The foundation rock of the Christian faith is the Resurrection of Jesus Christ. Without the Resurrection, the Christian faith is no more than a philosophy of how to live life. The Resurrection definitively places Christ as God and makes His ministry more than mere philosophy but a redemptive act. Christ’s crucifixion and sacrifice means nothing without the Resurrection. As the apostle wrote, as one dies with Christ, one will also rise with Christ. Christ’s Resurrection validates the sacrifice of the cross and glorifies Him as both man and God. It is hence a critical belief central to Christianity and without it there can be no Christianity. Please also review AIHCP’s Christian Counseling Certification
Faith and the accounts of the witnesses form the foundation for this central dogma. Unlike St Thomas who was given empirical verification, believers must rely merely on the words of witnesses found in Scripture. Faith is belief in something that cannot be verified. As Christians, we will never physically see evidence of Christ’s Resurrection, but Christians can place hope in their placed faith that the accounts are true.
Those who witnessed and wrote the stories related to the Resurrection, found in Gospels, all relate to both a Resurrection of Christ. Those who bore witness also suffered horrible martyrdom for their witness. This gives credibility to their accounts. Individuals do not tend to give their lives for a falsehood or a lie. The first generation of Christians who witnessed Christ live among them for forty days gave the ultimate sacrifice of their lives in account for this truth.
Still, later generations lived by word of mouth and faith. Christ told St Thomas, “Blessed are those who have not seen yet still believe” in regards to His Resurrection. Hence faith and this divine promise is all modern Christians have. A faith in an account handed down two thousand years ago. This is the crux of faith. Faith believes in what it cannot witness. Faith accepts mystery. Faith accepts miracles that contradict the law of nature.
For many years, unbelievers assaulted the Gospel account. They questioned if the apostles were delusional, or if the Romans had actually really crucified Jesus properly, but as time proceeded, enemies of the faith began to question the account itself as something not historical. The account was seen as something mythical or something to help one understand the nature of spiritual life and rebirth in God’s grace. This watering down of the message was popular in Modernist circles that looked to demytholize Scripture and attempt to interpret it as not a historical account. The Resurrection, according to the Modernist, could no longer be seen as historical but mythical with a deeper meaning for humanity.
Within this endeavor, the Modernists looked to weaken the historical accuracy of the account and within the Gospel of Mark claim that the Resurrection narrative was added to the account later after the original had been written. This suggested that the idea of Resurrection was something the Christians added to the story years after Christ’s death. This pure speculation fueled the Modernist attack on Scripture itself.
Whether one chooses to believe or not Jesus resurrected is one’s own decision but the attempt to divorce the Resurrection from Christianity, or to claim that the Resurrection was a mythical concept to the early Christians, or that they purposely lied about the account is a very large assumption. In essence, if one chooses to be Christian, one carries the dogmas that come with it. One cannot choose to cherry pick the numerous dogmas of the faith as if it is a buffet to pick and deny. The Resurrection is an article of faith. It cannot be proven empirically. It is mystery and goes well beyond the laws of nature. It is something who believes in Jesus Christ must accept if one wishes to bear the name Christian.
The noise of those who doubt can challenge one’s intellect. It can even at times cause doubt. It is natural to question. This is the true crux of faith in a fallen world. It is accepting the unexplainable and still choosing to accept it. One can theologically come to the conclusion of the necessity of the Resurrection, but faith itself pushes one beyond reason. Faith pushes one to accept it as historical fact.
Many individuals have faith though in supernatural things. Other faiths hold true to ideas that are also beyond reason but Christians deny. The point is there will always be debates between religions, or debates between secularists and religious, but one holds to faith regardless. This is a human phenomenon and not something to be denounced as illogical or foolish. Logic and philosophy can only go so far. To understand the deeper mysteries, empirical tools become mute. It is then up to the soul to firmly attach to an idea, such as the Resurrection, as something that occurred and was important to human history.
I do not mean to put all beliefs, simply because of faith, to be on par with Jesus’s Resurrection. As a Christian, the Resurrection is not myth or fairy tale but a true historical act. The only point is faith is something that pushes the intellect to the side and allows the soul to immerse itself in something beyond the material world and accept it with spiritual eyes. In faith, we choose to dismiss the arguments of others and hold true. This is the virtue of hope. A hope that what we believe will one day be seen.
The words of Christ again echo importantly, “Blessed are those who still believe, yet not seen”
Please also review AIHCP’s Christian Counseling Certification and see if it meets your academic and professional goals. The program is online and independent study and open to qualified professionals seeking a four year certification in Christian Counseling.
For further sources and reading
Here is a short essay and particular verses pertaining to the Resurrection in the Four Gospels. “What Are the Resurrection Narratives and Why Do They Matter?” by Aaron Massey. Click here7
“Proofs of the Resurrection” by Jack Zavada. Click here
The heretical work, “Jesus Christ and Mythology” by Rudolf Bultmann. Only read this if interested in understanding those who hope to undermine the faith not as a source of faith. Click here