Central to the Christian message is the resurrection of Christ.
The following text is taken from the sermon by David Jeremiah, April 16th 2017 – He Really Is Alive
In the New Testament, the Lord Jesus Christ predicted his crucifixion, and resurrection, how it would happen, and when it would happen, that he must go to Jerusalem and suffer many things, be killed, and be raised the 3rd day. Refer Matthew 17:22-23, 20:18-19, 26:32.
Think of the implications of this if in fact it was not true. Jesus explains all of this in John 10:17-18.
At the end of the New Testament we read Revelation 1:18, “I am He who lives, and was dead, and behold, I am alive forevermore. Amen. And I have the keys of Hades and of Death.” for every man, woman and child on this earth. There are many other scriptures. Only a foolish man preaches his own resurrection unless that man is God.
The scriptures tell of at least 10 appearances of Jesus out of his tomb, to men, women, individuals, on the street, in a house, to disciples, apostles, and different localities, for shorter and longer stretches of time over a 40 day period. This is considered to be well documented.
According to the Apostle Paul, he was seen to over 500 brethren at one time, and most were still alive at the time of Paul writing this. Refer 1 Corinthians 15:6. None of these discounted what Paul said. These accounts were by people who saw Jesus, heard him, and touched him and watched him eat in their midst. These people were respected, such as Luke who in the start of Acts 1:3 says, “to whom He also presented Himself alive after His suffering by many infallible proofs, …”
So the question now is, what do we do with this evidence?
Think of who they were who witnessed Christ, and their character. Men and women of great courage, who faced immediate trial and who continued, who gave us our greatest teachings of service ever known. The apostles, excepting John, were afraid, and went to the upper room of a house while Jesus was crucified, until that night in the upper room where they were in sorrow, and all at once the Lord Jesus appeared in their midst. They knew. They saw His scars. They saw that now He was absolutely alive. They became evangelists for the Gospel. It turned their world upside down. The New Testament tells us various things that followed, such as being thrown in jail, and getting out and preaching again. They knew without any doubt, this same Jesus who was crucified was now alive. Jesus is the only one who has conquered death, and because of this can offer us eternal life.
Today, let us think of how more people go to Church on Easter than any other day. Think of how the Jews kept Saturday holy, as the Sabbath, but then there was a great shift to Sunday, celebrating Christ every week, and has been every year since the resurrection.
When the two women went to the tomb, Jesus was not there. Two angels were there and said, “Why do you seek the living among the dead? He is not here, but is risen!” Luke 24:5-6.
There are two types of death described in the Bible. There is physical separation from the body, and there is separation from God. John 11:25-26, “And whoever lives and believes in Me shall never die. Do you believe this?”