But God raised [Jesus] from the dead, freeing him from the agony of death, because it was impossible for death to keep its hold on him. (Acts 2:24)
Some people claim that only the ignorant put their faith in God and believe in Christianity. From my perspective, it’s the opposite. Consider the situation: a guy named Jesus was walking the earth, claiming to be the Son of God. He had twelve followers who believed that he was a political Messiah who had come to redeem Israel from the hands of the Romans and to elevate the nation back into a place of power where it had once been. This Jesus made the religious people of the day so mad that they crucified him to get him to be quiet.
At the time of the crucifixion, his followers weren’t there trying to get him out of the trouble he was in; they were hiding in fear for their own lives. Perhaps his most committed follower, Peter, even denied knowing Jesus. What would make such a group of people believe that they had seen Jesus come back to life? What would make them move from cowering in fear to moving forward in boldness? What would change them from desiring political authority to fighting for the authority of Jesus? Furthermore, these men gave up their lives – historically, many were executed for their leadership in the church. Obviously, we have martyrs all the time, but would you be willing to be a martyr for something you knew was false? Surely the disciples knew if they saw Jesus or not.
If the story of the resurrection weren’t true, would they really have allowed themselves to be killed for it? These men put their faith in what they saw – it was an event… a resurrection. If the resurrection didn’t happen, then those who believe in Christianity are wasting their time and their lives. But if the event actually took place, then we live with a great hope. The disciples believed they saw the risen Christ, and their lives were changed. I believe they saw him, too.