And does it really matter? My answer to both questions is an unequivocal yes.
Maybe you agree, maybe you don’t. Here are a few things I hope will help you wrestle with those questions this Easter.
Last year I attempted to answer the second question I posed above–does it really matter what you believe about the resurrection? I think that discussion turned out to be very profitable. Please read that post as well as the comments, and contribute to the discussion if you’d like:
Michael Patton is currently writing a series entitled “Evidence of the Resurrection.” He begins:
Just as we test the historicity of any event, not through emotional conviction, but with historical evidence, I would like to devote some time to laying out a brief historical case for the Resurrection of Christ, the central issue of the Christian faith.
In a similar vein, Michael Horner wrote an article a few years ago carefully examining the evidence for the resurrection of Jesus. He notes:
The case for the historicity of the resurrection rests upon the evidence for three independently established facts. If it can be shown that the tomb of Jesus was found empty, that he did physically and bodily appear to many people after his death and that the origin of the Christian faith is inexplicable apart from his resurrection, then, if there is no plausible natural explanation that fits the data, one can rationally conclude that Jesus rose from the dead. (Read the whole thing)
Finally, here’s a short video clip of N.T. Wright asserting, “The only way you can explain the rise of the early Christian belief that Jesus was raised, is that there really was an empty tomb. They really did meet Jesus again, in a transformed body.”