THE PURPOSE OF THE RESURRECTION

In 1 Cor.15:17-19 (NKJV) the Apostle Paul states: “And if Christ is not risen, your faith is futile; you are still in your sins! Then also those who have fallen asleep in Christ have perished. If in this life only we have hope in Christ, we are of all men the most pitiable.” The resurrection of our Lord gives us hope as Christians.  God’s plan of redemption for the world is complete. In Romans 4:25 Paul tells us that Jesus was delivered for our offenses, and was raised again for our justification.  When we truly repent of our sins, God forgives us just as if we had never sinned. The resurrection vindicates God against all claims that He cannot accomplish His purpose or that He has created a world ruled by injustice.  It translates hopelessness into joy. It makes our faith real. The resurrection fulfills the scriptures in Luke 24:45-48 (NKJV): “And He opened their understanding, that they might comprehend the Scriptures. Then He said to them, ‘Thus it is written, and thus it was necessary for the Christ to suffer and to rise from the dead the third day, and that repentance and remission of sins should be preached in His name to all nations, beginning at Jerusalem. And you are witnesses of these things.'” The resurrection exalts Christ for who He is: The Head of the Church.  Acts 4:10-12 (NKJV) states: “Let it be known to you all, and to all the people of Israel, that by the name of Jesus Christ of Nazareth, whom you crucified, whom God raised from the dead, by Him this man stands here before you whole. This is the stone which was rejected by you builders, which has become the chief cornerstone. Nor is there salvation in any other, for there is no other name under heaven given among men by which we must be saved.”

THE PROOF OF THE RESURRECTION

The Apostle Paul states in 1 Cor. 15:5-8 (NKJV) “And that He was seen by Cephas, then by the twelve. After that He was seen by over five hundred brethren at once, of whom the greater part remain to the present, but some have fallen asleep. After that He was seen by James, then by all the apostles. Then last of all He was seen by me also, as by one born out of due time. For I am the least of the apostles, who am not worthy to be called an apostle, because I persecuted the church of God.” One of the greatest proofs of the resurrection is that Jesus was seen by all these people. When people see you alive and you are supposed to be dead, it is proof that you are alive! The resurrection proved Jesus to be the Son of God.  In Romans 1:4 the Apostle Paul said: “And declared to be the Son of God with power, according to the spirit of holiness, by the resurrection from the dead.” Peter, the man who denied that he even knew Jesus, said: “This Jesus hath God raised up, whereof we all are witnesses” (Acts 2:32 KJV). The tomb is empty is another proof of the resurrection.  John 20 tells the story of Mary Magdalene, Simon Peter, and John looking into the empty tomb and seeing the linen clothes which had been on Jesus’ body, lying in perfect order as if our Lord had just come out of them.  What shall we say then of Thomas who said: “Except I shall see in His hands the print of the nails, and put my finger into the print of the nails, and thrust my hand into His side, I will not believe” (John 20:25 KJV). Jesus came to Thomas and let him do as he had requested and Thomas became a true believer. In John 20:28 (KJV) Thomas said: “My Lord and my God.” The Bible tells us in John 20:31 that these things are written the we might believe that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of God, and that believing we might have life through His name. This proves the deity of Jesus. He was God in the flesh.  Jesus presented Himself alive to His devout followers to prove to them and to the world that He is alive. It is interesting that the first person who saw Jesus alive was a woman, Mary Magdalene. As you recall, Jesus had cast seven demons from her and she never forgot it! She got saved and she never got over it! Amazing Grace is still amazing! Jesus knew how much she loved Him. When Mary Magdalene saw the empty tomb, she began to weep because she thought someone had stolen His body. Jesus came to her and said her name. She knew that voice. For those among us who have a caveman mentality toward women, men you must never forget that the Lord Jesus first proved His resurrection to a woman.