(For the sake of brevity-I have a tendency to ramble-I’m going to borrow heavily from Peter Kreeft’s "Handbook of Christian Apologetics, chapter 8 titled “The Resurrection”. He makes very salient points essential to this demonstration).
"This issue, the Resurrection, is the “Good News” that we call the Gospel. It is not “love thy neighbor”; every morally sane person already knew that. It’s not even “God is love”, even though that is a very profound revealed truth. The Gospel is that a man who claimed to be the Son of God and the Savior of the world had risen from the dead.
When Paul preached to the Greek philosophers in Athens they thought that he was preaching two new gods, Jesus and Anastasis(Greek for “resurrection”; Acts 17:18)-that’s how important the resurrection was(and how muddled the philosophers and scholars were. Nothing changes.)"
Modernist and demythologizing scholars and philosophers for a while now have spent much time and energy trashing the Bible and the accounts of miracles in the Bible. I think that much of this trend is a reactionary movement spawned from the opposite extreme of many fundamentalists The common mistake made by both extremes is that they use special standards to judge the Bible, standards that are not used to judge other books.
The challenge is this: If it can be proved that Jesus really rose from the dead, not only would we believe in Him, but aren’t we objectively obligated to believe in not only Him, but in Christianity as a whole and not just what we want to believe? For if He really rose from the dead, that validates His claim to be divine and not merely human, for resurrection from death is beyond human power; and his divinity validates the truth of everything else He said, for God cannot lie.
“Rudolf Bultmann said that ,“if the bones of Jesus were found tomorrow, all the essentials of Christianity would remain unchanged.” Paul disagreed. He said that “if Christ has not been raised, then 1) our proclamation has been in vain & 2) your faith has been in vain. 3)We are even found to be misrepresenting God, because we testified of God that he raised Christ-whom He did not raise if it is true that the dead are not raised…4)If Christ has not been raised, your faith is futile, 5) you are still in your sins. 6)Then those who have died in Christ have perished. 7) If for this life only we have hoped in Christ, we are of all people most to be pitied.”(1 Cor 15:14-19)”
“Now who is more likely to know what Christianity is, what its essentials are and whether these essentials would remain unchanged if Christ’s corpse were to turn up tomorrow, the apostle or the skeptic(or subjectivist)? One of the religion’s first-century founders or one of it’s twentieth-century subverters?”
A Jew who knew Christ, or a subject who knew an “experience”?
“The Resurrection is of crucial practical importance because it completes our salvation. Jesus came to save us from sin and it’s consequence, death(Rom 6:23). It distinguished Jesus from all other religious founders. The bones of Abraham and Mohammed and Buddha and Confucius and Lao-tzu and Zoroaster are all still on earth. Jesus’ tomb is empty.”
“The existential consequences of the resurrection are incomparable. It is the concrete, factual, empirical proof that: life has hope and meaning; “love is stronger than death”; goodness and power are ultimately allies, no enemies; life wins in the end; God has touched us right here where we are and has defeated our last enemy; we are not cosmic orphans, as our modern secular worldview would make us. And these existential consequences of the resurrection can be seem by comparing the disciples before and after. Before, they ran away, denied their Master and huddled behind locked doors in fear and confusion. After, they were transformed from scared rabbits into confident saints, world-changing missionaries, courageous martyrs and joy-filled touring ambassadors for Christ.”
What does it mean to believe that Jesus rose from the dead? For one it means that those who follow Him will do the same(see 1 Cor 15:12-23).
The best description we know of comes from C.S. Lewis:
The picture is not what we expected…It is not the picture of an escape from any abd every kind of Nature into some unconditioned and utterly transcendent life. It is the picture of a new human nature, and a new Nature in general, being brought into existence…That is the picture-not of unmaking but of remaking. The old field of space, time, matter, and the senses is to be weeded, dug, and sown for a new crop. We may be tired of that old field; God is not…A new Nature is being not merely made but made out of an old one. We live among all the anomalies, inconveniences, hopes, and excitements of a house that is being rebuilt. Something is being pulled down and something is going up in its place.
It is at this point that awe and trembling fall upon us and we read the records. If the story is false, it is at least a much stranger story than expected, something for which philosophical “religion.” physical research, and popular superstition have all alike failed to prepare us. If the story is true, then a whole new mode of being has arisen in the universe."-(Miracles, chp. 16)