For Christians, the resurrection is the belief that Jesus came back to life three days after he died on the cross. The Gospel of Matthew (28:1–10) includes a detailed account of how Jesus’ followers discovered that he had been resurrected:

  • Mary Magdalene and Mary, Jesus’ mother, go to Jesus’ tomb on the Sunday after the crucifixion.
  • An angel appears like lightning and rolls away the stone covering the entrance to the tomb, causing an earthquake. The guards at the tomb are so afraid that they shake and become like dead men.
  • The angel speaks to the women, telling them that Jesus is not there, that he has risen from the dead and that he is on his way to Galilee.
  • The women rush away to tell Jesus’ disciples.
  • Jesus greets them on the way. The women clutch his feet and worship him. He tells them not to be afraid and tells his followers to go to Galilee to see him there.

Belief in the resurrection is central to Christianity. It shows that Jesus defeated death, and it is considered by many Christians to be proof of life after death. Many Christians also think of Jesus’ resurrection as evidence of God’s omnipotent and omnibenevolent nature.

In his letters to the Corinthians, St Paul aims to convince people of Jesus’ resurrection and emphasises how important this belief is. He explains that he himself saw Jesus after his resurrection, and he also tells how Jesus appeared to the apostles and over 500 other people (1 Corinthians 15:3–8).