With Easter just around the corner, we all are reminded once again that the resurrection of Jesus Christ was a miracle. No matter if you believe in God or not, no matter if you’re an atheist or a Christian, the account and effects of Jesus’ resurrection are truly miraculous.
Non-Christians may scoff at this claim, but let me explain. The resurrection is a miracle in one of three ways – it is either:
A biological miracle
A psychological miracle
A theological miracle
Before we continue, two quick points are necessary. First, options one and two above are purely natural-only explanations of the resurrection and therefore the definition of “miracle” in their case (a highly uncommon / out of the ordinary, but still natural occurrence) is different than the third option, where the Biblical definition of miracle applies.
Second, it is important to remember that the majority of historical scholars – Christian or non-Christian – agree with the core facts surrounding the historical account of the resurrection, which are:
Jesus was crucified and buried.
Three days after His death, His body went missing.
There were reported appearances of Jesus over the course of 40 days to both believers and unbelievers.
These individual’s lives were transformed from the appearances and they began to proclaim Christ’s resurrection even up to the point of being martyred for their proclamation.
These are the core facts of Jesus’ resurrection, and these facts are not in dispute with any educated historian, secular or religious. They hold at bay any attempt at labeling the resurrection one of pure fiction or legend, and the widely discredited attempts at linking the raising of Jesus with other supposed pagan god stories (e.g. Mithras). That being the case, let’s conduct a brief tour of each possible explanation of the resurrection and see where a philosophical appeal to the best explanation leads us.