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.
Beyond what Scripture explicitly says, what other evidence is there which supports the doctrine of Jesus’ resurrection from the dead? The following must be considered.
First, there is the Bibliographical Test. This refers to the eyewitness accounts of the resurrection: Matthew, Mark, Luke and John. Are these witnesses credible? There is substantial evidence that the gospels, and for that matter the entire New Testament, is indeed credible and truthful regarding what they teach, especially as it pertains to the resurrection.
Second, the Existence of the Church. It is worldwide in scope and significant in its depth of influence. Its history can be traced to A.D. 32. The early church constantly referred to the resurrection as the basis for their teaching, preaching, living and most significantly, dying. (Acts 2, 4, and 7).
Third, the Change in the Day for Worship. Sunday is the day of worship for Christians. This can be traced back to A.D. 32. There must have been something truly remarkable to change the day of worship from the Jewish Sabbath. In fact the Christians celebrated Sunday in recognition of the resurrection. This is all the more significant when you realize the first Christians were in fact Jews. See Acts 2.
The bodily resurrection of Jesus Christ stands the test of time. More to come!
Soli deo Gloria!