The New Testament presents overwhelming proof of the resurrection of Christ. At least seventeen appearances of Christ occurred after His resurrection…In addition to the proofs provided in His appearances, much supporting evidence can be cited. The tomb was empty after His resurrection (Matt. 28:6; Mark 16:6; Luke 24:3, 6, 12; John 20:2, 5-8). It is evident that the witnesses to the resurrection of Christ were not gullible, easily deceived people. In fact, they were slow to comprehend the evidence (John 20:9, 11-15, 25). Once convinced of the reality of His resurrection, they were willing to die for their faith in Christ. It is also evident that there was a great change in the disciples after the resurrection. Their sorrow was replaced with joy and faith.
Further, the Book of Acts testifies to the divine power of the Holy Spirit in the disciples after the resurrection of Christ, the power of the Gospel which they proclaimed, and the supporting evidence of miracles. The day of Pentecost is another important proof, as it would have been impossible to have convinced three thousand people of the resurrection of Christ who had had opportunity to examine the evidence if it were merely a fiction.
The custom of the early church to observe the first day of the week, the time to celebrate the Lord’s Supper and bring their offering, is another historic evidence (Acts 20:7; 1 Cor. 16:2). The very fact that the early church came into existence in spite of persecution and death of the apostles is left without adequate explanation if Christ did not rise from the dead. It was a literal and bodily resurrection which rendered the body of Christ suitable for its heavenly function.
At least seven important reasons may be cited for the resurrection of Christ:
1. Christ arose because of who He is (Acts 2:24)
2. Christ arose to fulfill the Davidic covenant (2 Sam. 7:12-16; Ps. 89:20-37; Isa. 9:6-7; Luke 1:31-33; Acts 2:25-31)
3. Christ arose to be the giver of resurrection life (John 10:10-11; 11:25-26; Eph. 2:6; Col. 3:1-4; 1 John 5:11-12)
4. Christ arose that He might become the source of resurrection power (Matt. 28:18; Eph. 1:19-21; Phil. 4:13)
5. Christ arose to be head over the church (Eph. 1:20-23)
6. Christ arose because our justification had been accomplished (Rom. 4:25)
7. Christ arose to be the firstfruits of resurrection (1 Cor. 15:20-23)
The resurrection of Christ because of its historical character constitutes the most important proof for the deity of Jesus Christ. Because it was a great victory over sin and death, it also is the present standard of divine power as stated in Ephesians 1:19-21…The resurrection is, therefore, the cornerstone of our Christian faith, and as Paul expressed it in 1 Corinthians 15:17, “If Christ be not raised, your faith is vain; ye are yet in your sins.” Because Christ is raised, our Christian faith is sure, the ultimate victory of Christ is certain, and our Christian faith is completely justified.
Excerpted from; Major Bible Themes – Lewis Sperry Chafer 1926
Words of Grace for Strength
How could you believe it is not true? An empty tomb that not one contemporary witness ever refuted; a Roman guard either overpowered or overwhelmed or otherwise just plain so sleepy that the entire guard slept through the theft of a body from a sealed tomb – any of those acts would have been punishable by their very deaths; scared fisherman turned into bold evangelists, most of whom died because they proclaimed Christ, and Him crucified.
Think of the power of the Spirit in the early church in the book of Acts, think of the Spirit’s power in your life and in the lives of believers around you, and around the world. Would any of that be possible by hoax, trick, ruse or mass delusion? No. You know it, we know it (and I believe that all those who oppose or ridicule or persecute us know it too, even if their hearts are hardened beyond recovery). The truth prevails. We should be no less bold than the New Testament Church in the book of Acts for we have the same Spirit indwelling us; the same power, wisdom and boldness is ours to grasp and brandish as the sword of His Word. There may be a day we face similar opposition and persecution as the Church in the book of Acts, may we face it with the same faith-driven courage. For when you think about it, ultimately we wind up in the same place as those early New Testament Saints. It would not be so strange if our journey was similar as well.
Take heart, be encouraged, for He is Risen, Indeed! Nothing else makes any sense. Nothing else warms our heart or calms our mind and soul as that knowledge. He is Risen, and He is Coming Back. Get ready, because…
Jesus is coming soon!