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.
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
WHAT SATAN TEACHES
Satan uses religious channels to teach lies. Religions are man-made efforts to appease God. Some take portions of the Bible and mix that with reasoning and conjecture. Anytime a teaching is conjecture, reasoned out, not supported by the complete Word of God in the scriptures, we should know that Satan is at work. He is a liar, deceiver, and an accuser of those who do believe. He also twist scriptures or pulls them out of context to trick people.
Satan used scripture when tempting Christ. How much more will he do so to mankind?
An example of using a scripture to teach false doctrine is Watchtower’s use of 1 Peter 3:18 For Christ also suffered for sins once for all, the righteous for the unrighteous, to bring you to God. He was put to death in the body but made alive in the spirit…, (Read out of context, one might assume this supports the false doctrine that Christ was only raised a Spirit. It doesn’t say that and a reading in context shows the Spirit was alive during the three day period the body was dead, prior to the body being raised. This scripture shows the Spirit doesn’t die.) 19 in which He also went and preached to the spirits in prison 20 who disobeyed long ago when God waited patiently in the days of Noah, while the ark was being built. Christ was raised with a resurrected body.
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.)
Watchtower Board of Directors actually say, and their people believe, that God (YHWH), (the One they call Jehovah), in an act of deception, (Watchtower doesn’t call it deception but I do not know what else it could be) destroyed Christ’s body to make the tomb appear empty even though the body was not resurrected. They teach a hope in a future recreation rather than the actual resurrection. They deny that anything more than the Spirit of Jesus arose.
There are tremendous problems with this false doctrine!
1) The Watchtower’s teaching has NO biblical foundation.
2) Without the resurrection, Christ did not overcome death and the grave. The hope Christians have in Christ for our own bodily resurrection could not exist except for His glorious resurrection!
3) Jesus’s disciples would never have preached and become martyrs for a false gospel. It was because of Christ’s resurrection power that they left their places of safety and went into all the world and preached the gospel – that Christ died and arose from the dead to pay for our sins.
4) God cannot lie. The story Watchtower tells portrays Christ as a liar when He spoke to Thomas and portrays YHWH as a deceiver by making it appear the body was resurrected.
5) We have the truth of the resurrection recorded by Luke and the other gospel writers. What the men in radiant apparel did NOT say is important. Had the story happened as Watchtower teaches, we can know that this is how it would have been recorded. It is Satan who puts it in the hearts of men to make up stories to explain away the truth of the resurrection.
6) There would have been no need for guards to guard the tomb to keep the body from being stolen if resurrection did not mean the bodily resurrection as all understood at the time.
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!
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