The Resurrection of Jesus Christ
Matthew 28:6 He is not here: for he is risen, as he said. Come, see the place where the Lord lay.
The resurrection of Jesus Christ sets Christianity apart from all other religion in the world. Someone has said that the greatest miracle is the resurrection of Jesus Christ, second is the creation, and third is the crossing of the Red Sea. So many controversies in the Bible and the resurrection of our Lord, did not escape the eyes of the critics, doubters, and unbelievers. Famous lawyers, historians, scholars, crime experts, scientist, even medical doctors, have studied the facts and the evidences available. The conclusion is Christ had risen. Buddha the founder of Buddhism is dead, Brahma, the founder of Hinduism is dead, Mohammed the founder of Islam is dead, but Jesus Christ is alive.
Illustration: Which Way to Go
Dr. Seamands tells of a Muslim who became a Christian in Africa. “Some of his friends asked him, ‘Why have you become a Christian?’
He answered, ‘Well, it’s like this. Suppose you were going down the road and suddenly the road forked in two directions, and you didn’t know which way to go, and there at the fork in the road were two men, one dead and one alive—which one would you ask which way to go?’“
I. Evidence of the resurrection
1. The empty tomb. Mat. 28:6, Luke 24:3 says, And they entered in and found not the body of the body of the Lord Jesus.
2. The witness of the angels. Matthew 28:5-7. Luke 24:4-7, 23 And as they were afraid, and bowed down their faces to the earth, they said unto them, Why seek ye the living among the dead? He is not here, but is risen: remember how he spake unto you when he was yet in Galilee, Saying, The Son of man must be delivered into the hands of sinful men, and be crucified, and the third day rise again.
3. By His post appearance to first to Mary Magdalene (Mk. 16:9, Jn. 20:18), Peter (Lk. 24:34), two disciples on the road to Emmaus (Lk. 24: 13-31), to the Apostles except Thomas (Jn. 20: 19, 24), to the apostles with Thomas (Jn. 20:26). He ate and drank, showed his wounds to his disciples after His resurrection (Lk. 24:40-43, Jn. 21:12)
4. Five hundred people saw Him at one time. 1 Corinthians 15:6 After that, he was seen of above five hundred brethren at once; of whom the greater part remain unto this present, but some are fallen asleep.
5. His appearance to James. 1 Corinthians 15:7 After that, he was seen of James; then of all the apostles. This James was his brother who doesn’t believe Him at the start of His ministry. (Jn. 7:5)
6. His appearance to Saul the Christian persecutor. Acts 9:5 And he said, Who art thou, Lord? And the Lord said, I am Jesus whom thou persecutest: it is hard for thee to kick against the pricks. See also 1 Cor. 15:8. Saul became Paul, the Apostle to the Gentiles.
7. Testimony of the changed lives of millions and millions of people who come to him.
The resurrection of our Lord is the heart of Christianity, the foundation of the church. If Jesus did not rise from the grave, then our faith is wrong and we are all lost. 1 Corinthians 15:16-19 For if the dead rise not, then is not Christ raised: And if Christ be not raised, your faith is vain; ye are yet in your sins. Then they also which are fallen asleep in Christ are perished. If in this life only we have hope in Christ, we are of all men most miserable.
II. Significance of Christ’s resurrection
1. It proves that Jesus is the son of God. (Romans 1:4)
2. It guarantees our salvation (Rom. 4:25).
3. It illustrates the power of God (Eph. 1:19-20)
4. It promises our resurrection ( 1 Cor. 15:20-24)
5. It encourages us to live steadfast Christian lives (1 Cor. 15:58)
Illustration: A Sign for Unbelievers
Well over three hundred verses are concerned with the subject of Jesus’ resurrection in the New Testament. We are told that this event is a sign for unbelievers (Matt. 12:38-40, John 20:24-29) as well as the answer for the believer’s doubt (Luke 24:38-43). It serves as the guarantee that Jesus’ teachings are true (Acts 2:22-24; 1 Cor. 15:12-20) and is the center of the gospel itself (Rom. 4:24-25, 10:9; 1 Cor. 15:1-4). Further, the resurrection is the impetus for evangelism (Matt. 28:18-20; Acts 10:39-43), the key indication of the believer’s daily power to live the Christian life (Rom. 6:4-14, 8:9-11; Phil. 3:10) and the reason for the total commitment of our lives (Rom. 7:4; 1 Cor. 15:57-58). The resurrection even addresses the fear of death (John 11:25; 1 Cor. 15:54-58; cf. Heb. 2:14-15) and is related to the second coming of Jesus (Acts 1:11; Rev. 1:7). Lastly, this event is a model of the Christian’s resurrection from the dead (Acts 4:2; 1 Cor. 6:14; 1 Thess. 4:13-18) and provides a foretaste of heaven for the believer (Phil. 3:20-21; 1 Peter 1:3-5).
The resurrection is the basis in which Christianity stands or fall. Prove that the resurrection is not true and you can disregard all that is written in the Bible. However, it would be impossible to disprove the resurrection. We serve a risen Saviour and He is here today and lives in our hearts. Because He lives, we can face tomorrow without fear. Receive Him now as your Lord and Saviour. It’s the best decision you will ever make in your life.