People believe Jesus is alive and will never die. Has this belief any value or is it a mere opinion, desire, without any evidence supporting it? Isn't this belief a desire of it being true out of fear of dying?
Is Jesus Alive or did He die 2000 years ago?
The central tenet of Christianity is that God became a Man through the virgin birth. He was named "Jesus", meaning "God saves", because He came to save His people from their sins. He was crucified and did, in fact, die. Then, on the third day, He rose again from the dead. Now, He lives forever. Everything about Christianity--and I do mean absolutely everything--rests on the historical fact of the resurrection of Jesus. If Jesus is not risen from the dead, then Christianity would never have begun to exist.
So, yes, Jesus is alive and yes, Jesus died. Paul wrote about this in the following passage:
For I delivered to you as of first importance what I also received, that Christ died for our sins according to the Scriptures, 4 and that He was buried, and that He was raised on the third day according to the Scriptures, 5 and that He appeared to Cephas, then to the twelve. 6 After that He appeared to more than five hundred brethren at one time, most of whom remain until now, but some have fallen asleep; 7 then He appeared to James, then to all the apostles; 8 and last of all, as [d]to one untimely born, He appeared to me also. 1 Corinthians 15:3-8 NASB
Belief is certainly not a mere opinion or desire apart from any evidence. The evidence of the resurrection of Jesus is quite overwhelming and has in itself turned many skeptics into Christians.
It is critical to note that none of the followers of Jesus expected Him to rise from the dead. The morning of His resurrection, the disciples were hiding in fear, and the only people who went to the tomb were women who came to prepare the body. Everyone expected the body to still be there.
Even after hearing the testimony of all the other disciples, Thomas refused to believe unless he himself put his fingers in the nail holes in the hands of Jesus and put his own hand into the side of Jesus where the spear was thrust.
The appearances of Jesus to over 500 people was what convinced these men and women that Jesus had, in fact, risen from the dead. Theirs was not a mere opinion conjured up out of fear of death, but from seeing Jesus alive with their own eyes.
Thus, the evidence that convinced these 500 people was overwhelming evidence, indeed. This radically transformed a group of "unschooled, ordinary men" hiding in fear of death to a band of courageous men no longer afraid of dying who literally turned the world upside down in the matter of a few decades. Ten of the remaining 11 apostles suffered martyrs deaths for their teaching, and hundreds and thousands of others also died for the testimony that Jesus was risen.
The transformed lives of the disciples, the willingness of them and so many others to die for the testimony of a risen Jesus, the upheaval of the entire Roman world in a matter of decades--all of this is additional evidence that Jesus is, in fact, risen from the dead.
For the past 2000 years, this has been repeated time and time again as the message of Jesus continues to spread to the ends of the earth.
So, there is more than sufficient evidence to convince the unbiased that Jesus probably did rise from the dead. Nothing else can explain the historical rise of Christianity in the face of such immense persecution. On top of that, Jesus fulfilled a multitude of prophecies that predicted the time and events surrounding His birth, His death and His resurrection.
So, Christian faith is anything but wishful thinking or a reaction to the fear of death. It is founded upon "many convincing proofs" that God did, in fact, become a Man, was crucified, was buried, rose from the dead on the third day, and now offers forgiveness in His salvation to all those who come to Him in faith.
Yes he is alive. Yes he gave his life 2000 years ago. That is the beauty of it! There is plenty of evidence supporting this claim. The Bible is full of witnesses to his death and to his resurrection.
Evidence of his Death
These are four different accounts of the same event.
Evidence of his Resurrection or Life
These are individuals who have seen the Risen Lord. "By the voice of two or three witness, my word shall be established" (2 Cor 13:1)
- Mary Magdalene (Mark 16:9-11)
- Other Mary (Matthew 28:9-10)
- Two Apostles (Luke 24:13-35)
- Ten Apostles (John 20:24-25)
- Thomas (John 20:26-29)
I could give other recorded examples, but this will suffice.
What is Belief? Belief can be passive, merely an acceptance that something is true, while faith is active. Faith requires belief and trust.