The significance Jesus gave to his coming death can be discerned through his Eucharistic words at the Last Supper and the ransom saying of Mark 10:45, both of which have strong claims to authenticity. Together these indicate that Jesus saw his death as a sacrificial death for the sins of his people, bringing spiritual freedom through a new exodus and establishing a new covenant relationship with God.
Five points of reliable historical evidence argue against this legendary development view (a) Jesus died by crucifixion in about AD30; (b) he was buried in a tomb owned by Joseph of Arimathea; c) the tomb was discovered empty on the third day after his death. (dy many reliable witnesses then saw Jesus alive: (e) his event transformed the lives of his closest followers.
The most widely held rationalistic explanation is that the disciples had spiritual experiences — especially through visions and dreams. that convinced them that Jesus had been vindicated and exalted by God to his right hand, and that those experiences eventually developed into resurrection legends told and retold in the church.