The historical facts of Jesus’ death and empty tomb are these:
- Jesus was murdered and buried.
- Three days afterward, his body went missing.
- Accounts of Jesus’ appearance to both his disciples and unbelievers/skeptics were reported over the course of many days.
- These appearances transformed his followers and some previous skeptics into courageous preachers of Christianity, with Jesus’ resurrection becoming the central focus of their teaching.
Again, even atheist scholars acknowledge these points, such as the skeptic German historian Gerd Lüdemann who said, “It may be taken as historically certain that Peter and the disciples had experiences after Jesus’ death in which Jesus appeared to them as the risen Christ.”
The question is, what best explains these facts?