greenleaf, as one of the most prestigious lawyers of all time, to come to such a dramatic conclusion? In spite of the sensationalist nature of such a suggestion, this chapter briefly examines some of the arguments both for and against the idea that Jesus Christ could have actually risen from the dead.

In order to answer that, let's go back to that scene nearly 2,000 years ago. That eery night in the garden of Gethsemene, as a blood-thirsty mob came and arrested Jesus Christ. He was brought before Pilate, and there in plain view, Jesus Christ was spit upon, cursed, he was laughed at, whipped, beaten. He was branded a blasphemer. And He was sentenced to die by the most extreme, shameful form of capital punishment ever devised — crucifixion. Galatians 3:13 reads, "Cursed is every one that hangeth on a tree".


Something happened to that small band of frightened and humiliated men. . . Less than two months later — they went back into Jerusalem boldly preaching, at the threat of death, that — JESUS CHRIST WAS ALIVE!

“The alleged bodily resurrection of Jesus, if true, was very consequential concerning mankind’s most fearful and important questions. By publicly preaching the Resurrection message in the first century, the Apostles strived to adjust the opinions of mankind upon subjects in which people are not only deeply concerned, but usually stubborn and closedminded, despite reason or persuasion. Men could not be utterly careless in such a case as this. (As evidenced in ancient writings, two thousand years ago religion and tradition generally played a much more significant role than in today’s Western society.) Thus, whoever entertained the account of Jesus, whether Jew or non-Jew, could not have avoided the following reflection: “If these things be true, I must give up the opinions and principles in which I have been brought up, the religion in which my forefathers lived and died.” It is not likely that one would do this upon any idle report or trivial account, or indeed without being fully convinced of the truth of that which he or she believed in. But it did not stop at opinions. Those who believed Christianity acted upon it. Many made it the express business of their lives to publicize their new faith. It was required of them to change forthwith their conduct; to take up a different course of life and begin a new set of rules and system of behavior; in doing so they encountered opposition, danger, and persecution.”

— William Paley, 1794

The first few hundred years of Christianity were characterized by some of the worst persecution in history. Right from the beginning, the Christian founders were persecuted and eventually put to death for the message they preached: that they had seen Jesus physically risen from the dead.

What, in fact, is it that caused the first followers of Jesus to be willing to die for such a message?
Without a doubt, the most unbelievable aspect of Christianity is in the life of Jesus himself. In His alleged resurrection from the dead, Jesus stands out more remarkably in history than any other human being. It is for this reason that the New Testament, perhaps more than any other book in history, has been subjected to some of the most rigorous historical and literary criticism.
Now, at the beginning of the 21st century, contemporary scholarship has shown that the New Testament firmly stands as the most historically attested work of the ancient world.

All New Testament scholars agree that the Gospels (biographies of Jesus) were written and circulated within Jesus’ generation, during the lifetime of the eyewitnesses. In fact, many scholars argue persuasively that some of the Gospels were written as early as the 50s A.D. (within about 30 years of Jesus’ death).

In establishing the truthfulness of the New Testament writers as eyewitnesses to the events of their time, several points must be considered.

First, if the writers fabricated the New Testament Gospels, one would expect them to have construed the story in such a way that would have been most advantageous to their cause, rather than include embarrassing details which could defeat their purpose. However, there are plenty such features in the Gospel accounts which could have proved fatal had the narratives been false.

One significant example is the fact that the Gospel writers record women as the first witnesses to Jesus’ empty tomb, and then to the resurrected Jesus himself. The significance of this cannot be understated. Women were on a very low rung of the social ladder in first-century Palestine, and their testimony was regarded as so worthless that they were not even allowed to serve as legal witnesses in a Jewish court of law.

In that light, it’s remarkable that the Gospel writers would record women as the chief witnesses to the empty tomb of Jesus and then also to the risen Jesus himself. Any fabricated story or later legendary account, in order to gain more credibility, would certainly have portrayed male disciples (perhaps Peter or John) as the first to discover the tomb and see the risen Jesus. The fact that women, rather than men, are recorded as the first witnesses to the empty tomb is most plausibly explained by the reality that they were, in fact, the discoverers of the tomb.

It is these types of literary characteristics found throughout the New Testament writings that many scholars believe indicate its historical authenticity. Historian Will Durant explains, “Despite the prejudices and theological preconceptions of the [Gospel writers], they record many incidents that mere inventors would have concealed. . . . That a few simple men should in one generation have invented so powerful and appealing a personality, so lofty an ethic, and so inspiring a vision of human brotherhood, would be a miracle far more incredible than any recorded in the Gospels.”

From its conception in the first century, both Jews and Romans alike were generally opposed to the development of Christianity. The Christian movement outraged the Jewish leaders because the Christians’ proclamations undermined many fundamental Jewish teachings. This inevitably led to great conflict between the Jewish leaders and the Christian converts. The heated controversy sometimes became so huge that it caused uproars in the city streets, necessitating the deployment of Roman peace-keeping troops. The Romans, therefore, began hating the Christian movement also, because in less than 40 years it had begun to threaten the peace of the Roman Empire. This is historically certain because ancient non-biblical sources confirm that the Christian movement had spread as far as Rome by A.D. 64 (within 40 years of Jesus’ death), when the Christians, who were already hated there, were persecuted and blamed for the burning of the city.

The heart of the Christian message was always that, after being unjustly crucified, God had miraculously raised Jesus from the dead. The first people to begin proclaiming this message were the 12 Apostles (Jesus’ first followers), who are the founders of today’s Christian church.
Now if the Apostles were lying about Jesus’ resurrection, and His body still lay in the tomb, the opponents of Christianity would have easily been able to contradict their claims. To end the growth of Christianity, the opponents would only have needed to produce the body of Jesus, which would have proved that He was never resurrected, but still lay deceased in His tomb. As journalist Frank Morison illustrates, “If the body of Jesus still lay in the tomb, why didn’t anyone say so? A cold and dispassionate statement of the real facts, issued by someone in authority, and publicly exhibited, would have been like a bucket of water upon the kindling fire of the Christian heresy. It would have [virtually] destroyed the growing daily stream of new [Christian] converts.”

Even if the Apostles themselves had believed in the resurrection of Jesus, it is doubtful they would have generated any following so long as the body remained in the tomb. A movement founded on belief in the resurrection of a dead man’s extant corpse would have been impossible.
Throughout the early decades of Christianity, it seems the physical vacancy of the tomb was not in doubt by anyone. Not one historical record from the first or second century is written attacking the factuality of the empty tomb or claiming discovery of the corpse. No one in the first century was saying that the tomb still contained Jesus’ body. Events seem to have conspired to place that beyond the reach of argument. The question was always, “What happened to the body?” Incidentally, the corpse of Jesus has never been found.

Thus, it is today widely recognized that the empty tomb of Jesus is a historical fact. The New Testament critic, D.H. van Daalen, points out, “It is extremely difficult to object to the empty tomb on historical grounds; those who deny it do so on the basis of theological or philosophical assumptions.” Jacob Kremer, an Austrian scholar who has specialized in the study of the resurrection, also affirms: “By far most scholars hold firmly to the reliability of the biblical statements about the empty tomb.” And he lists 28 prominent scholars in support.

It is interesting that the enemies of Christianity did not so much try to contradict the claims of the early Christians regarding Jesus’ missing body, as they tried instead to offer other explanations. The Jews first reacted by saying that Jesus’ followers (the Apostles) had stolen the corpse and were lying about His resurrection (Matt. 28:13).

However, the Apostles of the first century would have had no possible motive for such actions. Since they were tortured, flogged, imprisoned, beaten, and put to death for their testimony that they had seen the resurrected Jesus, they had nothing to gain and everything to lose by claiming what they did about Him.

Generally, the reliability of eyewitness testimony can be strengthened if it can be shown that the witness has a vested interest in the opposite of what he testifies. One probably would not doubt a child who confessed to a misdeed which would certainly elicit a spanking from the parent. Since the child has a vested interest in the misdeed not occurring, if he admits to it and risks a spanking, then it is reasonable to believe that the child is telling the truth.

Likewise, the first century Apostles would have had a vested interest in the opposite of what they claimed. Far from a spanking, their punishment often resulted in serious persecution. (Scholars agree that serious Christian persecution started almost immediately following Jesus’ death.) Thus it seems reasonable that the Apostles at least believed they had seen Jesus risen from the dead. It surely wasn’t their commitment to a lie, but rather what they believed to be the truth that brought about their martyrdom. Indeed, why would the Apostles want to deceive their own people (the Jews) into believing in a lie when they knew this deception would mean persecution for themselves and hundreds of their believing friends?

According to one of the world’s foremost experts on the Resurrection, critical scholars today have thus universally rejected this conspiracy theory that the Apostles had stolen Jesus’ corpse and were lying about His resurrection.

On the other hand, could the opposing Jews or Romans themselves have stolen Jesus’ body? Highly doubtful, because if any of the opponents of Christianity knew the whereabouts of Jesus’ corpse, they would certainly have exposed the whole affair. As already explained, the quickest and surest answer to the proclamation of the resurrection of Jesus would have been simply to produce His corpse. Thus, no one adheres to this theory today.

In the words of one famous journalist, in a historical sense it is the complete failure of anyone to produce the remains of Jesus, or to point to any tomb, official or otherwise, in which the body remained, which ultimately destroys every theory based on the human removal of the body.
However, another theory that has been raised as an alternative explanation to the resurrection of Jesus is that He didn’t die on the cross, but merely fainted from exhaustion and loss of blood. He was then taken down and placed alive in the tomb, and after a couple of days, He escaped and convinced the disciples that He had risen from the dead. Today, however, this theory has been entirely given up by scholars: it would be virtually impossible medically for anyone to have survived the severity of torture and crucifixion, much less not to have escaped death by exposure in the tomb. One prominent physician, Dr. Alexander Metherell, who has extensively studied death by crucifixion, explains what is involved:

Once a person is hanging in the vertical position, crucifixion is essentially an agonizingly slow death by asphyxiation [suffocation]. The reason is that the stresses on the muscles and diaphragm put the chest into the inhaled position; basically, in order to exhale, the individual must push up on his feet so the tension on the muscles would be eased for a moment. In doing so, the nail would tear through the foot, eventually locking up against the tarsal bones. After managing to exhale, the person would then be able to relax down and take another breath in. Again he’d have to push himself up to exhale. . . . This would go on and on until complete exhaustion would take over, and the person wouldn’t be able to push up and breathe anymore. . . . As the person slows down his breathing, he goes into what is called respiratory acidosis — the carbon dioxide in the blood is dissolved as carbonic acid, causing the acidity of the blood to increase. This eventually leads to an irregular heartbeat. . . . And then the victim dies of cardiac arrest. But even before he dies, the hypovolemic shock would cause a sustained rapid heart rate that would have contributed to heart failure, resulting in the collection of fluid in the membrane around the heart, called a pericardial effusion, as well as around the lungs, which is called a pleural effusion. This is significant because the New Testament records that the Roman soldier drove a spear into Jesus’ side, apparently through the right lung and into the heart, resulting in the outpouring of blood and water. This flow of blood and water would have actually been the pericardial effusion and the pleural effusion. The New Testament writer would have had no idea why he saw both blood and a clear fluid come out, yet his description is consistent with modern medical knowledge.

If the soldiers wanted to speed up death, they would break the victim’s lower leg bones. This would prevent him from pushing up with his legs so he could breathe, and death by asphyxiation would result in a matter of minutes. The Encyclopedia Britannica notes, “Death, apparently caused by exhaustion or by heart failure, could be hastened by shattering the legs with an iron club, so that shock and asphyxiation soon ended [the victim’s] life.” Only after a victim was confirmed dead by the Roman soldiers would the body have been taken down from the cross.

An article in the Journal of the American Medical Association discussing the physical death of Jesus concluded, “Clearly, the weight of the historical and medical evidence indicates that Jesus was dead. . . . Interpretations based on the assumption that Jesus did not die on the cross appear to be at odds with modern medical knowledge.”

Due to the unanimous rejection by scholars of the preceding theories, what remains are these historical facts: Jesus died on the Cross, and His body, after being placed in the tomb, was not stolen by His friends or His enemies. But this presents the same 2,000-year-old puzzle: What happened to Jesus’ body?

The Apostles certainly believed in Jesus’ resurrection. Indeed, they pinned nearly everything on it. Without this belief, Christianity could never have come into being — the crucifixion would have remained the final tragedy in the life of Jesus. The origin of Christianity hinges on the belief of the earliest disciples that Jesus had risen from the dead. One of the oldest, and “indisputably genuine” New Testament books (1 Corinthians) affirms this. The Encyclopedia Britannica notes, “In one of the most significant of all Pauline texts . . . [Paul] reaffirms the reality of Christ’s resurrection — doubted or denied by some — as the very foundation of Christian faith.”

Was a missing body enough in the first century to spark the idea that Jesus had been raised from the dead? The Apostles didn’t seem to think so, for not only did they say that Jesus’ tomb was empty, they also claimed to have seen Him alive again, after death.

The New Testament writers record that Jesus showed himself alive after His death by many infallible proofs, and was seen by the Apostles for 40 days (Acts 1:3). In one of the oldest New Testament books, written about A.D. 55, Paul the Apostle quotes an old Christian formula which he received and in turn passed on to his converts: “I passed on to you what was most important and what had also been passed on to me: that Christ died for our sins according to the Scriptures, that he was buried, that he was raised from the dead on the third day according to the Scriptures, and that he appeared to Peter, and then to the twelve apostles” (1 Cor. 15:3–5).
Paul probably received this formula from two disciples, Peter and James, during a fact-finding mission in Jerusalem three years after His own conversion to Christianity.

He continues, “After that, Jesus appeared to more than five hundred of His followers at one time, most of whom are still alive, though some have died by now. Then He appeared to James, and later to all the apostles. Last of all, He appeared to me, long after the others” (1 Cor. 15:6–8).

No scholar denies the genuineness of Paul’s writing in this text, written within 25 years of Jesus’ death. Even the Encyclopedia Britannica concedes that this text dates between “20–30 years after Jesus’ crucifixion” and is “indisputably genuine.” Of crucial significance, then, is that Paul appeals to his audience’s knowledge of the fact that Jesus had been seen by more than five hundred people at one time; he reminds them that the majority of these people were still alive and could be questioned.

William Lillie, head of the department of biblical study at the University of Aberdeen, notes the relevance of this fact: “Such a statement in an admittedly genuine letter written within thirty years of the event is almost as strong evidence as one could hope to get for something that happened nearly two thousand years ago. . . . What gives a special authority to the list [of witnesses in Paul’s writing] as historical evidence is the reference to most of the five hundred brethren being still alive. St. Paul says in effect, ‘If you do not believe me, you can ask them.’ ”
The first century witnesses to whom Paul referred here could have certainly confirmed or denied the accuracy of his statements about them seeing the resurrected Jesus. Risking persecution, they would have had no reason to lie; there were sometimes mass Christian executions, which began in the first century. If hundreds of these witnesses had denied seeing the post-mortem Jesus, then Paul’s credibility would have been utterly destroyed (not to mention the credibility of all the other Apostles as well). Any contrary testimony from the list of these five hundred witnesses would have drastically hindered (if not prevented) the spread of Christianity. But Christianity did not stop. In fact, in the face of persecution, it continued to spread beyond all reasonable expectation. Despite persecution, by about A.D. 70 (only 40 years after Jesus’ death), Christianity had spread almost everywhere in the East, from Egypt to the Black Sea, in Bithynia and in Greece, and even as far as Rome.

Exactly what took place with these alleged appearances of Jesus is a subject of scholarly debate. Yet it is widely agreed that something did take place, because it is certain that those who claimed to have seen the resurrected Jesus were, in fact, truly convinced that He was risen from the dead. Regarding Paul’s own appearance experience, for instance, the Encyclopedia Britannica notes, “Though it is impossible to state exactly what happened, the central feature was certainly Paul’s vision of Jesus in glory. It convinced him that Jesus was risen from the dead and exalted as Lord in heaven.”

Recall that scholars are in agreement that Paul’s sudden conversion to Christianity around A.D. 35 is an established historical fact. Since Paul states that his conversion was due to the latest appearance by Jesus, this means that all the previous appearance experiences he refers to must have occurred even earlier, at most within five years of Jesus’ death in A.D. 30. It is thus idle to dismiss the accounts of the appearances as mythical; Paul’s information makes it historically certain that on separate occasions, within a few years of Jesus’ death, various individuals and groups claimed to have seen Jesus alive from the dead. As Norman Perrin, the late New Testament critic of the University of Chicago, notes, “The more we study the tradition with regard to the appearances, the firmer the rock begins to appear upon which they are based.” “This conclusion is virtually indisputable,” says leading Resurrection expert William Lane Craig.
But while the Resurrection appearances were described in the first century as true appearances of Jesus, today other explanations have been offered.

One suggestion is that the appearances were just hallucinations, or that the Apostles envisioned only a spiritual resurrection. But for a first century Jew, the idea that a man might be raised from the dead spiritually, but not bodily, was simply a contradiction in terms; the Jewish conception of resurrection was always physical.

But could the appearances have simply been hallucinations, from which people mistakenly inferred Jesus’ resurrection? This theory became popular during the 19th century and carried over into the first half of the 20th century as well. The problem with this theory, however, is that it is psychologically implausible to postulate such a chain of hallucinations. Scholar William Lane Craig explains that the evidence shows that “Jesus was seen not once, but many times; not by one person, but by several; not only by individuals, but also by groups; not at one locale and circumstance but at many; not by believers only, but by skeptics and unbelievers as well. The hallucination theory cannot be plausibly stretched to accommodate such diversity.”

Typically, hallucinations are projections of one’s own mind, and, in a highly emotional state, are triggered by extreme expectation. It is therefore inconceivable that an enemy of Christianity should hallucinate something he opposes, much less transform his life as a consequence: no scholar denies that Paul first appeared on the scene of history as a persecutor of the early church, and later became one of its key proponents.

Additionally, the Gospels state that on several occasions the Apostles did not recognize Jesus. In normal experience, to witness someone alive again after death would, no doubt, cause anyone to question his or her sanity. That is, in fact, what the Gospels record. According to the narratives, none of Jesus’ followers expected him to rise from the dead. Luke’s Gospel says that when Jesus suddenly appeared to them, “they were terribly frightened, thinking they were seeing a ghost.” The gospel relates that Jesus asked, “‘Why are you frightened? Why do you doubt who I am? Look at my hands. Look at my feet. You can see that it’s really me. Touch me and make sure that I am not a ghost, because ghosts don’t have bodies, as you see that I do!’ As he spoke, he held out his hands for them to see, and he showed them his feet. Still they stood there doubting, filled with joy and wonder” (Luke 24:37–41).

Renowned Oxford professor C.S. Lewis observed the significance of such an account: “Any theory of hallucination breaks down on the fact that on three separate occasions this hallucination was not immediately recognized as Jesus.”

Nor can hallucinations account for the full scope of the evidence. The theory leaves the empty tomb unexplained, and therefore fails as a complete and satisfying explanation.
Thus, like the empty tomb, the first century claims of Jesus’ resurrection appearances are left as unexplained historical facts.

In summary, the general consensus of modern scholarship accepts the following ten details as established historical facts:

1. Jesus died by crucifixion 2,000 years ago.
2. Jesus was then placed in a tomb.
3. A few days later, the tomb was found empty.
4. Soon after, the Apostles began testifying that Jesus had risen from the dead.
5. The Apostles really believed they had seen Jesus alive again.
6. Even opponents and skeptics of Christianity at the time claimed to have seen Jesus alive again, and their lives were transformed as a consequence.
7. Almost all of the Apostles eventually died for their testimony that they had seen the resurrected Jesus.
8. In the face of brutal persecution, the movement of Christianity grew beyond all reasonable expectation.
9. The belief that Jesus was physically raised from the dead was central and foundational to Christianity from the very beginning.
10. The corpse of Jesus has never been produced.

Every attempt at an alternative explanation to the physical resurrection of Jesus thus far has failed to provide a plausible account for all of the preceding facts, and therefore has been universally rejected by contemporary scholarship.

Yet unquestionably, something must have happened two thousand years ago that was so dramatic it changed the course of history from B.C. to A.D.

But as long as liberal and non-liberal scholars alike reject all the preceding theories, how do they explain the facts of the empty tomb, the Resurrection appearances, and the origin of the Christian faith? Remarkably, modern scholarship recognizes no plausible naturalistic explanatory theory — liberal scholars are self-confessedly left without an explanation, maintaining there is not enough evidence to reach a firm conclusion.

Indeed, these three great facts — the empty tomb, the Resurrection appearances, and the origin of the Christian faith — all lead conservative scholars to one conclusion: The bodily resurrection of Jesus.

Yet there are philosophical objections to such a spectacular conclusion. Many people believe that any alternative theory, however implausible, is more probable than the idea that God actually raised Jesus from the dead.

If the possibility of God exists, then so does the possibility of miracles. Thus, the possibility of a miracle cannot, and should not, be ruled out. And thus logically, the possibility that God raised Jesus from the dead also should not be ruled out.

Living in the 21st century, however, many individuals believe that, in order for something to be credible, there must be scientific proof: “If Jesus has risen from the dead, then prove it scientifically!”

Unfortunately, there is a problem with proving anything scientifically about a person or event in history: it is impossible. One must realize that there is a difference between scientific proof and legal-historical proof.

Now if the scientific method was the only method of proving something, you couldn’t prove that you went to your first hour class this morning or that you had lunch today. There’s no way you can repeat those events in a controlled situation.

To prove an event that has taken place in the past, one must look at legal-historical proof, which is based on showing beyond a reasonable doubt that something is fact. In other words, a verdict is reached on the basis of the weight of the evidence. That is, there’s no reasonable basis for doubting the decision. This kind of proof depends upon three types of testimony: oral testimony, written testimony, and exhibits (such as a gun, bullet, notebook). Using the legal method of determining what happened, you could pretty well prove beyond a reasonable doubt that you were in class this morning: your friends saw you, you have your notes, the professor remembers you.

The scientific method can be used only to prove repeatable things; it isn’t adequate for proving or disproving many questions about a person or event in history. The scientific method isn’t appropriate for answering questions such as, “Did George Washington live?” “Was Martin Luther King a civil rights leader?” “Who was Jesus of Nazareth?” “Was Robert Kennedy attorney general of the USA?” “Was Jesus Christ raised from the dead?” These are out of the realm of scientific proof, and we need to put them in the realm of legal proof. In other words, the scientific method, which is based on observation, the gathering of data, hypothesizing, deduction, and experimental verification to find and explain empirical regularities in nature, doesn’t have the final answers to such questions as, “Can you prove the Resurrection?” or “Can you prove that Jesus is the Son of God?” When men and women rely upon the legal-historical method, they need to check out the reliability of the testimonies.

And that is exactly what Tom Anderson did. As former president of the California Trial Lawyers Association and voted by the National Law Journal as one of the top ten trial lawyers in America today, Tom accepted a challenge to “examine history or archaeology or any other discipline” in order to discredit the resurrection of Jesus. In his words: “My four month study was motivated to find a loophole, any loophole, in the truths of Christ. Finding none frightened me.“


Michael Green, principal of St. John's College, Nottingham, writes concerning the apostles, ". . . You could imprison them, flog them, kill them, but you could not make them deny their conviction that on the third day he rose again." Dr. Greenleaf wrote, "IT WAS IMPOSSIBLE that the apostles could have persisted in affirming the truths they had narrated, had not JESUS CHRIST ACTUALLY RISEN FROM THE DEAD!"

Professor Thomas Arnold, former chair of history at Oxford, and author of the famous volumes, History of Rome, was skillfully educated in the study of historical facts. Professor Arnold, stated, "I have been used for many years to study the histories of other times, and to examine and weigh the evidence of those who have written about them, and I know of no one fact in the history of mankind which is PROVED BY BETTER AND FULLER EVIDENCE of every sort, than the great sign which God has given us that Christ died and rose again from the dead."
After investigating the evidence of the resurrection, Lord Darling, former Chief Justice of England, stated, ". . . there exists such overwhelming evidence, positive and negative, factual and circumstantial, that no intelligent jury in the world could fail to bring in a verdict that the resurrection story is true."

To deny the resurrection of Jesus Christ you have to close your eyes to the overwhelming facts of history.

see also: Evidence For The Resurrection