Evangelistic Outreach Ministries

The Resurrection: A Fact or a Fable?,
By Dr. Calvin Ray Evans

Is the resurrection of Jesus Christ a fact or a fable? Is it a myth or a miracle? Is it phenomenal or phony? Is it infallible or impossible? These are questions which demand the serious examination of every intelligent person. No other question with regard to life could be more serious. Here is the key to what life is all about.

Christianity stands or falls upon the truth or fallacy of the resurrection of Jesus Christ. His resurrection was the evidence of His authority, the test of His divinity, and the completion of His work of Salvation.

Some would try to tell us that the resurrection of Christ is nothing more than a myth or a fable.

1.  The Unbelieving Skeptic would try to tell us that the resurrection of Jesus Christ is no more than a dream. Skepticism holds forth many theories to explain the empty tomb. It offers the “stolen body” theory which goes back to A.D. 29, and the “wrong tomb” theory which holds that the women who came to anoint the body of Jesus were confused as to which was the right tomb. It also advocates the “swoon theory” which holds that Jesus was only drugged and did not really die. There is also the “hallucination” theory, the “twin brother” theory and others too numerous to mention here.

2.  The Atheist who denies the very existence of God, of course also denies the resurrection of the Son of God.

3.  The Sadducee teaches that when you’re dead that’s the end of it. This philosophy says that life ends at the grave and that there is no future life. This group often questioned the Lord about the resurrection, and would not accept His teaching regarding it.

4.  The Communist would say the resurrection of Jesus Christ is only a myth. Karl Marx called religion, “the opium of the people.” I once heard a story which took place in a Russian village just after the Bolshevik revolution. The local Communist leader had been sent to tell the people about the many virtues of Communism. After he had addressed them for a long while, he turned to the local Christian pastor and said, “I’ll give you give minutes to reply.” The pastor came forth smiling and replied, “I do not need five minutes, only five seconds.” He rose to the platform and shouted, “The Lord is risen!” This is the answer Christianity has for all unbelievers and skeptics, “The Lord is risen!” Yes, the resurrection of Jesus Christ is a fact!


Check your Encyclopedia Britannica or any good source on the different founders of religion. As you read about such founders as Buddha, Confucius, and Mohammed, you’ll find out when and where they were born, something about their lives, where they died, where they were buried, and where their graves remain until this day. But when you read about Jesus Christ, you’ll find it to read something like this:

The cross was not the end of Jesus, but God rescued Him from death… The question of whether or not Jesus actually arose from the dead is a question beyond the province of the technical historian to answer either way with finality, but he can report that such was the faith of the entire early church… The writers of the New Testament nowhere made the resurrection of Christ a matter for argument, but everywhere asserted it and assumed it.

Dr. Billy Graham says, “There is more evidence that Jesus rose from the dead than there is that Julius Caesar ever lived or that Alexander the Great died at the age of 33.”

In other days two prominent members of an Infidel’s Club in London, by the names of Lyttelton and West, set out to disprove the resurrection with some other Christian truths. These two brilliant young men agreed to spend twelve months in arduous study and laborious research and then meet and compare their findings. When they met, one of the young men said, “I have studied the resurrection and I have found it to be not only a biblical truth but a historical fact. I am convinced that Christ did rise from the dead. I have accepted Him as my Saviour and from henceforth I shall be His disciple.” Both these men, who set out to disprove the resurrection of Jesus, were gloriously saved and became great witnesses for Jesus Christ. Yes, the resurrection is a historical fact.


The resurrection of Jesus Christ is also a scientific (archeological) fact. Dr. Tom Malone gives this account regarding the scientific and archeological analysis of the tomb. The city of Jerusalem has been destroyed by war more than any other city on the face of the earth. It has been destroyed so many times that its present elevation is approximately twenty feet higher than it was when Jesus walked through its streets. The tomb near Calvary and the garden were buried with debris and dirt for many, many years. The Bible says that this tomb of Joseph of Arimathea was a new tomb wherein man never lay. So no one had ever been placed in that tomb; Jesus was the first. When excavation was done and the tomb was discovered about a hundred years ago, and the complete excavation finished by General Gordon, they took part of the dirt from the tomb. The weight of all of it, and the heavy stones, had caved in one wall and dirt had filled the tomb. They have repaired it now. Scientists took this dirt out of the tomb, even scraped the stone, and subjected it to a careful chemical analysis, and they said, “No human body has ever decayed in this place. No body has ever decayed in this tomb.” So by archeological proof I know Jesus Christ arose from the dead, and I know there is no evidence to the contrary.


The resurrection is a natural fact, or a fact of nature. The Book of Job tells us this:

“For there is hope of a tree, if it be cut down, that it will sprout again, and that the tender branch thereof will not cease. Though the root thereof wax old in the earth, and the stock thereof die in the ground; yet through the scent of water it will bud, and bring forth boughs like a plant…If a man die, shall he live again? All the days of my appointed time will I wait till my change come. Thou shalt call, and I will answer thee; thou wilt have a desire to the work of thine hands” (Job 14:7-9, 14, and 15)

You may cut down a tree and the stump may look as though it is dead, but the next spring new life will begin to burst forth from the old stump and suddenly you discover it is alive after all. The Easter Lily rises from its dull drab habitat and bursts into bloom. The tender blades of grass shoot forth from the once frozen ground with new life. The greenery that speckles the hillside in the springtime reaffirms the fact that the trees are not dead. All nature rejoices! That which was apparently dead is alive again. We may not be able to explain it, but natural life all around us speaks of the resurrection.


I have read and re-read the sermons recorded in the Book of Acts. Every time I read them, I cannot help but notice the pre-eminence give to the subject of the resurrection.

When the Apostle Peter preached on The Day of Pentecost and 3,000 souls were saved, he preached about the resurrection (Acts, Chapter 2).

At the house of Cornelius, Peter preached about the resurrection (Acts 10:40-42).

The Apostle Paul preached to the Greek Philosophers at Mars’ Hill about Jesus and the resurrection (Acts 17-18). And again, when he stood before King Agrippa, he asked, “Why should it be thought a thing incredible with you, that God should raise the dead (Acts 26:8)?”

The message of the Apostle was, “He showed Himself alive…by many infallible proofs (Acts 1:3).”

You and I have a hope beyond the grave because our Saviour and Lord conquered death and came forth from the grave with the promise, “Because I live, ye shall live also (John 14:19).” In I Corinthians, Chapter 15, the Apostle Paul taught that if there be no resurrection then our preaching is in vain. Our loved ones are perished. We are false witnesses. Our faith is also in vain and we are yet in our sins. But, THANK GOD, according to the authority of this Bible, “Christ is risen from the dead, and become the firstfruits of them that slept (I Corinthians 15:20).” One day when he returns, the believer will be given a body like unto His own glorious body.


Last of all, the resurrection is an eternal fact upon which the Christian hinges his hope for all eternity.

Someone may ask, “How can a body that has decayed in the ground be raised?” Scientists have already proven that not even the tiniest trace of chemical disappear from the earth. The God who made the body in the first place can certainly bring all the original chemicals back together again, and the body will be raised to join the soul. But the new body we will have will be a glorious, incorruptible body like the body of Christ. It will be an eternal body, a body that will never know tears, tragedy, heartache, disease, suffering, sorrow, or death.

A little girl was running toward the cemetery as the darkness was beginning to fall. She passed a friend who asked her if she was afraid to pass through the graveyard at night. “Oh, no,” she replied, “I’m not afraid. My home is just on the other side!” We as Christians need not be afraid as we journey toward the cemetery because our eternal home is “just on the other side.”

Years ago a missionary returned home from Africa. His heart was stirred when he arrived at the dock to see a brass band and large crowd. But when they came on board he discovered that they were not there to meet him but to meet a noted politician who was returning home from a hunting expedition. They put the politician in a big limousine and took him through a downtown parade. The missionary went alone to a dingy little hotel room. When he arrived at his room, feeling sorry for himself, he got down on his knees and began to pray. Finally, flinging himself across the bed, he sobbed, “Lord, what kind of justice is this? The politician has been away blowing his money and having a good time, and he comes home to all of this. While for all those years I’ve burned out my life for you in the jungles and now I’ve come home to nothing.” But later as he began to wipe away the tears, he said it seemed as though he could hear the Lord speak to him and say, “Son, don’t you fret, you are not home yet.” And as we continue our journey, may we listen for the trumpet of resurrection glory to sound and look for our blessed Lord to come to take us to our ETERNAL HOME.

If you’re not a Christian in light of the fact of the resurrection may you turn today to Jesus Christ the One who said, “I am the resurrection and the life (John 11:25).” He will walk with you down every road of life. He will stand by you in the hour of death. He will keep you throughout all eternity. Receive Him and trust Him now. You’ll never regret it in this world or in the world to come.

Preachers: Print the above sermon and use it in your ministry. The Lord will get the glory. All we ask is that you pray for us, and let us know it is helpful. Please contact us and let us know of those being saved or helped. Return to our www.calvinevans.org Web site for more sermons.