And behold, there was a great earthquake; for an angel of the Lord descended from heaven, and came and rolled back the stone from the door, and sat on it.
His countenance was like lightning and his clothing as white as snow.
And the guards shook for fear of him, and became like dead men.
But the angel answered and said to the women, ‘Do not be afraid; for I know that you seek Jesus who was crucified.
He is not here; for He has risen, just as he said. Come, see the place where the Lord lay.” Matthew 28:1-6
“The New Testament reverberates and glistens with the reality of Jesus’ resurrection. The Gospels record Jesus’ teaching that he must be betrayed, killed, and rise again. Then they all testify that his tomb was empty and that he appeared to his disciples as he said. The book of Acts records the preaching of the resurrected Christ as its central fact. The various New Testament letters and the book of Revelation would melt into nothingness without a resurrected Jesus. The resurrection is attested to by four separate Gospels, the history of the early church (Acts), by the letters of Paul, Peter, John, James, Jude, and the letter to the Hebrews. There is a diversity of credible witnesses. Since the New Testament volumes show considerable fitness in terms of historical reliability…this is a good initial reason to accept the resurrection as an objective reality.” Douglas Groothuis, Jesus in an Age of Controversy
“It is difficult to exaggerate what a devastating effect the crucifixion must have had on the disciples. They had no conception of a dying, much less a rising, Messiah, for the Messiah would reign forever (cf. John 12:34). Without prior belief in the resurrection, belief in Jesus as Messiah would have been impossible in light of his death. The resurrection turned catastrophe into victory. Because God raised Jesus from the dead, he could be proclaimed as Messiah after all (Acts 2:32, 36). Similarly for the significance of the cross—it was his resurrection that enabled Jesus’ shameful death to be interpreted in salvific terms. Without it, Jesus’ death would have meant only humiliation and accursedness by God; but in view of the resurrection it could be seen to be the event by which forgiveness of sins was obtained. Without the resurrection, the Christian Way could never have come into being. Even if the disciples had continued to remember Jesus as their beloved teacher, they could not have believed in him as Messiah, much less deity.” William Lane Craig, Did Jesus Rise from the Dead
“The resurrection of Christ has categorically always been the central tenet of the church.” Josh McDowell, The New Evidence That Demands a Verdict
“Faith in the resurrection is the very keystone of the arch of Christian faith, and, when it is removed, all must inevitably crumble into ruin.” H. P. Liddon
“If the Resurrection is not historic fact, then the power of death remains unbroken, and with it the effect of sin; and the significance of Christ’s death remains uncertified, and accordingly believers are yet in their sins, precisely where they were before they heard of Jesus’ name.” W. J. Sparrow Simpson
Editor’s Note: Quotes found in Josh McDowell’s great work The New Evidence That Demands a Verdict…