I mentioned two weeks ago that I would share my 200 word resurrection witness (it’s actually a little shorter). I use this constantly. Often someone will ask me what apologetics is (that happens a lot). And here’s my reply:
In apologetics we provide argument and evidence for the truth of historic Christianity. For example, consider Jesus’ resurrection. We know that Jesus’ disciples walked with Jesus, talked with Jesus, and ate with Jesus—they knew who Jesus was. They were with Jesus when he was arrested and they then scattered. The Romans then scourged Jesus, drove spikes through His wrists and His feet to nail him to the cross, and thrust a spear in His side to make sure He was dead. Then they buried Jesus.
But three days later, Jesus’ tomb was found empty and the disciples started testifying that they again walked with Jesus, talked with Jesus, and ate with Jesus. And what’s really amazing is that many testified to his resurrection even to their own torture and death. We know extra-Biblically that Nero beheaded the Apostle Paul and we know from the Jewish historian Josephus that the Sanhedrin stoned to death Jesus’ brother James, who had become a leader of the Christian church.
So here’s my question: if Jesus wasn’t raised from the dead, then why would the first disciples die for what they knew was a lie?
That’s my 200 word witness. The most common reply is, “Yeah, but people die for lies all the time.” And I say, “That’s true. People do die for things they think are true that turn out to be a lie. But as I just mentioned, the first disciples were testifying to seeing Jesus raised from the dead, which, if they hadn’t seen Jesus alive would mean they were dying for what they knew was a lie. By the way, even atheist Michael Martin, in The Case Against Christianity, agreed that it ‘is correct that the Resurrection was proclaimed by the early Christians.’”  So again, if Jesus wasn’t raised from the dead, then why would the first disciples die for what they knew was a lie? I continue this discussion in my post “Did Peter and Paul Die for Their Belief that Jesus Rose?”
1 Corinthians 15:14-15: “And if Christ has not been raised, then our preaching is in vain and your faith is in vain. We are even found to be misrepresenting God, because we testified about God that he raised Christ, whom he did not raise if it is true that the dead are not raised.”
 Michael Martin, The Case Against Christianity (Philadelphia: Temple University, 1991), 90.