If There Were No Resurrection...

Why Christians Must Believe Jesus Rose from the Dead

Beliefnet Guide to Easter

By Claudia Mair Burney

The first Resurrection Sunday was very different from our joyous Easter celebrations today. Then, most of the disciples were still in hiding because they believed if they were found they’d share the same awful fate as their Master. They had good reason to be concerned. Jesus had been beaten, humiliated, and crucified. In such a precarious position, it’s unlikely that an empty tomb, discarded burial clothes, and the word of distressed women would have been enough to persuade his closest disciples that Jesus was no longer dead.

Fortunately, Jesus kept appearing to eyewitnesses after his death: on strolls, at dinner parties, and to the women who loved him. The gospel of John tells us he slipped through locked doors to be with his fearful friends. He offered his nail-marked hands to one so skeptical he had to touch the wounds himself. Even the early church had its "doubting Thomas" moments. The apostle Paul wrote a compelling letter to some unbelieving Christians. Paul's words to them have much to teach us.

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