I’ve been writing about the resurrection of Yeshua, a reaction to “The Lost Tomb of Jesus” documentary that aired on Discover Channel a few weeks ago. Here is a short outline of a case for the resurrection. I will add some details in upcoming posts.
Executed in Humiliation; Raised in Vindication
About the year 30 C.E. a movement arose in Judea of followers of Yeshua who claimed that he had risen from the dead. Their claim was tantamount to saying that the Age to Come had broken in on the present age. Their claim was of a bodily return from death into a new state of life. They had two kinds of evidence for their claim: an empty tomb and a series of appearances by Yeshua after his death. They claimed that Yeshua ascended bodily into heaven and was seated next to the God of Israel. Ever since that time, some have believed and some have not believed.
The Case for Yeshua’s Resurrection in Brief
I. The Gospels are Credible Accounts.
a. They are not late documents.
b. They are not fabricated reminiscences.
c. They are not pious fiction.
II. The Belief in Yeshua’s Resurrection is a Distinctly Jewish Hope.
a. Old paganism believed in a mindless half-existence in a dark underworld.
b. Platonism introduced an immaterial afterlife with reward and punishment.
c. Old Hebrew theology was unsure but hinted of a continuing life with God.
d. Later Jewish theology, current in Yeshua’s time, indicated a bodily return to life after a period of being dead.
e. Resurrection is a term used only to describe the later Jewish belief.
III. The Resurrection of the Messiah was not an Expected Event.
a. Something like resurrection is implied in some Messianic texts.
b. Nonetheless, the disciples did not expect Yeshua to be resurrected.
i. The Jewish hope was for all Israel, not one individual to be resurrected.
ii. The Jewish hope was for the end of the age, not in the middle of history.
IV. Yeshua’s Death Defeated the Disciples’ Faith.
V. Yeshua’s Resurrection Gave the Disciples a New Power Unexplainable Any Other Way.
VI. Yeshua’s Resurrection is not Explainable by Natural Means.
a. He was not merely comatose.
b. It was not a conspiracy.
c. It was not a hallucination.
d. It was not the desperate hope of a defeated movement.
VII. Yeshua’s Resurrection Vindicates His Messianic Claim.