From the Crossway blog:
Without the resurrection, the few billion people today who worship Jesus as God are gullible; their hope for a resurrection life after this life is the hope of silly fools who trust in a dead man to give them life. Subsequently, the doctrine of Jesus’ resurrection is, without question, profoundly significant and worthy of the most careful consideration and examination.
- Jesus’ resurrection was prophesied in advance (Isa 53:8-12).
- Jesus predicted his resurrection (Matt 12:38-40; Mark 8:31; 9:31; 10:33-34; John 2:18-22).
- Jesus died. Jesus was crucified, and a professional executioner declared him dead. To ensure he was dead, a spear was thrust through his side and a mixture of blood and water poured out of his side because the spear burst his heart sac (John 19:34-35).
- Jesus was buried in a tomb that was easy to find. Had Jesus not risen from death, it would have been easy to prove it by opening the tomb and presenting Jesus’ dead body as evidence (see pp 288).
- Jesus appeared physically, not just spiritual, alive three days after his death (Matt 28:9; John 20:17; John 20:20-28; Acts 1:3; 1 Cor 15:6).
- Jesus’ body was the same as his pre-resurrected body (Luke 24:31; John 21:7, 12; John 20:16, 20:14, 15; 21:12).
- Jesus’ resurrection was recorded as Scripture shortly after it occurred (see pp 289-290).
- Jesus’ resurrection was celebrated in the earliest church creeds (1 Cor 15:3-4).
- Jesus’ resurrection convinced his family to worship him as God (John 7:5 compared to 1 Cor 15:7; James 1:1; Acts 12:17; 15:12-21; 21:18; Gal 2:9; Acts 1:14).
- Jesus’ resurrection was confirmed by his most bitter enemies (Phil 3:4-6; Acts 7:54-60).
- Jesus’ disciples were transformed.
- Jesus’ disciples remained loyal to Jesus and endured widespread persecution and martyrdom, which would have been unthinkable had Jesus merely died and failed to rise as he promised.
- The disciples had exemplary character.
- Worship changed. The early church stopped worshiping on Saturdays as Jews had for thousands of years, and suddenly began worshiping on Sunday in memory of Jesus’ Sunday resurrection. The object of worship changed. The commandments forbid worshiping a false god . . . it is impossibly to conceive of devout Jews simply worshiping Jesus as the one true God without the proof of Jesus’ resurrection.
- Women discovered the empty tomb. Since the testimony of women was not respected in that culture, it would have been more likely for men to report discovering the empty tomb if the account was fictitious and an attempt were bring made to concoct a credible like about Jesus’ resurrection.
- The entirety of the early church preaching was centered on the historical fact of Jesus’ resurrection. If the empty tomb were not a widely accepted fact, the disciples would have reasoned with the skeptics of their day to defend the central issue of their faith. Instead, we see the debate occurring not about whether the tomb was empty, but why it was empty?
- Jesus’ tomb was not enshrined (see pp 295).
- Christianity exploded on teh earth and a few billion people today claim to be Christians.
Read this entire chapter including more on the historical evidence, the primary ancient objections to the resurrection, and what the resurrection has accomplished here.