©Fundamental Evangelistic Association
A correct understanding of the Resurrection is of great importance in a day when so many professing Christians differ as to its meaning and worth. As Bible-believers, we are to contend for the Doctrine of Christ (2 John 9) and to separate from those who do not hold to that doctrine. The bodily Resurrection of Christ is an indispensable part of the teaching concerning the Son of God. It is a glorious and essential fact No true born again believer should be indifferent as to what the Bible declares to be the truth. The Word of God clearly states, ''And if Christ be not raised, your faith is vain; ye are yet in your sins.'' 1 Corinthians 15:17. The fact that Jesus is God incarnate requires the Resurrection. God cannot be held in death; therefore, "...it was not possible that He [Jesus Christ] should be holden of it [death]." Acts 2:24.
The Testimony of Christ
The indisputable fact of the Resurrection can be seen in Christ's s own testimony. Concerning this, Jesus said, "The Son of man must suffer many things and be rejected of the elders and chief priests and scribes, and be slain, and be raised the third day." Luke 9:22. Jesus not only knew that He must die a sacrifice for sin, but that He must also be raised again from the grave.
Through its prophetic and direct statements, the Bible reveals the indisputable fact of Christ's Resurrection. Hundreds of years before the birth of Christ the Psalmist prophesied, "For Thou wilt not leave my soul in hell; neither wilt Thou suffer thine Holy One [Jesus Christ] to see corruption." Psalm 16:10. This prophecy was literally fulfilled when Christ was raised from the dead. There is no possibility of error in the interpretation of this prophecy. Under inspiration of the Holy Spirit the Apostle Peter quoted this Old Testament prophecy in Acts 2:27, and said of the Psalmist "He seeing this before spake of the resurrection of Christ that His soul was not left in hell, neither His flesh did see corruption. This Jesus hath God raised up whereof we all are witnesses." Acts 2:31 and 32.
The testimony of many eyewitnesses who saw the resurrected Christ gives us undeniable proof of the Resurrection: "For I delivered unto you first of all that which I also received how that Christ died for our sins according to the Scriptures: and that He was buried and that He rose again the third day according to the Scriptures: and that He was seen of Cephas. then of the twelve: after that He was seen of above five hundred brethren at once." 1 Corinthians 15:3- 6. The Resurrection is the heart of the Gospel message. The Apostle Peter preached the Resurrection without apology (Acts 10:38-43). Paul, also, was unswerving in his proclamation of this glorious truth (read carefully Acts 17:2-4). These eyewitnesses went out with boldness and joy because they knew that they served a risen Lord.
The Empty Tomb
Without question, the empty tomb shows that Christ rose BODILY from the grave: "And the angel answered and said unto the women, Fear not ye: for I know that ye seek Jesus. which was crucified. He is not here: for He is risen. as He said. Come see the place where the Lord lay." Matthew 28:5 and 6. This was not merely a "spiritual resurrection" nor was it thievery or trickery; Christ had risen BODILY as He had said. His own words in John 2:18-22 confirm the fact that He rose BODILY from the grave. In verse 19. Christ says. "Destroy this temple, and in three days I will raise it up." In verse 21, this temple mentioned by Jesus is clearly "the temple of His BODY." The disciple remembered this discourse after He was risen and, therefore, accepted as fact Christ's bodily Resurrection (verse 22). The fact of the Resurrection is established by Scripture. As Bible-believers, we can rest in this blessed truth and contend boldly with any who would attempt to discredit this historical account Yet to the believer, the Resurrection means much more. Because Jesus Christ rose from the grave, certain blessings and promises are afforded those who have entrusted their souls to the LIVING SAVIOUR.
The Resurrection proves that Christ s sacrificial payment for our sin was accepted by God. Jesus Christ shed His blood as the payment for our sin: "And He is the propitiation [appeasing sacrifice] for our sins: and not for ours only, but also for the sins of the whole world." 1 John 2:2. The perfect sacrifice was offered, and any lost sinner is justified, or made right with God, by trusting in that precious blood (1 Peter 1:18 and 19). In Romans, God's Word states, ''Who [Jesus] was delivered for our offences, and was raised again for our justification." Romans 4:25. In essence. we are justified by faith in His shed blood. Christ was raised because God accepted His death as the perfect and only basis for our justification.
The Resurrection shows that Christ has the power to give life to those who believe. God's Word says, And so it is written, "The first man Adam was made a living soul; the last Adam [Jesus Christ] was made a quickening spirit.'' 1 Corinthians 15:45. The assertion of this Scripture is that Jesus Christ has the ability to "quicken" or to "make alive." In the Gospel of John, the Saviour declares: "For as the Father raiseth up the dead, and quickeneth them: even so the Son quickeneth whom He will." John 5:21. We see, therefore, the resurrected Saviour who has this life-giving power. Today He imparts life to all who believe. "But as many as received Him, to them gave He power to become the sons of God even to them that believe on His name." John 1:12.
The Resurrection also assures us of the power needed to live a victorious Christian life: "And what is the exceeding greatness of His power to us-ward who believe, according to the working of His mighty power, which He wrought in Christ when He raised Him from the dead..." Ephesians 1:19 and 20. There will never be any trial too great any burden too heavy, or any temptation too strong. The same power that raised up Jesus is available to all who believe. As we learn to trust Him more and ourselves less, He will be able to display daily His mighty power in our lives.
Pattern for the Future
Finally, the Resurrection reveals the pattern of what lies ahead for the believer. Christ is the firstfruits, that is, the firstborn from the dead. He was resurrected from the grave and the promise is, then, that we will be raised in like manner. "But now is Christ risen from the dead and become the firstfruits of them that slept For since by man came death, by man came also the resurrection of the dead. For as in Adam all die. even so in Christ shall all be made alive." 1 Corinthians 15:20-22. Because Christ arose, all who are His shall, at His appearing, receive new, resurrection bodies (see Philippians 3:20 and 21). Whether living or dead,... "we shall all be changed." 1 Corinthians 15:51. What a blessed future is in store for all who place their trust in the resurrected Saviour and Lord, Jesus Christ!
The Resurrection of Jesus Christ is a glorious fact Jesus Christ lives today! He imparts life to lost souls who believe the Gospel message. He empowers believers to live victorious Christian lives. Do YOU know the risen Lord as your personal Saviour? He died to pay the penalty for your sins. He arose victorious from the grave! Trust Him as your Saviour today! "For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in Him should not perish, but have everlasting life." John 3:16. "Verily, verily, I say unto you, He that heareth my Word and believeth on Him that sent me, hath everlasting life, and shall not come into condemnation; but is passed from death unto life." John 5:24.
Fundamental Evangelistic Association
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Fresno, California 93720 U.S.A.
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