The Resurrection of Jesus Christ
The resurrection of Jesus separates Christianity from all other religions. Without it, faith in Christ would be meaningless. It is the confirmation of His identity as the Son of God and savior of mankind.
Biblical Accounts of the Resurrection
Accounts written in the New Testament tell us Jesus was arrested, judged a political criminal, then crucified.
- The burial. In accordance with Jewish burial custom, Jesus’ body was wrapped in linen cloth and 100 pounds of aromatic spices were then applied to the wrappings.
- The tomb. After the body was placed in a solid rock tomb, an extremely large stone was rolled against the entrance.
- The guard. A Roman soldier placed a seal on the tomb then stood guard at the entrance to prevent anyone from moving the stone. Breaking the seal on the tomb also meant breaking Roman law.
- The Resurrection. Three days after His burial, the tomb was empty. The followers of Jesus claimed He had risen from the dead and had showed Himself to them by many “infallible proofs” (Acts 1:3).
Arguments for the Resurrection
- The resurrection was predicted hundreds of years before Jesus’ birth. Psalm 16:9-10 says, “Therefore my heart is glad and my tongue rejoices. My body also will rest secure, for You will not abandon my soul to Sheol, nor will You allow Your Holy One to undergo decay.”
- Jesus also predicted His resurrection. Mark 8:31 says, “The Son of Man must suffer many things and be rejected by the elders and the chief priests and the scribes and be killed, and after three days rise again.”
- Jesus was seen by many people after He rose from the dead. 1 Corinthians 15:3-6 says, “For what I received I passed on to you as of first importance: that Christ died for our sins according to the Scriptures, that he was buried, that he was raised on the third day according to the Scriptures, and that he appeared to Cephas, and then to the Twelve. After that, he appeared to more than five hundred of the brothers and sisters at the same time, most of whom are still living, though some have fallen asleep.”
- The disciple’s story is convincing. If the resurrection was a lie, why would the disciples tell people Jesus rose from the dead? There was no fame or fortune to be had. No movie deals to make. Instead, they were beaten, stoned to death, tortured, and crucified. They all laid down their lives as the ultimate proof that their story was true.
- The church was established. The Christian church was established and grew because the disciples refused to stop preaching and teaching about a living savior, Jesus Christ.
- The Resurrection cannot be disproven. Theories have circulated over the years concerning the authenticity of the Resurrection. Some have even been featured in fictional novels such as the Da Vinci Code, yet none have been able to disprove the resurrection of Jesus. Brooke Foss Westcott, an English scholar said, “Raking all the evidence together, it is not too much to say that there is no historic incident better or more variously supported than the resurrection of Christ.”
Professor Thomas Arnold, a headmaster of Rugby for 14 years said, “I have been used for many years to study the histories of other times, and to examine and weigh the evidence of those who have written about them, and I know of no one fact in the history of mankind which is proved by better and fuller evidence of every sort, to the understanding of a fair inquirer, than the great sign which God has given us that Christ died and rose again from the dead.”
The resurrection is important because Jesus Christ is alive and His life is the essence of the Christian experience. John 14:6 says, “I am the way, and the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father but through Me.”