Sunday, March 31, 2013

Resurrection Truths




The truth of the resurrection gives life to every other area of gospel truth. The resurrection is the pivot on which all of Christianity turns and without which none of the other truths would much matter. Without the resurrection, Christianity would be so much wishful thinking, taking its place alongside all other human philosophy and religious speculation.

John MacArthur
1 Corinthians, Moody, 1984, p. 398.


 Furthermore, a close study of the text nowhere suggests that the stone of the tomb was rolled away from the tomb to let Jesus out. The earthquake and rolling back of the stone recorded in Matthew (28:2) as a sign of a wonderful event, not as the event itself. There can be only one conclusion: the body of Jesus was gone before the stone was rolled away. It did not need to be removed for Him to escape the tomb; He had already escaped it. The removal of the stone was for the disciples, not for Jesus.

--George Eldon Ladd, A Theology of the New Testament, Eerdmans, 1993, p. 361.


 1.      Jesus himself testified to his coming resurrection from the dead (Mk. 8:31; cf. Mt. 17:22, Lk. 9:22).
2.      The tomb was empty on Easter (Luke 24:3).
3.      The disciples were almost immediately transformed from men who were hopeless and fearful after the crucifixion (Lk. 24:21; Jn. 20:19) into men who were confident and bold witnesses of the resurrection (Ac. 2:24; 3:15; 4:2).
4.      Paul claimed that, not only had he seen the risen Christ, but that 500 others had seen him also, and many were still alive when he made this public claim (1 Cor. 15:6).
5.    The sheer existence of a thriving, empire-conquering early Christian church supports the truth of the resurrection claim.
6.    The Apostle Paul’s conversion supports the truth of the resurrection (Ac. 9).
7.    The New Testament witnesses do not bear the stamp of dupes or deceivers.
8.      There is a self-authenticating glory in the gospel of Christ’s death and resurrection as narrated by the biblical witnesses (Jn. 16:13).

John Piper

Eight Reasons Why I Believe That Jesus Rose from the Dead, February 28, 2007www.DesiringGod.org




 
We need not wonder that so much importance is attached to our Lord’s resurrection. It is the seal and headstone of the great work of redemption, which He came to do. It is the crowning proof that He has paid the debt which He undertook to pay on our behalf, won the battle which He fought to deliver us from hell, and is accepted as our Surety and our Substitute by our Father in heaven. Had He never come forth from the prison of the grave, how could we ever have been sure that our ransom had been fully paid? (1 Cor. 15:17.) Had He never risen from His conflict with the last enemy, how could we have felt confident, that He has overcome death, and him that had the power of death, that is the devil? (Heb. 2:14.) But thanks be unto God, we are not left in doubt. The Lord Jesus really “rose again for our justification.” True Christians are “begotten again unto a lively hope by the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead.” They may boldly say with Paul, “Who is he that condemns – it is Christ that died, yes rather that is risen again” (Rom. 8:34. Rom. 4:25. 1 Pet. 1:3).



--J.C. Ryle, Matthew Commentary, Chapter 28.



The resurrection is not merely important to the historic Christian faith; without it, there would be no Christianity. It is the singular doctrine that elevates Christianity above all other world religions. Through the resurrection, Christ demonstrated that He does not stand in a line of peers with Abraham, Buddha, or Confucius. He is utterly unique. He has the power not only to lay down His life, but to take it up again.

--Hank Hanegraaff, resurrection, W Publishing Group, 2000, p. 15.




What happened as a result of the resurrection is unprecedented in human history. In the span of a few hundred years, a small band of seemingly insignificant believers succeeded in turning an entire empire upside down. As has been well said, "They faced the tyrant's brandished steel, the lion's gory mane, and the fires of a thousand deaths," because they were utterly convinced that they, like their Master, would one day rise from the grave in glorified, resurrected bodies.

--Hank Hanegraaff, Resurrection, W Publishing Group, 2000, p. 57.



If Christ is truly God, His claim to be the only way has to be taken seriously. If on the other hand, He is merely one more person in a pantheon of pretenders, His proclamations can easily be pushed aside. That is precisely why the resurrection is axiomatic to Christianity. Through the resurrection, Christ demonstrated that He does not stand in a line of peers with Buddha, Baha'u'llah, Krishna, or any founder of a world religion. They died and are still dead, but Christ is risen. Ultimately, resurrection and reincarnation are mutually exclusive because the former is a historical fact, while the latter is but a Hindu fantasy.

--Hank Hanegraaff, Resurrection, W Publishing Group, 2000, p. 128.



  
For many years, the resurrection of Jesus Christ has been the central certainty of my life, as it has for thousands and hundreds of thousands of Christians. To me the great value of Easter Sunday lies right here. Amid all the question marks of this questioning age in which we live, the resurrection of Jesus Christ is God's great exclamation point. And if you are aware of the questions, the doubts, and uncertainties that surround us today, I think you will agree with me that we are very much in need of exclamation marks in this day. The belief of Christians this Easter Sunday morning is an island of faith in the midst of an ocean of doubt and uncertainty.

--Ray C. Stedman, The Note of Certainty, #0184, www.RayStedman.org,


The basic truth of the resurrection undergirds a number of other truths.
1.    It gives evidence that the Word of God is totally true and reliable. Jesus precisely when and in the way He had predicted (see Mt. 12:40; 16:21; 17:9, 23).
2.    The resurrection means that Jesus Christ is the Son of God, as He claimed to be, and that He has power over life and death.
3.    The resurrection proves that salvation is complete, that on the cross Christ conquered sin, death, and hell and rose victorious.
4.    The resurrection proves that the church has been established. Jesus had declared, "I will build My church; and the gates of Hades shall not overpower it" (Mt. 16:8)... His resurrection proved that death itself could not prevent Christ from establishing His church.
5.    The resurrection proves that judgment is coming. Jesus declared that the heavenly Father "has given all judgment to the Son" (Jn. 5:22), and since the Son is now risen and alive, His judgment is certain.
6.    The resurrection of Jesus Christ proves that heaven is waiting. Jesus promised, "In My house are many dwelling places; if it were not so, I would have told you; for I go to prepare a place for you" (Jn. 14:2). Because Christ is alive by the resurrection, believers have the assurance that He is now preparing a heavenly dwelling for them.

--John MacArthur, Matthew 24-28, Moody, 1989, p. 314-315.





The truth of the resurrection gives life to every other area of gospel truth. The resurrection is the pivot on which all of Christianity turns and without which none of the other truths would much matter. Without the resurrection, Christianity would be so much wishful thinking, taking its place alongside all other human philosophy and religious speculation.

John MacArthur
1 Corinthians, Moody, 1984, p. 398.


Christianity does not hold the Resurrection to be one among many tenets of belief. Without faith in the Resurrection there would be no Christianity at all. The Christian church would never have begun; the Jesus-movement would have fizzled out like a damp squib with His execution. Christianity stands or falls with the truth of the Resurrection. Once disprove it, and you have disposed of Christianity.

Michael Green
Man Alive, IVP, 1968, p. 61.


  
Imagine, for a moment, the reaction of Hell to the death of Christ. Jesus was bound with the bands of death. What celebration and joy! God was defeated! Vengeance was the Devil’s. But they reckoned without the wisdom of God. For Christ could not be held down by the bands of death. In fact through death He was paralyzing the one who had the power of death, and He was setting His people free (Heb. 2:14-15). What seemed to be defeat was actually victory. The Resurrection morning was Hell’s gloomiest day. Satan saw the wisdom of God and tasted defeat.

--Sinclair Ferguson, A Heart for God, 1987, p. 75, by permission Banner of Truth, Carlisle, PA.



Upon a life I did not live, upon a death I did not die, I risk my whole eternity on the resurrection.

--C.H. Spurgeon

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