Just the facts on religion.

The Resurrection of Jesus Christ

A central Christian belief is the resurrection of Christ — that three days after Jesus was executed by crucifixion and buried in a stone tomb, he miraculously came back from the dead. This commemorated each spring on Easter, which features joyful hymns and readings of the resurrection story.

The resurrection of Christ is frequently mentioned in the New Testament. All four gospels include an account of the resurrection. In Acts, the central message preached by the apostles is the resurrection of Christ. In his first letter to the Corinthians, which dates to as early as 55 CE, Paul writes that the resurrection is of "first importance" and that "if Christ has not been raised, our preaching is useless and so is your faith."

According to the gospel accounts, one or more female followers of Jesus came to his tomb the Sunday morning after his death to anoint his body with spices. When they arrived, they were astonished to find the stone covering the entrance to the tomb had been rolled away, and the tomb was empty.1

Each gospel varies somewhat on what happened next, but all generally agree that the women told the other disciples and their story was not believed. But the risen Jesus later appeared to the disciples, where he passed through a locked door yet demonstrated he was not a ghost by eating and allowing himself to be touched.[^2] He made several other appearances among various groups2 before ascending into heaven3.

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Skeptical Sources

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  1. Mt 28:1-10; Mk 16:1-8; Lk 24:1-12; Jn 20:1-10. [^2]. Mk 16:14; Lk 24:36-43; Jn 20:19-31, 1 Co 15:5. 

  2. Two men on the road to Emmaus (Lk 24:13-32); to Peter in Jerusalem (Lk 24:34; 1 Co 15:5); to seven disciples fishing (Jn 21:1-23); to 11 disciples on a mountain (Mt 28:16-20; Mk 16:15-18)); to more than 500 (1 Co 15:5); to James (1 Co 15:7); at the ascension (Lk 24:44-49; Ac 1:3-8). 

  3. Mt 28:16-20; Mk 16:19-20; Lk 24:44-53.