Stephen: Last week you mentioned the resurrection of Christ, do you really believe Christ died and rose from the dead?
Stephen: Is this really important to believe?
Eric: Yes, it is one of the most important details of gospel.
1 Corinthians 15:3-53 Christ died for our sins according to the scriptures; And that he was buried, and that he rose again the third day according to the scriptures: And that he was seen of Cephas, then of the twelve: After that, he was seen of above five hundred brethren at once; of whom the greater part remain unto this present, but some are fallen asleep. After that, he was seen of James; then of all the apostles. And last of all he was seen of me also…if Christ be not risen, then is our preaching vain, and your faith is also vain…and we are found false witnesses of God; because we have testified of God that he raised up Christ…if Christ be not raised, your faith is vain; ye are yet in your sins. Then they also which are fallen asleep in Christ are perished…if in this life only we have hope in Christ, we are of all men most miserable.
- If Christ did not rise from the dead, we are yet in our sins.
- If Christ did not rise form the dead, there is no resurrection.
- If Christ did not rise from the dead, the Christian faith is not defensible.
- If Christ did not rise from the dead, the apostles are frauds.
- If Christ did not die, there is no hope of a resurrection for us either.
Stephen: Why have people attacked the resurrection?
Eric: It is hard to believe such a miracle, because we do not see people rising from the dead, and people who want to reject the Christian faith, know how important it is to the Christian faith.
Stephen: How have people attacked the resurrection?
- Some have said it is a myth that developed over the years: Greek, Romans, and Jewish historians contemporary to the time of Christ, knew about Jesus and the stories surrounding His death and the claim of the resurrection.
- Some say the disciples were just seeing visions because they wanted to see Christ so badly, yet 1 Corinthians 15 mentions several witnesses by name, and Acts 1:3 says that Christ showed himself by many infallible proofs, for forty days after His death on the cross.
- Some say the disciples planned this out to trick the world and preserve Christ’s legacy, yet John 20 says that they were hiding out of fear, doubting, and going back to their former occupations.
- Some say that Christ did not really die, but the Romans were masters of execution, John tells us in John 19 that he saw with his eyes the proof of Christ’s death while He hung on the cross.
Stephen: What makes you so sure this is true?
Joel: The Bible records it as a trustworthy historical record of what actually happened. It also records it as a genuine fulfillment of prophecy.
- Think about the witnesses
- Matthew was a tax collector, a careful record keeper:
- Luke was a doctor and careful historian: Luke 1:1-4
- John writes a very detailed account of the life of Christ in order to prove a point: John 20:30-31 And many other signs truly did Jesus in the presence of his disciples, which are not written in this book: but these are written, that ye might believe that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of God; and that believing ye might have life through his name.
- Thomas was an eyewitness of the life of Christ, yet he still doubted, until he saw Christ with his own eyes: John 20:25-28 Thomas answered and said unto him, My Lord and my God.
- Consider the reaction of the Sanhedrin: Matthew 27:63-66 They went, and made the sepulcher sure, sealing the stone, and setting a watch to guard it. Matthew 28:11-16 They gave large money unto the soldiers, Saying, say that, His disciples came by night, and stole him away while we slept. And if this comes to the governor’s ears, we will persuade him, and secure you. So they took the money, and did as they were taught: and this saying is commonly reported among the Jews until this day.
- Consider the reaction of Josephus: a Jewish historian working for Rome: Jesus, was a doer of wonderful works, a teacher…who drew over to him both many of the Jews, and Gentiles. He was the Christ, and when Pilate, condemned him to the cross, those who loved him did not forsake him; for he appeared to them alive again the third day; as the divine prophets had foretold these and ten thousand other wonderful things concerning him. And the tribe of Christians are not extinct at this day. (Antiquities, XVIII, 33)
- Consider the reaction of the Apostles: John 20 vs. Acts 2 Fear before the resurrection and boldness to preach Christ after the resurrection.
- Consider the nature of the spread of the Christian faith: Christians, especially their leaders suffered and died for their faith.
Stephen: What is you conclusion?
- Who is Jesus? Is He an evil liar, a crazy man who thought he was God, or is He really the Jewish Messiah, God in flesh, the one and only Savior of the world?
- Only you can answer this question, but the way you answer it, will determine where you will spend eternity.
- We cannot choose a neutral position on Christ.
- Will you accept this record as true and trust in Christ’s finished work.
- Salvation is a free gift, but it only comes through trusting in the finished work of Christ.
 McDowell, (pp. 177–178). Nashville, TN: Thomas Nelson Publishers.