Christianity hinges on one event –
The RESURRECTION of Christ Jesus!
WHAT THE BIBLE TEACHES
The word, resurrection (ἀνάστασις (anastasis) means “to stand”) – literally, “stand up” (or “stand again”), referring to physical resurrection (of the body). This word is used 40 times in the New Testament in reference to Christ’s resurrection.
All people who study this subject should know that the Greek word ‘resurrection’ means the standing up of a corpse.
Every gospel account teaches that Jesus was resurrected and since the Greek word translated resurrection literally means the standing up of a corpse it means the gospel writers wrote that Jesus Christ arose bodily from the grave! Here is Matthew’s account:
But the angel said to the women, “Do not be afraid, for I know that you seek Jesus who was crucified. He is not here, for He has risen, as he said. Come, see the place where He lay. Then go quickly and tell his disciples that He has risen from the dead, and behold, He is going before you to Galilee; there you will see Him. See, I have told you.” So they departed quickly from the tomb with fear and great joy, and ran to tell His disciples. And behold, Jesus met them and said, “Greetings!” And they came up and took hold of His feet and worshiped Him. Then Jesus said to them, “Do not be afraid; go and tell My brothers to go to Galilee, and there they will see Me.” Matthew 28:5-10
Jesus, in Luke’s writing, makes it very clear that His was a physical resurrection:
“Why are you troubled,” Jesus asked, “and why do doubts arise in your hearts? Look at My hands and My feet. It is I Myself. Touch Me and see–for a spirit does not have flesh and bones, as you see I have. Luke 24:38-39
John records that Jesus had breakfast after He was resurrected:
When they got out on land, they saw a charcoal fire in place, with fish laid out on it, and bread. 10 Jesus said to them, “Bring some of the fish that you have just caught.” 11 So Simon Peter went aboard and hauled the net ashore, full of large fish, 153 of them. And although there were so many, the net was not torn. 12 Jesus said to them, “Come and have breakfast.” Now none of the disciples dared ask him, “Who are you?” They knew it was the Lord. 13 Jesus came and took the bread and gave it to them, and so with the fish. 14 This was now the third time that Jesus was revealed to the disciples after he was raised from the dead. John 21:9
In addition to these witnesses, we have the witness of the empty tomb. The account of the empty tomb is written as proof of resurrection, NOT a destroyed body!
…But the angel said to the women, “Do not be afraid, for I know that you are looking for Jesus, who was crucified. He is not here; He has risen, just as He said! Come, see the place where He lay. Matthew 26:5-6
Jesus arose bodily!
Prior to His resurrection, and just before bodily raising Lazarus, Christ told Martha…
Jesus said to her, “I am the resurrection and the life. He who believes in Me will live, even though he dies. And everyone who lives and believes in Me will never die. Do you believe this?”John 11:25-26
When the resurrection actually occurred, the women went to the tomb to anoint the body with spices. They did not find the body, instead, they saw two men in radiant apparel who spoke to them as recorded…
…but when they entered, they did not find the body of the Lord Jesus…He is not here; He has risen! (ἠγέρθη (ēgerthē) stood up) Luke 24:3,6
What the men did NOT say is important also. Satan puts it in the hearts of men to tell stories to explain away the truth of the resurrection. We are to believe the written word of God and The Living Word! Jesus had taught His followers that He would arise. Those same men reminded the women:
“Why do you look for the living among the dead? He is not here; He has risen! Remember how He told you while He was still in Galilee: ‘The Son of Man must be delivered into the hands of sinful men, and be crucified, and on the third day rise again.’”Luke 24:6-7
The Bible teaches resurrection. Christ came to earth as a man, Son of Man and as God, Son of God. This is why He is the “first fruits” of them that slept:
But now is Christ risen from the dead, and become the firstfruits of them that slept. For since by man came death, by man came also the resurrection of the dead. For as in Adam all die, even so in Christ shall all be made alive. 1 Corinthians 15: 20-22.
Christ death and resurrection is the heart of the gospel…
For Christ’s love compels us, because we are convinced that One died for all, therefore all died. And He died for all, that those who live should no longer live for themselves, but for Him who died for them and was raised again. 2 Corinthians 5:14-15
The Lord Jesus Christ came in the flesh to die for the sins of the world. He did just that and on the third day He was resurrected physically! Praise God! Because He lives, we shall live also! Jesus conquered death AND the grave! (Hosea 13:14)
As to the resurrection of Jesus, Satan has convinced Watchtower that because angels are spirits who can appear as people, Jesus was only resurrected spiritually and only ‘appeared’ to be in a body but was not really there bodily. This flies in the face of what Jesus said to Thomas. “Reach here your finger, and behold my hands; and reach here your hand, and thrust it into my side: and be not faithless, but believing.” John 20:27 (Of course angels never had bodies to begin with.)
HOW PAUL ADDRESSED THE ISSUE
But if it is preached that Christ has been raised from the dead, how can some of you say that there is no resurrection of the dead? If there is no resurrection of the dead, then not even Christ has been raised. And if Christ has not been raised, our preaching is worthless, and so is your faith. In that case, we are also exposed as false witnesses about God. For we have testified about God that He raised Christ from the dead, but He did not raise Him if in fact the dead are not raised. For if the dead are not raised, then not even Christ has been raised. And if Christ has not been raised, your faith is futile; you are still in your sins. Then those also who have fallen asleep in Christ have perished. If our hope in Christ is for this life alone, we are to be pitied more than all men. 1 Corinthians 15:12-19
While Paul wrote the words in 1 Corinthians 15, he was well aware that Christ was raised from the dead. Paul had actually met the risen Lord. He had heard the testimony of those who had met the risen Christ. His life had been radically changed from a religious zealot to a born again Christian, so much that Paul also wrote…
…For I determined not to know anything among you, except Jesus Christ, and him crucified…” 1 Corinthians 2:1
WE ARE LIVING IN THE AGE OF GRACE
Because of the resurrection of the Lord Jesus Christ, there is hope for eternal life! We have all sinned and need the Savior who has overcome sin, death, and the grave! Today, whosoever will may choose to trust Christ!
Hallelujah- He is risen!
WE WILL ALSO BE RESURRECTED
“But I would not have you to be ignorant, brethren, concerning them which are asleep, that ye sorrow not, even as others which have no hope. For if we believe that Jesus died and rose again, even so them also which sleep in Jesus will God bring with him. For this we say unto you by the word of the Lord, that we which are alive and remain unto the coming of the Lord shall not prevent them which are asleep. For the Lord himself shall descend from heaven with a shout, with the voice of the archangel, and with the trump of God: and the dead in Christ shall rise first: Then we which are alive and remain shall be caught up together with them in the clouds, to meet the Lord in the air: and so shall we ever be with the Lord. Wherefore comfort one another with these words.”
1 Thessalonians 4:13-18 KJV
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