03
Apr
15

THE CASE FOR THE RESURRECTION

“Christ died for our sins according to the Scriptures, and that He was buried, and that He was raised on the third day according to the Scriptures…” – 1 Corinthians 15:3b-4

There is much debate in the world about the resurrection of Jesus Christ.  It is quite a remarkable claim!  However, if we cannot defend our faith of the resurrection, then the very foundation of our faith is destroyed.  After all, 1 Corinthians 15:16-17 tells us, “For if the dead are not raised, not even Christ has been raised; and if Christ has not been raised, your faith is worthless; you are still in your sins.”  This devotion will give five quick facts that support the truth that Jesus did come back from the dead.

First, His body was definitely put in a tomb.  Luke 23:50-55 detail how Joseph of Arimathea got permission from Pilate to put His body in a tomb, and that his body was seen in the tomb by women who followed Jesus.  The fact of His burial in a tomb is underscored by the fact that Jewish leaders got permission to seal the tomb and have a guard watch the tomb (Matthew 27:62-66).

Next, on Sunday morning, the body was not in the tomb.  In spite of the best combined efforts of the Roman Governor Pilate and the Jewish leaders, the tomb was empty.  Matthew 28 gives details of an violent earthquake, after which an angel appears.  Note the response of the guard.  He is so frightened that he plays possum, then later tells the Jewish leaders what happened, after which they buy him off to lie about Jesus body being stolen.

The third point is that Jesus was seen by so many after His resurrection.  He appeared to His disciples and instructed them for 40 days before His ascension.  In addition, He was seen by 500 people at one time (1 Corinthians 15:6).  According to Jewish law, the testimony of two or three witnesses was required to make a claim acceptable in the eyes of the court.  According to this account, that requirement was met more than 170 times over.

Fourth, the impact of His resurrection has had a profound effect in changing people.  After Jesus death, the disciples were distraught and seemingly listless.  After Jesus appeared to them, they were invigorated.  A man named Saul, who was an ardent Christian-killer, saw Jesus, and  was forever changed to a follower of Jesus, a preacher and a missionary.  Not to mention the billions of individuals who have be influenced by the resurrection of Jesus Christ.

Last, the resurrection is not only recorded in the Holy Bible, but is is also recorded in another historical document.  Jewish historian Josephus also records Jesus’ resurrection:  “About this time there lived Jesus…  For he was one who performed surprising deeds… He was the Christ. …Pilate had condemned him to a cross… He appeared to them (the disciples) spending a third day restored to life, for the prophets of God had foretold these things and a thousand other marvels about him” (Flavius Josephus: Antiquities of the Jews, Book 18, Chapter 3).

The fact of Jesus resurrection may sound fantastic at first, but in dying on the cross, He proved He was a man, and in raising from the dead, He proved He was God.  He is the hope of eternal life, and the first born of the resurrected dead.  Thanks be to God for His love to us!

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