18 For Christ also suffered once for sins, the righteous for the unrighteous, that he might bring us to God, being put to death in the flesh but made alive in the spirit,” (I Peter 3:18).
How do we know that Jesus actually rose from the dead? Aside from what the Bible says in I Peter 3:18, and elsewhere, what evidence do we have for Jesus’ resurrection?
The resurrection is the foundation stone of the biblical theology of the church. It is the primary message the church must communicate to lost sinners. It is also the primary message the church must continue to communicate to the redeemed. Not only was the resurrection preached by the Apostle Peter, but it was also preached by the Apostle Paul.
- I Corinthians 15:12-19. Now if Christ is proclaimed as raised from the dead, how can some of you say that there is no resurrection of the dead? But if there is no resurrection of the dead, then not even Christ has been raised. And if Christ has not been raised, then our preaching is in vain and your faith is in vain. 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. For if the dead are not raised, not even Christ has been raised. And if Christ has not been raised, your faith is futile and you are still in your sins. Then those also who have fallen asleep in Christ have perished. If in this life only we have hoped in Christ, we are of all people most to be pitied. (I Corinthians 15:12-19, ESV)
The Apostle Paul places great importance on the resurrection. He makes eight observations in I Corinthians 15. In a series of eight conditional statements, Paul sets forth the importance of the resurrection for the believer.
- 13 – if no resurrection … then Christ is not raised.
- 14 – if no resurrection …then our preaching is empty.
- 14b – if no resurrection … then our faith is empty.
- 15 – if no resurrection …then we are false witnesses.
- 17 – if no resurrection …then our faith is futile.
- 17b – if no resurrection …then we are still in our sins.
- 18 – if no resurrection …then those who have died in Christ have perished.
- 19 – if no resurrection …then we are of all men the most pitiable.
(See also Acts 4:2; 13:35; 17:18; 24:15; Philippians 1:21-23; 3:10-11; 2 Corinthians 5:1-8; Revelation 20:6).
To deny the resurrection is to deny the gospel of Jesus Christ.
More to come! Happy New Year!
Soli deo Gloria!