Our previous Journal was a celebration of Christ’s birth. This Journal speaks of Christ’s resurrection, which is the foundation of the Christian faith. Without the clear evidence of a risen Savior we lack the divine power to fulfill the practical and eternal message of salvation through Jesus Christ.
The following is a simplified summary of the case for Jesus’ resurrection. We know that we are writing mostly to believers, but the arguments are appropriate for all.
The life and testimony of Jesus’ disciples
We begin with the disciples. Through their witness the Church came into being. Beginning three days after His death Jesus appeared to them on numerous occasions. Fifty days later, Peter, who had denied any knowledge of Jesus with curses and oaths, now stood in the marketplace proclaiming and testifying that he had seen the risen Christ! Doubting Thomas also became a witness. All the apostles risked death to confirm the resurrection. This is just one evidence that the Christian faith has a secure foundation in the resurrection (John 20:3-10; Luke 24:11-12).
Jesus spoke of His resurrection
He said to them, “These are My words which I spoke to you while I was still with you, that all things which are written about Me in the Law of Moses and the Prophets and the Psalms must be fulfilled.” Then He opened their minds to understand the Scriptures, and He said to them, “Thus it is written, that the Christ would suffer and rise again from the dead the third day, and that repentance for forgiveness of sins would be proclaimed in His name to all the nations, beginning from Jerusalem. You are witnesses of these things.” (Luke 24:44-48)
The conversion of Saul/Paul
Saul of Tarsus, a persecutor and murderer of Christians who became the Apostle Paul, was converted when Jesus appeared to him in a vision on the road to Damascus and spoke to him. When he saw Jesus any questions he had about the reality and foundation of the Christian faith were settled. He immediately became a follower of Christ. Nowhere do we find that the enemies of the early church, including Saul of Tarsus, denied that the tomb of Jesus was found empty on Easter morning.
Biblical prophecies of the Messiah’s resurrection
Seven hundred years before Christ was born, Isaiah prophesied:
For to us a child is born,
to us a son is given;
and the government shall be upon his shoulder,
and his name shall be called
Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God,
Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace.
Of the increase of his government and of peace
there will be no end,
on the throne of David and over his kingdom,
to establish it and to uphold it
with justice and with righteousness
from this time forth and forevermore.
The zeal of the Lord of hosts will do this. (Isa. 9:6-7)
The resurrection validates Jesus’ claim to be the Son of God, the Messiah1
- It is a sign from heaven authenticating His ministry.
- Without the resurrection we have no Savior, no salvation, and no hope of eternal life. In fact, apart from Christ’s resurrection our faith would be useless, the gospel would be altogether powerless, and our sins would remain unforgiven (1 Cor. 15:14-18).
- Because of the resurrection the dead in Christ will be raised up, and those who are alive at His coming will be changed in a moment—in the twinkling of an eye—and receive new, glorified bodies (1 Thess. 4:13-18).
- Jesus is “the first fruits of those who have fallen asleep” (1 Cor. 15:20).
The Word of God guarantees the believer’s resurrection at the coming of Jesus Christ for His church at the rapture. Such assurance results in a great song of triumph as Paul writes in 1 Cor. 15:55:
“Where, O death, is your victory?
Where, O death, is your sting?”
In Jesus, believers are already spiritually resurrected. You have been raised to life with Christ. Now set your heart on what is in heaven, where Christ rules at God’s right side (Col. 3:1).
Soli Deo Gloria,
Reuben & Carmen Sequeira