Are You Sure About Jesus?

W. Terry Varner
April 16, 2017

Most Christians take for granted the fact that Jesus Christ lived, died, and was resurrected. As Christians we never question these facts,we never challenge them? and often, sadly, we never think further on the them. We program ourselves to simply accept these vital facts about Jesus Christ as part of our belief system. That is great! Not everyone agrees.

Is There Non-biblical Evidences for the Existence of Jesus? This question may be more important and more interesting than we may first suppose. We are not asking for biblical evidence for the existence of Jesus, but for non-biblical evidence;that is, does evidence exist in the writings outside of the Bible of the time of Jesus showing Jesus lived, died, and was resurrected?

The reason this question is important is that the skeptic, cynic, and/or non-believer rejects the Bible and its message about Jesus. It does know good to quote the Bible to them if they do not accept the Bible as true. They consider the Bible as legend and filled with myths, instead of being divine revelation, and therefore not valid historically. However, if secular writings, instead of biblical writings, can be shown to prove Jesus existed, then the skeptic, cynic, and/or non-believer can no longer deny the existence of Jesus. Consider the following non-biblical historical evidence (much more could be produced):

  • The Annals of Gaius Publius Cornelius Tacitus (AD 56-120). Tacitus was a Roman Senator, governor, and historian. The Annals, his writings, bear witness to a man named Christ who existed in the Roman province of Judaea and was executed by Pontus Pilate, the procurator.
  • Flavius Josephus (AD 37-100) was a first-century Jewish historian who speaks of the existence of Jesus of Nazareth. Strangely, as a Jewish author he spoke of Jesus “the Christ.”
  • The Jewish People. The Jewish People themselves serve as a valid witnesses to the existence of Jesus. As a whole, they rejected Jesus as the Christ or the Messiah. No intelligent group of people is going to continue to spend two thousand years rejecting someone who never existed.

The historical non-biblical records bear witness that Jesus Christ of Nazareth lived and died in Judaea by execution at the hands of Pontus Pilate. Now the vital question.

Can We Prove Jesus Is the Messiah? The Jews demanded a sign (proof) that Jesus was the Messiah. He responded: “An evil and adulterous generation seeks for a sign, but no sign will be given to it except the sign of the prophet Jonah. For just as Jonah was three days and three nights in the belly of the great fish, so will the Son of Man be three days and three nights in the heart of the earth” (Matt. 12:39-40). His answer is obvious. If Jesus was resurrected as He said He would be, then He is the Messiah. If He was not resurrected, then we have one big problem. Secular proof is simple—only three groups would have found the body—But, NO ONE EVER FOUND THE BODY OF JESUS.

  • The Romans. If the Romans had His body, then they would have destroyed the Christian’s loyalty to Jesus and would have been able to show Jesus was indeed still dead. It would have resulted in the scattering of His disciples. But, the Romans never found His body.
  • The Jewish Leaders. If the Jewish leaders had His body, then they could have exposed as false His claim to be the Messiah. They had strong, revengeful, and personal motives to have had the body. But, the Jewish leaders never had His body.
  • The Christians.Have you considered how shattered the faith of His disciples would have been, if they had found His body? Why would those having a dead body of Jesus suffer persecution and death if He had never been resurrected? But, His disciples never had His body.

Since no one had His body, the only conclusion is that Jesus was raised as He said. The non-biblical proof is affirmed. Jesus is the Messiah.