DID CHRIST REALLY RISE FROM THE DEAD?
by: John Bond
The Garden Tomb
The resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead is not just an option open for
Christians to believe if they want to or not!!…. Do you know what I mean?
A kind of take it or leave it arrangement!
It is the central issue concerning the Christian faith's validity. It is the
cornerstone of every Christian’s faith and belief. In fact if Jesus Christ
did not rise from the dead, then Christians are to be pitied more than all people
because even the Apostle Paul said all Christian preaching and Faith is USELESS
if Christ has not been raised!!
1Corintians 15 v 13& 14. If there is no resurrection of the dead, then
not even Christ has been raised. And if Christ has not been raised, our preaching
is useless and so is your faith.
More than that, we are then found to be false witnesses about God, for we have
testified about God that he raised Christ from the dead. But he did not raise
him if in fact the dead are not raised.
It is the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead that sets Christ apart
from every religious founder who has ever lived.
It is the resurrection of Jesus Christ that gives Him the authority to be able
to say that He and He alone is the only way to knowing God personally.
Christ's resurrection from the dead is the greatest attested fact of Ancient
History. There has been many an opponent and sceptic of Christianity who having
set out to disprove the truth of the resurrection has become a devout follower
of Christ through their honest research.
Such as :
Dr F.Morrison., a rationalistic Lawyer;
Lord Lyndhurst., Attorney General of Great Britain;
C.S.Lewis., a literary genius;
Dr S.Greenleaf., Royall Professor of Law at Harvard University.
Professor Thomas Arnold, for 14 years the headmaster of Rugby, author of the
three-volume History of Rome, and holder of the chair of modern history at Oxford,
was well versed with the worth of evidence in establishing historical fact.
This great student said,
"I have been used for many years to study histories of other times,
and to examine and weigh the evidence of those who have written about them,
and I know of no better and fuller evidence of every sort, to the understanding
of the fair inquirer, than the great sign which God hath given us that Christ
died and rose again from the dead”. (No 1)
The Apostle Paul rested his whole case for his faith on the bodily resurrection
The fact of the matter is that if Christ did rise from the dead, then it is
the most sensational event in all of history. If He did not, then Christianity
has no objective reality or validity.
There are a number of evidences that convince me of the credibility of Christ's
One : The Fact of the church and its existence.
The message of the Christian church centres on the death of Christ on the cross
and His resurrection.
Two: The Fact of the Christian day!
Christians gather together to worship on Sunday
(the day Jesus rose from the dead, Acts 20v7) to celebrate and commemorate the
death burial and resurrection of Christ.
Three: The Christian Book.
The New Testament is the result of the impact of Christ, His teaching and life.
It contains six independent testimonies to the fact of the resurrection, three
eyewitness accounts and their testimonies (John, Peter and Matthew).
These men were so impacted by the truth and message of Christ that they along
with the rest of the early church leaders transformed the moral structure of
Were they consummate liars or deluded madmen to their death?
The Empty Tomb
Four: The Empty Tomb.
How can it be accounted for?
No one in history has come up with any factual evidence to contradict the historical
record and testimony of the scriptures. There are 10 possible explanations for
the empty tomb that have been espoused through the years. Only one takes into
account all the facts available and the resultant conclusion is that Jesus Christ
Supernaturally rose from the dead.
( For a fuller treatment of this subject read Josh McDowell's, The Resurrection
Factor, paperback, Here's Life Publishers,1981. )
Five : The recorded appearances of Christ.
These occurred from the morning of His resurrection until His ascension 40 days
later. There are ten distinct appearances recorded to either individuals, to
the disciples as a group, or to over 500 people in different places, at different
times. This was no hallucination or mere slight of fantasy.
These people didn't expect to see Him again! Yet,
He walked with his disciples .
He talked with his disciples ,
He ate with his disciples following the resurrection.
This resulted in them being....
Six: The Changed Disciples.
How else can you describe the change in the disciples. Peter prior to Christ's
crucifixion was a wimp who couldn't even stand for the Lord in front of a servant
girl. Following the resurrection this same Peter stood before the leaders of
the community and testified to the power of Jesus Christ who was raised from
Paul who had been killing Christians and persecuting the church became just
as zealous for God when confronted with the truth about Christ.
Seven: The contemporary and personal evidence.
If Christ rose from the dead He is alive today, He is powerfully able to invade
and change people’s lives as they respond to Him. Millions of people today
testify to the life changing power of Jesus Christ in their lives. They come
from every nation on the face of the earth, every background, from sympathetic
families and nations to hostile ones. Millions testify today to the fact that
Christ has revolutionized their lives.
Personally, I have had the privilege of witnessing people coming to Christ in
Asia, Europe and North America. I belong to an organisation ( Youth for Christ
) that is working on every continent and in over 100 nations. I hear regularly
of people becoming Christians all over the world.
As Canon Westcott said, "There is no historic incident better
or more variously supported than the resurrection of Jesus Christ"
from the dead.
Jesus Himself said:
"I am the resurrection and the Life. He who believes in me will
live, even though he dies; and whoever lives and believes in Me will never die.
Do you believe this?" John : Chap. 11 v 25.
Do you believe this?
If you do then you to can have eternal life as you respond to the truth about
No 1 - Thomas Arnold, Sermons on the Christian Life - Its hopes, Its Fears,
and its Close,p.324
By John Bond