After his crucifixion, Jesus was buried by Joseph of Arimathea in the tomb Joseph had prepared for himself.
Joseph of Arimathea was a member of the Jewish ruling class, a Pharisee, and Scripture says he had followed Jesus secretly. He had heard Jesus and seen the miracles and he had apparently resonated with what Jesus was doing, but he had a lot at stake: he had been raised a Jew and he had a job he didn't want to lose. But something happened after the crucifixion. Maybe it was when Jesus said, "Father forgive them, they know not what they do. Whatever it was, it caused Joseph of Arimathea to risk his position and power, go to Pilate, and request Jesus' body in order to give Him a decent burial.
By doing this, Joseph did us a huge favor. Because if you're going to claim that somebody rose from the grave, you would have to know where he was buried. We know where Jesus was buried, and so did the Jewish leaders. Fearing His disciples would steal His body, they came to Pilate requesting a guard be set over the tomb. So Pilate, who had no religious affinity whatsoever, assigned sixteen Roman soldiers and set a Roman seal.
If that seal was broken, it was death to the soldiers. It was an ordinary burial. But scholar J. Robinson of Cambridge University, who spent a lifetime studying this, said the burial of Jesus is one of the earliest and best-attested facts about Jesus. We know how, when, where, and by whom He was buried.
Why Should I Believe in Jesus? - Guidelines Devotional
On the Sunday following the crucifixion, Jesus' tomb was found empty by a group of His women followers, and they were the first to testify that He had risen. A number of things point to the fact that their story was not fabricated. First, they didn't have some fantastic story to tell — just an empty tomb. Second, the testimony of women in that culture was considered worthless.
If people were going to make up a really great story, they'd use more "reliable" witnesses. Third, law enforcement officers tell us that, when all the eyewitnesses to an event tell exactly the same story, it's a sure sign that they've worked on the story together.
True eye-witness testimony varies from witness to witness, and must be pieced together to get the whole picture. What then is the picture we can piece together from their various testimonies? On multiple occasions and under various circumstances, different individuals and groups of people experienced appearances of Jesus alive from the dead.
Our whole view of history is based on eyewitnesses. We all believe that George Washington was the first president, but why? Because somebody was there. Somebody was there, wrote it down, wrote it in a history book, and we read it.
Why I Believe in Jesus
Most of us won't go back to first-source material or do tremendous research to find out if he really was the first president; we take it for granted. The same holds true for other historical figures. In Jesus' case, we see the list of eyewitnesses in 1 Corinthians What I like about that is that Thomas is included: Thomas, who wasn't there when Jesus appeared to the rest of the disciples, and said he wouldn't believe unless he had a few facts, like taking his finger and putting it into Jesus' nail-scarred hands.
I can relate to Thomas. Sometimes I stand at a funeral and I look in that hole, and But Lord, help my unbelief. Help the deepest part of me that doesn't believe, because I'm a finite, lost man with this mind that needs to be refreshed and renewed. Lord, help my unbelief. Jesus was also seen by over people at once. Everybody shared in the same experience.
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If only one person had seen Him, the person might have thought, "Hmmm. Was that really Him, or was it bad pizza the night before? Besides these five hard facts, there are some things I call ripples. Another ripple is that we had an explosion of manuscripts, not only by the Gospel writers but by others who wrote about this seismic event. We had the fall of Rome, the coming of Western civilization, and Christian thought in the Renaissance. We have hospitals, and so many things that find their way back to Jesus' philanthropy and caring for the poor and the sick.
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Now, what does all this do for you and me? Why is the certainty of the resurrection so important? Because if Jesus didn't rise from the grave, there is no Christianity. As Paul says in 1 Corinthians ," And if Christ is not risen, then our preaching is empty and your faith is also empty. We still die in the end. Quick Links:. Discover Jesus Every person has two great longings. But there is good news! Read More Many followed Jesus because of the miracles He performed. But when Jesus preached a challenging message to them, the multitudes began to leave Him.
If you turn from Jesus, where will you go? Will you turn to atheism? The intelligencia of the ages have believed in God.
Noted philosophers have stated that philosophy did not satisfy their lives or their questions. Will you turn to materialism? God made you for Himself; and even if you have material things, you will still find your heart and life empty. Will you turn to false religions? Only Jesus has the words of eternal life.
Why Believe in Jesus?
John Jesus alone is the answer. How do we know the Bible is true? He witnesses to you.