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Resurrection:  Is there PROOF that Jesus Christ arose?

Gary Googe Apr 14

This is one question that every generation asks? Therefore, it surely is a popular question.  But what is the answer? What is the truth of this matter?

A man named Luke, the writer of the book of Acts in the Bible, opens his book with what he speaks of as “proofs” of the resurrection of Jesus Christ.  Notice what he says in the opening verses of this wonderful historical book.

Acts 1:1-3

1 The former treatise have I made, O Theophilus, of all that Jesus began both to do and teach,

Until the day in which he was taken up [when Jesus Christ ascended into Heaven], after that he through the Holy Ghost had given commandments unto the apostles whom he had chosen:

To whom also he shewed himself alive after his passion [His death] by many infallible proofs, being seen of them forty days, and speaking of the things pertaining to the kingdom of God: [Emphasis added]

The Bible clearly states that Jesus was seen by his apostles and many others after His death on the cross of Golgotha in Jerusalem.  It is also plain that none of these people were expecting the resurrection of Christ to occur.  The record clearly shows that they were completely surprised by it.

Mark 16:11-13

11 And they [the apostles and others], when they had heard that he was alive, and had been seen of her [Mary Magdalene], believed not.

12 After that he appeared in another form unto two of them, as they walked, and went into the country.

13 And they went and told it unto the residue: neither believed they them. [Emphasis added]

There’s actually no one on record as having believed all this upon first hearing about it.  They all wanted proof.

John 20:25

25 The other disciples therefore said unto him, We have seen the Lord. But he said unto them, Except I shall see in his hands the print of the nails, and put my finger into the print of the nails, and thrust my hand into his side, I will not believe. [Emphasis added]

There were many other eyewitnesses who saw Christ in His resurrection body in addition to the apostles.  The apostle Paul says that at the time of his first writing to the Corinthians [about twenty-five years after the resurrection] there were still alive the greater part of five hundred people who on one occasion saw Jesus Christ in resurrection form.  So, obviously, this was not just one person hallucinating.  This man Jesus died at the hands of Roman soldier executioners but arose from His grave three days and three nights after He was buried [Matthew 12:40].
I Corinthians 15:3-8

For I delivered unto you first of all that which I also received, how that Christ died for our sins according to the scriptures;

And that he was buried, and that he rose again the third day according to the scriptures:

And that he was seen of Cephas, then of the twelve:

After that, he was seen ofabove five hundred brethren at once; of whom the greater part remain unto this present, but some are fallen asleep [passed away in death].

There were then many others who saw Him in His resurrection body.

After that, he was seen of James; then of all the apostles.

And last of all he was seen of me [the apostle Paul] also, as of one born out of due time.[Emphasis added]

Paul thinks of himself here as an Israelite, but as one whose due time to be born again had not come nationally, but personally.

Matthew 23:39

39 For I say unto you, Ye shall not see me henceforth, till ye shall say, Blessed is he that cometh in the name of the Lord.[Emphasis added]

So, Paul’s conversion by the appearing of the Lord from heaven’s glory[Acts 9:3-6] was an illustration.  It was an instance that occurred for him before the time of the future national conversion of Israel.[See Ezekiel 20:34-38; Hosea 2:14-17; Zechariah 12:10-13:6; Romans 11:25-27] But this is another story for another time in another article.

Christ’s resurrection appearances to the apostle Paul had everything to do with his conversion.  Up until then he had been a violent religious Jew who had completely rejected the claimed identity of Jesus as Israel’s promised Messiah, as well as the claims he heard about His resurrection.

One of the strongest proofs of the resurrection of Christ was the empty tomb that had been sealed and guarded by the Roman soldiers.

Matthew 27:57-66

57 When the even was come, there came a rich man of Arimathaea, named Joseph, who also himself was Jesus’ disciple:

58 He went to Pilate, and begged the body of Jesus. Then Pilate commanded the body to be delivered.

59 And when Joseph had taken the body, he wrapped it in a clean linen cloth,

60 And laid it in his own new tomb, which he had hewn out in the rock: and he rolled a great stone to the door of the sepulchre, and departed.

61 And there was Mary Magdalene, and the other Mary, sitting over against the sepulchre.

62 Now the next day, that followed the day of the preparation, the chief priests and Pharisees came together unto Pilate,

63 Saying, Sir, we remember that that deceiver said, while he was yet alive, After three days I will rise again.

64 Command therefore that the sepulchre be made sure until the third day, lest his disciples come by night, and steal him away, and say unto the people, He is risen from the dead: so the last error shall be worse than the first.

65 Pilate said unto them, Ye have a watch: go your way, make it as sure as ye can.

66 So they went, and made the sepulchre sure, sealing the stone, and setting a watch. [Emphasis added]

Despite all this, the stone was miraculously rolled back, and Christ arose from the grave making many appearances in His new body.

As we analyze the data on all this, there are only three possible explanations for the disappearance of the body of Jesus from the tomb.

1—There’s the supposition that Jesus had not actually died; that He revived and escaped from the tomb.  To believe this is to believe the impossible.  Jesus went through the torture of being scourged by the Romans, was spiked to a Roman cross all day, was declared dead by Roman soldiers, but to make sure was pierced by a spear to drain the blood from His body, and went three days and three nights without food or water in a sealed tomb.  To believe that He then had enough strength to roll back the large stone, overcome the soldiers who were guarding the tomb, and escape is ridiculous.

2—There’s the supposition that someone removed the body from the tomb.  The Jewish leaders actually bribed the soldiers to say that the disciples came at night and stole the body while they were asleep[Matthew 28:13-15].  But how could they know the disciples stole the body if they were asleep while they did it.  Furthermore, no Roman soldier would admit to sleeping on guard duty, for it would be fatal for him to do so.  The punishment was death for such an act.  Even if the disciples did steal the body, it’s ridiculous to assume that they would all be willing to suffer and finally give their lives in defense of a lie about Christ’s resurrection.

3—There’s the alternative that Jesus arose from the dead just as He said He would.  Paul’s question to King Agrippa is just as valid today as it ever was when it was uttered.

Acts 26:8

Why should it be thought a thing incredible with you, that God should raise the dead?

Yes, Jesus Christ arose from the grave and He lives today.  His resurrection occurred after He died on the cross to provide each of us with a way of salvation.  Anyone who will accept this truth will be saved eternally.  If you’ve still not believed that, why not believe it now? You will be immediately saved.  This that you must believe for salvation is clearly stated in the Scriptures.

I Corinthians 15:3-4

For I delivered unto you first of all that which I also received, how that Christ died for our sins according to the scriptures;

And that he was buried, and that he rose again the third day according to the scriptures: [Emphasis added]


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