was jesus actually raised from the dead?

"For I delivered to you as of first importance what I also received: that Christ died for our sins in accordance with the Scriptures, that he was buried, that he was raised on the third day in accordance with the Scriptures..."(1 Cor. 15:3,4)

These words, penned by the Apostle Paul in his first letter to the church in Corinth, claim that the death, burial and resurrection of Jesus are of absolute importantance. It isn't difficult for most people to acknowledge that someone named Jesus lived, died, and was buried near Jerusalem 2,000 years ago but, many people simply cannot believe that something as absurd as a resurrection of the dead took place.  

The Apostle Paul continues "... if Christ has not been raised, your faith is futile and you are still in your sins... If in Christ we have hope in this life only, we are of all people most to be pitied." (1 Cor. 15:17,19) Clearly, much more than just historical fidelity is at stake in the mind of the Apostle.  

Did Jesus really rise from the dead?

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