Reasons to believe
FORETOLD: First, Jesus Himself foretold His death and resurrection and His death and resurrection came about exactly as He had predicted (see Luke 18:31-33).
THE EMPTY GRAVE: Second, the resurrection is the only plausible explanation for His empty grave. A careful reading of the biblical story shows that the grave where they laid the body of Jesus was closely guarded by Roman soldiers and sealed with an enormous boulder (Matthew 27:62-66). If, as some have claimed, Jesus was not dead, but only weakened, the guards and the stone would have stopped his escape or any rescue attempt by His followers. Jesus' enemies would never have taken the body since His body missing from the grave would only serve to encourage belief in His resurrection.
PERSONAL ENCOUNTERS: Third, the resurrection is the only explanation for the appearances of Jesus Christ to His disciples. After His resurrection, Jesus appeared at least ten times to those who had known Him and at one time to as many as 500 people in one place. The Lord proved that these appearances were not hallucinations: He ate and talked with them and they touched Him. (see I John 1:1 ff)
BIRTH OF THE CHURCH: Fourth, the resurrection is the only reasonable explanation for the beginning of the Christian church. The Christian church is by far the largest institution that exists or has ever existed in the history of the world. More than half of the first sermon ever preached had to do with the resurrection (Acts 2:14-36). Obviously, the early church knew that this was the basis of its message. Just study the life and message of the Apostle Paul. The enemies of Jesus and His followers could have stopped them at any time by simply producing Jesus' body.
TRANSFORMED LIVES: Fifth, the resurrection is the only logical explanation for the transformed lives of the disciples. They deserted Him before His resurrection; after His death, they were discouraged and fearful. They did not expect Jesus to rise from the dead (Luke 24:1-11).
Yet after His resurrection and their experience at Pentecost, these same discouraged, disappointed men and women were transformed by the mighty power of the risen Christ. In His name, they turned the world upside down. Many lost their lives for their faith; others were terribly persecuted. Their courageous behavior does not make sense apart from their conviction that Jesus Christ was truly raised from the dead a fact worth dying for.
In 40 years of working with the intellectuals of the university world, Dr. Bill Bright – a deeply committed and loving follower of Jesus stated, “I have yet to meet a person who has honestly considered the overwhelming evidence proving the Deity and resurrection of Jesus of Nazareth who does not admit that He is the Son of God, the promised Messiah. While some do not believe, they are honest in confessing, »I have not taken the time to read the Bible or to consider the historical facts about Jesus.«
A LIVING LORD: Because of Jesus' resurrection, His true followers do not merely observe the ethical code of a dead founder, but rather have a vital, personal relationship with the living Lord. Jesus Christ lives today and faithfully blesses and enriches the lives of all those who trust and obey Him. Throughout the centuries, multitudes have acknowledged the worthiness of Jesus Christ, including many who have greatly influenced the world, such as William Wilberforce, Abraham Lincoln, Martin Luther King, and Mother Teresa, who have all fought slavery in some manner.
French physicist and philosopher Blaise Pascal spoke of man's need for Jesus when he said, »There is a God-shaped vacuum in the heart of every man, which only God can fill through His Son Jesus Christ.«
Do you sense that vacuum in your own heart? Would you like to know Jesus Christ personally as your living Savior? As bold as it may sound, you can! Jesus is so eager to establish a personal, loving relationship with you that He has already made all the necessary arrangements. You can know for sure you are going to heaven when you die!
If you want, you can do your own exploratory study.
However, whatever you do, remember that if you do not make a decision to receive Christ as Savior, and increasingly follow Him as Lord, then your ‘decision’ sends you to eternal hell (II Thess. 1:8-10). God leaves the choice to you. What is your decision regarding His clear claims?