Easter Sunday

Apr 01, 2018

Category: Sermon


The Resurrection


Historical Facts

  • Jesus died by crucifixion.
  • Jesus was buried.
  • The tomb was empty.
  • Jesus' disciples believed that they saw Jesus risen after His crucifixion.

Creedal Statement

  • Paul’s creedal statement in 1 Corinthians 15:3-5, can be traced back to Jerusalem around AD 35. Paul received early teaching – passed on what he received.

Dating the Creed

  • AD 30 (or 33) – Christ’s death.
  • AD 32-34 – Paul encounters the risen Christ and receives a call to be an apostle to the Gentiles.
  • ca. 35 – Paul travels to the “wilderness” and then returns to Damascus (Gal. 1:16-17)
  • ca. 38 – Travels to Jerusalem to meet with Peter and James (Gal. 1:18-19)
  • AD 51 – Paul visited the church in Corinth. (Roman stone inscription found early in the 20th century at Delphi).
  • AD 55 – Paul wrote the letter to the Corinthians.

Support for the Empty Tomb

  • Jerusalem would have been the most unlikely place for the resurrection message to start and spread. The synagogue leaders or Roman officials could have just presented the body to counter the apostles claims.

Alternate Theories to the Resurrection

  • Swoon – Given what we know about the brutality of Roman crucifixions Jesus could not have survived.
  • Conspiracy – People do not sacrifice their life for what they know to be a lie.
  • Myth –Not enough time for a myth to develop.
  • Hallucination – Hallucinations are individual, short, and occur once. Hallucinations do not happen in groups. A hallucination does not explain the empty tomb.


  • The objections do not fit with the facts. However, the resurrection does.
  • Only a bias against the supernatural would rule out the resurrection as an option.
  • Evidence for the resurrection leads to the atonement, which helps to answer the deepest questions that plague the human soul.




Jarrod Birchler is a member of Cottonwood. He has a BS in Religious Studies and an MA in Public Policy from Liberty University. He also has a certificate in Christian Apologetics from Biola University and plans to finish his Masters in Divinity with a focus in apologetics from Liberty University next year.



“Thank you, Jarrod - and also Swapnil and Adam - for sharing with us today!”

             Tom, Pat, and Bob.