There had been no actual eye-witness to the Resurrection itself but for the disciples who had seen Jesus over a period of 40 days they were in no doubt. For you and I today it is perhaps the circumstantial evidence that provides even more compelling proof.
There had been no eye-witness to the Resurrection itself. No one had seen Jesus unwrap his grave clothes, fold them up, roll away the stone, and walk out of the tomb. So, if you’ve still wondering if this event could be true, you’re probably not alone.
For Christ’s disciples however, His appearances to over 500 of them during the course of several weeks proved beyond doubt to them that Jesus was alive – he had risen from the dead just as he said he would. For you and I that weren’t living at this time it’s the circumstantial evidence that provides even more compelling proof that this event happened – and has been clearly documented by historians. These are indirect facts from which the truth of a situation can be rationally drawn.
In an earlier video we saw the cowardliness of all the disciples. When the time came for Christ’s arrest, trials, torture and crucifixion they fled and were nowhere to be found. Only John made his way back to the cross to see Jesus die and hold his mother. Peter had denied Jesus not once, not twice but three times during the night. He fled in absolute anguish when he realized what he had done. All of them went into hiding. If they killed their teacher, what would they do to them? Fear gripped them.
But now, a little more than a month after Christ’s death – after several meetings with Jesus – these men were starting to get their legs under them again.
Jesus had given them a commission to go into all the world –starting in Jerusalem-- telling people what they had been a witness to. To give them the power to do this, Jesus gave them His own Spirit to indwell their human spirit. No sooner had Jesus poured out his Spirit on these disciples then they went into action. We see them leaving their trades forever so that they could spread a very specific message: Jesus was the prophesied Messiah from God, who died on the cross, was buried and rose again ---so that all of us could start over with God – so we could be reborn.
They had absolutely NOTHING to gain from going off to tell others about Jesus ------and EVERYTHING to lose. What we see in history are these very disciples going through tremendous hardships, persecutions -------and death.
While it’s true that some might die for what they sincerely believe is true (even if it is false),
it’s also true that no one dies for what they KNOW to be a lie.
What we see are 11 credible men who believed Jesus rose from the dead because they had seen him with their own eyes. We see 11 credible men who waited to receive Christ’s Spirit and from that point on were changed men. Let’s listen in to part of the sermon Peter preached immediately after receiving the gift of Christ’s spirit. <VIDEO CLIP: ACTS 2:32-39>.
Was this the same man that denied Jesus three times and fled? No – this was now Peter the Rock. Christ’s resurrection from the dead and the gift of his Spirit to Peter and the other apostles had changed them. They were now transformed men ready to serve their master.