“From that time Jesus began to show to His disciples that He must go to Jerusalem, and suffer many things from the elders and chief priests and scribes, and be killed, and be raised the third day” (Matthew 16:21). The death of Jesus Christ on the cross and His bodily resurrection is the event that separates the Christian faith from all other faiths. Most people can accept the fact that Jesus was a real person and that He died a horrific death on a Roman cross. However, not everyone willing accepts the truth of His resurrection.
But without the bodily resurrection of Christ, there would be no Christianity. The apostle Paul made this very clear in his letter to the Corinthian church. He wrote to them to refute false teaching that there is no resurrection from the dead. He told them:
1. If Christ has not been raised, you are still dead in your sins. (15:17)
2. Those who have died in Christ have perished. (15:18) They are lost and forever separated from God.
3. The apostles are false witnesses of God because they taught a lie. (15:15) And all who have taught that Jesus rose from the grave are false witnesses as well.
4. Everyone who has hoped in Christ is to be pitied because they have believed in vain and have no hope for the future. (15:14,19)
However, there is hope. “Christ is risen from the dead” (15:20). Jesus was seen by Mary Magdeline and Mary. He was seen also by Peter, by the twelve, by 500 brethern at one time, by James, and last of all by the apostle Paul. (15:4-8)
In addition, while defending himself, Paul confronted Festus in front of King Agrippa with the truth of Christ’s sufferings and His resurrection. “For the king, before whom I also speak freely, knows these things; for I am convinced that none of these things escapes his attention, since this thing was not done in a corner.” (Acts 26:23, 26)
The prophets foretold the resurrection of Christ. (Ps 16:10; Is 53:10; Dan. 7:13, 14) It was necessary to fulfill the Scriptures. (Luke 24:45, 46) It was proof that God accepted the sacrifice of His Son. (Rom 4:25) He told His disciples, “Because I live you will live also” (John 14:19).
Those who seen Him were willing to die for this truth. Because He rose, every believer has this hope of bodily resurrection. “The body is sown in corruption; it is raised in incorruption. It is sown in dishonor; it is raised in glory. It is sown in weakness; it is raised in power”. ” …The first Adam became a living being. The last Adam (Jesus) became a life- giving spirit” (I Cor 15:42-45) .
He is risen indeed!
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