Grace Bible Church

Basic Training in Doctrine

The Doctrine of Resurrection.

The Doctrine of the Proofs of the Resurrection of Jesus Christ.

The body of evidence can be grouped
into 14! categories
of proof.

 

Jesus Christ predicted it would happen.

He really died and was buried in a known, accessible tomb.

The Empty Tomb and the grave clothes.

The post-Resurrection appearances of Christ to people.

The recognition of the fact by His enemies

 

The records of secular historians.

The character of the witnesses to the Resurrection.

The dramatic change in the disciples after the Resurrection.

The disciples’ experience of divine power in the post-Resurrection period.

The evidence of the Day of Pentecost.

 

The Church custom of observing the first day of the week.

The origin and perpetuation of the Christian Church.

The persecution of the disciples.

No recanting by any of them, most of whom died violent deaths alone, separated from all of the others.

Point 1. Our Lord Jesus Christ predicted the Resurrection ahead of time.

Luke 9:22 saying, ” The Son of Man must suffer many things and be rejected by the elders and chief priests and scribes, and be killed and be raised up on the third day.”

John 19:33 but coming to Jesus, when they saw that He was already dead, they did not break His legs.

We also saw eyewitness testimony in the word of God from the apostle John in John 19:34-35.

In addition, the account in Matthew’s Gospel of the guarding of the tomb is indisputable evidence that the chief priests and Pharisees thought that Jesus was dead.

None of the soldiers who executed Him had any doubt that he was dead.

None of the people who took His body down off the cross, embalmed the body, wrapped it, and placed in the tomb, had the slightest suspicion that He was still alive.

We know who owned the tomb, how it was constructed, its condition, and its location. We know it was sealed and guarded, and we know people who visited it.\

We know more about the burial of the Lord Jesus Christ than we know of the burial of any other single character in ancient history.

The stone which covered the opening to Jesus’ tomb was enormous.
It required several men to remove it.

The security measures taken at Jesus’ tomb turn out to be among the most if not the most convincing set of proofs that the Resurrection occurred, MAT 27:62-66.

 

So He was dead.

 

He was therefore buried.

Point 3. The Empty Tomb and the Grave Clothes.

The empty tomb
is a dramatic witness to the
bodily Resurrection of Christ.

This account bears all of the markings of an eyewitness account: the personal touches, careful observation, and specific details.

These are the wrappings that Joseph and Nicodemus had applied to His body three days earlier.

He saw
the face-cloth which had been on the Lord’s head.

e)ntuli/ssw entulisso =
to entwine, i.e. wind up in

The head cloth was lying as it had been “rolled” round His head, an evidence, to those who looked into the tomb, of the fact of His resurrection without any disturbance of the wrappings either by friend or foe or when the change took place.

Jesus’ resurrected body simply passed through His grave clothes.

The condition of the grave clothes also indicates that the body had not been stolen by thieves or taken by the disciples.

It would have taken considerable time to have removed the linens and placed them neatly in the tomb.

They would have wanted to hide the body again as soon as possible while giving the body of their Lord full honor.

The guard who was stationed at the tomb that morning also reluctantly reported that it was empty.

If the enemies of Christ had taken the body, it would have been in their interest to have produced it to discredit the accounts that the apostles were giving.

Everyone, friend and enemy, knew that it was empty, and what that empty tomb proved.

What city, on the day of Pentecost, would have been (1) the most hostile to the Gospel message; and (2) the most able to disprove the facts of the Resurrection?

The apostles from the very outset made many believers out of Jews in Jerusalem, hostile as it was, by proclaiming the bodily resurrection of Christ – and they did it just a short stroll away from the tomb.

Why didn’t any of the enemies of Christ ever protest? Why didn’t the Jewish leaders simple prove the Resurrection had not taken place by producing the body of Christ?

The most powerful evidence an attorney can ever use is evidence produced by the opponent!

The reference to the empty tomb is a mortal blow to so many of the alternative hypotheses, and therefore tends to be studiously avoided by the skeptics.

Point 4. The Post-Resurrection Appearances of Christ.

The number of witnesses to Christ’s post-resurrection appearances is
over 500.

 

To Mary Magdalene, John 20:14, Mark 16:9.

To women returning from the tomb, Matthew 28:9,10.

To Peter later in the day, Luke 24:34; 1 Cor 15:5.

To the Emmaus disciples, Luke 24:13-33.

To the apostles, Thomas absent, LUK 24:36-43; John 20:19-24.

 

To the apostles, Thomas present, John 20:26-29.

To the seven by the Lake of Tiberias, John 21:1-23.

To a multitude of 500-plus believers on a Galilean mountain, 1Cor 15:6.

To James, 1Cor 15:7.

To the eleven, MAT 28:16-20; MAR 16:14-20; LUK 24:33-52; ACT 1:3-12.

 

At the ascension, ACT 1:3-12.

To Paul, ACT 9:3-6; 1Cor 15:8.

To Stephen, ACT 7:55.

To Paul in the temple, ACT 22:17-21; 23:11.

To John on Patmos, REV 1:10-19.

Point 5. The Recognition of the fact of the Resurrection by Christ’s enemies.

 

The Roman soldiers guarding the tomb.

 

The chief priests and the Pharisees.

 

Pilate and the Roman government who had just executed Him.

There is no record of any of them ever disputing the resurrection of Jesus Christ!

Any enemy that had proof that Christ had not risen, or who could even contradict one of the stories of His appearing, had ample opportunity to refute what Peter was declaring.

There was no refutation given by the Jews to Peter’s bold proclamation of Christ’s bodily resurrection.

“The silence of the Jews is as significant as the speech of the Christians.”

Instead of offering proof that the message was wrong, the enemies of Christianity attacked the messengers.

The conversion of Paul to Christianity is in itself excellent supporting evidence for the Resurrection, ACT 26:2-14.

Point 6: The records of secular historians.

Point 7: The character of the witnesses to the Resurrection.

Only when overwhelming proof was presented did they at long last accept the fact of His resurrection.

Thomas was quite specific about the overwhelming proof he would require before accepting the fact that Jesus Christ had risen from the dead,
John 20:24-29.

We also have the begrudging acknowledgement of the Resurrection on the part of His enemies –
the soldiers, and
the Jewish leaders.

Point 8: The dramatic change in the disciples after the Resurrection.

You look at the disciples before the resurrection and then you look at them after the resurrection, and they are completely changed men.

Before the resurrection, the disciples were totally demoralized and afraid. They went into hiding, convinced that their ministry was finished.

Over and over again, they submitted to torture and death rather than recant their witness that Jesus Christ is risen indeed and He is the Son of God.

The bodily resurrection of Christ is the most important and the best authenticated fact in the history of the world.

 

It was predicted in the Old Testament.

It was foretold by Christ Himself.

It was a fact admitting of easy verification.

Abundant, suitable, and frequently repeated evidence was afforded of its actual occurrence.

 

The witnesses to the fact that Christ was seen alive after his death upon the cross were numerous, competent, and on every account worthy of confidence.

Their sincerity of conviction was proved by the sacrifices, even that of life, which their testimony entailed upon them.

 

Their testimony was confirmed by God bearing witness together with them (HEB 2:4), in signs and wonders, and divers miracles, and gifts of the Holy Spirit.

Their testimony of the Spirit is continued to the present time and granted to all the true children of God, for the Spirit bears witness to the truth in the heart and conscience.

 

The fact of Christ’s resurrection has been commemorated by a religious observance of the first day of the week from its occurrence to the present time.

The effects produced by His gospel, and the change which it has effected in the state of the world, admit of no other rational solution than the truth of His death and subsequent resurrection.

Without the Resurrection, we would lack the declaration of His deity, ROM 1:4.

Christ is also the promised Messiah that the Jews longed for.

Without the Resurrection, we would lack the basis for our justification.

Without the Resurrection of Jesus Christ, we would have no hope for our own life beyond the grave.

Without the Resurrection of Jesus Christ, we would lack the basis for believing that our sins have been judged.

Christ arose to be the first-fruits of resurrection.

Christ arose to be head of the Church, EPH 1:20-23.

Christ rose from the dead to be the giver of resurrection life, EPH 2:6.

The Resurrection of Jesus Christ is proof positive of the person of Christ, His Deity, Messiah status, and His power to save from sin.

Point 4. The Post-Resurrection Appearances of Christ.

More detail

1 . According to Matthew 28:2-4, the guards saw an angel roll away the stone from the tomb, and because of this they were terrified.

Christ was raised from the tomb shortly after sundown the night before and the opening of the tomb was not to allow Christ to come out, but was a means of permitting others to enter and see the empty tomb.

 

 

Point 2. He really died, and was buried in a known, accessible tomb.

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