Biblical Truth #8 – Jesus’ Bodily Resurrection
Of all truths given in scripture, the most important is the resurrection of Jesus. Not only is it important to the Christian message, without it, Christianity would not exist. This pivotal historical event is the belief that Christians unite under for hope in the afterlife. The Bible states Jesus defeated death not only symbolically but literarily. His raising from the dead is the promise for all Christians that they too will one day rise from the dead to live in a new heaven and new earth. This truth was the reason martyrdom (dying for a belief or cause) was not a fear for the early Christians. Death now holds no sting for a Christian.
Evidence for the Resurrection
Many have accused the story of Jesus’ resurrection as fabricated. There are even second and third century writings from the Jewish authorities, i.e., those who strongly opposed Christianity, which claimed the disciples “stole” Jesus’ body from the tomb. This third-party evidence provides strong proof that the tomb was in fact empty. Although no “dead body” was ever found, the Jewish authorities were doing everything they could to locate the body as they did not want the whole “Christian movement” to continue and/or to resurface. As Paul Althaus writes, the resurrection proclamation “could not have been maintained in Jerusalem, the location of Jesus’ death and burial, for a single day, for a single hour, if the emptiness of the tomb had not been established as a fact for all concerned.”
And, of course, the reason for no dead body ever being located was because Jesus had risen! Following his bodily resurrection, Jesus spent forty days teaching and preaching to his beloved disciples including many others. On one occasion Jesus preached to a crowd of over five hundred. All this provides amazing eye-witness evidence.
All the Gospel accounts (the Books of Matthew, Mark, Luke and John) detail that Christ’s resurrection was revealed to women first. This is a ludicrous idea for any Jewish inventor of a religion in a time when women were not equal with men and not even allowed to testify in court. Yet we find the story relates this detail multiple times, and the disciples for their part, are mostly unbelieving. Again, if you are a disciple of Jesus and you are inventing the resurrection story, why make yourselves look unbelieving at the very beginning! The reason, of course, is because it is true, and this ultimately provides even further evidence surrounding the details of this spectacular historical event.
Another form of evidence related to Jesus’ bodily resurrection was the explosive growth of the Christian church. Had it not been for the resurrection, these early Christians and church planters would have not had any foundational nor reliable religious doctrine to promulgate and to place their trust, hope and faith.
Finally, the resurrection was prophesied in the Old Testament, as well as shared by Jesus to his disciples and Jewish leaders prior to this death. These are only a couple examples of the dozens of fulfilled prophecies about the birth, life, death and resurrection of Jesus Christ, which ultimately provides indisputable proof about Jesus and his bodily resurrection.
Will you go to Heaven when you die? Here’s a quick test:
Q. Have you ever told a lie?
Q. Have you ever stolen anything?
Q. Have you ever used God’s name in vain?
Q. Have you ever lusted over someone?
Q. Have you ever hated someone?
If you have done these things, God sees you as a liar, a thief, a blasphemer, an adulterer-at-heart, and a murderer-at-heart. And this is only 5 of God’s Ten Commandments (a/k/a “God’s Law”). And the Bible warns that on the Day of Judgment, God will punish you in a terrible place called Hell. But, there is “good news”! God is not willing that any should perish. Sinners broke God’s Law, but Jesus paid their fine by shedding His sinless blood on a cross ~2,000 years ago. This means that God can legally dismiss their case (and yours!): “For God so loved the world that He gave His one and only Son, that whoever believes in Him shall not perish but have eternal life.” (John 3:16) Then Jesus rose from the dead, defeating death. Today, repent (turn away from your sins), put your complete trust in Jesus, and confess Jesus as your Lord & Savior… and God will give you eternal life as a free gift.
Contrary to popular belief, being a “good person”, doing “good deeds”, or being “religious” will not get you a ticket to heaven! Many people are hoping God will dismiss their sins because their good deeds outweigh their bad deeds. They further hope that because God is “good” he will let them go unpunished and enter heaven. However, because God is “good” he must by nature punish sinners (i.e., God would not be a good judge if he let criminals go free). The Bible states: “There is no one on earth who is righteous, no one who does what is right and never sins.” (Ecclesiastes 7:20) The Bible also states: “For it is by grace you have been saved, through faith – and this not from yourselves, it is the gift of God – not by works, so that no one can boast.” (Ephesians 2:8-9) And finally, think about this, if your goodness could save you, Jesus would have died in vain (i.e., for no good reason). The Bible states: “I (Jesus) am the way and the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father (God) except through me. (John
14:6) Friends, please don’t “roll-the-dice” and gamble your eternal life on the life-threatening lie that being a “good person” will get you to heaven.
Here is a prayer you can use to receive Jesus Christ as your personal Lord & Savior. It is a suggested prayer – the key is that you are speaking from your heart.
“Father, I know that I have broken your laws and my sins have separated me from you. I am truly sorry, and now I want to turn away from my past sinful life toward you. Please forgive me, and help me turn away from sin going forward. I believe that your Son, Jesus Christ, died for my sins, was resurrected from the dead, is alive, and hears my prayer. I invite Jesus into my heart and I confess him as my personal Lord and Savior. Thank You for sending your Holy Spirit to help me obey you, and to do your will for the rest of my life. In Jesus’ name I pray. Amen.”
Congratulations! And welcome to God’s family!
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