The Resurrection of Jesus Christ
The resurrection of Jesus Christ, three days after He was crucified, changed everything for Him and for us.
In 1 Cor. 15:19, the Apostle Paul wrote, “If in this life only we have hope in Christ, we are of all men most pitiable.” Thank God, the apostle doesn’t stop there. In the very next verse he declares, “But now Christ is risen from the dead, and has become the firstfruits of those who have fallen asleep.” (1Cor. 15:20).
Christ’s resurrection was not just a great historical event, but it was a demonstration of the powers of another world. It was in fact at the very heart of what we call the Gospel – which is the good news that our God is creating a whole new order – people redeemed by the precious blood of Jesus Christ when they place their faith in Him.
Jesus Christ is alive! He is alive, but not just in His spirit, but in His glorified body. He has triumphed over a long era where death reigned over all and He has reversed that process which began with man’s fall in Eden.
Many years ago, I met a friend whose 11-year-old son had been killed by a hit and run driver. As I told him how sorry I was for his loss, he relied, “Leonard, as I stood at my son’s grave, all I could say was, ‘thank God for the resurrection. I know I will see my son again.’”
A. We Must Consider First of All – Why He Came.
Note: It is obvious that Jesus knew why He had come into this world. Let’s hear what He said – Luke 19:10, “For the Son of Man has come to seek and to save that which was lost.” Mark 10:45, “The Son of Man did not come to be served, but to serve, and to give His life a ransom for many.”
Note: The word ‘RANSOM’ is clearly connected to the idea of ‘REDEMTION’. The ransom was the price that was paid to purchase freedom or deliverance.
· Christ’s shed blood on the cross was the ransom price He paid to deliver us from sin. Rom. 3:23-26.
· Christ’s death satisfies Divine judgement against sinners (that’s us).
· It is because God loves us that He sent His Son to give His life for us. John 3:16; 1 Peter 1:18-21.
B. Christ’s Resurrection Is Essential for Our Redemption.
Note: God’s plan for our redemption was not an after- thought.
· This was the plan before the beginning of creation. 1 Peter 1:20-21
C. How Do We Know That Christ Was Resurrected?
1. There can be no doubt that Jesus died while on the cross. Matt. 27:50; John 19:31-34
a. He was removed from the cross and was buried. John 19:38-42
2. Following His execution, He was buried in a tomb owned by Joseph of Arimathea. (Gerd Ludemann, an atheist historian said that the historical evidence for Jesus execution was indisputable.)
3. The next evidence we have for Jesus resurrection was the empty tomb.
a. On the first Easter Morning, some women came and found the stone rolled away and the tomb empty. Matt. 28:1-8 (Later Peter and John saw for themselves that the tomb was empty.)
b. The strongest evidence of all was the testimony of His enemies who guarded His tomb. Matt. 28:4, 11-15. (The guards and authorities made up stories about why the tomb was empty.)
4. There were eyewitnesses who saw Jesus Himself. Over the next forty days, Jesus appeared to:
· His disciples several times.
· To individuals.
· To groups – on one occasion, 500 saw that He was alive.
5. The exchanged lives of His disciples.
a. A number of them fled from Him at Gethsemane.
b. Several were dismayed and discouraged. Luke 24:21
c. Some were huddled for fear in the upper room. John 20:19
d. Yet in a matter of weeks, they are consumed and compelled with a boldness that far surpassed the cowardice they had shown. Acts 5:40-42
There is much more that we could share about the resurrection, but I close with this thought. Christianity is an experiential faith. It is a faith to be personally experienced by understanding, encounter and commitment to One who has already committed Himself to us. Jesus Christ is our living, loving LORD.
We meet Him in the gospel, we encounter Him in its preaching and we experience Him by faith.
This is where experiencing Christ begins, Jesus told a learned teacher named Nicodemus, “No one can see the kingdom of God unless his is born again.” (John 3:3). This, birth is initiated by the Holy Spirit and to be responded to by faith on our part. When we do, we will experience the reality of His resurrection. I pray each of you will meet and know the risen Christ in a personal and on-going way.
He is alive!