Christ's Resurrection

Bible Book: Acts 
Subject: Resurrection; Easter

One season of the year has the name "Holy Week." During those days the Christian world remembers the last week in the earthly life of Jesus, His suffering and death on the cross, and His physical or bodily resurrection.

Some celebrate on Thursday night a time that’s called "Maundy Thursday." The word "maundy" comes from Latin which means "commandment." In Spanish the word is mandato or the infinitive is "mandar." That was the time in the experience of Jesus and the disciples when he told them to humble themselves and wash one another’s feet, and "love one another." They had the command to do that task - hence, "command Thursday" as John 13 states.

Some celebrate on Friday a time called "Tenebrae." That reminds people of the time when Christ was being crucified and the world turned dark or night. The Latin word "Tenebrae" means darkness. In Spanish the word is "tinieblas." Thus the candlelight service on Friday is to remember the time when darkness covered the earth as Jesus died for the sins of all humanity.

Beyond the events of brutal beatings which Jesus endured and His death upon the cross, a new light dawned that has forever continued to shine. Jesus came out of the grave, alive forevermore. Acts 1:3 states that we have "infallible proofs" of the resurrection of Jesus. This is the only reference in the Bible to the word infallible means "without any doubt;" or with certainty and assurance. The resurrection of Christ is infallible, true.

When Jesus was crucified and buried, a group of Roman soldiers were placed at the tomb to guard the place so no one could take away the body. Then Jewish religious leaders gave soldiers money to say that when they slept, someone came and stole the body of Christ. Wow! The soldiers took the money, but they didn’t mention anything about "sleeping on the job." That would have been death for them, if they had fallen asleep. How ridiculous of the leaders to give them money, knowing that it would not be possible for all that group to fall asleep! Sixteen men at night, in darkness, before the tomb of one who had been buried, and all going to sleep? Wow!

A theory has been propounded that Jesus really didn’t die on the cross. Another rumor or story goes that before the crucifixion event, someone took Christ’s place as he slipped away and never did die!

Another story that’s been circulated is that Jesus only swooned - the "swoon theory" - and when He was taken down from the cross, He awakened and went His way. Again, what deception and falsehood! Jesus died, was buried, and rose again. The infallible proofs are many.

I. Prophecies Concerning The Resurrection

The Old Testament gives many prophecies of Christ’s death and resurrection. On the way to Emmaus after His resurrection, Jesus told two disciples that from the writings of Moses through the prophets they could read the story of His death and resurrection (Luke 24:13).

God told the devil in the Garden of Eden that Jesus would crush his head. David wrote about the resurrection of Jesus in Psalms 16:11. Job 19:26 states his conviction of one day seeing the Lord. Isaiah 53 gives the story of the death of Jesus and his resurrection.

II. Jesus Concerning The Resurrection

The testimony of Jesus proves the resurrection. Jesus gave many declarations about His upcoming death and resurrection. The message of Matthew 12:38-41 rings loudly today. That’s the story of "Jonah and the Big Fish" which tells that Jesus also would come out of the grave.

When Jesus talked to the disciples as recorded in Matthew 16 about the Church, He talked of His death and coming to life again. Read or listen to that message again.

Christ’s words after His transfiguration experience as Matthew 17 states gives assurance of Christ’s resurrection. Moses had died about 1400 years before that event and Elijah had gone to heaven without dying. And those two representing the Law and the Prophets came from heaven to talk to Jesus about His death and His resurrection. (Those two may have been the two who told the eleven apostles during the Ascension of Jesus that He would come again. The Greek words for those men are "oi anthropoi" or "men," not "angelloi" or angels).

About 30 years after the Transfiguration event, Simon Peter wrote of the time when they were on the mountain side with Jesus, stating that this was not a fable (2 Peter 1:16-18). He still felt the spiritual impact of that time when the three apostles (Peter, James, and John) saw Jesus transfigured and the two heavenly visitors going away.

When Jesus began His ministry, He performed a miracle in Cana of Galilee. In that second chapter of John, Jesus told about His resurrection. He said to the religious group near Him when they asked a sign to show His claims, Jesus said, "Destroy this temple, and in three days I will raise it up  again" (John 2:19).

On the day of Christ’s resurrection He said to the Apostles who had gathered in an "upper room" on that Sunday evening, "Behold (or look, stare at) my hands and my feet, that it is I myself; handle me, and see; for a spirit does not have flesh and bones as you see that I have." (Luke 24;39). That, dear friend, is infallible proof of Christ’s bodily resurrection. Paul stated that the resurrection is not incredible as one thinks of God (Acts 26:8).

III. The Angels Concerning The Resurrection

The resurrection of Jesus has the infallible proof from angels who testified to this truth. Angels are supernatural beings who live in heaven and may have their "stations" all around us. The book of Revelation mentions hundreds of millions of angels.

In the Gospels we have the story of one angel who testified to those who came to the grave of Jesus. Another account mentions two angels who were present after the resurrection. God sent an angelic messenger to "roll away the stone" from the grave of Jesus so the women and other disciples could enter and see the grave. The witness of God’s holy angels are an incredible testimony to the bodily, physical resurrection of Jesus.

IV. The Women Concerning The Resurrection

The witness of women who had become followers of Jesus gives proof of the resurrection of Jesus. We need to re-read those stories in the gospels of the women who stood by the cross of Jesus.

Later we read about some of them as they go to anoint the body of Jesus, not realizing again that the words of Jesus about His own resurrection had been fulfilled. The gospel accounts are infallible about their testimony to the living, raised Christ.

V. The Apostles Concerning The Resurrection

The testimony of the apostles, including the Apostle Paul, give infallible proofs of the resurrection of Jesus. The disciples never wanted to believe that Jesus would die, nor did they believe that He would come to life again after His resurrection.

The experience of Thomas that’s given in John chapter 20 is unforgettable. We need to read and hear this graphic story again. The other disciples, including the brothers of Jesus, learned that Christ    had been raised (1 Corinthians 15:4-9). They saw Him, ate with Him, talked to Him, touched Him,  and witnessed His presence in many, many ways. The Apostle John wrote in 1 John 1:1-2 that he and the other apostles could still hear the "echo" of his voice in their ears. He wrote, "We have heard" and the Greek language states that they continued to hear Christ’s voice "ringing in their ears."

At one gathering more than 500 believers saw Jesus after His resurrection (1 Corinthians 15:6). He appeared with them during 40 days as He showed Himself alive "after many infallible proofs." They touched Jesus, saw Him, heard Him, and ate with Him. They knew that Jesus was with them in a life-changing fellowship.

John 21 tells about the disciples’ tough night of fishing. Jesus appeared to them and gave evidence again of His "universal presence."

More than 100 times in the New Testament mention is made of the resurrection of Jesus. Just as the disciples on the road to Emmaus felt their "hearts burning within" because of the presence of Jesus, we also know that Christ is alive. He lives forevermore at the right hand of God’s majesty on high. He also by the genius of the Holy Spirit lives within every believer. Jesus is the living Savior who is King of kings and Lord of lords.