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home > faith > atheism/secularism > eternal life

Christianity and Eternal Life

What Is The Evidence For Life After Death?

Christians claim there is life after death. How do we know that is true? The best way would be if someone had died and then returned to tell us about it. Has this ever happened?

We could look at near death experiences. People have died and some have experienced heaven and others have experienced hell. They've then been revived and have talked about their experiences. I'd like to write about these experiences some day, but there is a better eyewitness who has died and then come back to tell us about it. Jesus Christ.

If you wish you can claim there never was a person named Jesus. You can claim that Jesus was a man, maybe a great teacher, but he was never crucified. You can claim that Jesus was crucified, but he did not rise from the dead. But in every case you'd be arguing against the evidence. You'd be trying to use a blind faith to replace hard, historical evidence.

Jesus Was A Real Person

There is more historical evidence that Jesus existed than we have for the existence of any other person in ancient times. Even atheist scholars admit that Jesus was a real person.

Jesus Was Crucified

The historical evidence is also very strong that Jesus was crucified. Again even atheist scholars admit he was crucified.

Jesus Rose From The Dead

In Jesus we have someone who lived. Who was crucified and died. There is no question that he died--the Romans were experts at crucifixion. Then he rose from the dead and for the next forty days he visited with, spoke with, eat with and interacted with people--including in one case 500 people at one time. Those people could see that he really was the Jesus who was crucified. They could see and touch the nail holes in his hands and feet, and even put their hands into the wound in his side made by the spear.

If I were starting a new religion and I wanted everyone to believe in me and follow me, I think the best thing I could do would be to fake my death and then claim I rose from the dead. Wow! That would really pack them into my churches, won't it? Why hasn't anyone done this? No one in all of history has tried this. Why?

Because faking a death and resurrection is impossible to do.

Here's what you'd have to do:

1) Fake your death in such a way that it was obvious you were dead. This would have to be done in a public manner so everyone could see that you were dead. This would have to be done in a way that resulted in death 100% of the time, so there would be no question you were dead. This should best be done in a way that involve horrible suffering, such that it was known that no sane person would willing subject himself to that kind of excruciating painful experience. A public crucifixion, including a spear thrust into your chest, meets all of these requirements.

2) Your body would have to be placed in a location where there would be no possibility of a medical team treating and reviving you. It must be a location in which no aid is possible, and in which there is nothing you could use to help yourself. The best option would be a sealed room that can't be opened from the inside, so there is no way you could get out. A good location would be a cave with only one entrance (a tomb), that is sealed by a heavy stone and watched by armed guards. And one other thing, should the guards fall asleep or somehow let you escape, they face the death penalty. (That'll keep them alert.)

3) After some time has passed you'll need someone to get rid of the guards--chase them off without harming them--open the tomb and take you out without anyone noticing. You'll then need some very sophisticated emergency care such that during the evening of that same day you can be walking around normally and join your disciples for a surprise visit in a locked room. How you get into that locked room is your problem.

This is what Jesus did. Of all the other religions in the world, no other founder of a religion has died and come back. Not Buddah. Not Mohammed. No other religion has even claimed their founder has died and come back--not thousands of years ago and not today. You can't fake this.

Last year my wife had a histerectomy. She wasn't kept up all night, beaten and dragged from place to place. She wasn't scurged with 39 lashes from a barbed whip. She wasn't nailed hand and foot and left hanging on a cross. She wasn't stabbed in the side with a spear. She wasn't put in a cold, dark cave. She had the best modern technology could give her to make her recovery as quick as possible. She was still in the hospital for three days, and in bed at home after that.

Jesus did live, die and return. He is our evidence that there is life after death. In the Bible Jesus tells about life after death, and then he showed us.

The historical evidence shows us that Jesus rose from the dead. But, this is a historical fact some chose not to believe because it requires they also accept the God of the Bible. To discuss all of the historical evidence would require writing a book. So I refer you to two excellent books:

More Than A Carpenter by Josh McDowell and The Case For Christ by Lee Strobel

Believing that there is nothing after death is a blind faith. There is no evidence on which to base that belief. The Christian belief in life after death is not blind faith, it is a faith based on historical evidence.

Next: Christianity and Creation of Life

   

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