The Truth of the Resurrection: Part 1: Convincing Evidence for the Truth above all other Truths

Andrew Fountain
Sun, 2022-04-10

Video cover image by Piqsels Open Source

  • The truth of the resurrection is at the foundation of everything we believe.
  • When we see how strongly supported this evidence is, it can be a great encouragement to our faith, our joy and our hope.
  • If you have trouble viewing this video, you can try watching it directly on Vimeo
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Sermon Slides - The Truth of the Resurrection: Part 1: Convincing Evidence for the Truth above all other Truths


To begin to see how secure our foundation truly is!

The Truth of the Resurrection

  1. The Truth that Surpasses all others in importance
  2. Jesus Really Died
  3. The Resurrection was central to Christianity, right from the start, and is for us!

1. The Truth that Surpasses all others in importance

  • Story of Gary Habermas
    • Show Video
  • Why is the Truth of the Resurrection so central?
  • A core part of every single Gospel sermon in Acts
    • The basis of the very first sermon:

Acts 3

  1. But you denied the Holy One and the Just,
    and asked for a murderer to be granted to you,
  2. and killed the Prince of life,
    whom God raised from the dead,
    of which we are witnesses.

1 Corinthians 15

  1. And if Christ has not been raised, then our preaching is futile and your faith is empty.
  2. Also, we are found to be false witnesses about God, because we have testified against God that he raised Christ from the dead, when in reality he did not raise him, if indeed the dead are not raised.
  3. For if the dead are not raised, then not even Christ has been raised.
  4. And if Christ has not been raised, your faith is useless; you are still in your sins.
  5. Furthermore, those who have fallen asleep in Christ have also perished.
  6. For if only in this life we have hope in Christ, we should be pitied more than anyone.
  7. But now Christ has been raised from the dead, the firstfruits of those who have fallen asleep.

This truth beats all other evidence

  1. Jesus claimed to be the unique son of the creator & ruler of the universe
  2. When he was killed, he was “re-created” alive again by this ruler
  3. His claim must be true
  4. Plus all his other claims, like forgiving our sins

The “Minimal Facts” Argument

  • Rather than looking at all the 100’s of pieces of evidence for the resurrection, lets take the very strongest and clearest ones
  • You can come down to just 4 or 5
  • If those are true, then the resurrection is true

Basic Provable Facts

  1. The Death of Jesus by Crucifixion
  2. After Jesus’ Death, his Disciples had Experiences that they believed were appearances of the risen Jesus
  3. An eminent scholar named Saul of Tarsus had an experience that he believed to be an appearance of the risen Jesus
  4. Early Proclamations of the Resurrection
  5. The Resurrection was the Central Proclamation of the Early Church
  • Each Fact must have Two Characteristics
  1. Fact must be supported by multiple arguments.
    • (i.e.) Criteria of Authenticity
  2. The vast majority of scholars must accept the historicity of a fact because they find its supportive arguments convincing.
    What Does it Mean for a Fact to be Well-Attested by the Vast Majority of Scholars?
    Representative pool must be ≥ 90%
  • If facts aren’t shared they are omitted
  • e.g. Fact 1: The Death of Jesus by Crucifixion
    • The Three Best Known Skeptical Religious Scholars in America
      • Bart Ehrman
      • John Dominic Crossan
      • Marcus Borg
    • all affirm Jesus’ Death by Crucifixion
  • What makes good historical evidence
  1. Multiple Independent sources
  2. Clear evidence one source did not derive from another
  3. Embarrassment
    • Peter denied Jesus 3 times
    • James, the brother of Jesus, was a skeptic
  4. Enemy Attestation
    • Roman and Jewish writers who wrote at the time about what Christians believed

2. Jesus Really Died

  • I’m giving you incredibly short summaries here, but if you are interested, see the video and audio of a course by Gary Habermas

Virtually unanimous agreement on the death of Jesus

  • 1. Bart Ehrman, book: Did Jesus Exist?: The Historical Argument for Jesus of Nazareth (2012)
  • Claims “skeptics who are NOT trained might doubt that Jesus died on the cross”
    ”It is as well established as any fact in the ancient world”
  • Lists 11 independent sources for Jesus’ death by crucifixion

The 2 other best known “anti-Christian” Biblical scholars

  1. John Dominic Crossan
    • Claims the death of Jesus is as well-established as any fact
  2. Marcus Borg
    • Claims the fact that Jesus died (as a political rebel) is well-established

Swoon Theory

  • The Romans were very proficient at killing people
  • Not a single historical example of anyone surviving
  • In fact, the opposite. A story of three friends of Josephus
  • Medical evidence is that damage is irreversible
  • Even if it were true, his appearances would be as deathly sick man

3. The Resurrection was central to Christianity, right from the start, and is for us!

Did the disciples steal the body?

  • “The main reason the majority of skeptics reject this theory is because the disciples could not have both stolen the body of Jesus and sincerely preached his message”
  • Almost all of them gave their lives for the truth of the resurrection
  • The Resurrection was at the center of their beliefs and ours
  • There is very strong evidence, that I will go into next week, that Paul visited Corinthians within 20 years of the death of Jesus


  • 30–31 A.D. Death of Jesus
  • 51–52 A.D. Paul’s first visit to Corinth
  • ~55 A.D Paul writes 1 Corinthians

Scholarship today supports that up to 90% of Jesus’ listeners were not taught to read and write

  • Disciples passed on stories and short sayings in a condensed, memorable manner

1 Timothy 3:16 Early Church “Creed”

Beyond all question, the mystery from
which true godliness springs is great:
“He appeared in the flesh,
was vindicated by the Spirit,
was seen by angels,
was preached among the nations,
was believed on in the world,
was taken up in glory.” (NIV)

2 Timothy 2:11–13

Here is a trustworthy saying:
If we died with him,
we will also live with him;
if we endure,
we will also reign with him.
If we disown him,
he will also disown us;
if we are faithless,
he remains faithful,
for he cannot disown himself.

Romans 10:9

“...That if you confess with your mouth the Lord Jesus
and believe in your heart that God has raised him from the dead,
you will be saved.”

Updated on 2022-04-10 by Andrew Fountain