Jesus rose from the dead. That is certainly the primary belief that propelled the spread of the Christian faith across the Roman Empire, inspiring thousands who persisted in that belief in the face of either a martyr’s death or loss of fortune or even family. Had these early Christians not believed in the resurrection of Jesus, it is almost certain that Christianity would not exist today, because it would never have existed at all.
So, why did the early disciples of Jesus Christ believe in His resurrection? Is the resurrection of Jesus historical?
When historians attempt to determine what happened in the ancient world, they must rely on what we call legal-historical proof. In the study of history and in the courtroom, we examine evidence and draw conclusions. While we can no longer cross-examine the eye witnesses who assert they saw the resurrected Christ, we can look at the character of those witnesses. Based upon the evidence that is available, we can certainly draw some reasonable conclusions.
In First Corinthians chapter 15, verses 3-7, the Apostle Paul wrote to the church at Corinth what was apparently an early creed, or statement of belief, on this very subject.