How do you know that the Titanic really sank on April 15, 1912? No one alive today was there when it sank. So does that mean it never happened? Do you have to swim to the bottom of the Atlantic Ocean to see it with your own eyes before you will believe?
Approximately 1,500 passengers drowned but 700 people survived the tragedy. Those survivors were eyewitnesses to the accident, and newspapers at that time recorded their comments about what they saw. No thinking person today questions the sinking of the Titanic because we have a record of the eyewitness reports.
How do you know that Jesus really rose from the dead two thousand years ago? Just like we know about the Titanic, through the eyewitness reports. First Corinthians 15:6-8 says, "He was raised the third day according to the Scriptures, and that He appeared to Cephas, then to the twelve. After that He appeared to more than 500 brethren at one time. . .then He also appeared to James and all the apostles. . .and He appeared to me also."
This was written by Paul, who persecuted Christians before he was stuck down on the road to Damascus. He saw a blinding light and a voice from heaven told him that he was persecuting Jesus. After this incident, he spent the rest of his life trying to convince the world that Christ was Lord and had risen from the dead. The fact that he made a 180-degree turnaround is worth noting.
The disciples were so convinced that Jesus rose from the dead they were willing to die for Him. When they were threatened with death and offered their release if they would deny Christ, they did not renounce Him. Paul was beheaded. Peter was crucified upside down. Thomas will killed with a spear. James was executed with a sword. Phillip was crucified. These eyewitnesses were so convinced that Jesus was Lord nothing could change their minds—even the threat of torture and death.
Fact: Jesus rose from the dead and is worth following for the rest of your life. Can you believe it?
Coming in April 2013: Slaying Your Giants by Kent Crockett (Hendrickson Publishers)