I quickly determined that the alleged resurrection of Jesus was the key. Anyone can claim to be divine, but if Jesus backed up his claim by returning from the dead, then that was awfully good evidence he was telling the truth.
Poor Lee Strobel. He was an atheist whose agnostic wife found Jesus and became Christian. He thought he might have to get a divorce! Luckily, he instead did a whole bunch of research about Christianity and discovered it was definitely true. Marriage saved.
Here is Strobel’s response to Ricky Gervais’ Easter Message. In it, Strobel lays out the reasons why he thinks the resurrection is a historical certainty, which is basically just a list of possible alternate explanations and then him making extremely tentative cases against these suggestions.
Was Jesus’ tomb empty? Scholar William Lane Craig points out that its location was known to Christians and non-Christians alike. So if it hadn’t been empty, it would have been impossible for a movement founded on the resurrection to have exploded into existence in the same city where Jesus had been publicly executed just a few weeks before.
Besides, even Jesus’ opponents implicitly admitted the tomb was vacant by saying that his body had been stolen. But nobody had a motive for taking the body, especially the disciples. They wouldn’t have been willing to die brutal martyrs’ deaths if they knew this was all a lie.
Right. Because no one in human history has ever lied to support a passionately-held conviction. Or to solidify the legitimacy of a movement they’re a part of.
Besides, it’s much more likely that a man came back to life and then flew off into the sky, never to be seen again.