Summary: A look at proofs and arguments for the Resurrection of Christ
GOOD NEWS OF THE RESURRECTION OF CHRIST
I Cor. 15:1-58
(This sermon contains quotes from both Josh McDowell and also Jeffrey Donley that I found on the computer, but do not have the references available as to where on internet.)
1.) This morning I want to bring this series of messages we have looked at for three months to a close.
2.) For three months we have been looking at the Good News
that is ours because of Jesus Christ.
A.) As great as each of the other aspects of the Good news of Christ are to us, the good news of the resurrection is the greatest, because apart from that all else we have looked at would mean nothing, and would in fact be worthless.
B.) It is the resurrection of Jesus Christ that validates his authority, and all claims that Jesus has made on this earth.
I. THE GOOD NEWS IS THAT JESUS CHRIST WAS RAISED FROM THE DEAD.
1.) Christianity stands or falls on the basis of the reality of the resurrection of Jesus Christ.
A.) I Cor. 15:1-4
B.) Paul said the death, burial and resurrection of Christ is of first importance
ba.) The reason this teaching is of first importance is that the very foundations of the Christian faith rest on the fact that Jesus is who He said he is, and that he was crucified, buried, and raised himself back to life on the third day.
bb.) The very hope we have, and salvation we are living is based on this truth.
bc.) So how do we know for sure that the
resurrection is real, and that Jesus rose from the grave?
II. THE GOOD NEWS IS THERE ARE MANY PROOFS OF THE RESURRECTION.
-- Josh McDowell has spoken on strong proofs to the Resurrection of Christ:
1.) The broken Roman seal on the grave.
A.) Matt. 27:62-66
B.) When the Romans would place a seal on anything that seal was very powerful and considered as untouchable.
C.) Jeffery Donley, Ph.D.:
ca.) The Roman seal was a cord that stretched across the stone. It was fastened at each end with sealing clay (Daniel 6:17).
cb.) Before the tomb could be opened, the fastenings would have to be broken. The seal indicated Roman power and the Emperor’s ownership.
cc.) Unauthorized breaking the Roman seal was a capital offense that carried the death penalty.
cca.) This execution would be carried out by means of crucifixion, and as an added incentive, the one breaking that seal would have been crucified upside down, to make it even more miserable.
cd.) You can be pretty sure that these Roman guards given this duty made certain the grave was well sealed, and that they never left their post.
cda.) This would have been especially since there were additional laws for dealing with Roman soldiers deserting their post. It still required the death penalty, but another means of putting Roman soldiers to death was to strip them naked and bind them on top their clothes, and some firewood and be burned to death.
cdb.) Roman soldiers knew that to falter in carrying out their duty particularly in the case of Jesus, would have resulted in their own deaths.
cdb-1.) There is no questioning that knowledge of either be crucified upside down, or being burned to death naked, would have kept this role of guarding this tomb, and maintaining the Roman seal on the grave of Jesus very seriously, and of paramount importance.
cdc.) There would not have been failure to obey their orders to ensure the body of Jesus remained in the tomb.
2.) A second proof is the empty tomb.
A.) Again many will argue this is just a Bible story with no proof, or that the disciples of Jesus stole the body.
B.) As I have already indicated with the seal on the stone, the penalty was very severe for stealing that body.
ba.) Furthermore, these soldiers would have lost their lives if the body had gone missing.
bb.) Instead these soldiers themselves saw the angel that came at the tomb.
bc.) The soldiers passed out from the sight of the angel after the resurrection.
bd.) The fact that religious leaders bribed them to say disciples of Jesus had
stolen His body, only serves to validate
the claims of the resurrection.
be.) Otherwise, these soldiers would have been executed.
bea.) Matt. 28:11-15
bf.) Today there are arguments and attempts at denying the empty tomb but this was not the case in the first century.
bfa.) In the first century the empty tomb was accepted even a generation or so after the fact.
3.) A large stone was moved.
A.) Mark 16:1-4
B.) The first ones there at the tomb were women.
C.) I want you to see how absurd the likelihood would be of these women moving that stone.