Did Jesus rise from the dead?

In the Bible, Jesus predicted that He would suffer and die, sacrifice His life for our sins, and would come back to life after three days. In spite of His predictions, His closest followers ran away when He was captured and executed.

The Bible says that three days later, on a Sunday, Jesus rose from the dead. Over the next forty days the risen Jesus appeared numerous times to his followers. He talked with them and ate with them. Once, He even appeared to a group of 500 (Luke 24:36-44; John 21:1-14; 1 Corinthians 15:3-8).

You might wonder, Is this true? Did Jesus Christ really rise from the dead?

Historical records show that three days after Jesus’ death, the Roman and Jewish leaders who executed him could not find his body, so they claimed that Jesus’ followers had stolen it (Matthew 27:62-66; 28:11-15), and paid the soldiers who had been guarding Jesus’ tomb not to tell anyone about the lost body.

Because Jesus’ disciples (followers) had not understood nor believed his predictions about his death and resurrection, they weren’t expecting him to rise from the dead, so all of them ran away. Then, after his resurrection, they became bold and filled with spiritual power. They even spread the good news about Jesus’ resurrection in Jerusalem where Jesus was killed. Because the original twelve disciples were convinced that they’d seen Christ and witnessed a miracle, each of them, with the exception of John, was later killed for his faith in Christ.

One skeptic has suggested that Jesus did not really die, but that He had fainted and was placed in his tomb alive and that the cave’s cool temperatures revived him. But this is highly unlikely. Why? Because cool temperatures would not have revived Jesus’ body. Rather, hypothermia— dying from low temperatures—would have killed him.

Additionally, the Roman soldiers who nailed Jesus to the cross had crucified many people. They were experts, and unlikely to make a mistake in the execution. Also John, who recorded the story, said that when Jesus was stabbed by one of the Roman soldiers that the blood was mixed with water, a conclusive evidence of physical death (John 19:31-35).

The best explanation for all this evidence is that Jesus did indeed die, and then rise from the dead.