Resurrection of Christ
As Vice President, George Bush represented the U.S. at the funeral of former Soviet leader Leonid Brezhnev. Bush was deeply moved by a silent protest carried out by Brezhnev's widow. She stood motionless by the coffin until seconds before it was closed. Then, just as the soldiers touched the lid, Brezhnev's wife performed an act of great courage and hope, a gesture that must surely rank as one of the most profound acts of civil disobedience ever committed: She reached down and made the sign of the cross on her husband's chest. There in the citadel of secular, atheistic power, the wife of the man who had run it all hoped that her husband was wrong. She hoped that there was another life, and that that life was best represented by Jesus who died on the cross, and that the same Jesus might yet have mercy on her husband. ── Gary Thomas, Christian Times, October 3, 1994, p. 26.
In one of his lighter moments, Benjamin Franklin penned his own epitaph. He didn't profess to be a born-again Christian, but it seems he must have been influenced by Paul's teaching of the resurrection of the body. Here's what he wrote: The Body of B. Franklin, Printer Like the Cover of an old Book Its contents torn out, And stript of its Lettering and Guilding, Lies here, Food for Worms, But the Work shall not be wholly lost: For it will, as he believ'd, Appear once more In a new & more perfect Edition, Corrected and amended by the Author.── Source Unknown.
Little Philip, born with Down's syndrome, attended a third-grade Sunday School class with several eight-year-old boys and girls. Typical of that age, the children did not readily accept Philip with his differences, according to an article in leadership magazine. But because of a creative teacher, they began to care about Philip and accept him as part of the group, though not fully.
The Sunday after Easter the teacher brought L'eggs pantyhose containers, the kind that look like large eggs. Each receiving one, the children were told to go outside on that lovely spring day, find some symbol for new life, and put it in the egg-like container. Back in the classroom, they would share their new-life symbols, opening the containers one by one in surprise fashion. After running about the church property in wild confusion, the students returned to the classroom and placed the containers on the table. Surrounded by the children, the teacher began to open them one by one. After each one, whether a flower, butterfly, or leaf, the class would ooh and ahh.
Then one was opened, revealing nothing inside. The children exclaimed, That's stupid. That's not fair. Somebody didn't do their assignment."
Philip spoke up, "That's mine."
"Philip, you don't ever do things right!" the student retorted. "There's nothing there!"
"I did so do it," Philip insisted. "I did do it. It's empty. the tomb was empty!"
Silence followed. From then on Philip became a full member of the class. He died not long afterward from an infection most normal children would have shrugged off. At the funeral this class of eight-year-olds marched up to the altar not with flowers, but with their Sunday school teacher, each to lay on it an empty pantyhose egg.── Source Unknown.
The home of Paul Laurence Dunbar, noted poet, is open to the public in Dayton, Ohio. When Dunbar died, his mother left his room exactly as it was on the day of his death. At the desk of this brilliant man was his final poem, handwritten on a pad.
After his mother died, her friends discovered that Paul Laurence Dunbar's last poem had been lost forever. Because his mother had made his room into a shrine and not moved anything, the sun had bleached the ink in which the poem was written until it was invisible. The poem was gone.
If we stay in mourning, we lose so much of life. ── Henry Simon, Belleville, Illinois.
Datelin Jerusalem-On the eve of the annual celebration of the resurrection of Jesus of Nazareth, the 1 million inhabitants of this city were shocked by the announcement that a body, identified as that of Jesus, was found in a long-neglected tomb just outside the boundary of the city.
Rumors had been circulating the last week that a very important discovery was about to be announced. The news, however, far outstrips all of our wildest guesses. The initial reaction of Christians here and around the world has been one of astonishment, bewilderment, and defensive disbelief. We will have to wait and see just what effect this discovery will have on the 2,000-year-old religion. To the mind of this unbelieving writer, it appears that Christianity will have to take its place on the same level with the other religions of the world. No longer can its followers claim that, unlike other religions, the tomb of its founder is empty. Evidently a 2,000-year-old lie has come to an end.
Paul states that IF the above were true, your faith in Christ is worthless and you are still under the curse of your sins. Has your mind and heart grasped the eternal significance of the resurrection of Jesus Christ? ── Michael P. Green《Illustrations for Biblical Preaching》
John Singleton Copley, one of the great legal minds in British history and three times High Chancellor of England, wrote, “I know pretty well what evidence is, and I tell you, such evidence as that for the resurrection has never broken down yet.” ── Michael P. Green《Illustrations for Biblical Preaching》
General Wellington commanded the victorious forces at the great battle of Waterloo that effectively ended the Napoleonic Wars. The story has been told that when the battle was over, Wellington sent the great news of his victory to England. A series of stations, one within sight of the next, had been established to send code messages between England and the continent. The message to be sent was “Wellington defeated napoleon at Waterloo.” Meanwhile a fog set in and interrupted the message sending. As a result, people only saw news of “Wellington defeated-“ Later, the fog cleared and the full message continued, which was quite different from the outcome that the people originally thought had happened!
The same is true today. When many look at what happened on good Friday, the death of Christ, they see only “defeat.” Yet, on Easter, at the Resurrection, God’s message was completed. The resurrection spelled “victory.” ── Michael P. Green《Illustrations for Biblical Preaching》
Hugh Schonfield’s Passover Plot is one of the literary attempts to explain away the events of the crucifixion and the resurrection. But it, like all the others, relies on that ancient lie circulated in the very first century by the soldiers who were paid to say that the friends of Jesus had come and stolen his body away. But no one has ever been able to explain how that could happen. ── Michael P. Green《Illustrations for Biblical Preaching》
The originator of a new religion came to the great French diplomat-statesman Charles Maurice de Talleyrand-Perigord and complained that he could not make any converts. “What would you suggest I do?” he asked.
“I should recommend,” said Talleyrand, “that you get yourself crucified, and then die, but be sure to rise again the third day.” ── Michael P. Green《Illustrations for Biblical Preaching》
Well over three hundred verses are concerned with the subject of Jesus' resurrection in the New Testament. We are told that this event is a sign for unbelievers (Matthew 12:38-40); cf. John 20:24-29) as well as the answer for the believer's doubt (Luke 24:38-43). It serves as the guarantee that Jesus' teachings are true (Acts 2:22-24; 1 Corrinthians 15:12-20) and is the center of the gospel itself (Romans 4:24-25, 10:9; 1 Corrinthians 15:1-4). Further, the resurrection is the impetus for evangelism (Matt. 28:18-20; Acts 10:39-43), the key indication of the believer's daily power to live the Christian life (Rom. 6:4-14, 8:9-11; Phil. 3:10) and the reason for the total commitment of our lives (Rom. 7:4; 1 Cor. 15:57-58). The resurrection even addresses the fear of death (John 11:25; 1 Cor. 15:54-58; cf. Hebrews 2:14-15) and is related to the second coming of Jesus (Acts 1:11; Revelation 1:7). Lastly, this event is a model of the Christian's resurrection from the dead (Acts 4:2; 1 Cor. 6:14; 1 Thessalonians 4:13-18) and provides a foretaste of heaven for the believer (Philippians 3:20-21; 1 Peter 1:3-5). For a popular treatment that addresses these and other aspects, see Gary R. Habermas, The Centrality of the Resurrection. ── Gary R. Habermas & J.P. Moreland, Immortality - The Other Side of Death, Thomas Nelson Publishers, 1992, p. 245.
Why We Believe Jesus Rose from the Dead:
If Jesus did not rise from the dead, the Christian faith is a foolish fantasy. However, if the resurrection of Christ did occur, it confirms His life, message, and atoning work. It is the basis of our hope of life beyond the grave. Christ is alive, and the evidence is overwhelming. Here are some of the reasons we can be so sure.
1. Jesus predicted His
resurrection (Matt 16:21; Mark 9:9-10; John 2:18-22).
2. The Old Testament prophesied it (Psalm 16:10; compare Acts 2:25-31; 13:33-37).
3. The tomb was empty and the grave clothes vacant. if those who opposed Christ wished to silence His disciples, all they had to do was produce a body, but they could not (John 20:3-9).
4. Many people saw the resurrected Christ. They looked on His face, touched Him, heard His voice, and saw Him eat (Matt. 28:16-20; Luke 24:13-39; John 20:11-29; John 21:1-9; Acts 1:6-11; 1 Cor. 15:3-8).
5. The lives of the disciples were revolutionized. Though they fled and even denied Christ at the time of His arrest, they later feared no one in their proclamation of the risen Christ (Matt 26:56, 69-75).6. The resurrection was the central message of the early church. The church grew with an unwavering conviction that Christ had risen and was the Lord of the church (Acts 4:33; 5:30-32; Rom. 5:24).
6. Men and women today testify that the power of the risen Christ has transformed their lives. We know that Jesus is alive not only because of the historical and biblical evidence but also because He has miraculously touched our lives. ── Kurt E. DeHaan.
Order of the Events of the Resurrection
Mary Magdalene, Mary the
mother of James, and Salome start for the tomb, Lk 23:55-24:1
They find the stone rolled away, Lk 24:2-9
Mary Magdalene goes to tell the disciples, Jn 20:1-2
Mary, the mother of James, draws near and sees the angel, Mt 28:1-2
She goes back to meet the other women following with spices
Meanwhile Peter and John arrive, look in and depart, Jn 20:3-10
Mary Magdalene returns weeping, sees two angels, then Jesus, Jn 20:11-18
The risen Christ bids her tell the disciples, Jn 20:17-18
Mary (mother of James) meanwhile returns with the women, Lk 24:1-4
They return and see the two angels, Lk 24:5; Mk 16:5
They also hear the angel's message, Mt 28:6-8
On their way to find the disciples, they are met by the risen Christ, Mt 28:9-10
To Mary Magdalene Jn
20:14-18; Mk 16:9
To the women returning from the tomb Mt 28:8-10
To Peter later in the day Lk 24:34; 1 Cor 15:5
To the disciples going to Emmaus in the evening Lk 24:13-31
To the apostles (except Thomas) Lk 24:36-45; Jn 20-19-24
To the apostles a week later (Thomas present) Jn 20:24-29
In Galilee to the seven by the Lake of Tiberias Jn 21:1-23
In Galilee on a mountain to the apostles and 500 believers 1 Cor 15:6
At Jerusalem and Bethany again to James 1 Cor 15:7
At Olivet and the ascension Acts 1:3-12
To Paul near Damascus Acts 9:3-6; 1 Cor 15:8
To Stephen outside Jerusalem Acts 7:55
To Paul in the temple Acts 22:17-21; 23:11
To John on Patmos Rev 1:10-19
── Merril F. Unger, The New Unger's Bible Handbook, Revised by Gary N. Larson, Moody Press, Chicago, 1984, pp. 397-398.
The day of resurrection?
Earth, tell it out abroad;
The Passover of gladness,
The Passover of God.
From death to life eternal,
From this world to the sky,
Our Christ hath brought us over
With hymns of victory.
Now let the heavens be joyful,
Let earth her song begin;
Let the round world keep triumph,
And all that is therein;
Let all things seen and unseen
Their notes in gladness blend,
For Christ the Lord hath risen,
Our Joy that hath no end.
── John of Damascus.
BENEFITS OF CHRIST’S RESURRECTION.
There are so many benefits associated with the resurrection of Christ, that we can only give a few. The following seven are among the many；--
Ⅰ. Blessing (Acts 3:26).
Ⅱ. Justification (Romans 4:24,25).
Ⅲ. Holiness (2 Cor.5:15)
Ⅳ. Power (Eph.1:20).
Ⅴ. Fruit-bearing (Romans 7:4).
Ⅵ. Quickening (Romans 8:11).
Ⅶ. Pledge of our loved ones who have fallen asleep coming with Christ (1. Thess.4:14).
── F.E. Marsh《Five Hundred Bible Readings》
No one can over-estimate the importance of the truth of Christ’s resurrection. If this be overthrown, Christianity is a farce, Christ is a liar, the apostles were deluded, the martyrs were deceived, the believer is in the darkness of despair, God is unknown, and our loved ones are for ever lost. As Dr. Kennedy says:--“ Blot the resurrection out of the story of Christ, and you may as well blot out Christ Himself. Blot out Christ, and you may as well blot out God. For all our true conceptions of Him, and all our true affections towards Him, grow out of the filial relation to Him, to which Christ lovingly restores us. And ‘ God added to, or deducted from the sum of existence,’ makes existence an altogether different thing from what it would otherwise be. Save us, by any means, from the conclusion of the sceptic, who could only see an ‘ empty heaven looking down upon a soul-less earth.’”
What light is to the earth, Christ’s resurrection is to the believer.
Ⅰ. The risen Christ is Christ’s attestation to the reality of His claims. Again and again He said that He would rise again from the dead. After His transfiguration He told His disciples that He would die and rise again, but they did not understand Him, and we find them questioning among themselves as to what this rising from among the dead could mean (Matt.17:9; Mark 9:9-10). As Christ is journeying towards Jerusalem, He takes them apart, and seeks to impress upon them the same truth (Matt.20:19). And at the sepulcher the angels reminded the women of what He had told them (Luke 24:7).
Ⅱ. The risen Christ is the Clue to the understanding of the Scripture. When Mary Magdalene told Peter and John that the tomb of Christ was empty, they did not believe her, so they ran to the tomb to see for themselves. The Divine comment upon this is, “ For as yet they knew not the Scripture, that He must rise from the dead” ( John 20:9). See John 2:22; Acts 2:24-32; Acts 13:32,35.
Ⅲ. The risen Christ is the fulfillment of His own word as to the necessity of His resurrection to complete His atoning work. After Peter’s confession of faith as to the Person of Christ, at Caesarea Philippi, we read that Christ began” to shew unto His disciples He must go unto Jerusalem.” ＆c. (Matt.16:21; Acts 3:18).
Ⅳ. The risen Christ is the Channel of blessing (Acts 5:30,31; 10:40; 13:37,38).
Ⅴ. The risen Christ is the Object of our faith (Rom.10:9; 1. Peter 1:21).
Ⅵ. The risen Christ is the Assurance of our justification (Romans 8:34).
Ⅶ. The risen Christ is our Answer to every accusation (Romans 8:34).
Ⅷ. The risen Christ is put to the believer’s account (Rom.6:5; Col.2:12).
Ⅸ. The risen Christ is the Model, Aim, and End of the believer’s life (2 Cor.5:15).
Ⅹ. The risen Christ is the ground of Christ’s claim to the believer, and His protection of him (Rom.14:8,9).
Ⅺ. The risen Christ is the Pledge of our inheritance (1.Peter 1:3).
Ⅻ. The risen Christ is the Earnest of our being glorified with Christ (Romans 8:11).
XIII. The risen Christ is the guarantee that our loved ones, who have fallen asleep, shall be raised (1.Cor.15:20).
XIV. The risen Christ is God’s bond that we shall see our loved ones again (1.Thess.4:14).
XV. The risen Christ is the exhibition of God’s power (Eph.1:20).
XVI. The risen Christ is the worker’s theme in testimony (Acts 3:15,16; 4:10).
XVII. The risen Christ is our Commissioner for service (Gal.1:1).
XVIII. The risen Christ is the positive proof that God will judge the world in righteousness (Acts 17:31).
XIX. The risen Christ should be the desire of all our life (Phil.3:10).
── F.E. Marsh《Five Hundred Bible Readings》
FOURTEEN APPEARINGS OF CHRIST AFTER HIS RESURRECTION.
There are no less than fourteen recorded appearings of Christ before Paul wrote to the Church of Corinth, and fifteen if we include Christ’s manifestation to John in the Isle of Patmos. The fourteen appearings are as follows:--
Ⅰ. To mary Magdalene (John 20:14; Mark 16:9).
Ⅱ. To the other women (Matt. 28:9).
Ⅲ. To Peter (1. Cor.15:5; Luke 24:34).
Ⅳ. To the two disciples on their way to Emmaus ( Mark 16:12,13; Luke 24:13-32).
Ⅴ. The day He appeared to the disciples, in the absence of Thomas (John 20:19-24).
Ⅵ. To the disciples when Thomas was present (John 20:24-29).
Ⅶ. In Galilee, at the sea of Tiberias, to Peter, John, Thomas, James, Nathanael, and two others ( John 21:1-14).
Ⅷ. To the disciples on a mount in Galilee (Matt.28:16).
Ⅸ. To more than five hundred brethren at once ( 1. Cor.15:6).
Ⅹ. To James the apostle (1. Cor.15:7).
Ⅺ. To all the apostles assembled together (1.Cor.15:7).
Ⅻ. To all the apostles at His ascension (Luke 24:50,51; Acts 1:9,10).
XIII. To Stephen, when he was being stoned to death (Acts 7:56).
XIV. To Paul (1. Cor.15:8; Acts 9:3-5; 22:6-10).
Such a mass of evidence attesting any given fact would be accepted as proof positive as to its validity in any court of justice.
── F.E. Marsh《Five Hundred Bible Readings》
PRACTICAL POWER OF CHRIST’S RESURRECTION.
Ⅰ. The resurrection of Jesus in its practical power is associated with our blessing (Acts 3:26).
Ⅱ. Our conduct towards others (Rom.14:9,10).
Ⅲ. Our object in life (2.Cor.5:15).
Ⅳ. Our walk in newness of life (Rom.6:4).
Ⅴ. Our stay in service (2.Tim.2:8).
Ⅵ. Our fruit-bearing (Rom.7:4).
Ⅶ. Our power for every emergency (Eph.1:19,20).
── F.E. Marsh《Five Hundred Bible Readings》
《The Significance of The Resurrection of Crist》
1. "Easter Sunday" is an annual holiday celebrated by many...
a. Millions of people commemorate the resurrection of Jesus on this
b. Many consider it as "the most holy" of religious holidays
c. For some, it marks the only time they attend church services
(Christmas runs a close second)
2. Christians in the first century did not have an annual observance of
a. The word "Easter" is found only once in the KJV Bible - cf. Ac
b. The word in the Greek is actually "Passover", and so translated
elsewhere in the KJV
c. "It is reasonably certain that the NT contains no reference to a
yearly celebration of the resurrection of Christ" (ISBE)
d. The annual observance is a human tradition, introduced in the
second and third centuries
3. Churches today who follow the New Testament pattern do not celebrate
"Easter" per se...
a. Like the church in
, they are content to abide in the Jerusalem
apostles' doctrine - Ac 2:42
b. They note Paul's teaching regarding religious holidays - cf. Ga
c. They value Jesus' warning regarding the traditions of men - cf. Mt
4. This does not in any way demean the importance of the resurrection of
a. It has great significance to the Christian
b. It is something we should think about often (certainly more than
once a year)
5. It is an appropriate subject even on "Easter Sunday", just as
a. On thankfulness are around Thanksgiving
b. On mothers are on Mother's Day
-- Even though churches may not celebrate such holidays per se
[With that thought in mind, allow me to use this opportunity to review
the significance of the resurrection of Jesus Christ for the Christian.
It's significance can first be seen by considering...]
I. IF CHRIST WAS NOT RAISED
A. GOSPEL PREACHING IS VAIN... (1 Co 15:14)
1. The preaching of the apostles is empty, meaningless
2. Because they proclaimed nothing more than a fairy tale, a story
B. OUR FAITH IS VAIN... (1 Co 15:14)
1. Our belief in Christ would also be empty, meaningless
2. For our faith would be in a lie, a story of make believe, not
C. THE APOSTLES WERE FALSE WITNESSES... (1 Co 15:15)
1. They swore that God raised Jesus from the dead - Ac 2:32
2. They claimed to spend 40 days with Him after the resurrection,
eating and drinking with Him - Ac 10:39-41
3. There is no way they could have been deceived or mistaken;
either they told the truth or they were deliberate liars,
deceivers, and frauds!
D. WE ARE STILL IN OUR SINS... (1 Co 15:17)
1. It would have been a liar or lunatic that died on the cross
2. No such person could have provided a sacrifice that was holy
and without blemish
E. BELIEVERS HAVE PERISHED AT DEATH... (1 Co 15:18)
1. Their faith would have been in a false Messiah
2. They would have had no atonement for their sins
3. Dying in their sins, there would be no hope
F. CHRISTIANS ARE TO BE PITIED... (1 Co 15:19)
1. Because we believe in a false Messiah
2. Because our faith in Him leads us to refrain from much worldly
3. Because we are often ridiculed or persecuted for our faith
[As Paul makes it clear, the resurrection of Christ is foundational to
the Christian faith. If Jesus is not raised, then we should not be
Christians! Now let's examine the significance from another angle...]
II. IF CHRIST HAS BEEN RAISED
A. IT VERIFIES OUR JUSTIFICATION... (Ro 4:24-25)
1. Jesus claimed His blood would be adequate - Mt 26:28
2. By raising Jesus from the dead, God demonstrated His acceptance
of Jesus as a sacrifice for our sins! - Ro 8:33-34
B. IT DEMONSTRATES THE POWER AVAILABLE TO THE CHRISTIAN... (Ep 1:
1. Power available at our conversion - Co 2:11-12; 1 Pe 3:21
2. Power available to live the Christian life - Ro 8:11-13; Ph 2:
12-13; 4:13; Ep 3:20; 6:10
C. IT GIVES
HOPE CONCERNING OUR OWN RESURRECTION... (1 Pe 1:3) US
1. His resurrection gives us a living hope! - 1 Pe 1:21
2. Especially concerning the resurrection of believers! - 1 Th 4:
D. IT DEMANDS OUR COMPLETE LOYALTY... (Ro 14:9)
1. He was raised and then exalted to become our Lord - Ac 2:32-36;
2. Thus our lives and service belong to Him - Ro 14:7-8; 2 Co 5:15
1. The impact of the resurrection of Jesus should not go unfelt in our
a. As a historical event it has everlasting implications
b. For both the believer and the unbeliever
2. The believer must never lose sight of the significance of the
a. Do our lives demonstrate that we serve a risen Lord and Savior?
b. Do we possess the hope, peace, and strength that the reality and
power of His resurrection gives to the Christian?
3. The unbeliever also needs to examine the significance of the
a. It verifies the deity of Jesus, that He has all authority - Ro
1:4; Mt 28:19; Ac 2:36
b. It verifies the truthfulness of what He taught, such as...
1) No one can come to the Father but through Him - Jn 14:6
2) His blood was shed for the remission of sins - Mt 26:28
3) He came to offer abundant life - Jn 10:10
4) He went to prepare a place for us - Jn 14:2
5) He shall come again - Jn 14:3
6) There will be a resurrection of the dead and ensuing judgment
- Jn 5:28-29; 12:48
c. If Jesus rose from the dead, then one must believe in Him! - cf.
May we never forget "The Significance Of The Resurrection of Christ" in