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What Would Convince Me That Jesus Rose From the Dead?

The central claim of Christianity is that Jesus died for our sins and was raised from the dead on the third day. I do not believe that this happened. What’s worse for Christians, who want me to accept their beliefs, is that I don’t know what it might take for me to believe that this is true.  If we started seeing people come back from the dead, after at least 72 hours, and I was to become convinced that this was also possible for a crucifixion victim almost 2000 years ago, I might be able to be convinced that Jesus came back from the dead. This is still a far cry from “Jesus died for our sins and rose again on the third day.”

I did came upon one interesting story recently about dead pigs having their brain activity restored several hours after they were pronounced dead. This is impressive stuff, and shows what scientific research can uncover. It leads me to believe that the process of death may take much longer than we may think, and we may be able to save the lives of people who have recently passed unexpectedly. I see no reason to believe that this scenario is applicable to Jesus, and that he stayed dead.

No matter how much Christians whine and plead, they really have nothing more than the say-so of first century Christians that Jesus rose from the dead. By that standard of evidence Sathya Sai Babba, an Indian Guru, was able to be in multiple places at once, and performed other great miracles.

The other fishy part of the story is that Jesus, after coming back from the dead, tells his friends, and they flies off into heaven never to be seen or heard from again (unless you believe Saul’s Damascus conversion.) It all sounds just a little too convenient for me. It’s almost as if they needed somewhere for Jesus to go, but it couldn’t be somewhere that he could ever be found. I can almost see that ideas rolling around about how to deal with this: “Just send him to outer space. Nobody can look there!” or even “He’s up in heaven, watching everyone, writing their names in the book of life.”

Christians, if you want to take the first step towards convincing me that Jesus rose from the dead you’re going to need to provide much better evidence than what you’ve got in your holy book. People believe dumb and stupid shit all the time. That largely ignorant, superstitious, peasants were convinced of something is not a good reason to believe the claim is true. That people were willing to die for what they believed is not a good reason to believe that something is actually true. You’ve got a lot of work to do.

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