The resurrection of Jesus from the dead provides compelling evidence of the authenticity of Christianity including all its claims, promises, prophecies and its founder Jesus Christ himself. This world has many religions, but none of them, except Christianity, can testify to the death and resurrection of its founder. None, but Christianity offers salvation by grace through faith in the sacrifice of the sinless God on their behalf. Only Jesus Christ was the sinless Son of the sovereign God who made heaven and earth and all people.
Hundred saw the resurrected Jesus
After his resurrection, Jesus appeared to hundreds of persons over a 40-day span(1Cor.15:6). They saw him talked with him, touched him, ate with him, and watched him return to heaven in a cloud. Those eyewitnesses received instructions from Jesus to proclaim his resurrection message to all the world (Acts 1:8). 1Clement 42:3 says, “Having therefore received a charge, and having been fully assured through the resurrection of our Lord Jesus Christ and confirmed in the word of God with full assurance of the Holy Ghost, they went forth with the glad tidings that the kingdom of God should come.”
The Old Testament scriptures and Jesus himself predicted his third-day resurrection. He came out of that tomb in the triumphant victory over death, sin, the grave and the devil. His awakening from the dead reminds us of this stanza of Francis Pott’s (1832-1909) hymn, “The powers of death have done their worse, But Christ their legions hath dispersed; let shouts of holy joy outburst: Alleluia.”
Even the secular authorities of Jesus’ time paid to suppress the news that Jesus came out of that tomb alive from the dead. They lied to conceal the fact that they were powerless to prevent his resurrection after taking elaborate precautions to ensure it did not happen (Matt.27:65).
The Resurrection Energizes Gospel-preaching
After Jesus went back to heaven, he sent the promised Holy Spirit. The apostles received power and went about the resurrection of Jesus with unabated vigour (Acts 17:12). The religious authorities persistently resisted the apostles and subjected them to imprisonment, torture and death, but they refused to be silent concerning the fact that Jesus rose from the dead and now offers salvation to those who believe in him. Severe persecution, the threat of death and death only served to fuel the exponential growth of the Christian faith in the early church and throughout the centuries. The significance of the resurrection and abiding faith in Jesus who is the resurrection and the life (John 11:25) enables believers to consider eternal life with Christ to be far more important than their physical existence
The Resurrection Verified by the Apostles
Paul, the most celebrated apostle who ever lived, boldly asserted that Christianity was a fake if Jesus Christ did not come back from the dead (1Cor.15:12-17). Paul confessed to having seen conversed with Jesus on the road to Damascus when he was actively persecuting the church. For the rest of Paul’s life, he argued strenuously before both Jews and Gentiles, kings and ordinary folk, that Jesus both died and came back to life. Peter, one of Jesus’ disciples testified before crowds of people that God raised Jesus from the dead (Acts 2:24, 27; 4:10). Paul, in his defence before King Agrippa, argued passionately that even the prophetic writings predicted that God would resurrect Jesus (Acts 26:23).
The Resurrection verified by the Gospel
Men and women throughout this world in this 21st century continue to be persecuted and martyred for the name of Jesus. They believe that salvation comes only through Jesus who came to this earth, suffered and died for our sins and returned to life. He is now in heaven seated at the right hand of the Father. He is there as our heavenly High Priest, interceding on our behalf. One day he will return as he promised. He will take his own with him; the faithful will receive their rewards and the unjust their punishment.
Benefits of the Resurrection
- The resurrection of Jesus Christ confirms that we too will be resurrected. 1Cor. 15:54; Rom.6:5; Hos.13:14; 1Cor.15:22.
- It verifies that Jesus is the Messiah. John 11:25; 1John 5:11-12
- It is a stunning defeat of all enemies of Jesus Col.1:15
- It testifies to the coming judgement. Acts 17:31
- It validates the Old Testament prophecies of Christ. Acts 17:2-3; Mark 8:31; 9:31; 10:34; 1Cor 15:14-19.
- It gives Christians power to live holy. Phil.3:10-11; Col. 3:1-2; Rom.1:4-6.
- It confirms our new life in Christ and the marvellous hope believers have beyond this present life. 1Pet.1:3.21; Rom.4:25; Eph.2:6.
The resurrection of Jesus Christ gives power and life to the Christian faith. The forces of hell rejoiced that Passover afternoon when Jesus bowed his head and died. They finally got what they aimed at from the day he came to earth. The disciples were discouraged and distraught at his passing. They temporally lost all hope. Then suddenly and unexpectedly Jesus walked out of the tomb victoriously. He defeated death, hell and the grave. Jesus won that titanic battle. Nothing will stop Christ or his church.
We pay no attention to the enemy’s suggestion that Easter is pagan. No, far from it. Easter is the enemy’s ignominious defeat and he is powerless to change it. On the other hand, the resurrection is the Christian’s victory which we have through our Lord Jesus Christ. Let’s all remain in that victory.