How Do We Know Jesus Rose? Part 5.

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. Second, the Existence of the Church. Third, the Change in the Day for Worship. Fourth, the Change within the Disciples.

Finally, the Appearances of Christ. There were some 10 appearances Jesus made after His resurrection. They occurred over a period of 40 days. These appearances represented a great variety with respect to time, place, and location, to particular individuals and to large crowds. They include the following;

  • To Mary Magdalene – John 20:11-18.
  • To the other women – Matthew 28:1-10; Mark 16:1-8; Luke 24:1-11. These include (1) Mary the mother of James and Joseph; (2) Salome; (3) Joanna; (4) Other unidentified women.
  • To Peter – Luke 24:34.
  • To the Ten Disciples (minus Thomas) – Luke 24:36-43; John 20:19-25.
  • To the Eleven Disciples (including Thomas) – John 20:26-29.
  • To the Emmaus Disciples – Luke 24:13-35.
  • To the disciples in Galilee – Matthew 28:16-20; John 21:1-24.
  • To the 500 brethren – I Corinthians 15:6.
  • To James and the apostles – I Corinthians 15:7.
  • At the Ascension –Luke 24:50-53; Acts 1:4-12.

Please note the resurrection appearance which the Apostle Paul encountered on the Road to Damascus (Acts 9:1-6; 18:9-10; 22:1-8; 23:11; 26:12-18; I Corinthians 15:8). With the evidence presented it is beyond a reasonable doubt that Jesus Christ indeed rose from the dead. This is the only plausible explanation.

Dr. Don Carson, professor of New Testament at Trinity Evangelical Divinity School, explains: “As important as the cross is, it is not the end of the story, for all of the New Testament writers focus equally on the resurrection of the Lord Jesus. The resurrection accounts are rich and diverse. There is no way they can be reduced to mass hallucination. Jesus appeared to too many people many times over a period of forty days or so. He appeared to ones and twos; he appeared to as many as five hundred at a time; he appeared to the apostles more than once; he appeared in locked rooms; he appeared on the seashore and ate some fish that he was cooking for them. The witnesses multiply. He shows up when they are not expecting him, and he shows up when they are. He cannot be categorized or dismissed or domesticated. The resurrection appearances are simply too frequent, too diverse, and supported by too many witnesses. What do you do with them?”

It is not only important for Christians to know what they believe, such as the death and resurrection of Jesus Christ, but it is also important for Christians to know why they believe what they believe.

Have a blessed day.

Soli deo Gloria!

 

 

 

 

 

How Do We Know Jesus Rose? Part 4.

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. Second, the Existence of the Church. Third, the Change in the Day for Worship.

Fourth, the Change within the Disciples. Where once they had been a band of frightened cowards they became disciples of courage and conviction in Jesus Christ. These same men who fled for fear when Jesus was arrested (Matthew 26:31, 56; Mark 14:27, 53-54; Luke 22:54-62; John 18:15-27) and who would deny Him became bold and were willing to die if necessary for their faith. (Acts 4:1-22; 5:21-32; Philippians 1:21).

In fact, one of the most strident persecutors of the early church (Saul of Tarsus) was himself converted (Acts 9:1-9; 22:1-22; 26:9-20) and endured much persecution. See 2 Corinthians 6:1-10; 11:21-33. What could have happened to so change these men? The Bible submits that the only plausible answer is the resurrection of Jesus Christ.

More to come!

Soli deo Gloria!

How Do We Know Jesus Rose? Part 3.

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!

 

How Do We Know Jesus Rose? Part 2.

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!

 

 

How Do We Know Jesus Rose?

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?

Dr. R. Albert Mohler writes, “Christianity is founded upon certain nonnegotiable truths, and those truths, once known, are translated into beliefs. The beliefs that anchor our faith are those to which we are most passionately and personally committed, and these are our convictions. We do not believe in belief any more than we have faith in faith. We believe the gospel, and we have faith in Christ. Our beliefs have substance and our faith has an object.”

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.

I refer you to two of three significant texts concerning the resurrection of Jesus Christ. Both are taken from a message preached by the Apostle Peter.

  • Acts 2:22-24 – Men of Israel, hear these words: Jesus of Nazareth, a man attested to you by God with mighty works and wonders and signs that God did through him in your midst, as you yourselves know— this Jesus, delivered up according to the definite plan and foreknowledge of God, you crucified and killed by the hands of lawless men. God raised him up, loosing the pangs of death, because it was not possible for him to be held by it. (Acts 2:22-24, ESV)
  • Acts 2:29-36 – Brothers, I may say to you with confidence about the patriarch David that he both died and was buried, and his tomb is with us to this day. Being therefore a prophet, and knowing that God had sworn with an oath to him that he would set one of his descendants on his throne, he foresaw and spoke about the resurrection of the Christ, that he was not abandoned to Hades, nor did his flesh see corruption. This Jesus God raised up, and of that we all are witnesses. Being therefore exalted at the right hand of God, and having received from the Father the promise of the Holy Spirit, he has poured out this that you yourselves are seeing and hearing. For David did not ascend into the heavens, but he himself says, ‘The Lord said to my Lord, Sit at my right hand, until I make your enemies your footstool.’ Let all the house of Israel therefore know for certain that God has made him both Lord and Christ, this Jesus whom you crucified.” (Acts 2:29-36, ESV)

The very first presentation of the gospel by the Apostle Peter centered upon the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead. To deny the resurrection of Christ is to deny the very gospel of Christ. Both truths are linked together.

More to come!

Soli deo Gloria!

How Do We Know Jesus Died? (Part 5).

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 died on the cross? Aside from what the Bible says in I Peter 3:18, and elsewhere, what evidence do we have for Jesus’ death? Or to put it another way, what are the alternative arguments for Jesus “not” dying on the cross and are they at all plausible?

First of all, there is the Swoon Theory. Second is the Stolen Body Theory. Third is the Hallucination Theory. Fourth is the Wrong Tomb Theory. Finally, there is the Body was Moved Theory. Perhaps, as some speculate, Jewish or Roman authorities moved the body. This is refuted by…

  • The Lack of Reasoning behind it. Having place guards at the tomb to insure no one would tamper with the body of Jesus, what would be the reason for moving the body? Certainly, it could be argued that the Jewish and/or Roman authorities did so to prevent the disciples from doing the very thing they suspected they would do; steal the body of Jesus. Therefore, by moving the body they would hide Christ’s body and therefore prevent the disciples from achieving their intended goal. But this leads us to a second point, which is…
  • The Apostles Preaching. In the face of such boldness on the part of the disciples, as documented in the Book of Acts, why wouldn’t the authorities simply produce the body of Jesus if it indeed had only been moved? The Jewish leaders were enraged at Peter and John in Acts 4 &5 but did nothing to neither prevent the message of the gospel nor suppress it. They also did nothing to produce the body of Jesus if indeed it had only been moved by the religious leaders.

I submit that it is beyond a reasonable doubt that Jesus Christ did in fact die on the cross. This is especially important for us today in light of Islam’s flagrant rejection of the crucifixion of Jesus.

Joined to the reality of Jesus’s death is also the reality of His resurrection. What evidences to we have concerning the resurrection of Christ? We will begin to examine these next time.

Soli deo Gloria!

How Do We Know Jesus Died? (Part 4).

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 died on the cross? Aside from what the Bible says in I Peter 3:18, and elsewhere, what evidence do we have for Jesus’ death? Or to put it another way, what are the alternative arguments for Jesus “not” dying on the cross and are they at all plausible?

First of all, there is the Swoon Theory. Second is the Stolen Body Theory. Third is the Hallucination Theory. Fourth is the Wrong Tomb Theory. This perspective states that the reason there wasn’t a body in the tomb is because everyone went to the wrong tomb. This is refuted by …

  • The women who took such special care to note where Jesus’ body had been laid (Matthew 27:61; Mark 15:47; Luke 23:55).
  • Peter and John also knew exactly where the tomb was even though they arrived separately (John 20:2-8).
  • The Roman Guards. How could they have been mistaken when such specific plans and procedures had been carefully thought out by the chief priests to guard the tomb so Jesus’ body would not be stolen? (Matthew 27:62-66; Matthew 28:1-4, 11).
  • Why were the guards bribed to lie about the empty tomb if they had been at the wrong tomb? (Matthew 28:12-15).
  • If it was the wrong tomb then why didn’t the chief priests, the Sanhedrin, the Roman Soldiers, Joseph of Arimathea, or even Pilate himself go to the right tomb and produce the body? The conclusion is simple. They were at the right tomb and it was empty because Jesus had risen from the dead.

More to come!

Soli deo Gloria!

How Do We Know Jesus Died? (Part 3).

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 died on the cross? Aside from what the Bible says in I Peter 3:18, and elsewhere, what evidence do we have for Jesus’ death? Or to put it another way, what are the alternative arguments for Jesus “not” dying on the cross and are they at all plausible?

First of all, there is the Swoon Theory. Second is the Stolen Body Theory. Third is the Hallucination Theory. This theory states that the disciples so wanted to believe that Jesus rose from the dead that they hallucinated and actually believed He had risen. This is refuted …

  • By Jesus’ Appearances. Too many people saw Christ after His death for his resurrection to be anything else than what it was. I Corinthians 15:1-8. When He appeared to the disciples they thought He was a ghost. He finally had to tell them to touch and handle Him. He even asked them for some fish. Luke 24:36-43.
  • The Skepticism of the Disciples. The disciples didn’t believe at first that Jesus had risen from the dead. They were skeptical (Mark 16:9-11; Luke 24:1-12; John 20:1-25). Thomas flat out refused to believe it was true unless he placed his hands in Jesus’ wounds. They thought words of His resurrection were “idle tales.”
  • The Behavior by the Women. If Mary, and the other women, were so convinced that He would rise then why did they go to the tomb on first day of week to anoint His body? They obviously weren’t expecting Him to be alive (John 20:1-10). In fact, Mary didn’t even recognize Jesus, but thought He was a gardener (John 20:11-18).

More to come! Soli deo Gloria!

How Do We Know Jesus Died? (Part 2).

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 died on the cross? Aside from what the Bible says in I Peter 3:18, and elsewhere, what evidence do we have for Jesus’ death? Or to put it another way, what are the alternative arguments for Jesus “not” dying on the cross and are they at all plausible?

First of all, there is the Swoon Theory. Second is the Stolen Body Theory. This theory argues that Christ didn’t rise from the dead but rather that His disciples stole the body and pretended to everyone that Christ had risen. This is refuted …

  • By the Actions of the Chief Priests. When the chief priests heard that the tomb of Jesus was empty and His body gone, they bribed the soldiers to say that Jesus’ disciples had stolen the body. This would protect the soldiers from punishment. However, why would the chief priest bribe the soldiers to say that Jesus’ disciples had stolen Christ’s body if the disciples had indeed stolen the body of the Lord? See Matthew 28:11-15.
  • The Presence of the Roman Guards. In Matthew 27:57-65 we see that the chief priests and the Pharisees came to Pilate and requested that the tomb be made secure so that the disciples couldn’t steal His body. They even had guards posted. They anticipated such a theft taking place.
  • The Sealing of the Tomb. Again in Matthew 27:65- 66 we see that the utmost caution was made to ensure that the tomb couldn’t be breached. Is it possible that the disciples got pass the guards, unsealed the tomb and took the body of Jesus without being detected?
  • The Fear of the Disciples. In Mark 14:50 along with Matthew 26:56 we see the disciples having fled in fear following the arrest of Jesus. With the exception of John (John 19:25-27) and maybe Peter (I Peter 2:21-25) none of the disciples were present at the crucifixion. In John 20:19 we see the disciples huddled in the upper room with the doors shut and locked for fear of the Jews. The disciples believed that as Jesus’ enemies had executed Him, they would soon be next. Is it plausible that these fearful men would seek out Jesus’ body and try to steal it?
  • The Orderly Condition of the Grave Clothes. In Luke 24:1-12 along with John 20:3-7 we see the burial clothes Jesus wore lying in the tomb. The handkerchief that had been wrapped around His head was not lying with the linen clothes but folded together in a place by itself. Does it make sense that had the disciples stolen the body they would have taken the time to neatly fold the strips of Jesus’ burial linen before they left the tomb?
  • The Preaching of the Gospel. If the disciples had stolen the body they would have known that the resurrection story was a lie. Why then would they preach a lie and in some cases die for a lie, knowing it was a lie? See Acts 4:8-12. While it makes sense to suffer persecution for something you believe is true, even if it is not, it makes no sense to be persecuted for something you know not to be true. The only logical explanation is that the disciples were willing to suffer and die for the gospel because they knew that Jesus had indeed risen from the dead.

More to come!

Soli deo Gloria!

 

How Do We Know Jesus Died?

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 died on the cross? Aside from what the Bible says in I Peter 3:18, and elsewhere, what evidence do we have for Jesus’ death? Or to put it another way, what are the alternative arguments for Jesus “not” dying on the cross and are they at all plausible?

First of all, there is the Swoon Theory. This point of view teaches that Jesus didn’t die but simply fainted. The cool air of the tomb later revived him. He then lived many years thereafter and died a natural death. This is refuted …

  • By the soldiers. In John 19:31-37, the soldiers broke the legs of both of the criminals crucified on either side of Jesus for the purpose of hastening their death. This was so their bodies would not remain on the cross during the Sabbath. However, when they got to Jesus they saw that He was already dead so they did not break His legs. They also stabbed Him in the side just to make sure that He was indeed deceased.
  • By Joseph of Arimathea. All four gospels (Matthew 27:57-61; Mark 15:42-47; Luke 23:50-55; John 19:38-42) record Joseph of Arimathea, along with Nicodemas and other women, carefully anointing Jesus’ body for burial, binding it in strips of linen with spices and laying His body in a new tomb. Surely they would have noticed if He was still breathing.
  • By Nicodemas. (See previous point).
  • By Pilate. Mark 14:42-47 reports that Pilate was surprised to hear that Jesus had already died after only being on the cross for six hours. Sometimes death by crucifixion could take up to six days. Therefore, Pilate had the centurion in charge of the execution verify that Jesus was indeed dead. The centurion did so.
  • By Jesus. If Jesus had simply fainted, and later regained consciousness, this would mean that Jesus would have been a part of a fragrant lie by pretending to have risen from the grave when He would have known that He had not. He would therefore neither be good, nor a moral teacher who should be followed but rather a liar to be rejected.

As the late Paul Little explains, “It is impossible that One who had just come forth from the grave half dead, who crept about weak and ill, who stood in need of medical treatment, of bandaging, strengthening, and tender care and who at last succumbed to such great suffering on the cross could ever have given the disciples the impression that He was the conqueror over death and the grave; that He was the Prince of Life.”

More to come!

Soli deo Gloria!