*Why* do you believe in the Resurrection?

I once read Case for Christ and it brought me into mainstream Christianity.

It’s been years, so I don’t remember the arguments well, and honestly, I think I remember reading through all the arguments online back and forth regarding the Resurrection, and I ended up deciding that neither side was really that persuasive, but I wanted it to be true, so since the other side wasn’t too convincing I would make the leap of faith…

Fast forward to today and I’m second guessing that decision. It could be simply because I don’t remember the arguments and I need a refresher. But either way, not knowing why I believe the Resurrection (not having a reason for my faith) really makes me doubt any of it is true…and I’m increasingly uncomfortable with the idea that both sides have good arguments, and that I just arbitrarily chose a side without being TOTALLY convinced. (I was younger, what can I say, we’ve all done silly things in our past.)

I know I could go online and search out these arguments, for and against it, but I decided to start here, asking all of you, why do you believe it? I’m hoping to get some insightful responses!!

Thanks in advance.

P.S. Isn’t my name “d0ubtfire” perfect for me?? I picked it when I signed up for Catholic Answers years ago because I couldn’t think of a name and I remembered that scene from Mrs. Doubtfire where Robin Williams picks a name from two unrelated words in a newspaper. And now, if you read my other posts, you see that I’m doubting everything…this just really struck me as ironic LOL and I had to point it out!

I think your question was why do I believe in the resurrection? Did you mean the resurrection of Christ or the resurrection of the body of Christ?

I believe in the afterlife because I feel the presence of the risen Jesus and my loved ones who have gone before me. I had an experience not long ago, as well as others having it, of the presence of someone who we loved who died recently. I don’t believe life ends at the point of our death, but death is just the beginning of our eternal life in heaven.

The Resurrection is the cotter pin of the faith; without it, there is no driving power.

None of our LORD’s teachings are compelling unless they came from someone who had power over death.

And no-one would have died for His message if His body hadn’t walked out of death.

ICXC NIKA.

Why not? I think some people would die for a message of love and kindness, even if the messenger didn’t come back from death.
I think I would.
Plus, many people die for stories they think are true…but may not be.

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The fact that they saw the Risen Christ moved them to MOVE! This was not the case with them before they saw Him.

ntwrightpage.com/Wright_Jesus_Resurrection.htm

vatican.va/holy_father/john_paul_ii/audiences/alpha/data/aud19890125en.html

vatican.va/holy_father/john_paul_ii/audiences/alpha/data/aud19890201en.html

CCC 639-644

ewtn.com/library/theology/ratzbeau.htm

True knowledge is being struck by the arrow of Beauty that wounds man, moved by reality, “how it is Christ himself who is present and in an ineffable way disposes and forms the souls of men” (cf. ibid.).

Our Lady of Lourdes

Personal experience through the Holy Eucharist and prayer.

These links do much more justice to the issue at hand than I could.

Read all the studies on the Shroud of Turin, then watch as you come to the conclusion that the Shroud could not have been made by human hands. Also, there’s no way the apostles would have willingly and gladly gone to their deaths knowing full well that there was no resurrection. The apostle’s behavior would be impossible if Jesus was an ordinary man who died and stayed dead.

The resurrection of Jesus (or anybody, for that matter) is one of the most unlikely ideas in theology. On the face of it, it is* so *ridiculous that it’s a wonder anyone believes it.
Yet, here we are with billions of people in the world believing precisely that.

We have to place ourselves in the position of faith, which is the exact opposite of knowing by observation and empiricism. We believe because we believe. And not only that, we believe the writings of people who were not there and who wrote at least a generation after the events.

For what it’s worth, I think the Church places too little emphasis on the theology, implications and importance of the resurrection. It should be at the forefront of our thinking, but we are bogged down in sacraments, Mariology, ceremonies and saints. I think St Paul wrote something like “Without the resurrection, we may as well all pack up and go home” (heavily paraphrased).

There’s another compelling argument: the one which basically states that the apostles would never have died for a mere idea, without any substance or reality attached. They must have known something, seen something, to make them willing to die in really unpleasant ways. They must have seen something in those days after the crucifixion to make them believe to the point of death.
Unless, of course, they were so deluded and deceived that they did actually die for the idea of Jesus. That’s not unprecedented either.

Not trying to derail the thread, but all of those are because of the Christocentric emphasis of the Church, the focus on Christ’s life, death, and Resurrection.

If there was no resurrection, but His followers believed in one, then there was a deception.

No one unconnected with Him would have perpetrated such a deception.

And no one connected with Him would have died for it!

ICXC NIKA.

I asked the same question about six years ago. I needed to know the logic, the arguments and the proof that the Resurrection exists. I spent about two and a half years trying to absorb as much theological proofs and arguments, thinking I could know what faith asks us to believe. To tell you the truth, after weighing all the evidences, I was just as, if not more confused than when I started.

There comes a point where you just need to make the decision to believe or not believe. You cannot use proof, because we can only base our perceptions and logic upon the world around us and the Resurrection is not of this world.

When you make your decision, weigh the consequences. What is the purpose, other than biological function, is there to life should our souls not be immortal and there is a life to come.

But, should you want a logical, philosophical argument about the Resurrection, I would suggest reading the First Part of the Summa Theologica and the Supplement to the Third Part on the Resurrection. It is long and there are a few areas you can skip over like the questions on the origin of the Angels, but it lays out a good view of the Catholic ordering of the universe and how the Resurrection fits within it.

I will leave you with the motto of my religious order, the Clerics Regular Minor, Ad Majorem Resurgentis Gloriam! In modern English it carries the general meaning of For the Greater Glory of the Resurgent (Risen) Christ!

4. Nevertheless, in order that the submission of our faith should be in accordance with reason, it was God’s will that there should be linked to the internal assistance of the Holy Spirit external indications of his revelation, that is to say divine acts, and first and foremost miracles and prophecies, which clearly demonstrating as they do the omnipotence and infinite knowledge of God, are the most certain signs of revelation and are suited to the understanding of all. (Dei Filius, Chapter 3)

Well I was a history major in college, so the fact that Christianity was a historical religion intrigued me, and the historical argument for the resurrection (or even if you want to keep the supernatural out of history, then for a profound shared experience that transformed the way the disciples viewed their master’s life and death) was better than all the other explanations, if you don’t exclude supernatural explanations by fiat (I don’t see why one should).

Of course I think context matters as well, and I had to work out a prelude to faith by looking at the rational arguments for monotheism, and the historical run up to the incarnation and resurrection as a decisive miracle for revealed religion in a Jewish monotheist context. If you just come at the resurrection thinking that it’s some redux of dying and rising pagan gods (although if you examine these they really aren’t all that parallel), it won’t be all that surprising - but in the context of the Old Testament and monotheism, it was very persuasive.

I would really recommend William Lane Craig’s “Reasonable Faith”

For me it comes down to two things.

1). God can do anything

  1. the apostles scattered around the world and stuck to their stories to death. It’s not like they were in a cult group, they were on their own and separate and not one of them changed their story.

The idea of the empty tomb is really a beautiful, inspiring story. I really wish I could just embrace it again…

But I’m really not persuaded by the evidence at this time. I’m starting to fear there is nothing that is going to persuade me … which leaves me with no choice other than rejecting Catholicism or making a leap of faith and hoping the Church is right about these things…and that will be the topic of my next thread.

Thanks guys. :slight_smile:

Yes, he’s the only guy who makes a good argument!

And yes, the witness of the martyrs is the biggest point for me that makes me think it might be true…

A leap of faith is required of everybody; you are not alone.

ICXC NIKA

*"In the historical conditions in which he finds himself, however, man experiences many difficulties in coming to know God by the light of reason alone:

‘Though human reason is, strictly speaking, truly capable by its own natural power and light of attaining to a true and certain knowledge of the one personal God, who watches over and controls the world by his providence, and of the natural law written in our hearts by the Creator; yet there are many obstacles which prevent reason from the effective and fruitful use of this inborn faculty. For the truths that concern the relations between God and man wholly transcend the visible order of things, and, if they are translated into human action and influence it, they call for self-surrender and abnegation. The human mind, in its turn, is hampered in the attaining of such truths, not only by the impact of the senses and the imagination, but also by disordered appetites which are the consequences of original sin. So it happens that men in such matters easily persuade themselves that what they would not like to be true is false or at least doubtful.’ (Pius XII, Humani Generis, 561.)

This is why man stands in need of being enlightened by God’s revelation, not only about those things that exceed his understanding, but also “about those religious and moral truths which of themselves are not beyond the grasp of human reason, so that even in the present condition of the human race, they can be known by all men with ease, with firm certainty and with no admixture of error.” ( Humani Generis, 561, quoting Dei Filius Chapter 2)*

(Catechism of the Catholic Church, 37-38)

Yeah I should have mentioned the scholar’s whose work convinced me of the historicity of the resurrection. One poster mentioned the book Reasonable Faith, which is pretty good, but I really liked the work (book, debates) of this fellow:

risenjesus.com/

All those things are part of us walking by faith and living in the Spirit. I was just reflecting on the parable of the mustard seed. At first there is a very small mustard seed which grows into the largest of plants. Faith is that mustard seed, and when we have faith we begin to see other things more clearly. Like the sacraments, given to us by Jesus, Son of Man and Son of God. We see Jesus sprinkling the baptismal water on us in baptism, and giving Himself to us in communion, Mary who is Queen of heaven, the angels and saints in heaven and all the things that the apostles had revelations on that we can see for ourselves now that our faith has grown and it’s a beautiful thing…:). I don’t consider it being bogged down at all but part of letting my spirit be free!! So it’s that growing of faith that all the other things are about. The little seed of faith being only the beginning of the good things to come… Jesus was the seed who opened up the gates of heaven so we could see, all this due to the resurrection of Christ… That’s how I know it is real…

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