One thing that separates Christianity from all other religions is that it is possible to validate its foundational claim. Such validation is found in the Bible, but not in the children’s song sense, “the Bible tells me so.” The validation within the Bible of Jesus’ resurrection is not that multiple people wrote about it happening. The validation is found in the parts of the Bible written before Jesus was even born, the Jewish Scriptures (aka Old Testament).
This was very important to the earliest Christians specifically because they were Jews. Orthodox Jews, today and throughout history, regard their scriptures as the very words of God. If anything deviated from the written word, it was anathema. This was one of the primary judgments of Jesus against the Jewish leaders of his time. He told them “you have a fine way of setting aside the commands of God in order to observe your own traditions.”
Jesus confirmed the importance of the written word of the Scriptures after his resurrection when he told his disciples that “everything written in the Law, the Psalms, and the Prophets was written about himself.” For starters, this is a bold claim that Jesus made. The Jewish Scriptures contained the interactions of God and humanity, especially with the Jewish nation. To make the claim that they were actually a preplanned testimony about a single person is either insane or divine, either absolutely miraculous or absolutely ridiculous.
It is as if Jesus was telling his disciples that God wrote a movie script all about his life and he played it out in real life according to the details of the script.
This was validation for what the disciples of Jesus were eyewitness of, his resurrection from the dead. I think it is safe to assume that this would be a difficult thing to accept initially. And especially after Jesus was gone, the thought of “did that really just happen” could easily play mind games with the disciples. I think this is also why Jesus, after his resurrection, wanted them to touch him for themselves and why he ate food with them on many occasions.
With the claim that Jesus made about fulfilling the Jewish Scriptures, the disciples were able to basically fact check Jesus. They were able to go back through and read for themselves the divine planning of Jesus’ life, death, and resurrection that was written before they witnessed it for themselves. This is why in their official “gospel creed” found in 1 Corinthians 15, they included “according to the Scriptures” when referring to Jesus’ death and resurrection.
We, too, have the ability to go through and see what Jesus was talking about, that the Old Testament was written hundreds of years before Jesus was born yet foretells about Jesus. For me, this gave me a newfound appreciation for the Scriptures as well as invigorated my desire to read and understand this ancient text. It also sheds light on many of the Old Testament stories and why they were preserved for thousands of years.
It is one thing to believe in Jesus and it is another thing to specifically know why your belief is true. The biggest factor that I have witnessed in a believer’s life that activates them spiritually is coming to an objective conclusion that Jesus did in fact rise from the dead. Basically, it is easier to commit to something or someone once you know for sure it is genuine.