The resurrection of Jesus Christ is one of the most significant events in human history. It is a cornerstone of Christian faith and has been debated by scholars and theologians for centuries.
As believers, we know that Jesus died on the cross for our sins, but when did he rise from the dead? This question has puzzled many people throughout the ages. Some say it happened on Easter Sunday, while others believe it occurred earlier or later.
“I am the resurrection and the life. The one who believes in me will live, even though they die” -John 11:25
Many theories have been proposed to support different dates and times. However, only by studying historical evidence and biblical accounts can we get closer to the truth about this momentous occasion.
In this blog post, we will explore various viewpoints and examine the evidence to uncover when Jesus rose from the dead. Join us as we delve into the mystery and discover the significance of this miraculous event.
The Significance of the Resurrection
The foundation of the Christian faith
When Did Jesus Rise From The Dead? According to the Bible, Jesus rose from the dead on the third day after his crucifixion which is celebrated as Easter Sunday. This event is considered the foundation of Christianity because it confirms Christ’s divinity and completes his mission of salvation for mankind.
The significance of the resurrection is that Jesus’ triumph over death proves he was more than just a human prophet but rather the Son of God. It affirms His teachings, claims, and promises including forgiveness of sins through Him alone. Paul aptly says in 1 Corinthians 15:14 “if Christ has not been raised, then our preaching is in vain and your faith is in vain.”
The triumph over death and sin
The resurrection represents Christ’s ultimate victory over physical and spiritual death. Not only did He take up His own life again, thus being the first man to be resurrected to eternal life, but also conquered sin forever by foiling Satan’s plan to hold us captive. With Christ’s resurrection, believers are justified before God; their sins forgiven, and they receive new life power.
Juan Carlos Ortiz quotes, “The central message of Christianity is not ‘God loves me,’ but ‘God loves me so much that He gave Himself for me.’” How can we doubt this great love if Jesus willingly died and rose to save us?
The promise of eternal life
Christianity offers hope beyond this life because Jesus’ resurrection makes a way for believers to share in His eternal life in heaven. As stated in John 11:25-26, “I am the resurrection and the life. Whoever believes in me, though he dies, yet shall he live, and everyone who lives and believes in me shall never die.”
Through His resurrection, Jesus conquered death and opened the doors of heaven for all believers. As Christians, we have hope because we are secure in our salvation through Christ’s death and resurrection. We know that even though our physical bodies may decay, we will be resurrected to an eternal life with God.
The hope for humanity
The resurrection offers hope to humanity through its message of redemption and promises a better future for those who believe in Jesus. It dispels the fears, doubts, and uncertainties about the unknown realm beyond this world and assures them of an unending blissful reality where there is no pain, suffering, or death.
“The Christian faith rests not so much on brilliant answers as upon unshakable trust,” said Elisabeth Elliot. To live a truly meaningful life, we must come back to the foundational proposition of the Christian faith: the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead.
The importance of the resurrection goes far beyond Easter celebrations or church traditions. It represents God’s power at work among us, allowing us to experience the fullness of His love and grace every day. We can rest in the assurance that Jesus’ Resurrection is enough evidence of his divinity and fulfilled commitment to provide salvation, empowering us to face everyday trials with hope, strength, and resilience! So when did Jesus rise again? More than two thousand years ago; just like the prophets declared many generations before it happened.
The Biblical Account of the Resurrection
When Did Jesus Rise From The Dead? According to the Bible, Jesus was crucified and buried on Friday before the Sabbath. He then rose from the dead on Sunday morning, the third day after his burial.
The discovery of the empty tomb
On Sunday morning, Mary Magdalene went to visit the tomb where Jesus had been buried and found it empty. She ran to tell Peter and John who also came to see for themselves. Finding the tomb empty, they realized that the prophecy of Jesus’ resurrection had come true.
According to the Gospel of Matthew, an angel appeared at the tomb and told the women that Jesus had risen from the dead and instructed them to tell the disciples to meet him in Galilee. This appearance further confirmed their belief that Jesus had truly risen.
The appearances of Jesus to his disciples
After the discovery of the empty tomb, Jesus appears to several of his disciples. One of these occurrences takes place when two of his followers, Cleopas and another unnamed disciple, were walking to Emmaus. On the road, Jesus joined them and talked with them, revealing himself in the breaking of bread. These witnesses recognized Jesus as being the risen Lord.
A few days later, Jesus once again appears to his apostles including Thomas. At first, Thomas does not believe that the figure before him is the resurrected Jesus until he shows him his wounded hands and side. After this verification, Thomas famously declares, “My Lord and my God” (John 20:28).
The ascension of Jesus into heaven
Jesus remained with his disciples for forty days following his resurrection teaching and encouraging them. On the fortieth day, he leads them out to the Mount of Olives, where He blesses them before being taken up into heaven.
Luke records this scene in his Gospel: “While he blessed them, he parted from them and was carried up into heaven. And they worshipped Him and returned to Jerusalem with great joy” (Luke 24:51-52). Jesus’ ascension fulfilled numerous prophecies about how he would return to Heaven after completing His earthly mission.
“Christ not only died for all, but rose again, and is waiting at the right hand of God to receive us if we come to him trusting Him as our personal Savior.” – Billy Graham
Jesus’ resurrection has been proclaimed by many eyewitnesses and transformed the lives of both those who were there that day and billions more throughout history. Though some have doubted, countless believers accept Christ’s resurrection as a historical reality and cling onto its promise of everlasting life.
Controversies Surrounding the Resurrection
The debate over the historicity of the resurrection
The resurrection of Jesus Christ is one of the most significant events in human history. However, not everyone believes that this event actually took place. The historicity of the resurrection has been a subject of intense debate for centuries.
Those who dispute the historicity of the resurrection argue that there is no evidence to support the claim that Jesus rose from the dead. They point out that there are no contemporary accounts of the event, and that the stories of the resurrection were written decades after the alleged event.
On the other hand, proponents of the historicity of the resurrection argue that there are several pieces of evidence to support their claims. They point to the empty tomb, the appearance of Jesus to his followers, and the sudden transformation of his disciples from fearful cowards to bold proclaimers of the gospel as evidence that something extraordinary must have happened.
“Some critics say you can’t know anything about Jesus because all we have is what was written about him decades after he died, presumably by people who didn’t even know him. I’ve never understood this criticism. We know quite a bit about Alexander the Great, though none of his contemporaries survives — indeed, our best sources for him are four or five biographies, written long after his death. And this doesn’t strike anyone as cause for skepticism.” -N.T. Wright
The role of faith and reason in belief of the resurrection
While evidence provides some support for the historicity of the resurrection, religious believers also rely heavily on faith to come to their conclusions. In fact, many Christians believe that faith is essential when it comes to the resurrection.
Believers often point out that the resurrection is not a scientific fact that can be proved or disproved by empirical evidence. Rather, it is an article of faith that requires personal belief and trust in the accounts given in Scripture.
Others argue that faith should not come at the expense of reason. They point out that while faith is important, it should not be used to dismiss empirical evidence or logical arguments that contradict a particular religious belief.
“Faith is not contrary to reason. It transcends reason. Faith has to do with the heart, whereas reason has to do with the mind. Spiritual things are spiritually discerned.” -R.C. Sproul
Debates over the historicity of the resurrection have been raging for centuries, with both sides presenting compelling arguments. Believers rely on faith to come to their conclusions, but this faith should not be used to dismiss legitimate questions or critical thinking.
Historical Evidence for the Resurrection
The accounts of eyewitnesses
The Gospels report that many people saw Jesus after he was resurrected. In fact, according to 1 Corinthians 15:6, over 500 people witnessed the risen Christ at one time. These witnesses included men and women, individuals and groups, believers and skeptics. The consistency across these accounts is striking:
“Mary Magdalene went to the tomb and saw that the stone had been removed from the entrance… she turned around and saw Jesus standing there… Jesus said to her, “Woman, why are you crying? Who is it you are looking for?” Thinking he was the gardener, she said, “Sir, if you have carried him away, tell me where you have put him, and I will get him.” Jesus said to her, “Mary.” She turned toward him and cried out in Aramaic, “Rabboni!” (which means “Teacher”).”
Later, two disciples met Jesus on the road to Emmaus, but initially didn’t recognize Him until He spoke with them. Then they exclaimed:
“Didn’t our hearts burn within us as he talked with us on the road and explained the Scriptures to us?” (Luke 24:32)
These consistent accounts carry considerable significant weight when considering whether or not Jesus rose from the dead.
The transformation of the disciples after the resurrection
Following Jesus’s death on the cross, his followers were understandably discouraged and confused. But something extraordinary happened after His resurrection. They went from hiding behind locked doors into bold public proclaimers of the risen Christ. This shift was so dramatic that even their enemies took note – the religious leaders who condemned Jesus noted their newfound boldness and were perplexed (Acts 4:13).
Peter, in particular, went from denying Jesus three times to proclaiming Him boldly before crowds and even the Sanhedrin. This transformation was so profound that it’s difficult to attribute it to anything other than witnessing the resurrected Christ Himself.
“‘If you’re looking for an example of someone whose life had literally turned upside down after his encounter with the risen Jesus,’ writes Lee Strobel in The Case for Easter, ‘you couldn’t do better than Peter.'”
If these accounts are accepted as historical fact, then we can rest assured knowing that our Lord did indeed rise from the dead, overcoming death and granting us everlasting life through His sacrifice.
Alternative Theories Explaining the Resurrection
The Swoon Theory
The swoon theory posits that Jesus did not actually die on the cross but merely passed out or fainted, and was later revived in the tomb. This theory has been refuted by numerous scholars who argue that Roman soldiers were experienced executioners who could determine if someone was dead or alive.
“It is impossible that a being who had stolen half-dead out of the sepulchre…who crept about weak and ill, wanting medical treatment, who required bandaging, strengthening, and indulgence, and who still at last yielded to His sufferings, could have given to the disciples the impression that He was a conqueror over death and the grave, the Prince of Life.” -David Friedrich Strauss
The Hallucination Theory
The hallucination theory suggests that the appearances of Jesus after his death were mere hallucinations by his grieving followers. However, this argument does not account for the fact that multiple people saw him at once, including over 500 people at one time according to the Bible (1 Corinthians 15:6).
“Hallucinations are individual occurrences. By their very nature only one person can see a given hallucination at a time. They certainly aren’t something which can be seen by a group of people.” -Gary Habermas
The Stolen Body Theory
The stolen body theory asserts that the disciples stole Jesus’ body from the tomb in order to perpetrate the belief that he had risen from the dead. However, this explanation fails to account for the willingness of the disciples to suffer persecution and even martyrdom for their belief in the resurrection.
“To suggest that the disciples were so determined to undergo hardship for their faith that they pinned their ultimate hopes on a man who they knew was dead – and whose body could not even be produced as proof of his resurrection – borders on the absurd.” -N.T. Wright
While there may be alternative theories attempting to explain Jesus’ resurrection, it is important to consider all evidence before drawing any conclusions.
The Implications of the Resurrection for Christians Today
The assurance of salvation
When did Jesus rise from the dead? According to the Bible, Jesus rose from the dead on the third day after his crucifixion, which is now celebrated as Easter Sunday. The resurrection of Jesus is the cornerstone of the Christian faith and has far-reaching implications for believers today.
One of the most significant implications of the resurrection is the assurance of salvation that it provides for Christians. Through his death and resurrection, Jesus made a way for us to be forgiven and reconciled to God. As the Apostle Paul wrote in 1 Corinthians 15:17, “And if Christ has not been raised, your faith is futile; you are still in your sins.” But because Jesus has risen from the dead, we can have confidence that our sins are forgiven and that we have eternal life through him.
This assurance of salvation is not based on our own good deeds or merits but solely on faith in Jesus’ work on the cross. As John 3:16 says, “For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life.” Believers can rest in this promise and find peace in knowing that they are saved by grace and not by works.
The call to live a life of faith and obedience
Another implication of the resurrection is the call to live a life of faith and obedience to Jesus. As Paul writes in Romans 6:4, “We were therefore buried with him through baptism into death in order that, just as Christ was raised from the dead through the glory of the Father, we too may live a new life.”
Believers are called to follow Jesus’ example and live a life that honours and pleases God. This includes obeying his commands, serving others, and being faithful even in the midst of trials and hardships. Jesus himself said, “If anyone would come after me, let him deny himself and take up his cross daily and follow me” (Luke 9:23).
This call to obedience is not meant to be burdensome or oppressive but rather a joyous response to what Christ has done for us. As we walk in faith and obedience, we grow closer to God and experience the abundant life that Jesus promised (John 10:10).
The hope for a future resurrection of the dead
Finally, the resurrection gives Christians hope for a future resurrection of all believers. As Paul writes in 1 Corinthians 15:20-22, “But Christ has indeed been raised from the dead, the firstfruits of those who have fallen asleep. For since death came through a man, the resurrection of the dead comes also through a man. For as in Adam all die, so in Christ all will be made alive.”
Believers can look forward to the day when Christ returns and raises the dead, giving them glorified bodies and ushering in the new heaven and earth. This hope sustains us in difficult times and reminds us that our present sufferings are temporary and insignificant compared to the glory that awaits us (Romans 8:18).
“The empty tomb stands as an eternal symbol of hope and victory over despair, depression, and gloom.” – Billy Graham
The resurrection of Jesus has significant implications for Christians today. It assures us of our salvation, calls us to live lives of faith and obedience, and gives us hope for a future resurrection. Let us then hold fast to these truths and live in light of the hope that we have in Christ.
Frequently Asked Questions
What day of the week did Jesus rise from the dead?
Jesus rose from the dead on the third day after his crucifixion, which was a Sunday, now known as Easter Sunday. This event is celebrated by Christians as the most important day in the Christian calendar.
Did anyone witness Jesus rising from the dead?
According to the Bible, several people witnessed Jesus rising from the dead, including Mary Magdalene, Mary the mother of James, and Simon Peter. Later, Jesus appeared to his disciples and more than 500 people, as documented in the New Testament.
How long after Jesus’ death did he rise from the dead?
Jesus rose from the dead three days after his crucifixion, which occurred on a Friday. This event is commemorated by Christians as Good Friday. The resurrection of Jesus is seen as a miraculous event and central to the Christian faith.
What significance does Jesus’ resurrection hold for Christians?
For Christians, the resurrection of Jesus is the ultimate proof of his divinity and the promise of eternal life for believers. It is seen as a triumph over death and sin, and a demonstration of God’s power and love for humanity. The resurrection is also a central theme in Christian theology and worship.
Are there any historical records outside of the Bible that confirm Jesus’ resurrection?
There are no independent historical records outside of the Bible that directly confirm the resurrection of Jesus. However, there are numerous early Christian writings and testimonies that attest to the event, as well as the growth and spread of the Christian faith in the centuries that followed.
After his resurrection, Jesus appeared to his disciples and taught them many things about the kingdom of God. He commissioned them to go and make disciples of all nations, and promised to be with them always. Jesus also appeared to several individuals, including Saul (who later became Paul), and gave them specific instructions for their lives and ministries.