Can I get a witness?
The evidence for the resurrection of Jesus is much stronger than many people realize.
by William Lane Craig and Sean McDowell
In the 2001 film The Body, Antonio Banderas plays Father Matt Gutierrez, a Jesuit priest sent by the Vatican to investigate the alleged bones of Jesus. Despite the confidence Vatican officials express, Father Matt feels unqualified for this critical task. That’s because he realizes, if these are the bones of Christ, then Christianity is false.
The evidence presented to him, as the movie unfolds, seems overwhelming. The body was buried in a rich man’s tomb, with a spear wound in the rib cage, thorn marks on the skull, a coin dated to the governorship of Pontius Pilate, and unbroken legs – unusual for a victim of crucifixion but attested in the account of Jesus’ death.
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Matt wrestles with a crisis of faith throughout the film. Another priest, played by Derek Jacobi, doesn’t even wrestle; convinced that these are the bones of Jesus, he commits suicide. Why live when one’s entire life was spent following a false Messiah, one who did not rise again on the third day?
Matt eventually finds evidence that these are the bones of an early Christian martyr, and not those of Jesus himself. But the film highlights an interesting point: Christianity is a falsifiable religion. Christianity makes objective claims about the real world – claims that, by the evidence, can be either confirmed or disconfirmed.
If the bones of Jesus were found, then Christianity would be false. Paul said, “If Christ has not been raised, your faith is worthless; you are still in your sins” (1 Corinthians 15:17, NASB). Some religions may make untestable claims about reality, but Christianity makes claims about real events in history that can be tested. Let’s put it to the test!
Here are three facts we believe point to the reality of the resurrection…
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