The Apostle Paul said, "And if Christ has not been raised, then our preaching is in vain and your faith is in vain."
Christian apologist Josh McDowell spent more than 700 hours studying the subject of the resurrection and concluded that it "is one of the most wicked, vicious, heartless hoaxes ever foisted upon the minds of men, or it is the most amazing fact of history." When a university student asked him why he was unable to refute Christianity, McDowell responded, "For a very simple reason: I am not able to explain away an event in history -- the resurrection of Jesus Christ."
The Old Testament prophets and Jesus predicted the resurrection. The resurrection was central to Christ's preaching. He said, "I am the resurrection and the life. Whoever believes in me, though he die, yet shall he live, and everyone who lives and believes in me shall never die. Do you believe this?"
Well, do you?
Many very smart people who set out to disprove Christianity, after examining the evidence, became firm believers. I offer a few highlights.
Renowned Christian apologist Dr. Norman Geisler wrote, "The documentary evidence for the reliability of the New Testament is greater than that for any other book from the ancient world." He concluded also that "highly reputable contemporary scholars date the New Testament books within the lifetime of eyewitnesses and contemporaries of the events." Classical scholar Sir Frederic Kenyon said, "The last foundation for any doubt that the Scriptures have come down to us substantially as they were written has now been removed. Both the authenticity and the general integrity of the books of the New Testament may be regarded as finally established."
In addition, secular writings of Jewish historian Josephus, Roman historians Tacitus and Suetonius, Roman author Pliny the Younger, and Greek satirist Lucian all refer to Christ.
In his book "The Resurrection: The Unopened Gift," Gerard Chrispin wrote, "There is an amazing accord between nearly all the friends and foes of Christianity, about the historical facts surrounding the life and death of Christ. ... The fact that He died and three days later the tomb was empty is what the lawyer calls common ground. ... Interestingly, one rarely meets a genuine historian who doubts the empty tomb."
Geisler said there is "more evidence Jesus died than that most important people of the ancient world ever lived."