Question: What does the Bible say about Jesus Christ’s resurrection?
Answer: It is neat that you asked this question about Christ’s resurrection, because we had just put on the web site these two new articles on the resurrection: Four in One Gospel Part Two on the Resurrection of Jesus Christ, and I dare you to disprove the resurrection of Jesus Christ. I would suggest that you go to these articles for more detail on this subject. Here I will just give a short summary of those articles.
I really believe that when people stand before God they will have no excuse for not believing in Jesus as Lord and Savior of the World. That is because of the resurrection of Jesus Christ. If Jesus did not rise from the dead where did the Christian Church come from? Before the crucifixion the disciples all ran away with the exception of John and the women. But after the resurrection the disciples were extremely bold and went everywhere preaching that Christ has risen bodily from the dead. What changed them from cowards to lions of the Faith, if it is not because of the resurrections of Jesus Christ from the dead? These men, with the exception of John, died as martyrs for the Faith, if the message they preached was not true, why would they have died for it? (By the way, these arguments are found in the book: Know Why You Believe by Paul E. Little.)
Why do we have Sunday as the main day of worship for the Christian Church if it is not for the resurrection of Jesus Christ? How did this happen since the Jews worship on Saturday the seventh day of the week? The disciples started worshipping on Sunday, the early church fathers said, to celebrate the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead. If He did not rise from the dead there would have been no reason for celebration!
The religious leaders tried to stop the apostles of Christ from preaching that Jesus was raised from the dead. If Jesus was not raised they had an easy solution to their problem, they could have gone and got Jesus body and paraded it down the street and stopped the message of the resurrection. The very fact that they did not do this, shows that they did not have Jesus body any longer in the tomb.
The religious leaders said that during the night Jesus’ disciples came and stole the body. They even paid the guards to say this, and many Jews believe that to this day. “Now after the Sabbath, as the first day of the week began to dawn, Mary Magdalene and the other Mary came to see the tomb. And behold, there was a great earthquake; for an angel of the Lord descended from heaven, and came and rolled back the stone from the door, and sat on it. His countenance was like lightning, and his clothing as white as snow.
And the guards shook for fear of him, and became like dead men. But the angel answered and said to the women, ‘Do not be afraid, for I know that you seek Jesus who was crucified. He is not here; for He is risen, as He said. Come, see the place where the Lord lay. And go quickly and tell His disciples that He is risen form the dead, and indeed He is going before you into Galilee; there you will see Him. Behold, I have told you.’
So they went out quickly from the tomb with fear and great joy, and ran to bring His disciples word. And as they went to tell His disciples, behold, Jesus met them, saying “Rejoice!” So they came and held Him by the feet and worshiped Him. Then Jesus said to them, “Do not be afraid. Go and tell My brethren to go to Galilee, and there they will see Me.” Now while they were going, behold, some of the guard came into the city and reported to the chief priests all the things that had happened.
When they had assembled with the elders and consulted together, they gave a large sum of money to the soldiers, saying, ‘Tell them, ‘His disciples came at night and stole Him away while we slept.’ ‘And if this comes to the governor’s ears, we will appease him and make you secure.’ So they took the money and did as they were instructed; and this saying is commonly reported among the Jews until this day.” (Matthew 28:1-15)
Let us think about how ridiculous this argument is. First, they had put guards there, how did the disciples overpower them, and take the body? If the disciples had done this would they still go out and die for their dead Jesus. Secondly, would this argument really hold up in a law court today? What if you told the judge, during the night I know my neighbor stole my television set. The judge would say, “Did you see them do it, or do you have a witness?” Then you answer, “No, your honor, I was sleeping.” The judge would say to you, “What kind of an argument is that?!” Then you would be laughed out of court, but this is what some people believe today. God will laugh them out of His courtroom!
Also we have the appearances of Christ, Paul says of this: “For I delivered to you first of all that which I also received: that Christ died for our sins according to the Scriptures, and that He was buried, and that He rose again the third day according to the Scriptures, and that He was seen by Cephas, then by the twelve. After that He was seen by over five hundred brethren at once, of whom the greater part remain to the present, but some have fallen asleep. After that He was seen by James, then by all the apostles. Then last of all He was seen by me also, as by one born out of due time.” (I Corinthians 15:3-8) Paul does not list the women, because during his time women could not be witnesses in court, so he only lists the men that saw Jesus. So Jesus was seen by many people mainly over a 40 day period, but also on other occasions such as when He appeared to Paul.
Then since I a have been a Christian, about 50 years (by the grace of God), I have heard thousands of testimonies of how Christ has changed peoples’ lives today! What about it, has He changed your life? If He hasn’t He could right now. Just try Him, and see if He is alive. Do this test for yourself, say, “Jesus Christ, if you are real, and really who You say You are, then come into my heart right now and take away my sin, and save me. I pray this in Jesus name, amen. What do you have to loose? You have nothing to loose and everything to gain, as millions of others have found. When you pray that pray in sincerity He will save you, and you will need to be baptized to show the world that you too believe in the resurrection of Jesus Christ.
This has just been a summary of some of things discussed in the two articles mentioned above, please checks them out, and thanks for the question.
Gary T. Panell
For more information email me at [email protected]