The Baptist Pillar © Brandon Bible Baptist Church 1992-Present www.baptistpillar.com
"...The church of the living God, the pillar and ground of the truth."
I Timothy 3:15
I Corinthians 15
INTRODUCTION: This is the great resurrection chapter and one of the most marvelous chapters in the Bible. IN verses 1-4 we see the "good news"! The Lord Jesus Christ "died for our sins was buried, and rose again." This was a unique resurrection. Many others have been raised from the dead by God, but they eventually died again--- see II Kings 4:32-35; Matt. 9:25; John 11:43-44. Jesus died but He rose again and the resurrection of the Lord was a literal, bodily resurrection.
It is foolish to speak of His spiritual resurrection for His spirit did not die, thus it did not need to be raised. Jesus rose again!
Notice the following solid evidences that our Lord did, without a doubt, rise again from the dead:
I. THE PROCLAMATION OF THE SAVIOR
A. Even before Jesus died, He said that on the third day after His death that He would rise again (Matt. 12:39-40; 16:21; John 2:18-22).
B. And then after His resurrection He declared that He had risen from the dead (John 20:19-29; Rev. 1:18)
C. Therefore, if He did not rise, He was an imposter and a liar. How can one reject the testimony of Jesus Himself?
II. THE PENMANSHIP OF THE HISTORIANS
A. Note the Bible Historians. IN the Gospels we have four independent accounts of the resurrection, written without collaboration on the part of the writers, and yet they still harmonize.
B. Note the Church Historians. (1) Ignatius (50-115 A.D.) said, "He was crucified and died under Pontius Pilate. He really, and not merely in appearance, was crucified, and died, in the sight of beings in heaven, and on earth, three daysÖ(2) Tertullian (160-220 A.D.) said, "But the Jews were so exasperated by His teachings, by which their rulers and chiefs were convicted of the truth, chiefly because so many turned aside to Him, that at last they brought Him before Pontius Pilate, at the time Roman governor of Syria, and, by the violence of their outcries against Him, extorted a sentence giving Him up to them to be crucified. It is a fact more certain far than the assertions of your Proculi concerning Romulus" (Proculus was a Roman senator, who affirmed that Romulus had appeared to him after his death).
C. Note the Secular Historians. (1) Josephus ( a secular historian who was a Jew writing at the end of the first century A. D. ) said, "Now there was bout this time Jesus, a wise man, if it be lawful to call him a man; for he was a doer of wonderful works, a teacher of such men as receive the truth with pleasure. He drew over to him many Jews, and also many of the Greeks. This man was the Christ. And when Pilate had condemned him to the cross, upon his impeachment by the principal man among us, those who had loved from the first did not forsake him, for he appeared to them alive on the third day, the divine prophets having spoken these and thousands of other wonderful things about him. And even now, the race of Christians, so named from him, has not died out." (2) Sir Edward Clarke, K. C. ( in a letter to the Rev. E. L. Macassey) said, " As a lawyer I have made a prolonged study of the evidences for the events of the first Easter Day. To me the evidence is conclusive, and over and over again in the High Court I have secured the verdict on evidence not nearly so compelling."
III. THE PROBLEM OF THE TOMB
No one in the Gospels is questioned whether or not the tomb was empty; they just tried to give excuses as to why it was empty:
A. The Disciples removed the body. Why should they? How did they get past the guards? Were they all imposters too?
B. Joseph removed the body. Why and where? Was he also an imposter? (Mark 15:43 "an honorable counsellor."
C. The Jews removed the body. If they did they would have been first to produce it to prove He had not risen!
D. The Roman soldiers removed the body. Why would they risk their lives by doing so?
E. He removed His own body because He really did not die (Swoon theory of lapsing into unconsciousness). This is a preposterous thought of a lost mind and soul. There is no doubt that He Rose Again!
IV. THE PRESENCE OF THE PEOPLE
A. Many people saw Jesus after the resurrection. There were at least fourteen groups.
1. John 20:14-18
2. Matt. 28:8-10
3. Luke 24:34; I Cor. 15:5
4. Luke 24:13-31
5. Luke 24:36-43; John 20:19-24
6. John 20:24-29
7. John 21:1-23
8. I Cor. 15:6
9. I Cor. 15:7
10. Matt. 28:16-20; Mark 16:14-20; Luke 24:33-53; Acts 1:3-12
11. Acts 9:3-6; I Cor. 15:8
12. Acts 22:17-21; Acts 23:11
13. Acts 7:55
14. Rev. 1:18
B. There have been those who explained these cases by saying it was mass hypnosis or imagination but they are the ones who are imagining things!
V. THE PREACHING OF THE APOSTLES
A. Before He died, they did not understand about the resurrection.
B. During His crucifixion, they were scared (Matt. 26:56).
C. After His resurrection, they suddenly became bold and powerful (Acts 4:13).
D. Their only message was "this Jesus hath God raised up.." (Acts 1:21-22).
E. They were willing now (as opposed to denying earlier) to suffer and die for their risen Savior.
VI. THE PERPETUITY OF THE CHURCH
A. The true Church still exists today. That system of faith that Jesus started in His earthly ministry has never been stamped out through the years. (Acts 2:47)
B. The Lord's Day, the first day of the week is a weekly celebration of the Resurrection of Jesus Christ. (Acts 20:7)
VII. THE PRACTICALITY OF REDEMPTION
A. If the Lord is not risen then our faith is in vain and the Lord cannot work out what He wants to in us if He is not alive. What He did on the cross to save us cannot be accomplished if He is not alive to administer the transaction. The salvation He made possible can only become actual if He is risen.
B. God's stamp of approval on the work of Christ on the cross was God's resurrection of the one who accomplished the work.
CONCLUSION: You can be saved and in fellowship with the Savior because He Is Risen. (Rom. 10:9) We can come boldly to the throne of grace because, "he ever liveth to make intercession". (Heb. 7:25).