During the Easter season our thoughts turn to the resurrection of Jesus Christ. The resurrection of Jesus Christ is the most pivotal event in human history. Christianity is founded upon it and human history is divided by it. Indeed, Christianity stands or falls on its historical authenticity.
Do we as Christians ask the world to blindly embrace the reality of the resurrection? While faith is an essential component of Christianity there is a difference between faith and blind faith. We have not been left totally in the dark. The evidence for the resurrection is clearly seen in the lives of the apostles and the faith that was founded on their eyewitness accounts.
I cannot formulate, nor have I ever read, a more compelling argument for the historicity of the resurrection of Christ than that offered by Scottish theologian Dr. Principal Hill. The late Dr. D. James Kennedy in his book Why I Believe shares the following statement by Dr. Hill. Hill said, “But if notwithstanding every appearance of truth, you suppose their testimony to be false, then inexplicable circumstances of glaring absurdity crowd upon you. You must suppose that twelve men of mean birth, of no education, living in that humble station which placed ambitious views out of their reach and far from their thoughts, without any aid from the state, formed the noblest scheme which ever entered into the mind of man, adopted the most daring means of executing that scheme, and conducted it with such address as to conceal the imposture under the semblance of simplicity and virtue. You must suppose that men guilty of blasphemy and falsehood, united in an attempt the best contrived, and which has in fact proved the most successful, for making the world virtuous; that they formed this singular enterprise without seeking any advantage to themselves, with an avowed contempt of loss and profit, and with the certain expectation of scorn and persecution; that although conscious of one another’s villainy, none of them ever thought of providing for his own security by disclosing the fraud, but amidst sufferings the most grievous to flesh and blood they persevered in their conspiracy to cheat the world into piety, honesty and benevolence. Truly, they who can swallow such suppositions have no title to object to miracles.”
History is replete with accounts of martyrs from different faiths who have died for what they believed, but they died believing those things to be true. There is not a single record of anyone who died for what they knew was a lie. If the disciples stole the body of Christ and hid it to feign Christ’s resurrection, is it reasonable to believe they gave the remainder of their lives to suffer privations, persecutions and death knowing the resurrection was a lie?
This is the point that Dr. Hill makes so cogently. Ours is not a blind faith. An empty tomb gives mute testimony to the angel’s words, “He is not here, but He has risen,” Luke 24:6.