Summary: This Message presents the supporting Evidences for the Reality of The Resurrection of Jesus
WHY WE BELIEVE IN THE BODILY
(LITERAL) RESURRECTION OF CHRIST
We have come to the time when the world in general and the religious world in particular remembers in a special way the Death, Burial, and Resurrection of the Lord Jesus Christ. It is true that there are no holy seasons or holy days more holy than others. Every Lord’s Day is Resurrection Day. But because the attention of many people is turned to the Resurrection of Christ presently more so than almost at any other time, we are pleased to make this special emphasis. We believe that it is important that we understand that in reference to the Resurrection of Christ, we are dealing with facts - Historical Facts - Real Events that occurred in space and time as we know it. Facts that can be substantiated without question and documented without contradiction. We are not dealing with fables, myths, or tall tales. Hear the words of the inspired Apostle Peter: "We did not follow cunningly devised fables when we made known to you the power and coming of the Lord Jesus Christ; we were eyewitnesses of His majesty." (2 Peter 1:16)
Often in our world - which attempts to appear sophisticated: socially, philosophically, and even religiously, the question often surfaces: "can we really, seriously - intelligently - believe in the bodily (literal) Resurrection of Christ?" As we have already learned when we considered the Trial and Death of Jesus, this is a matter about which we cannot be - or remain - neutral. The facts of the case will not allow it. Christ will not allow it. His Word will not allow it. The Reality of Christ’s Resurrection is the crowning proof and evidence of His Divinity - that He really was - and is - Who He claimed to be: THE SINLESS, DIVINE, ETERNAL SON OF GOD. He said: Except you believe that I am He (That is: The Messiah; The I AM) you will die in your sins. (John 8:24) The Inspired Apostle Paul said: "...the word of Faith which we are preaching, (is) that if you confess with your mouth Jesus as Lord, and believe in your heart that God raised Him from the dead, you shall be saved". (Romans 10:6-11) So our response and reaction to the Resurrection of Christ - whether we believe and accept it or not -whether we order our lives accordingly - is a matter of life and death. Our response determines our eternal destiny. It is not an indifferent matter and we cannot be or remain indifferent to it.
Any honest, intelligent inquiry and investigation into the Resurrection Of Christ brings us to the same conclusion that was stated by the Apostle Paul when he was on trial before King Agrippa: This thing was not done in a corner (Acts 26:22-29). We also make another wonderful discovery: God has not left Himself without witness (and testimony) in this matter. As far as the Word of God is concerned, there are both internal and external evidences that give testimony to the reality of the literal, Bodily Resurrection of Christ. It is to those evidences that we want to turn our attention today.
WE BELIEVE IN THE LITERAL, BODILY RESURRECTION OF CHRIST BECAUSE: OF THE OLD TESTAMENT PROPHECIES THAT WERE FULFILLED BY HIS RESURRECTION. Time and space would not permit even a listing of those Old Testament Prophecies that were fulfilled by His Virgin Birth, His sinless life, His supernatural ministry, His vicarious sorrows and sufferings and His atoning death on the Cross for our sins. Probably you are fairly familiar with those prophecies. You may not be as familiar with those prophecies concerning His Resurrection. We believe that Scripture is its own best interpretation. On the Day of Pentecost (Acts 2) the inspired Apostle Peter quotes the 16th Psalm. He says emphatically that this is a prophetic Psalm written (spoken) by David that had direct reference to the Resurrection of Christ and was fulfilled by that Resurrection. (Acts 2:22-36) Paul in Ephesians 4 quotes the 68th Psalm and states that the Resurrected - Ascended Christ fulfilled this prophecy by His Resurrection and Ascension - and then by sending the Holy Spirit with His Spiritual gifts by which He equipped the Church for ministry. If we accept the prophecy of Isaiah 2:1-4 to be a prophecy of the New Testament Church, we have to understand that Christ’s Kingdom (The Church) could have never been established, had there been no Resurrection.
WE MUST ALSO CONSIDER CHRIST’S OWN PROPHECIES (PREDICTIONS) OF HIS RESURRECTION: John 2:17-22: Destroy this temple and in three days I will raise it up. John informs us that He was speaking of the temple of His body, but it was only after His Resurrection that His disciples remembered that He had said this; and believed the Scripture, and the word which Jesus had spoken. Matthew 12:38-41: No sign will be given (to this evil and adulterous generation) but the sign of the Prophet Jonah. For even as Jonah was three days and three nights in the belly of the sea monster - great fish - (whale) so shall the Son of Man be three days and three days in the heart of the earth. (If you ever wondered why those who want to discredit the Miracles of the Bible, attempt so feverishly to discredit the account of Jonah and the Great Fish (whale), this is the reason. The experience of Jonah and the great fish (whale) and the Resurrection of Christ are inseparably connected. They complement and substantiate one another.) Mark 8:31; Mark 9:31: "He began to teach them that the Son of Man must suffer many things...and be killed, and after three days rise again". His own disciples forgot His prophecy, however, and the angel had to remind the women who came to the tomb on Sunday Morning to anoint his body of these very words. Then they remembered. (Luke 24:1-9)