I have come to a crossroads in my beliefs and I wanted to get your input.
I grew up in a Christian family and became a devout Christian in high school and early adulthood. However, when I went to graduate school, I came into contact with other worldviews and started to struggle with my beliefs. After years of research, I have come to a fork in the road.
After reviewing the evidence supporting the resurrection of Christ, I came to the conclusion that the resurrection is possible, but the evidence far from proves that it happened. From what I learned about reason, the more extreme the claim, the more evidence is needed to support that claim. The resurrection is a very extreme claim! Therefore, though there is evidence supporting the resurrection, it far from proves it.
I understand that just because the evidence does not prove the resurrection does not mean it did not happen. In talking with my Christian friends, they say this is where faith should come into play. I understand that faith is important. However, I am starting to wonder if I really want to believe that it happened. Why should I believe in the resurrection?
While there are many things I like about Christianity, there are a lot of things I do not like. I do not like feeling the burden that everything I do has eternal consequences, I do not like feeling obligated to read the scriptures which can be boring and fruitless. I do not like being pressured to witness to others when I do not know if I really believe it myself. I could go on. In a nutshell, I feel happier not being a devout Christian. I understand that if the Christian claims are true then I should follow them whether I like them or not. However, again I do not think the evidence proves it.
I agree with you that the claim that Christ rose from the dead is an extreme one. And yet, there is quite a bit of evidence supporting the resurrection of Christ. There are many witnesses. If there are eye witnesses to an event, even as few as two, typically that has been considered enough to conclude that an event happened. Eye witnesses do not prove that the event happened, but their (similar) testimony makes it very likely and believable to the point where something will be considered as proven beyond a reasonable doubt.
There is no physical evidence proving the resurrection of Christ, but there are many witnesses, and they left written records. The eleven disciples saw the risen Jesus and put down in print their testimony. We have letters from Matthew, John and Peter. The risen Christ also appeared to Paul who wrote several times about the appearance. From a legal and forensic point of view, the resurrection of Christ is pretty well attested. In 1 Cor. 15, Paul makes an offhand reference to 500 people having seen the risen Christ.
If Christ had not been raised, life would have no meaning at all. The Apostle Paul writes about that in 1 Cor. 15. Then, at the end, all we are is worm food. I think that is not a bad answer to your question: “Why should I believe in the resurrection?” Because we are more than worm food.
As for the burden you speak of: Christ bore every burden for us. While on the cross, in the space of time, he bore the eternal consequences of our errors and sins. He says that his burden is light. Believing in him, we need not feel burdened any longer. We need not feel guilty about our weaknesses.
I hope this will be of some help to you. If you would like to follow it up some more, I’d welcome that.