Summary: Does it matter if Christ really died and rose from the dead. Can’t we just believe in God and that is all that matters?
Does it really matter?
Read: I Co 15:1-11
Introduction. On Easter Sunday in almost every pulpit a sermon on the resurrection is preached. We are no exception. It is very likely that a Sunday like today, nearly 2000 years ago Jesus Christ rose from the dead.
The Resurrection of Christ was the launching pad of apostolic preaching Acts 2:22-ff "Men of Israel, listen to these words: Jesus the Nazarene, a man attested to you by God with miracles and wonders and signs which God performed through Him in your midst, just as you yourselves know-- 23 this Man, delivered up by the predetermined plan and foreknowledge of God, you nailed to a cross by the hands of godless men and put Him to death. 24 "And God raised Him up again, putting an end to the agony of death, since it was impossible for Him to be held in its power.
Peter, John and the lame man at the temple… Acts 4:12 "Men of Israel, why do you marvel at this, or why do you gaze at us, as if by our own power or piety we had made him walk? 13 "The God of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob, the God of our fathers, has glorified His servant Jesus, the one whom you delivered up, and disowned in the presence of Pilate, when he had decided to release Him. 14 "But you disowned the Holy and Righteous One, and asked for a murderer to be granted to you, 15 but put to death the Prince of life, the one whom God raised from the dead, a fact to which we are witnesses. 16 "And on the basis of faith in His name, it is the name of Jesus which has strengthened this man whom you see and know; and the faith which comes through Him has given him this perfect health in the presence of you all.
Thesis: the Resurrection of Jesus Christ: does it really matter?
1.Is it a myth or a fact?
2.The Doctrinal Implications of the Resurrection
3.Some Practical Expectations derived from the Resurrection
I – MYTH OR FACT?
The Resurrection of Christ meets all of the necessary conditions to have been disproved as a passing fad or a myth
Mt 27:62-66 Now on the next day, which is the one after the preparation,
the chief priests and the Pharisees gathered together with Pilate, 63 and said, "Sir, we remember that when He was still alive that deceiver said, ’After three days I am to rise again.’ 64 "Therefore, give orders for the grave to be made secure until the third day, lest the disciples come and steal Him away and say to the people, ’ He has risen from the dead, ’and the last deception will be worse than the first."65 Pilate said to them, "You have a guard; go, make it as secure as you know how." 66 And they went and made the grave secure, and along with the guard they set a seal on the stone.
Stealing Jesus’ body would have been a daunting task for the disciples; however his tomb is empty and the body was not found
Nicodemus had provided 100 pounds of spices to anoint the body
Jesus had been buried in a newly hewn tomb sealed with a 2 ton stone covering it
The women wondered who could roll the stone for them
The tomb was secured with a Roman seal and guard. The seal consisted in chords around the stone representing Roman authority and the guard prevented any attempt to steal the body
Had the guards fallen asleep, they would have been burned alive
The disciples had run, they were in the hiding and afraid
There were many hostile witnesses to disprove any resurrection theory: The multitude had requested for Jesus to be crucified, the Pharisees hated Him and the Romans despised the Jews
Now here’s an amazing fact. Thirty years after the resurrection Paul who initially belonged to the hostile witnesses, wrote the following:
1 Corinthians 15:3…3 For I delivered to you as of first importance what I also received, that Christ died for our sins according to the Scriptures, 4 and that He was buried, and that He was raised on the third day according to the Scriptures, 5 and that He appeared to Cephas, then to the twelve. 6 After that He appeared to more than five hundred brethren at one time, most of whom remain until now, but some have died; 7 then He appeared to James, then to all the apostles; 8 and last of all, as it were to one untimely born, He appeared to me also.
A missing body
An empty tomb
Corroborating witnesses who could attest to the fact for a generation
Hostile witnesses who could not deny the fact