We are Christians because we believe that Jesus Christ is the Son of God and proved it by rising from the dead. He is alive. He is well. He is with us, and if you and I so choose, He is within us. He left no stone unturned to prove that He was God, even when that stone was his own tombstone, and that tombstone of His turned out to be the cornerstone for your faith and mine. If He is not risen from the dead, we are all a bunch of damned fools. You are crazy for believing; and we are even more for trying to preach or to teach.
The whole Christian faith rises or falls with the Resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead.
He took back the body that He had been crucified with: and extended body with quantity, that could eat fish and leave bones as He did after the Resurrection; a body that Thomas the Apostle could take his finger and put it into the hand of the risen Lord; a body that Thomas could put his whole hand into the side of the risen Lord. Granted His body was glorified and “spiritualized”, impassible (could not suffer any more), and agile (could move with the swiftness of thought) – but it was still His Body that He had suffered with. We worship a “carnal” God, who took on the human condition and keeps it for all eternity. What a stumbling block for angels who have no carnality about them at all! Our God does! Any other kind of “Resurrection” would be just a hallucination or wishful thinking!
And what a scandal this “carnal” God must be to the Jewish faith! The great contribution of the Hebrew Scriptures to revelation is the transcendent God who pre-existed His creation. For that God to be immanent, Emmanuel (God with us) is just too much for those still looking for a Messiah.
The Resurrection of Jesus from the dead is a greater miracle that all of His other miracles put together to prove He is God, even when He raised Lazarus from the dead. Lazarus would die a second time to await the common Resurrection of us all on the last day. But once Jesus Christ rose from the dead, there is no more dying for Him. His Resurrection is a greater proof for His divinity than all the fulfillment of prophecies of the Hebrew Scriptures. Someone counted more than 120 prophecies that Jesus fulfilled from the Old Testament.
His Resurrection is a greater proof for His divinity than all of His teaching too. What teacher in the world would have the authenticity and the credibility to say in all truth; “I am the Way, the Truth, and the Life”? “I am the Life and the Resurrection”?
If any founder of a world religion would seek me as his follower, I would have to ask him to allow himself to be crucified until death and then rise from the dead three days later. That would help my discernment in choosing him.
Life here on this earth is short, compared to the “now” of eternity. That is why I will not throw my lot in with anybody in this world as my religious leader unless he lived for me, he died for me, he rose from the dead for me: and he loves me. The only one in the history of the world that fills that bill is the God revealed by Jesus Christ, crucified and risen from the dead. What a Faith!