What I believe – Lesson 5

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Resurrection of Jesus Christ

1 Corinthians 15:17

1 Corinthians 15:17 ESV “And if Christ has not been raised, your faith is futile and you are still in your sins.”

Last week, we discussed the crucifixion of Jesus Christ.  We saw that His death paid the price for our sins.  We saw that man can not be saved outside the sacrifice that Christ made on the cross for us.  The question that we need to see tonight is, “Can a person be saved and not believe in the resurrection of Jesus Christ?”  Secondly, we need to answer the question, “What happens if there is no resurrection?”

Apostle Creed

“I believe in God, the Father Almighty, Creator of Heaven and earth; and in Jesus Christ, His only Son Our Lord, Who was conceived by the Holy Ghost, born of the Virgin Mary, suffered under Pontius Pilate, was crucified, dead, and was buried. The third day He rose again from the dead;

He ascended into Heaven, and sitteth at the right hand of God, the Father almighty; from thence He shall come to judge the quick and the dead.

I believe in the Holy Ghost, the holy Christian Church, the communion of saints, the forgiveness of sins, the resurrection of the body and life everlasting.” 

Wesley’s Article 3—Of the Resurrection of Christ – Christ did truly rise again from the dead, and took again his body, with all things appertaining to the perfection of man’s nature, wherewith he ascended into heaven, and there sitteth until he return to judge all men at the last day.

What is the resurrection?

Resurrection is the act of rising from the dead or returning to life.

When a person has died and lives again, this is the resurrection.  

What kind of resurrection did Christ have?

Actual resurrection

Mark 15:45 ESV “And when he learned from the centurion that he was dead, he granted the corpse to Joseph.” 

The resurrection of Jesus Christ was an actual resurrection, because Christ truly died on the cross and was dead when He was placed in the tomb.  Some have contended that Christ only fainted on the cross and was revived by the coolness of the tomb.  However the Scriptures are complete when they record that Christ died on the cross and was buried.

Bodily resurrection

Luke 24:39–40 ESV “24:39 See my hands and my feet, that it is I myself. Touch me, and see. For a spirit does not have flesh and bones as you see that I have.”

24:40 And when he had said this, he showed them his hands and his feet.”

 

John 20:20 ESV “When he had said this, he showed them his hands and his side. Then the disciples were glad when they saw the Lord.”

 

Luke 24:42–43 ESV “24:42 They gave him a piece of broiled fish,

24:43 and he took it and ate before them.”

 

Some have taught that when Christ rose from the grave, He rose as a spirit and not as a body.  But, in this and other passages, the Scriptures teach that He had a body, one that could be touched.

Unusual Resurrection

It was unusual from all the previous resurrections, because Christ rose never to die again.  All of the other resurrections from the dead all died again.  When Lazarus rose from the dead, he died later.

Son Of The Widow Of Zarephath

1 Kings 17:22 ESV “And the Lord listened to the voice of Elijah. And the life of the child came into him again, and he revived.” 

Son Of The Shunammite

2 Kings 4:35 ESV “Then he got up again and walked once back and forth in the house, and went up and stretched himself upon him. The child sneezed seven times, and the child opened his eyes.” 

Dead Man Restored To Life At Touch Of Elisha’s Bones

2 Kings 13:21 ESV “And as a man was being buried, behold, a marauding band was seen and the man was thrown into the grave of Elisha, and as soon as the man touched the bones of Elisha, he revived and stood on his feet.” 

Jairus’ Daughter

Matthew 9:25 ESV “But when the crowd had been put outside, he went in and took her by the hand, and the girl arose.”

 

Mark 5:42 ESV “And immediately the girl got up and began walking (for she was twelve years of age), and they were immediately overcome with amazement.” 

Saints At The Time Of The Crucifixion

Matthew 27:52 ESV “The tombs also were opened. And many bodies of the saints who had fallen asleep were raised,” 

Son Of The Widow Of Nain

Luke 7:15 ESV “And the dead man sat up and began to speak, and Jesus gave him to his mother.” 

Lazarus Of Bethany

John 11:44 ESV “The man who had died came out, his hands and feet bound with linen strips, and his face wrapped with a cloth. Jesus said to them, “Unbind him, and let him go.”” 

Tabitha

Acts 9:40 ESV “But Peter put them all outside, and knelt down and prayed; and turning to the body he said, “Tabitha, arise.” And she opened her eyes, and when she saw Peter she sat up.” 

Eutychus

Acts 20:12 ESV “And they took the youth away alive, and were not a little comforted.” .

What is the proof of the resurrection of Jesus Christ?

1 Corinthians 15:1–8 ESV “15:1 ¶ Now I would remind you, brothers, of the gospel I preached to you, which you received, in which you stand,

15:2 and by which you are being saved, if you hold fast to the word I preached to you—unless you believed in vain.

15:3 ¶ For I delivered to you as of first importance what I also received: that Christ died for our sins in accordance with the Scriptures,

15:4 that he was buried, that he was raised on the third day in accordance with the Scriptures,

15:5 and that he appeared to Cephas, then to the twelve.

15:6 Then he appeared to more than five hundred brothers at one time, most of whom are still alive, though some have fallen asleep.

15:7 Then he appeared to James, then to all the apostles.

15:8 Last of all, as to one untimely born, he appeared also to me.”

Testimony of the Scriptures about the resurrection of Jesus Christ.

John 11:25 ESV “Jesus said to her, “I am the resurrection and the life. Whoever believes in me, though he die, yet shall he live,”

John 20:1–18 ESV “20:1 ¶ Now on the first day of the week Mary Magdalene came to the tomb early, while it was still dark, and saw that the stone had been taken away from the tomb.

20:2 So she ran and went to Simon Peter and the other disciple, the one whom Jesus loved, and said to them, “They have taken the Lord out of the tomb, and we do not know where they have laid him.”

20:3 So Peter went out with the other disciple, and they were going toward the tomb.

20:4 Both of them were running together, but the other disciple outran Peter and reached the tomb first.

20:5 And stooping to look in, he saw the linen cloths lying there, but he did not go in.

20:6 Then Simon Peter came, following him, and went into the tomb. He saw the linen cloths lying there,

20:7 and the face cloth, which had been on Jesus’ head, not lying with the linen cloths but folded up in a place by itself.

20:8 Then the other disciple, who had reached the tomb first, also went in, and he saw and believed;

20:9 for as yet they did not understand the Scripture, that he must rise from the dead.

20:10 Then the disciples went back to their homes.

20:11 ¶ But Mary stood weeping outside the tomb, and as she wept she stooped to look into the tomb.

20:12 And she saw two angels in white, sitting where the body of Jesus had lain, one at the head and one at the feet.

20:13 They said to her, “Woman, why are you weeping?” She said to them, “They have taken away my Lord, and I do not know where they have laid him.”

20:14 Having said this, she turned around and saw Jesus standing, but she did not know that it was Jesus.

20:15 Jesus said to her, “Woman, why are you weeping? Whom are you seeking?” Supposing him to be the gardener, she said to him, “Sir, if you have carried him away, tell me where you have laid him, and I will take him away.”

20:16 Jesus said to her, “Mary.” She turned and said to him in Aramaic, “Rabboni!” (which means Teacher).

20:17 Jesus said to her, “Do not cling to me, for I have not yet ascended to the Father; but go to my brothers and say to them, ‘I am ascending to my Father and your Father, to my God and your God.’”

20:18 Mary Magdalene went and announced to the disciples, “I have seen the Lord”—and that he had said these things to her.”

Testimony of the witnesses that saw Christ after the resurrection:

Mary at the tomb

Other women on the way from the tomb

Two disciples on the road to Emmaus

Simon Peter

Ten disciples

Eleven disciples

Disciples at Tiberias

Disciples on the mount in Galilee

500 brethren at one time

Disciples at the Ascension of Christ

Paul on the road to Damascus 

Testimony of the empty Tomb

Matthew 28:11–15 ESV “28:11 ¶ While they were going, behold, some of the guard went into the city and told the chief priests all that had taken place.

28:12 And when they had assembled with the elders and taken counsel, they gave a sufficient sum of money to the soldiers

28:13 and said, “Tell people, ‘His disciples came by night and stole him away while we were asleep.’

28:14 And if this comes to the governor’s ears, we will satisfy him and keep you out of trouble.”

28:15 So they took the money and did as they were directed. And this story has been spread among the Jews to this day.”

The empty tomb testifies of the validity of the resurrection – tomb was sealed with Pilate’s seal and guards posted to keep individuals from stealing the body.

Testimony of worship being on Sunday and not Saturday

The changing of the day of worship from the seventh day of the week to the first day of the week, the disciples changed the day of worship to honor the day the Lord was resurrected.

Testimony of the Apostles being martyred for their faith in Christ

Peter – martyred – inverted on a cross

Andrew – Peter’s brother – martyred – crucified

John – died in exile – old age

James the son of Zebedee- Acts 12:2 – martyred – killed with a sword 

Nathanael (Bartholomew) – not sure how he died

Thomas – martyred – stabbed to death with a spear

Matthew – martyred – sword

Philip – not sure how he died

James – not sure – some believe he was stoned to death or clubbed to death

Jude (Thaddeus) – martyred

Simon the Canaanite – not sure

Paul – martyred – tortured and beheaded⁠1

Testimony of others who were martyred for their faith

Read Foxes’ Book of Martyrs 

Some of the details of Polycarp’s death are up for debate. It’s agreed that he was arrested as an old man and sentenced to be burned at the stake for his devotion to Christ. The Roman proconsul took pity on Polycarp and urged him to recant. All he had to do was say, “Caesar is Lord,” and offer a little bit of incense to Caesar’s statue, and he would live. Polycarp’s stalwart response: “Eighty-six years I have served Christ, and He never did me any wrong. How can I blaspheme my King who saved me?” So he was taken to the place of execution. One tradition states that, when the guards realized they had no nails or rope to affix him to the post, Polycarp assured them that no restraint was necessary—that Jesus would empower him to bear the flames. Another account says that the flames avoided his body, arching over his head. When the guards realized that Polycarp could not be burned, they stabbed him with a spear—and the blood that ran down extinguished the flames.⁠2

Testimony of the continuation of the Church

The continual existence of the Christian church even during times of great persecution testifies to the validity of the resurrected Christ.

Can a person be saved and not believe in the resurrection of Jesus Christ?

Importance of the resurrection

1 Corinthians 15:12–19 ESV “15:12 ¶ Now if Christ is proclaimed as raised from the dead, how can some of you say that there is no resurrection of the dead?

15:13 But if there is no resurrection of the dead, then not even Christ has been raised.

15:14 And if Christ has not been raised, then our preaching is in vain and your faith is in vain.

15:15 We are even found to be misrepresenting God, because we testified about God that he raised Christ, whom he did not raise if it is true that the dead are not raised.

15:16 For if the dead are not raised, not even Christ has been raised.

15:17 And if Christ has not been raised, your faith is futile and you are still in your sins.

15:18 Then those also who have fallen asleep in Christ have perished.

15:19 If in Christ we have hope in this life only, we are of all people most to be pitied.”

1 Thessalonians 4:13–18 ESV “4:13 ¶ But we do not want you to be uninformed, brothers, about those who are asleep, that you may not grieve as others do who have no hope.

4:14 For since we believe that Jesus died and rose again, even so, through Jesus, God will bring with him those who have fallen asleep.

4:15 For this we declare to you by a word from the Lord, that we who are alive, who are left until the coming of the Lord, will not precede those who have fallen asleep.

4:16 For the Lord himself will descend from heaven with a cry of command, with the voice of an archangel, and with the sound of the trumpet of God. And the dead in Christ will rise first.

4:17 Then we who are alive, who are left, will be caught up together with them in the clouds to meet the Lord in the air, and so we will always be with the Lord.

4:18 Therefore encourage one another with these words.”

 

  • Without the resurrection, then I am wasting my time preaching – verse 14
  • Without the resurrection, then my faith is useless or vain – verse 14
  • Without the resurrection, then we are still in our sins – no salvation – verse 17
  • Without the resurrection, then all those who have died in Christ have no hope – verse 18

Can a person believe the other miracles in the Bible and not the resurrection?

All the miracles of the Bible points to the resurrection of Jesus Christ because it shows the power of God to restore life and give life.  The miracle of the resurrection shows the power of God to perform the other miracles.

If a person rejects the miracle of the resurrection, then he must reject all the other miracle of the Bible.

Can a person be saved and not believe in the resurrection?

Romans 10:9 ESV “because, if you confess with your mouth that Jesus is Lord and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved.”

 

1 Thessalonians 4:14 ESV “For since we believe that Jesus died and rose again, even so, through Jesus, God will bring with him those who have fallen asleep.”

 

A person can not be saved and not believe in the resurrection of Jesus Christ.  One must believe that Christ both died and rose again for them in order to be saved.

What did the resurrection of Christ reveal?

Jesus Christ was the Lamb of God and His sacrifice was accepted by God the Father.

If Christ was not sinless, then His sacrifice would not have been accepted and He raised from the dead.  His sacrifice was perfect and fully acceptable for the Father to pay for the sins of the world.

Jesus’ resurrection fulfilled the Old Testament prophecy

Psalm 16:10 ESV “For you will not abandon my soul to Sheol, or let your holy one see corruption.” 

Matthew 16:21 ESV “¶ From that time Jesus began to show his disciples that he must go to Jerusalem and suffer many things from the elders and chief priests and scribes, and be killed, and on the third day be raised.” 

Jesus is the Son of God, His diety

Only the Lord God has power over death and the grave.  The fact that Christ was risen from the grave shows that He is truly the Son of God.

Believer’s salvation is complete in Christ

John 16:7 ESV “Nevertheless, I tell you the truth: it is to your advantage that I go away, for if I do not go away, the Helper will not come to you. But if I go, I will send him to you.” 

Holy Ghost has come to lead us to Christ that did a completed work on the cross and the grave.

Jesus had the victory over death and the grave

1 Corinthians 15:55–57 ESV “15:55 “O death, where is your victory? O death, where is your sting?”

15:56 ¶ The sting of death is sin, and the power of sin is the law.

15:57 But thanks be to God, who gives us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ.”

Believers will have a resurrected body because of Christ’s victory over death

1 Corinthians 15:21–22 ESV “15:21 For as by a man came death, by a man has come also the resurrection of the dead.

15:22 For as in Adam all die, so also in Christ shall all be made alive.”     

1 Corinthians 15:49 ESV “Just as we have borne the image of the man of dust, we shall also bear the image of the man of heaven.”  

Philippians 3:21 ESV “who will transform our lowly body to be like his glorious body, by the power that enables him even to subject all things to himself.”  

Believers no longer have to fear death because Christ brings eternal life

1 Corinthians 15:51–57 ESV “15:51 Behold! I tell you a mystery. We shall not all sleep, but we shall all be changed,

15:52 in a moment, in the twinkling of an eye, at the last trumpet. For the trumpet will sound, and the dead will be raised imperishable, and we shall be changed.

15:53 For this perishable body must put on the imperishable, and this mortal body must put on immortality.

15:54 When the perishable puts on the imperishable, and the mortal puts on immortality, then shall come to pass the saying that is written: “Death is swallowed up in victory.”

15:55 “O death, where is your victory? O death, where is your sting?”

15:56 ¶ The sting of death is sin, and the power of sin is the law.

15:57 But thanks be to God, who gives us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ.”.

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1 https://www.gotquestions.org/apostles-die.html

2 https://www.gotquestions.org/Polycarp.html

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