THE CRUCIFIXION, DEATH AND RESURRECTION OF CHRIST
(Pastor Ezekiel Oyekale)
(Matthew 27:27-28:10). The crucifixion and death of Jesus Christ on the cross, His burial and His resurrection from the dead on the third day are the corner stones and the basic tenets on which the Christian faith is built. Christ’s death and resurrection are fundamentally important to the Christian faith. These are major doctrines of the Bible that assure believers of: (1) the provision of eternal life. (2) the believers’ victory through Christ (Ephesians 2:6; Colossians 1:13-23). (3) the assurance of His presence with believers today (Matthew 28:16-20). (4) His unchangeableness—Jesus the same yesterday, today and for ever (Hebrews 7:24-25, 13:8; Revelation 1:8). (5) the Lamb that was dead is still living (John 1:29, 35-36; 1 Peter 1:18-19; Revelation 7:9-11,5:11-13). (6) the same unchanging love—the Cross (the grief and the triumph of Calvary). (7) the name of Jesus is above every name (Philippians 2:5-11; John 14:14, 16:24). (8) the door to the Father God is opened (John 14:6, 20:17; Romans 5:6-11, 21;1 John 5:11-12; Hebrews 9:8-12, 15). (9) we now have delegated power and authority in Jesus’ name (Matthew 28:18-20). (10) the needs for believers to occupy until He comes (Luke 19:13). (11) the reality of heavenly rewards, and (12) the certainty of Christ’s second coming (1 Thessalonians 4:14-18; 1 Corinthians 15:12-25).
THE CRUCIFIXION, DEATH AND BURIAL OF CHRIST
(Matthew 27:27-60, 35, 50, 60; Mark 16:37; Luke 23:46; John 19:30). The crucifixion, death, burial and resurrection of Jesus Christ are the solid foundations for the Christian faith. All the prophecies of Messiah were fulfilled in Jesus Christ. Every Messianic prophecies written in the various books of the Old Testaments were all literally fulfilled in Jesus Christ. For instance, the texts in Isaiah 53:5 refers to Christ’s sacrifice and death (Romans 5:6,8); Isaiah 53:12 refers to Christ’s crucifixion with the malefactor (Mark 15:27-28); Zechariah 12:10 refers to Christ’s hands and feet pierced through (John 20:237); Psalms 22:7-8 refers to Christ’s derision or sneered by the sinners (Luke 23:35); Psalms 69:9 refers to Christ’s reproach (Romans 15:3); Psalms 109:4 refers to Christ’s prayer for his enemies (Luke 23:34); Psalms 22:17-18 refers to Christ’s garments that was parted by the soldiers (Luke 23:34, 36); Psalms 22:1 refers to how Christ was forsaken by God (Matthew 27:66); Psalms 34:20 refers to the fact that no bones of Christ were broken (John 19:32, 33, 36); Zechariah 12:10 refers to Christ’s pierced side (John 19:34); Psalms 16:10 refers to Christ’s resurrection (Mark 16:6-7); and Psalms 68:18 refers to Christ’s ascension to God’s right hand in heaven (Mark 16:19; 1 Corinthians 15:4; Ephesians 4:8).
Indeed, Jesus the Christ is the Messiah, the only begotten, unique Son of God that, takes away the sins of the world. He is the mediator between God and the human races: men and women, young or old. He is the only Savior.
THE IMPORTANCE OF CHRIST’S RESURRECTION
(Romans 8:11; Ephesians 1:18-23). The importance of Christ’s resurrection to the Christian faith cannot be over emphasized. All the four gospel writers penned down the story of Christ’s resurrection because of its cardinal significance and utmost importance. The power of His resurrection is the greatest power in the universe. Christ’s resurrection is a testimony to the greatness of his redemptive works. The death and resurrection of Christ was a proclamation (pointer) of the wonderful and greatest power of God of the universe.
Jesus is our substitute and exchange (Isaiah 53:3-8). His victory over Satan, death and hell is our victory (Colossians 2:15). Because Christ lives we shall live. Because he lives we can face tomorrow. The Bible makes it abundantly clear to the believers that Jesus' victory is our victory; His power is our power; His strength is our strength; and because He rose we too shall rise (Galatians 2:20). We are believers, children of God Almighty. Greater is He that lives in us than he (devil) that lives in the world (1 John 4:4). As a result of Christ’s death and resurrection, men and women who through the fear of death were lifetimes or all their lives made subject unto bondage are liberated and set free (Hebrews 2:14-18). The freedom is available for all who believe and appropriate their redemptive rights in Christ Jesus. No wonder, believers now exclaimed: O death, where is thy sting? O grave where is thy victory? (1 Corinthians 15:56). God is bigger and powerful than anything you will face. The true believers are winners in Christ now.
THE DISTINCTIVENESS OF CHRIST’S RESURRECTION
(Acts 1:3). The uniqueness of Christ’s resurrection is affirmed by infallible proofs. Christ’s resurrection is what made Him differs from the founders of all other religions. The resurrection of Christ is an unparallel and unique declaration of the supremacy of Christ Jesus’ power, name, blood and authority. It is an undeniable fact that all the founders of all the world religions are dead and are still in their graves today. None of the founders of the world’s religions, the religious leaders, the so called legends, heroes, ancestors, and gods ever rose. They were all dead and buried. The multiplicity of leaders who were founders of hundreds of oriental religious groups and all other worldly groups have all died. None of them ever resurrected.
Only Jesus is the living Savior. He is the only One who was dead and rose again forever more (Revelation 1:4). Jesus only is the true Mediator between God and men / women, young or old (1Timothy 2:5-6; Hebrew 12:24-26). Glory is to God, the Lamb, Jesus, that was dead is still living (John 1:29, 35-36; Revelation 1:4, 8). He is the only way, the truth and the life (John 14:6).
Jesus saves, Jesus heals and Jesus delivers! The evidences of changed lives in true believers in Christ are undeniable. In Christ, there is hope for the hopeless. In Christ, there is salvation for the worst sinners! In Christ, there is true forgiveness and full redemption (Hebrew 8:12; Isaiah 1:16-18, 55:6-7; 1 John 1:9). In Christ, there is total deliverance from bondage of sins, addictions, bondage of Satan and evil yokes. Deliverance from occults and evil associations are made available in Christ Jesus (2 Corinthians 14-18). The text in Ephesians 5:10-11, says, “Proving what is acceptable unto the Lord. And have no fellowship with the unfruitful works of darkness, but rather reprove them.” A believer must not follow the abominable ways of the sinners (Jeremiah 10:20). If you are truly born again there will be a change in your life and you should walk in newness of life (2 Corinthians 5:17; Romans 6:4). If you are not born again, this is the day of salvation for you. Tomorrow may be too late. Repent of your sins, confess them unto God, asks God to forgive you of all your sins, and receive Jesus Christ as your Savior and Lord; and you shall be saved now (Romans 10:9-10; 1 John 1:8-10). The moment you are born again or giving your life unto Christ, God becomes your Father and you become his child— son or daughter of God by faith (John1:12; Galatians 3:26).
The spiritual transformations and evidences of changed lives and characters of the true believers in Christ are wonderful, noticeable and well-defined. The scoffers, skeptics and the so called atheists find it difficult to contest or denied the changes and transformation of sinners to saints through repentance and faith in Christ. Jesus is the answer. Jesus only is our message. He is the savior, the Sanctifier, the Healer, Deliverer, Baptizer in the Holy Ghost and the soon coming King of Kings.
THE INFALLIBLE PROOFS OF CHRIST’S RESURRECTION
Jesus rose from the dead on the first day of the week, Sunday, at dawn (Matthew 28:1-2; 1 Corinthians 15:3-8, 11-28). His appearances after resurrection:
1. Jesus appeared to Mary Magdalene (John 20:11-18).
2. To the women returning from the tomb with the angelic message (Matthew 28:8-10).
3. To Simon Peter (Luke 34:33-35, 1Corinthians 15:5).
4. To the two disciples on the way to Emmaus (Luke 24:13-32).
5. To the ten disciples, Thomas was missing (Luke 24:36-43; John 20:19-23).
6. To the eleven disciples, Thomas was present (John 20:26-28).
7. To the seven disciples in Galilee by the lake of Tiberias (John 21:1-25).
8. To the apostles and more than 500 brethren (1 Corinthians 15:6).
9. To James, his brother; then all his apostles (1 Corinthians 15:7). Jesus ascended to heaven 40 days after his resurrection (Acts 1:3-9).
10. To Stephen (Acts 7:54-56).
11. To Paul, on the way to Damascus (Acts 9:3-6; 1 Corinthians 15:8), and in the temple (Acts 22:17-21, 23:11).
12. To Apostle John the writer of Revelation in Patmos (Revelation 1:9-19).
Summary: The infallible proofs include: An empty grave, the soldiers and keepers were present at the scene (Matthew 28:1-28); the stone was rolled away; the body of the Lord Jesus was no where within the grave; the mouth witnesses: Mary Magdalene, Simon Peter, John the beloved and all the apostles testified of Jesus’ resurrection; the testimony of the angel regarding resurrection (Matthew 28:5-8); the scars on his hands and his side (John 20:26-29) and the post-resurrection appearances all proof or validate beyond any reasonable doubt that Jesus is alive today and forever more. And He is coming again as He has said to take the ready believers home (John 14:1-3). We have the victory in Christ (1 Corinthians 15:54). The next event that the believers are expecting is the rapture (John 14:1-3; 1 Corinthians 15:51).
1. True or false? __Jesus Christ, the Lamb that was dead is still living (John 1:29, 35-36; Revelation 1:4, 8).
2. How important is Christ’s resurrection to the Christian Faith?
3. Mention three proofs of Christ’s resurrection
Prayer is the Key:
THE POWER OF HIS RESURRECTION
1. Father God, I thank you that Jesus Christ is the same yesterday, today and for ever more.
2. I thank you Lord that the Lamb of God that was dead is still living today.
3. My God, let your resurrection power defend my life today.
4. My God, let your resurrection power destroy every evil burden in my life and family, in Jesus’ name.
5. My God, let you resurrection power remove every stumbling block in my walk with you, in Jesus’ name.
6. My God, nothing can hinder your resurrection power; demonstrate your resurrection on my behalf now, in Jesus’ name.
7. My God, let you resurrection power overhaul my entire existence now.