Christians don’t believe the resurrection just because the Bible says so. We believe it because Matthew said so, Mark said so, and Luke said so. John, Peter, James, and Paul said so. And these are the manuscripts that have survived for 2000 years. Anyone who studies textual criticism will tell you, whether you are a Christian or not, that if there is this many that have survived, it represents a bulk of information that didn’t survive through the years. We are extraordinarily blessed to have this much documentation of a single event in history – not about a Caesar, not about a Roman statesmen, not about a Roman general - but around a carpenter from Nazareth. Easter is the celebration of a single event in history. And we believe that event – the resurrection of Jesus Christ – actually happened because so many people saw him alive.
What is amazing to me is that these rock star Christians I just mentioned, people we name cathedrals after and people we name our kids after, not one of them was standing outside the tomb counting down backwards waiting for Jesus to come back to life. None of them. When Jesus died, they all scattered. Read it for yourself. No one expected Jesus to come back to life. But something happened. And that means that if you are a Christian the foundation of your faith is an event in history. It’s not a feeling, it’s not a song, but it is a verifiable event in history. Men and women have experienced it and many of them paid their lives for it.
So if Jesus didn’t rise from the dead, Christianity is really meaningless. We are wasting our time. We need to disband, quit talking about Jesus, because the whole thing rises and falls not on the ministry of Jesus, not on the teachings of Jesus, not even on the death of Jesus (plenty of people have died on a cross), but on the resurrection of Jesus Christ. The whole thing is about the resurrection. You can’t embrace Christianity fully without coming to grips with this event in history. For Christ followers it is all about Easter, the best day of the year.