THE RESURRECTION OF CHRIST
IntroductionThe importance of the resurrection is clearly indicated by the place given it in the early church.
Being an eyewitness of the resurrected Christ was an essential qualification of an Apostle. 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."
The main subject of apostolic preaching was the resurrection of Christ. Acts 2:24ff "Whom God hath raised up, having loosed the pains of death: because it was not possible that he should be holden of it...."
Witness to the resurrection was a result of apostolic prayer and filling of the Spirit. Acts 4:31-33 "And when they had prayed, the place was shaken where they were assembled together; and they were all filled with the Holy Ghost, and they spake the word of God with boldness. And the multitude of them that believed were of one heart and of one soul: neither said any of them that ought of the things which he possessed was his own; but they had all things common. And with great power gave the apostles witness of the resurrection of the Lord Jesus: and great grace was upon them all."
Belief in the resurrection is essential to Christian salvation. Rom. 10:9-10 "That if thou shalt confess with thy mouth the Lord Jesus, and shalt believe in thine heart that God hath raised him from the dead, thou shalt be saved. For with the heart man believeth unto righteousness; and with the mouth confession is made unto salvation."
It is one of the three or four fundamentals in the Christian Gospel. 1 Cor. 15:1-4 "Moreover, brethren, I declare unto you the gospel which I preached unto you, which also ye have received, and wherein ye stand; By which also ye are saved, if ye keep in memory what I preached unto you, unless ye have believed in vain. For I delivered unto you first of all that which I also received, how that Christ died for our sins according to the scriptures; And that he was buried, and that he rose again the third day according to the scriptures:"
It is a foundation stone of Christianity. 1 Cor. 15:17-18 "And if Christ be not raised, your faith is vain; ye are yet in your sins. Then they also which are fallen asleep in Christ are perished."
This importance of the resurrection of Christ has been conceded by friend and foe. Dr. R. A. Torrey called it:"Cornerstone of Christian Doctrine"
"Gibraltar of Christian Evidence"
"Waterloo of Infidelity"
If a skeptic wished to destroy Christianity:
Let him prove that Christ never rose from the dead. When that is done, he has destroyed Christianity. His work is done!
Can the Resurrection of Christ be Proven an Historical Fact? We Believe it Can.But the question must be approached with an open mind and a spirit of true scientific inquiry. (However, see Rom. 8:7; 1 Cor. 2:14)
"Because the carnal mind is enmity against God: for it is not subject to the law of God, neither indeed can be."
"But the natural man receiveth not the things of the Spirit of God: for they are foolishness unto him: neither can he know them, because they are spiritually discerned."
Some have said a bodily resurrection is impossible!
The true scientific spirit does not say of something new - "This cannot happen:" but asks, "What has happened?"