Theology: CHRISTOLOGY – THE RESURRECTION OF CHRIST

It has always been of interest to me that the resurrection of Christ was never one of the things that I had doubted since becoming a Christian. I believed it long before I ever heard the Gospel. I must admit that I wondered about the why of Easter and all that goes with it, but I can’t remember of ever doubting the fact that Christ rose from the dead.

 

It is one of those things that had been taught to me in Sunday School, which had just never been put into practical application in my life.

 

My concern today is that we are raising a generation of “Christians” just like myself and that one day we will have a Christian nation in name only.

 

The resurrection of Christ was of great importance to the apostles. It was one of the requirements for the replacement of Judas. Acts 1:21-22;

 

“Wherefore of these men which have companied with us all the time that the Lord Jesus went in and out among us, Beginning from the baptism of John, unto that same day that he was taken up from us, must one be ordained to be a witness with us of his resurrection.”

 

They wanted someone that had witnessed what they had witnessed, so that they all could go forth giving account of those things that they had seen and witnessed.

 

The resurrection is indeed fundamental to the Christian faith.

 

1. Without it the Bible is nothing but fables and wasted time. The apostles claimed that the Lord was raised. They are either witnesses of truth, or they are liars of the worst kind. They have, and are guilty of giving false hope to the millions that have followed Jesus over the centuries. They have duped millions into a false religion and a false security concerning their eternal souls.

 

2. If the Lord was not raised from the dead, then what hope have we of being raised from the dead to eternal life with God? None. Without that hope then we are left with the solemn realization that when we die, we have nothing else. We go to the grave and rot into oblivion.

 

Even the Pharaohs of Egypt did not believe that one.

 

Indeed, the resurrection is not only fundamental to the Christian faith, but it is unique to the Christian faith. There is no other religion that claims the resurrection of its founder. All religions can go to a grave where their leader remains.

 

It has always occurred to me that we have a unique situation in Christianity, yet we still have that grave as a part of the Holy Land itineraries. He isn’t there, He hasn’t been there for nearly two thousand years, indeed, it may not even be His grave, yet people spend thousands of dollars to see it.

 

There is one religion that is based on a resurrected leader and that is the old Babylonian religion that viewed Tammuz as resurrected. This is modern day Roman Catholicism.

 

Thomas Arnold, the author of the three volume History Of Rome and a man that was appointed to the chair of Modern History at Oxford mentions of his thoughts on the resurrection,

 

“The evidence for our Lord’s life and death and resurrection may be and often has been, shown to be satisfactory; it is good according to the common rules for distinguishing good evidence from bad. Thousands and tens of thousands of persons have gone through it piece by piece, as carefully as every judge summing up a

most important case. I have myself done it many times over, not to persuade others but to satisfy myself. I have been used for many years to study the histories of other times, and to examine and weigh the evidence of those who have written about them, and I know of no one fact in the history of mankind which is proved by better and fuller evidence of every sort, to the understanding of a fair inquirer, than the great sign which God hath given us that

Christ died and rose again from the dead.”

 

 

The Old Testament not only foretold the event, but also foreshadowed it through Jonah. It is hidden in the prophecies of the Messiah as well. Let’s just glance at some references that will depict these truths.

 

1. Psalm 16:10, “For thou wilt not leave my soul in hell; neither wilt thou suffer thine Holy One to see corruption.” This passage looks far further than the Psalmists thoughts to someone future.

 

2. “Now the Lord had prepared a great fish to swallow up Jonah. And Jonah was in the belly of the fish three days and three nights.” Jonah 1:17

 

“For as Jonas was three days and three nights in the whale’s belly; so shall the Son of man be three days and three nights in the heart of the earth.” Matthew 12:40

 

3. The dual aspect of the Messiah coming as a baby and as a king requires two comings which required a death and resurrection, though the prophets certainly did not understand this.

 

Isaiah 9:6,7 depict the child/king aspect very nicely as one thought and one coming. The prophets had no idea that there was a two thousand plus year time gap between the child and king aspects of Messiah.

 

I. TIME OF THE RESURRECTION

 

There are some very good explanations to all of the theories of when Christ was crucified, and when He arose.

 

We won’t go into the discussion for it is much to detailed. Let me encourage you however to consider well, the thought that it was three full twenty-four hour periods of time. There is much evidence that this was the case. There are some good arguments for the other views but I think that the evidence tends toward three twenty-four hour periods. This is most consistent with the easy literal interpretation of the scriptures as well.

 

Please do not stop fellowshipping with others over this controversy for there are very good men on the various sides of the discussion.

 

Why is it important what day He was crucified on?

 

 

1. He said that He would be in the grave three days and three nights. Was He speaking of only an hour or two on two days and twenty-four hours on one day, or was He talking about three days and three nights? The literal, easy understanding of it is three of each equaling three twenty-four hour periods, or very close to it.

 

2. Will you have, or participate in Good Friday Services when you get into the ministry. A Friday Triumphal entry requires less than three twenty- four hour periods.

 

3. I don’t know, isn’t a good answer for people that have gotten into discussions about the subject. They will expect their pastor and Sunday School teachers to know these things.

 

II. PROOFS OF THE RESURRECTION

 

A. The appearance of the risen Lord to a large number of people. This is covered in section III.

 

We in the 1990’s are quite fond of the “Eye Witness” report, indeed, we are becoming quite accustomed to film, or video coverage of the events that we are interested in. We do not have video coverage of the resurrection; however, we have a number of eyewitnesses to the resurrected Lord. (Can you imagine the network fight over coverage of the resurrection if it were

to happen today? Or would there be any interest in the occasion?)

 

B. The empty tomb requires a resurrection. First, the body couldn’t have been stolen for there were guards posted, and the tomb was sealed. Secondly, the body of someone that had been drugged could not have rolled the stone away and overcome the guards without them knowing that it had happened.

 

It is not acceptable that the Lord would allow His disciples to perpetuate fraud by preaching the resurrection when He knew He hadn’t died. In all of His life He had acted in the proper moral and legal manner, why would He end His life in a cloud of lies? Not Logical.

 

C. The message of the disciples was based on the resurrection. They would not have gone about preaching unless they believed that the Lord had truly been raised from the dead. They would not have gone to their graves for their beliefs as many martyrs did in the early days as well as through the centuries.

 

Their transformation is also linked to this line of thinking. Peter for example the denier, transformed into a preacher on the day of Pentecost.

 

Since they did not believe that he was going to be raised (The women went to embalm him.) They must have really believed it to be true to go about preaching it.

 

D. Paul’s conversion necessitates a real experience and not just a dream. He was convinced that the Lord was risen.

 

E. The believers shifting their day of worship and gatherings to the first day would indicate their belief in the resurrection. If nothing definite had happened, they would have continued in their old ways.

 

F. There were precautions taken to keep the body in the tomb. Mark 15:46 mentions first that the body was wrapped in grave clothes. This would be hard to get out of if the Lord had really been alive. They rolled a stone into place in front of the tomb. Matthew 27:62-66 mentions that the Jews sealed and set a watch, just in case something were going to happen.

 

G. The church is based on the resurrection. Had it not happened the church would never have begun.

 

Phillip Shaff in his History Of The Christian Church, Vol. I, p.172-73 has

a discussion of this thought. I think that Paul deals quite adequately with it as well. 1 Corinthians 15:17, “And if Christ be not raised, your faith is vain, ye are yet in your sins.”

 

H. The transformation of the thousands of believers over the centuries proves that many have believed the evidence that has been presented in the Word and in the life of others.

 

We don’t have time to go into the many testimonies that I could repeat of people that have been transformed by the Gospel. I will allow the few words of a friend of mine suffice as proof of my point. When I told him that I was going to college to be a preacher, he looked me straight in the eye and hollered, “Stan Derickson — a PREACHER?” End quote.

 

 

I. Many doubters and lost men have set out to disprove the claims of Christ over the years and many, if not most of these men find that the claims of Christ are to strong to deny and submit to them in receiving Him as their personal savior.

 

Years ago there was a little Readers Digest size magazine that was put out by a man that had set about to disprove the resurrection. He studied and studied until he found the Lord. He made an offer that stood for years and was printed in his magazine every month. The offer was that if anyone could prove in a legal sense of evidence that the resurrection did not occur, he would pay them $5,000. He had the money in an account set up for the purpose. To my knowledge there was not even one to take up the challenge.

 

III. NATURE OF THE RESURRECTION

 

A. Supernatural: Not as in hocus pocus, but in the fact that the whole scenario was outside the very laws of nature and should not have happened as these laws are written.

The Lord was not drugged into a stupor whereby He appeared dead. He was not acting as if He were dead. Can you imagine the actor that

would have the ability to act dead when he has been there on the cross

with nails in his feet and hands for several hours? Can you imagine the actor that would be needed to act dead as a spear is stuck into his side?

 

He died and was raised from the dead as the scriptures state, or the accounts are completely false and unworthy. If the accounts are unworthy in this one respect then they are unworthy in all respects.

 

B. Physical: Christ told the disciples that He was not spirit but flesh and bones. He told them to observe his hands and feet. Luke 24:39 Not only did He tell them to, they did. They had time with Him to know that He was really the Jesus that they had known before the crucifixion. John 20:27 He told Thomas to touch his side. Luke 24:42,43 He ate fish and honeycomb.

 

There is a difference between His body before and after the resurrection. Romans 6:9 mentions that death has no power over Him now. “Knowing that Christ, being raised from the dead, dieth no more; death hath no more dominion over him.”

 

IV. PERSON OF THE RESURRECTION

 

A. CHRIST APPEARED ON THE FIRST DAY

 

1. To Mary Magdalene. Mark 16:9,11; John 20:11,17; Matthew 28:1,8,9

 

2. To other women. Matthew 28:9,10

 

3. To Peter 1 Corinthians 15:5; Luke 24:33,35

 

4. To the disciples on the road to Emmaus. Mark 16:12,13; Luke 24:13,35 I have always been envious of those on the road that Christ appeared to. I would have loved to have been there with a recorder or note pad to hear that discussion of the Lord in the Old Testament. What a lesson that must have been.

 

5. To ten of the disciples. Mark 16:14; Luke 24:36,43; John 20:19-25

 

B. CHRIST APPEARED TO OTHERS BEFORE THE ASCENSION

 

1. To the eleven disciples. John 20:26,29; 1 Corinthians 15:5?

 

2. To seven disciples at the Sea of Galilee. John 21:1-23

 

3. To five hundred plus. 1 Corinthians 15:6; Matthew 28:16-20

 

4. To the Disciples at the ascension. Luke 24:44-53; Acts 1:3-11

 

C. CHRIST APPEARED AFTER THE ASCENSION

 

1. Paul. Acts 9:3-6 Paul has been reported to have mentioned the resurrection in each of his epistles.

 

2. John. Revelation 1:9-20

 

D. MISC. TEXTS TO RELATE

 

1 Corinthians 15:5 mentions the twelve. This may be a collective term for the disciples, or may be an appearance after the replacement was chosen for Judas. The collective idea seems the easiest to most, due to the fact that the ascension preceded the choosing of Matthias. You would have to deal with a lack of chronology if you held that it was the twelve not collective.

 

Matthew 28:16,17 mentions the eleven seeing him at the mountain in Galilee. Some have suggested that this is the ascension, however the ascension seems to have been at Jerusalem (Acts 1:4). This would probably fit best after the sea of Galilee appearance.

 

V. ACCOMPLISHMENTS OF THE RESURRECTION

 

A. It is the surety of our own salvation. 1 Peter 1:3-4,

 

“Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who, according to his abundant mercy, hath begotten us again unto a living hope by the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead, To an inheritance incorruptible, and undefiled, and that fadeth not away, reserved in heaven for you,” 1 Corinthians 15:

 

It was also sufficient. It cared for all that was needed to redeem mankind. Romans 4:25

 

B. It is the surety of the Abrahamic covenant. Acts 13:32,33,

 

“And we declare unto you glad tidings, how the promise which was made unto the fathers, God hath fulfilled the same unto us their children, in that he hath raised up Jesus again; as it is also written in the second psalm, Thou art my Son, this day have I begotten thee.”

 

Everything that God promised Abraham was set and made fact by Christ. All those things that Abraham took by faith were made guaranteed.

 

C. It is the surety of the deity of Christ. Romans 1:4,

 

“And declared to be the Son of God with power, according to the spirit of holiness, by the resurrection from the dead;”

 

If He were able to raise Himself in his own power as man I think that I’m going to have to start now to psyche myself up enough to raise myself.

 

 

D. It is the surety of our faith and life. 1 Corinthians 15:17, “And if Christ be not raised, your faith is vain, ye are yet in your sins.” Ephesians 1:19,22, Romans 6:1-13

 

E. It is the surety of a future world judgment. Acts 17:31,

 

“Because he hath appointed a day, in which he will judge the world in righteousness by that man whom he hath ordained; concerning which he hath given assurance unto all men, in that he hath raised him from the dead.”

 

F. It is the surety of our own resurrection. Indeed it is the surety of all mankind’s resurrection, 2 Corinthians 4:14. John 5:28, 29 mentions that all mankind will be raised — some to life and some to damnation.

 

G. It is the surety of what Christ told the people of Himself. Matthew 28:6, “He is not here; for he is risen, as he said….”

 

H. It was the surety of His ascension into heaven. Without the blood for the heavenly tabernacle there would have been no entrance.

 

I. It is the surety that the Bible is true and valid. Psalm 16:10 looks forward to the resurrection. Matthew 16 21, mentions that He was to be raised, and He was.

 

VI. PRACTICAL APPLICATIONS OF THE RESURRECTION

 

A. It helps us live moral lives. 1 Corinthians 15:32-34 Paul mentions that if the dead don’t rise then we might as well eat, drink for tomorrow we die.

 

B. We can be encouraged in the loss of loved ones that they will one day be raised from the dead. 1 Thessalonians 4:16-18

 

C. We can relish the thought of what our eternal life will be like. It is based on the resurrection of Christ and is a sure thing to come. 1 Peter 1:3-5

 

“A New Beginning

 

“Death is not the end; it is only a new beginning. Death is not the master of the house he is only the porter at the King’s lodge, appointed to open the gate and let the King’s guests into the realm of eternal day. And so shall we ever be with the Lord.

 

 

“The range of our threescore years and ten is not the limit of our life. Our life is not a landlocked lake enclosed within the shore lines of seventy years. It is an arm of the sea. And so we must build for those larger waters. We are immortal. How, then, shall we live today in prospect of eternal tomorrow?”

 

J. H. Jowett1

 

We are immortal, we are moving toward the open sea that is immeasurable and full of complete joy. As Francis Shaffer puts it in his book title, “How then should we live?” In light of the fact that the whole world is immortal and moving toward the open sea that is immeasurable, yet not all are moving toward the same sea. The unsaved are immortal and moving toward a sea full of complete and utter agony and torment.

 

“HOW THEN SHOULD WE LIVE?”

 

Christ died and was raised that we might also be raised one day. The sobering fact is however, that all the lost will also be raised. Our responsibility is to show them the direction to the proper sea, the sea of eternal life and not the sea of eternal death.

 

“HOW THEN SHALL YOU LIVE?” END NOTES

1. Stanley I. Stuber and Thomas Curtis Clark, “Treasury Of The Christian

Faith,” New York: Association Press, 1949, pp 588-589

 

HANDOUT

 

THE RESURRECTION OF CHRIST

 

I. TIME OF THE RESURRECTION

 

II. PROOFS OF THE RESURRECTION

 

A.

 

B.

 

C.

 

 

D.

 

E.

 

F.

 

G.

 

H.

 

III. NATURE OF THE RESURRECTION

 

A.

 

B.

 

IV. PERSON OF THE RESURRECTION

 

A. CHRIST APPEARED ON THE FIRST DAY

 

1. Mark 16:9,11; John 20:11,17; Matthew 28:1,8,9

 

2. Matthew 28:9,10

 

3. 1 Corinthians 15:5; Luke 24:33,35

 

4. Mark 16:12,13; Luke 24:13,35

 

5. Mark 16:14; Luke 24:36,43; John 20:19-25

 

B. CHRIST APPEARED BEFORE THE ASCENSION

 

1. John 20:26,29; 1 Corinthians 15:5

 

2. John 21:1-23

 

3. 1 Corinthians 15:6; Matthew 28:16-20

 

4. Luke 24:44-53; Acts 1:3-11

 

C. CHRIST APPEARED AFTER THE ASCENSION

 

1. Acts 9:3-6

 

2. Revelation 1:9-20

 

 

D. MISC. TEXTS TO RELATE

 

V. ACCOMPLISHMENTS OF THE RESURRECTION

 

A. It is the surety of our own salvation.

 

B. It is the surety of the Abrahamic covenant.

 

C. It is the surety of the deity of Christ.

 

D. It is the surety of our faith and life.

 

E. It is the surety of a future world judgment.

 

F. It is the surety of our own resurrection.

 

G. It is the surety of what Christ told the people of Himself.

 

H. It was the surety of His ascension into heaven.

 

I. It is the surety that the Bible is true and valid.

 

VI. PRACTICAL APPLICATIONS OF THE RESURRECTION[1]

 


[1] Stanley L. Derickson Ph.D. B.A. (n.d.). DERICKSON’S NOTES ON THEOLOGY: A STUDY BOOK IN THEOLOGY.

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