I recently came across a very strange objection to the resurrection. It went something like this:
“Let’s say that I accept the evidence as presented in the New Testament for Jesus’ Resurrection. Why should I automatically assume that God was the cause behind it? Why not instead say that aliens with advanced technology raised Jesus from the dead?”
Needless to say, this is not something that I have really thought about before. But what could we say in response to such a claim? Here are my four reasons why God is a better candidate than aliens to explain Jesus’ Resurrection.
1. The Bible Claims that God Raised Jesus.
The earliest witnesses all agreed that God raised Jesus from the dead. Peter claims, “This Jesus God raised up, and of that we all are witnesses” (Acts 2:32). In several places Paul also claims that God raised Jesus from the dead (Romans 8:11; 10:9; 2 Corinthians 4:4; Galatians 1:1).
Jesus claimed to be God (John 10:30), predicted his resurrection (John 2:19) and believed that he had the authority to lay down his life and take it up again (John 10:17). Additionally, Peter says that David predicted the resurrection of Jesus centuries before (Acts 2:29-31) and Jesus taught that the Old Testament predicted his death and exaltation (Luke 24:25-27).
The unanimous opinion of the biblical authors and the early witnesses is that God raised Jesus from the dead.
2. There is Much Evidence that God Exists.
There are several arguments from Natural Theology that theists use to show that there is a God, such as the Kalam Cosmological Argument, the Fine-Tuning Argument, the Moral Argument and so on. In addition, there are arguments for the historical reliability of the Gospels, Old Testament prophecies, and evidence that God raised Jesus. These arguments for God and other evidences are discussed throughout this website.
3. There is Little Evidence that Aliens Exist.
But why should we think aliens exist? In order for this explanation to have merit, we need good reasons to believe that aliens exist. Of course, we must be open to examine the evidence when it is presented. However, even if aliens did exist, there are additional questions that arise.
For example, why think that aliens have any desire to raise someone from the dead? What kind of technology could actually do something like this? How did the aliens get here? And lastly, what makes aliens a better explanation than God?
4. Resurrection is Vastly Different than Typical Claims about Aliens.
What we read in the typical sighting is much different than a person being raised from the dead! The most common experience is seeing UFOs, which is obviously not even hinted at in our early sources about Jesus. We also hear of alien encounters usually including abductions, experiments, etc. Another huge difference is that these sightings usually occur quickly, not for a longer period of time like 40 days (Acts 1:3).
Nate Sala talks about aliens and UFOs in more detail here.
God Raised Jesus from the Dead
God is certainly the best candidate behind Jesus’ Resurrection. Jesus was authenticated “by God with mighty works and wonders and signs that God did through him” (Acts 2:22), including the Resurrection. After all, if God wanted to communicate to us, then performing miraculous deeds would be a great way to get our attention.
And what better way to get our attention than raising someone from the dead?