Was the Resurrection of Christ Real?
Stephen answers the question of whether the resurrection of Christ was real. He believes that the resurrection proves that Jesus is God.
Examining the Resurrection of Christ
One aspect of the Christian faith that endures quite a bit of scrutiny is that of the resurrection. Did it really happen? And, was it a true bodily resurrection or just a spiritual one? We’ll look at that today, but let me start by saying that the Bible teaches without question that yes, the resurrection did happen, and Jesus did rise, physically, from the dead. I say that because the promise of salvation that we have in the gospel is dependent on the resurrection of Jesus Christ. Paul would write in 1 Corinthians 15 that if Christ is not raised our faith is in vain, it’s meaningless. So let’s examine the resurrection of Jesus and look at why we can trust it, more importantly, what it means to us.
Christ’s Death and Resurrection
The Bible teaches that Jesus Christ died for our sins. Being fully God, and perfectly sinless in every aspect of his character and nature, he had the ability to do this. When Jesus was crucified, he was paying the penalty of death that we deserved. We then read in scripture that his body was taken off the cross and sealed in a tomb.
On the third day, some of the women who followed Jesus went to the tomb to properly anoint the body, and found that the stone had been removed and the body of Jesus was gone. Throughout the rest of that day, and the following forty days, Jesus appeared to the women, to his disciples, and to a large number of those who had followed him during his ministry.
A Very Physical Resurrection
He also ate food, he allowed himself to be handled and to have his scars touched so that they could see he wasn’t a spirit or a vision, but was physically with them. Now, the critic can say that these accounts are from people who followed Christ, and are therefore biased, and possibly even perpetuated this idea for personal gain. After all we see even today the influence, and in some cases profit, that can be earned by the leaders of religious organizations.
However, both the book of Acts, and secular accounts of history tell us of what was happening to these followers of Christ who went around preaching that Jesus had been raised. Many, if not most of them were persecuted, beaten, even executed for the gospel they shared. There was no wealth, or earthly power or authority that they received from anyone for being the leaders of the newly formed Christian church. In fact, most sources confer that ten of the eleven disciples that remained after the resurrection, were killed for their faith. Logic would suggest that if they knew this was all made up, that they lied about the resurrection, why would all of them be willing to carry the lie through to that end?
Attempting to Disprove the Resurrection
Politically, both the Jews and the Romans would benefit from being able to prove that Jesus did not rise from the grave. For the Jews, the Christian message of salvation through faith in a resurrected Savior would pull people from their ranks, decreasing the influence they had over the Roman authorities in Jerusalem. For the Romans, the spread of Christianity was creating uproar and had the potential to cause the Jews to initiate riots and civil unrest, something that Rome came down hard upon, especially on the governors of the regions where the riots occurred. It would really have been in the best interests of both parties to provide proof to the people by presenting the still dead body of Jesus. But neither group could do that. In the absence of concrete evidence, the circumstantial evidence that the bodily resurrection Christ actually happened is overwhelming.
The Importance of the Resurrection
So then, what does it all mean? Why is it important? Romans 1:4 says concerning Jesus, that he “was declared to be the Son of God in power, according to the Spirit of holiness by his resurrection from the dead.” The resurrection was the authentication of who Jesus was. Only the true Son of God would be perfect enough to die for the sin of mankind. If Christ did not rise, it would mean that he did not have power over death, and therefore, that he wasn’t really the Son of God. That’s why Paul would write if Christ is not raised our faith is in vain. He would add later on that if Christ is not raised our faith is futile and we are still in our sins.
The Resurrection of Christ Proves He is God
Through his death and resurrection, Jesus proved to be who he always said he was, the Son of God. His death and resurrection accomplished two things, it allows all who put their trust in him to have forgiveness of their sin, and to be freed from the penalty of sin, death. Because he is the Son of God, we can know that his promise to forgive us and save us is faithful and true.
If you would like to know more about Jesus’ death and resurrection, and what it means for us today, please contact us. You can do so by email to [email protected], or by phone at 1-800-567-1218.
Stephen March is the President of FBH International and HopeStreamRadio. He graduated from the Broadcasting Program at Niagara College in 2001, and has previously worked in television production and post-production. Stephen lives in St. Catharines, Ontario, with his wife Corinne and their four children. He serves as an elder at Scottlea Gospel Chapel.
Read and hear more from Stephen Marchon his contributor’s page.
Stephen currently has 3 Programs on HopeStreamRadio:
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Images courtesy of:
Empty Tomb – TC_Perch
Lily – Bessi
Man by Windows – Free-Photos