I am a Christian for one simple reason: the physical resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead.
There is simply no credible alternative to the view that his grave was empty on Easter morning because of his bodily resurrection. His body wasn’t there because he wasn’t there. And he wasn’t there because he had been raised from death to life.
It’s not credible that his body was stolen by the disciples. If it had been, the disciples would know that any public story that he was raised from the dead was a lie. Now people will die for a lie they believe to be true, but they will not die for a lie they know to be a lie. Eleven of the 12 apostles died a martyr’s death, a powerful confirmation that they knew beyond any shadow of a doubt that Christ had risen from the dead.
Chuck Colson made the point once that it was Watergate that convinced him of the truth of the resurrection. What he meant by that was that a dozen highly gifted, highly educated, highly accomplished, and highly motivated men (highly motivated because to fail in the cover-up meant prison) could not conceal the truth for even a few months. Once the story began to unravel, it unraveled quickly and a bunch of people wound up behind bars.
Colson’s point was simple. If such a group of men could not perpetuate a lie to cover up a third-rate burglary, what are the chances a group of unsophisticated fishermen could conceal what would have been the greatest hoax in history?