Today, Christians around the world celebrate the resurrection of the Lord Jesus Christ. Not some symbolic concept of dying and rising; the actual, physical, bodily resurrection of the man Christ Jesus. I believe on the third day, Jesus Christ rose from the grave.
I posted yesterday regarding what is at stake if Jesus did not rise from the dead. I noted that the point was not lost on those who wished to discredit the Christian movement. I also pointed out that those who appeal to a stolen body theory argue against the weight of evidence.
Two days ago, The Guardian carried a piece outlining the historical evidence for a real historical Jesus. The piece concluded the ‘abundant historical references leave us with little reasonable doubt that Jesus lived and died’. It ended with the line ‘[t]he more interesting question – which goes beyond history and objective fact – is whether Jesus died and lived.’ The piece was quite right that the resurrection is more interesting, I’m not so convinced the answer ‘goes beyond history and objective fact’.
Ultimately, Jesus – a real, historical man who certainly lived and died – either rose again or he didn’t. There is as much an objective, factual basis to the answer as there is on his living and dying (which all agree certainly happened). Whilst we may trot out the tiresome there-is-no-objective-history line, nobody denies the existence of Caesar or that Clement Attlee’s government introduced the welfare state to Britain. Whilst there may be no objective interpretation of history, there obviously exist objective historical facts. The resurrection of Jesus falls into the latter camp. It either happened, or it didn’t. It is not a matter of subjective interpretation; it is an objective fact.
In my view, the historical evidence strongly supports a real, bodily, physical resurrection of Jesus Christ. I have written about my reasons for believing so here, here and here (see point 4). You may disagree. You may find other explanations of all the relevant, and agreed, facts (dare I say, objective facts) but please don’t pass it all off as a matter of subjective opinion. That is the one thing it cannot be.
Jesus either rose or he didn’t. The evidence either points to a real, bodily resurrection or it doesn’t. Jesus either objectively rose from the dead (so far as we can be certain about historical facts) or he objectively didn’t (such as we can be cert… well, you get the idea). If you are genuinely searching for objective truth, it most certainly is there to be found.
Whether you want it to be true or not, there is an objective answer to be known. The only matter of subjectivity is whether you choose to interpret the evidence in accord with your particular disposition. Do you so want it to not be true (or vice versa) that you determine to interpret the evidence in accord with your specific penchant.