I want to ask a few questions. Is there any historical evidences that: 1. Jesus actually died on the cross 2 . The tomb (Jesus’ tomb ) was indeed empty on the third day and 3. Jesus actually resurrected from the death?
Yes, indeed, there is evidence for the first two. The evidence for your third question, in essence, is the first two. If the first two are true, then the third must be as well, as there is no other viable explanation. Let me explain:
1. There is very strong evidence that Jesus died on the cross. First there is the direct reports of Matthew, Mark, Luke and John. It is inconceivable that the gospel writers could have invented the story of the crucifixion, as those who read the gospels certainly could not be deceived about that!!! Besides, at least three non-Christians also reported the crucifixion of Jesus on the cross in Jerusalem under Pontius Pilate. The first of these was Cornelius Tacitus, the Roman Historian. Writing in the very early second century, in his history known as Annals, Tacitus wrote:
Not all the relief that could come from the man, not all the bounties that the prince could bestow, nor all the atonements which could be presented to the gods, availed to relieve Nero from the infamy of bbeing believed to have ordered the conflagration, the fire of Rome. Therefore, to squelch the rumor, Nero created scapegoats and subjected to the most refined tortures those whom the common people called ‘Christians,’ [a group] hated for their abominable crimes. Their name comes from Christ, who, during the reign of Tiberius, had been executed by the procurator Pontius Pilate. Suppressed for the moment, the deadly superstition broke out again, not only in Judea, the land which originated this evil, but also in the city of Rome, where all sorts of horrendous and shameful practices, from every part of the world converge and are fervently cultivated.
Then there is the testimony of the Jewish historian Flavius Josephus in his Antiquities of the Jews, published in AD 94:
About this time there lived Jesus, a wise man, if indeed one ought to call him a man. For he was one who wrought surprising feats and was a teacher of such people as accept the truth gladly. He won over many Jews and many of the Greeks. He was the Messiah. When Pilate, upon hearing him accused by men of the highest standing amongst us, had condemned him to be crucified, those who had in the first place come to love him did not give up their affection for him. On the third day he appeared to them restored to life, for the prophets of God had prophesied these and countless other marvelous things about him. And the tribe of Christians, so called after him, has still to this day not disappeared.
There is a problem with this passage from Antiquities, because there is some evidence from an Arab translation that parts of this passage had an interpolation (added material not in the original) from a Christian source. The added material is in italics. Here is the most likely original by Josephus, minus the interpolation (now the original of Josephus is in italics):
About this time there lived Jesus, a wise man. For he was one who wrought surprising feats and was a teacher of such people as accept the truth gladly. He won over many Jews and many of the Greeks. When Pilate, upon hearing him accused by men of the highest standing amongst us, had condemned him to be crucified, those who had in the first place come to love him did not give up their affection for him, for the prophets of God had prophesied these and countless other marvelous things about him. And the tribe of Christians, so called after him, has still to this day not disappeared.
The third non-Christian source on the crucifixion comes from the Babylonian Talmud (late first or second century AD Babylonian Sanhedrin43a-b) which was written as a direct attack on Christianity, but which nevertheless reports the crucifixion.
On the eve of the Passover they hanged Yeshu and the herald went before him for forty days saying [Yeshu] is going forth to be stoned in that he hate practiced sorcery and beguiled and led astray Israel.
On balance, one could say that the crucifixion of Jesus Christ in Jerusalem, under Pontius Pilate is one of the most well-documented events from the ancient world, and we can be extremely well assured that this did indeed happen.
2. That the tomb was indeed empty is shown by the fact that the resurrection was preached in Jerusalem just a few weeks after the crucifixion, in public, in front of thousands of people. We know this from the record of the sermon in Acts 2. That the resurrection of Jesus was preached from the very inception of the Christian movement is accepted even by the most staunch critics of Christianity. If the tomb had not been empty, then the resurrection could not have been preached, or if it had been, the body would have been produced and the Christian movement would have ended almost as soon as it started. How the tomb became empty is a thing which can be discussed, but that the tomb was empty is about as close to an established fact as we have from the ancient world.
3. Of course, your first two questions are leading to your third question! It is debatable whether there is direct evidence for the actual resurrection from non-believers, but then again, those who believe in the resurrection generally became Christians! There is the eye-witness report of more than five hundred eye-witnesses (1 Corinthians 15:3-6) So, how do we explain the death of Jesus by crucifixion at the same time that we explain the empty tomb? The answer, in short, is that the only reasonable explanation of these two facts, as surprising as it may be (given that resurrections are not normal occurances) is that Jesus was in fact raised from the dead. The only other explanations offered for the empty tomb are that the disciples stole the body or that Jesus never actually was killed. Given the more than 500 eyewitnesses to the fact that Jesus was alive after his crucifixion, and given that the disciples had no conceivable reasonable motive to steal the body, and given the fact that there was a Roman guard, the first option can be rejected easily. Given the fact that Jesus had been dead on the cross for quite a while, and given that a death on a cross is literally impossible to “fake” and given that Jesus was also stabbed in the chest cavity after his death, and given the massive stone at his tomb, the idea that Jesus did not die is simply not a reasonable explanation. I conclude that the only reasonable explanation of the empty tomb is that Jesus was indeed raised from the dead.
I give much more detail on this in my book Reasons for Belief (www.ipibooks.com) You may want to get a copy of this book. I am also attaching some notes that have additional information. Resurrection of Jesus