Did Jesus Prove His Claims?
Toward the end of Jesus’ three-year ministry, he told his disciples that he would be condemned and killed in Jerusalem. This was devastating news! The disciples had spent three years with him. They had seen his many miracles and listened to his teachings of God’s unconditional love and grace. They were stunned!
However, Jesus told them something else they didn’t fully understand. He said that after his death he would rise again. (Mark 10:33, 34)
His promise to rise from the dead put Jesus’ entire ministry on the line. If he defeated death, it would validate his claim to deity. And it would mean that everything he told us about God, himself and our purpose and destiny is true.
Bible scholar Wilbur Smith explains,
“When he said He would rise again from the dead, the third day after He was crucified, He said something that only a fool would dare say if He expected the devotion of any disciples – unless He was sure He was going to rise.”
As Jesus predicted, he was taken prisoner, condemned to death by Pontius Pilate, and crucified on a Roman cross.
After hanging on the cross for six hours, Jesus died. A Roman guard pierced his side to make sure he was dead. Then, Jesus was buried in the tomb of a wealthy member of the Jewish council, Joseph of Arimathea. Roman guards were ordered to maintain a 24-hour watch at the tomb.
Jesus’ disciples had gone into hiding, fearing they, too, would be arrested and possibly executed like Jesus.
But on the third day, Mary Magdalene and other women hurried to the disciples claiming they had seen Jesus alive! Shortly afterwards the eyewitnesses tell us that Jesus appeared alive to Peter, John, and over 500 others. The disciples were suddenly transformed.
Peter Steinfels of The New York Times writes:
“Shortly after Jesus was executed, his followers were suddenly galvanized from a baffled and cowering group into people whose message about a living Jesus and a coming kingdom, preached at the risk of their lives, eventually changed an empire. Something happened…But exactly what?” 
Click here to read page 7 of 10 about “Who is the real Jesus?”