Why is the resurrection important?
I Corinthians 15:14 "And if Christ be not risen, then is our preaching vain, and your faith is also vain."
(Please click and read the verse links to see for yourself)
The resurrection was essential. It should not to be taken lightly, because that one event sets Jesus apart and proves that He is, and was, the Son of God. The resurrection separates Jesus Christ from all other religious leaders throughout history. The resurrection was God's seal of authenticity upon the life of Jesus Christ and it divides cults from true Bible believing worshippers. Why?
(Please click and read the verse links to see for yourself)
It is because, without the bodily resurrection, Jesus was just a good man, He was just a good prophet, He was just like any other religious leader in history.
Also, without the bodily resurrection, there would be no salvation, there would be no redemption, there could be no forgiveness of sins. Since Jesus had promised many times that He would resurrect, if He had not, it would make Him a liar. Revelation 21:8 Had Jesus not kept this promise, then He would have invalidated all the other promises He made.
Is there any reason to believe the accounts of these people 2,000 years ago? Acts 1:3
DEF. infallible - incapable of mistakes or being wrong
There are many reasons to believe in the resurrection of Jesus Christ. For example, after the resurrection, there were over 15 appearances of Jesus Christ. One of the appearances was before over 500 people. I Corinthians 15:6. There were also the secular writings of Flavius Josephus, Cornelius Tacitus, Lucian of Samosata, and the Jewish Sanhedrin.
When it comes to the resurrection, there are many religious groups who really do not teach what the Bible teaches.
1. Some claim that Christ resurrected as a spirit.
Was Jesus Christ merely a spirit, a ghost, when he resurrected? There are legends in societies around the world that are filled with stories of spirits and ghosts manifesting themselves to people. For many people, a spirit resurrection would seem legitimate. This would seem to make some sense and explain away what this miracle actually was, but there are problems with it.
A. Jesus ate food - Luke 24:38-43
They were busy looking at his hands and feet, probably the nail scars, and in verse 41, completely out of the blue, He asks them for some food. When most people ask for food it is because they are hungry, not just trying to be social.
In verse 43, we see Him eating. If Christ was a spirit when He resurrected, He would not have had need for food, He would not have been hungry, and certainly wouldn’t have been eating. A spirit doesn't need physical food, it takes a physical body to eat and digest physical food.
B. Jesus also had nail prints - John 20:25-29
Jesus allowed Thomas to touch the wounds in His hands and side. This is evidence that He did not resurrect as a spirit. Instead He resurrected from the grave as a physical being.
2. Some claim that the resurrection was a fraud
Some say that Christ invented the entire thing. They claim that He knew all the scriptures (John 7:15) about the messiah and planned the events to mimic the prophesies.
If this was so, than we need to ask some important questions:
If Jesus concocted the whole thing, than how could He have determined the place of His own birth? Micah 5:2
If Jesus concocted the whole thing, how did He get the Roman soldiers to comply? How did He get the Roman soldiers to comply and not to break his bones? Numbers 9:12 How did He get the Roman soldiers to comply to pierce His side? Zechariah 12:10
3. Some claim that the Resurrection was a drug induced vision
Some actually say that the disciples were involved in drugs and they hallucinated the whole incident. I Corinthians 15:3-7 If the resurrection was a drug induced vision, than there were 500 people who were all taking drugs and saw it all at once, not to mention the other sightings. This isn’t rational and could not be the case.
4. Some claim that Christ simply fainted
They say that Christ fainted on the cross and was revived later. Matthew 28:1-6 If Christ fainted and revived later, than how did He get out of the tomb. Someone might explain that it was because of the earth quake.
If Jesus did get out of the tomb, than how did he blind and terrify the soldiers with light? They didn't even have electricity, never mind bright lights back then. How could this brightness even occur? There’s no rational way this could happen.
5. Others claim that Jesus Christ was resurrected in the heart of his believers
Some claim that there was a spirit revived inside of them, and that it was not a physical resurrection. This could not be true. The reason is because after the resurrection not one of his disciples remembered, or believed, that He would bodily resurrect from the grave. They didn’t believe Christ would rise from the dead, even after He had told them multiple times. Mark 16:1-3; John 20:13; Luke 24:12 None of Christ’s disciples believed that He resurrected, so it couldn’t have been in their hearts.
Christ’s disciples didn’t remember, but His enemies did. Matthew 27:62-64
The Resurrection Proves the Deity of Christ
The resurrection proves that Jesus was what He claimed to be, God in human flesh. John 10:30
Jesus was God born on earth. In Bethlehem, He was just as much God as He was at the cross. John 8:58
This statement shows the eternal quality that Jesus Christ possessed, because only an eternal being can be an "I AM”. The verse also tells us that He existed before Abraham who was alive over 2000 years before Christ.
John 14:9 - Again in this verse He tells them that He is God on earth.
John 8:28 - The crucifixion and resurrection were proof that Jesus was who he said he was. They were the verification.
The Resurrection Proves the Word of God
The resurrection proves the Bible to be true because the Word of God has prophesies about the resurrected Christ. Psalms 16:10; 1 Corinthians 15:3-4
The Bible predicted the whole crucifixion and resurrection scene in Psalm 22 and Isaiah 53. Although they knew the scriptures, it was not as clear until afterward because hindsight is 20/20.
What does this mean to us?
1. It proves the resurrection was a real event.
2. It proves that Jesus was NOT like any other religious leader in history.
3. It proves Jesus was who He said He was, God in the flesh.
4. It proves the Bible is reliable and the prophecies are accurate. I Corinthians 15:14
5. It proves there is salvation, redemption, and forgiveness of sins to those who believe and receive God’s gift of eternal life. Romans 6:23
The death described in Romans 6:23 is not referring to our physical death, it is a reference to eternal death, separation from God in a place called the lake of fire. The wage/payment for our sins. Revelation 20:14-15; 21:8 This is why the crucifixion and resurrection were so important.
We have to believe the scriptures that we are a guilty sinner, God has a gift for each of us, and that gift is eternal life in heaven. It was purchased with the blood of Jesus Christ 2000 years ago.
If you believe what the Bible says, than by faith, repent and receive that gift by a simple prayer from the heart. Tell God you don’t want to go to hell, then ask Him to forgive all your sins (past, present, and future), and to give you the gift of eternal life in heaven through Jesus Christ. Romans 10:12-13
Want to learn more?
Join us Wednesdays for our weekly Bible study in the city centre.
7 Lower Mallow, Limerick City, County Limerick, 061.22.44.22 or 086.79.39.106.