Abraham, the father of Judaism, died about 1900 BC, but no resurrection has ever been claimed for him.
Buddha never was ascribed anything close to a resurrection. In fact one of the sacred writing of that faith says that when Buddha died it was “with that utter passing away in which nothing whatever remains behind.”
Mohammed died June 8, 632 A.D. at Medina, where his tomb is annually visited by thousands of devout Muslims.
H. P. Liddon says: “Faith in the resurrection is the very keystone of the arch of Christian faith, and, when it is removed, all must inevitably crumble into ruin.”
R M’Cheyne Edgar says: “Here is a teacher of religion and He calmly professes to stake His entire claims upon His ability, after having been done to death, to rise again from the grave. We may safely assume that there never was, before or since, such a proposal made.”
B. B. Warfield says: “Christ Himself deliberately staked His whole claim to the credit of men upon His resurrection. When asked for a sign He pointed to this sign as His single and sufficient credential.”
Michael Green says: “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. Christianity stands or falls with the truth of the resurrection. Once disproved it, and you have disposed of Christianity.”
Because of this, throughout the centuries the resurrection has been the storm center of the attack upon the Christian faith.
The Supernatural Events of the Resurrection
- A great earthquake
- Angel of the Lord
- Stone rolled back
- The Appeals of the Resurrection
- Fear not
John 14: 27 – Peace I leave with you, My peace I give to you; not as the world gives do I give to you. Let not your heart be troubled, neither let it be afraid.
Hebrews 4:14-16 – Seeing then that we have a great High Priest who has passed through the heavens, Jesus the Son of God, let us hold fast our confession. For we do not have a High Priest who cannot sympathize with our weaknesses, but was in all points tempted as we are, yet without sin. Let us therefore come boldly to the throne of grace that we may obtain mercy and find grace to help in time of need.
Hebrews 10:19-20 – Therefore, brethren, having boldness to enter the Holiest by the blood of Jesus,by a new and living way which He consecrated for us, through the veil, that is, His flesh,
Come and see – When Andrew found Jesus, he immediately invited his brother, Simon, to meet Jesus (John 1:35-42).
When Philip met Jesus, he immediately invited his friend, Nathaniel, to “come and see” (John 1:43-46).
To quickly go and tell the others
Matthew 28:19-20 – Go therefore and make disciples of all the nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, teaching them to observe all things that I have commanded you; and lo, I am with you always, even to the end of the age.” Amen.
2 Timothy 2:2 – And the things that you have heard from me among many witnesses, commit these to faithful men who will be able to teach others also.
The Attempts to Discredit the Resurrection
- Soldiers were bribed
- Disciples were accused of taking the body
- Since that time, many theories have been given to try to explain away the resurrection. But, let’s take a look at the story.
J.N.D. Anderson says: “Have you noticed that all the references to the empty tomb come in the Gospels, which were written to give the Christian community the facts they wanted to know? In the public preaching to those who were not believers, as recorded in Acts, there is an enormous emphasis on the fact of the resurrection but not a single reference to the empty tomb. Now, why? To me there is only one answer: There was no point in arguing about the empty tomb. Everyone, friend and opponent, knew that it was empty. The only questions worth arguing about were why it was empty and what its emptiness proved.”
Anderson also writes, “To suggest that it was not in fact empty at all, as some have done, seems to me ridiculous. It is a matter of history that the apostles…made many converts in Jerusalem, hostile as it was, by proclaiming the glad news that Christ had risen from the grave – and they did it within a short walk from the sepulcher. Any one of their hearers could have visited the tomb and come back again between lunch and afternoon tea. It is inconceivable, then, that the apostles would have had this success if the body of the one they proclaimed as lord was all the time decomposing in Joseph’s tomb?”
Evidence That Demands a Verdict
- The testimony of History and Law
- The body was dead
- The burial
- The stone
- The seal
- The guard at the tomb
- The grave clothes
- The disciples’ lack of courage
- The empty tomb
- Post-resurrection appearances of Jesus Christ
- Enemies of Christ gave no refutation of the resurrection
- The transformed lives of the disciples
- The Church