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Summary: Today we will be investigating some of the facts or proofs of Christ's resurrection.

Last time, we looked at the various kinds of sufferings that Jesus Christ experienced both on His way to the Cross and once He was nailed to the Cross. We concluded, as the Scripture teaches, that Jesus died and was very much dead. He had to die in order to pay the penalty for our sin. Today we are continuing our series as we examine what the Bible teaches about His resurrection. The fact of the matter is that Jesus came back alive. In Acts 1:3 Luke reports that He appeared to many during a period of 40 days after His resurrection, showing Himself to them by many "infallible proofs." Today we will be investigating some of the facts or proofs of His resurrection.

1.) The Reality of the Resurrection – Christ is risen indeed!

A song has the words:

Were you there when they crucified my Lord.

Were you there when He rose up from the dead?

We were not around during the time in which the Resurrection of Jesus Christ took place. However, there were many who did observe Jesus, who was once confirmed dead but was now alive.

(1 Cor 15:1 NKJV) Moreover, brethren, I declare to you the gospel which I preached to you, which also you received and in which you stand,

(1 Cor 15:2 NKJV) by which also you are saved, if you hold fast that word which I preached to you; unless you believed in vain.

(1 Cor 15:3 NKJV) For I delivered to you first of all that which I also received: that Christ died for our sins according to the Scriptures,

(1 Cor 15:4 NKJV) and that He was buried, and that He rose again the third day according to the Scriptures,

(1 Cor 15:5 NKJV) and that He was seen by Cephas, then by the twelve.

(1 Cor 15:6 NKJV) 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.

(1 Cor 15:7 NKJV) After that He was seen by James, then by all the apostles.

(1 Cor 15:8 NKJV) Then last of all He was seen by me also, as by one born out of due time.

These New Testament “witnesses” were fully aware of the background against which the Resurrection took place. Let me share with you some of this background:

* The body of Jesus, in accordance with Jewish burial custom, was wrapped in a linen cloth. About 100 pounds of aromatic spices, mixed together to form a gummy substance, were applied to the wrappings of cloth about the body.

* After the body was placed in a solid rock tomb, an extremely large stone was rolled against the entrance of the tomb. Large stones weighing approximately two tons were normally rolled (by means of levers) against a tomb entrance.

* A Roman guard of strictly disciplined, fighting men was stationed to guard the tomb.

* The Roman guard fastened on the tomb the Roman seal, which was meant to "prevent any attempt at vandalizing the tomb. Anyone trying to move the stone from the tomb's entrance would have broken the seal and thus incurred the wrath of Roman law.

But three days later the tomb was empty. Those who guarded the tomb knew that something spectacular had happened but accepted bribe money to keep their mouths closed (Matthew 28:11-12). But the followers of Jesus said He had risen from the dead.

Luke reports that He appeared to them during a period of 40 days after His resurrection, showing Himself to them by many "infallible proofs." The Apostle Paul recounted that Jesus appeared to more than 500 of His followers at one time, the majority of whom were still alive at the time of his writing and who could confirm what He wrote.

Many security precautions were taken with the trial, crucifixion, burial, entombment, sealing, and guarding of Christ's tomb so that it becomes very difficult for critics to defend their position that Christ did not rise from the dead.

Consider these six facts:

FACT #1: THE BROKEN ROMAN SEAL

The tomb of Jesus was sealed under Roman law. This seal stood for the power and authority of the Roman Empire. The consequences of breaking the seal were extremely severe. The FBI and CIA of the Roman Empire were called into action to find the person or persons who broke a seal. If they were apprehended, it meant automatic execution by crucifixion. People feared the breaking of the seal.

But it was broken. Could it have been Jesus’ disciples who broke the seal? I don’t think so. The Scriptures tell us that before, during and after Jesus’ trial, His disciples did nothing but display signs of fear and hid themselves. Peter, one of these disciples, went out and three times denied that he even knew Christ.

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