Jesus Rose From Death

Jesus Christ's resurrection is either the supreme fact in history or a gigantic hoax. If Christ's resurrection is true -- we ignore its implications at our own peril. If not -- Christianity is the biggest fraud in the history of the world.

Christ's resurrection forces the question of Christianity's validity from being a philosophical issue to being a historical one.

The resurrection of Jesus Christ is a fact verifiable from history. No one can challenge Christ's resurrection -- if they take an honest look at the evidence.

Only those who never study the evidence -- or who refuse to listen to its testimony -- could deny the resurrection of Jesus Christ.

If you have not studied the subject yourself -- how can you intelligently make a decision? Many learned men have tried to disprove Christ's resurrection -- only to become believers instead!

Some people refuse to examine the evidence, because they do not want to believe in Jesus Christ and submit to Him as Lord.

The facts remain. Confucius' tomb, Buddha's tomb, Mohammed's tomb, and Lenin's tomb are all occupied.

But Jesus Christ's tomb is EMPTY!

"I am He who lives, and was dead, and behold, I am alive forevermore. Amen. And I have the keys of Hades and of Death." -- Jesus Christ (Revelation 1:18 NKJ)

Jesus Claimed He Would Rise

Jesus predicted He would die, and rise from death on the third day. Dying and returning to life were in His plan.

21 From that time Jesus began to show to His disciples that He must go to Jerusalem, and suffer many things from the elders and chief priests and scribes, and be killed, and be raised again the third day.

MATTHEW 20:18-19 NKJ
18 "Behold, we are going up to Jerusalem, and the Son of Man will be betrayed to the chief priests and to the scribes; and they will condemn Him to death,
19 "and deliver Him to the Gentiles to mock and to scourge and to crucify. And the third day He will rise again."

Jesus Died

MARK 15:37,39 NKJ
37 And Jesus cried out with a loud voice, and breathed His last.
39 Now when the centurion, who stood opposite Him, saw that He cried out like this and breathed His last, he said, "Truly this Man was the Son of God!"

The centurion was qualified to detect whether Jesus was dead, having no doubt witnessed many executions, and having seen many die in battle.

JOHN 19:33-34 NKJ
33 But when they came to Jesus and saw that He was already dead, they did not break His legs.
34 But one of the soldiers pierced His side with a spear, and immediately blood and water came out.

The soldiers did not break Jesus' legs because they were confident He was already dead.

Piercing Him with a spear would cause death by loss of blood, even if He were not already dead. Doctors tell us that blood and water coming out of the spear wound proved Christ was already dead.

MARK 15:43-45 NKJ
43 Joseph of Arimathea, a prominent council member, who was himself waiting for the kingdom of God, coming and taking courage, went in to Pilate and asked for the body of Jesus.
44 Pilate marveled that He was already dead; and summoning the centurion, he asked him if He had been dead for some time.
45 And when he found out from the centurion, he granted the body to Joseph.

Pilate and the Roman centurion believed Jesus was dead.

The chief priests and Pharisees believed Jesus was dead. (See Matthew 27:62-66 below.)

MATTHEW 28:11-15 NKJ
11 Now while they were going, behold, some of the guard came into the city and reported to the chief priests all the things that had happened.
12 When they had assembled with the elders and taken counsel, they gave a large sum of money to the soldiers,
13 saying, "Tell them, `His disciples came at night and stole Him away while we slept.'
14 "And if this comes to the governor's ears, we will appease him and make you secure."
15 So they took the money and did as they were instructed; and this saying is commonly reported among the Jews until this day.

Even after the tomb was empty, Jesus' most intelligent enemies, the chief priests and elders, did not doubt the reality of His death. They saw Jesus die, and were sure He was dead.

His disciples believed Jesus was dead. They were afraid for their lives and did not expect Jesus to rise. Thomas even refused to believe Jesus was alive until he saw Him with his own eyes (John 20:25).

Jesus Was Buried

JOHN 19:39-42 NKJ
39 And Nicodemus, who at first came to Jesus by night, also came, bringing a mixture of myrrh and aloes, about a hundred pounds.
40 Then they took the body of Jesus, and bound it in strips of linen with the spices, as the custom of the Jews is to bury.
41 Now in the place where He was crucified there was a garden, and in the garden a new tomb in which no one had yet been laid.
42 So there they laid Jesus, because of the Jews' Preparation Day, for the tomb was nearby.

MATTHEW 27:59-60 NKJ
59 And when Joseph had taken the body, he wrapped it in a clean linen cloth,
60 and laid it in his new tomb which he had hewn out of the rock; and he rolled a large stone against the door of the tomb, and departed.

Both the Jews and the Romans believed Jesus was buried.

MATTHEW 27:62-66 NKJ
62 On the next day, which followed the Day of Preparation, the chief priests and Pharisees gathered together to Pilate,
63 saying, "Sir, we remember, while He was still alive, how that deceiver said, `After three days I will rise.'
64 "Therefore command that the tomb be made secure until the third day, lest His disciples come by night and steal Him away, and say to the people, `He has risen from the dead.' So the last deception will be worse than the first."
65 Pilate said to them, "You have a guard; go your way, make it as secure as you know how."
66 So they went and made the tomb secure, sealing the stone and setting the guard.

They rolled a huge stone in front of the tomb where they had buried Jesus. Then officials sealed the tomb, and placed guards there, preventing anyone from stealing Jesus' body.

Jesus Rose From Death

2 And behold, there was a great earthquake; for an angel of the Lord descended from heaven, and came and rolled back the stone from the door, and sat on it.
3 His countenance was like lightning, and his clothing as white as snow.
4 And the guards shook for fear of him, and became like dead men.
5 But the angel answered and said to the women, "Do not be afraid, for I know that you seek Jesus who was crucified.
6 "He is not here; for He is risen, as He said. Come, see the place where the Lord lay.
7 "And go quickly and tell His disciples that He is risen from the dead, and indeed He is going before you into Galilee; there you will see Him. Behold, I have told you."

The huge stone was moved, and the Roman seal was broken, in spite of the guards at Jesus' tomb.

MARK 16:3-4 NKJ
3 And they said among themselves, "Who will roll away the stone from the door of the tomb for us?"
4 But when they looked up, they saw that the stone had been rolled away -- for it was very large.

The three women felt unable to move the stone because the stone was so large.

In the first century no one claimed they knew where the body of Jesus was. His tomb was empty. The Jews made up a story that the disciples stole Jesus' body. They knew the tomb was empty.

MATTHEW 28:12-13 NKJ
12 When they had assembled with the elders and taken counsel, they gave a large sum of money to the soldiers,
13 saying, "Tell them, `His disciples came at night and stole Him away while we slept.'

Everyone, friends and enemies, knew where Jesus was buried, and they knew the tomb was empty. Jesus' tomb being empty was common knowledge.

ACTS 26:26 NKJ
26 "For the king, before whom I also speak freely, knows these things; for I am convinced that none of these things escapes his attention, since this thing was not done in a corner.

What happened to Christ's body? If the authorities took the body, why did they not say so and stop the preaching of Jesus Christ's resurrection? The disciples preached Christ's resurrection boldly in the same city where He was crucified.

7 And the word of God spread, and the number of the disciples multiplied greatly in Jerusalem, and a great many of the priests were obedient to the faith.

Many priests at Jerusalem -- who were Jesus' enemies responsible for killing Him -- believed in Jesus after His resurrection. Were they all deceived?

If Christ's disciples took His body, how do you account for the amazing changes in their lives?

Peter publicly accused the Jews of killing the Prince of Life. All they had to do to disprove Peter and stop Christianity was to produce the dead body of Jesus.

Despite harassment and imprisonment, His disciples proclaimed Christ's resurrection and Lordship in Jerusalem, instead of fleeing. The Jews were unable to contradict them. And the people believed them!

Christianity won and spread to the whole world. Why were its enemies unable to stop Christianity?

ACTS 2:22-24 NKJ
22 "Men of Israel, hear these words: Jesus of Nazareth, a Man attested by God to you by miracles, wonders, and signs which God did through Him in your midst, as you yourselves also know --
23 "Him, being delivered by the determined counsel and foreknowledge of God, you have taken by lawless hands, have crucified, and put to death;
24 "whom God raised up, having loosed the pains of death, because it was not possible that He should be held by it.

The Romans also tried to stop Christianity -- but could not. Why?

His Followers Changed

56 "But all this was done that the Scriptures of the prophets might be fulfilled." Then all the disciples forsook Him and fled.

Before the resurrection, Christ's followers were afraid. Afterward, they feared nothing. They changed into a band of irresistible missionaries who turned the world upside down. Nothing could stop them. All but one died as a martyr because of their faith in the living Christ.

They were so certain of the resurrection they were willing to die rather than deny that Jesus rose from death. Even the followers of Jesus who fled at His arrest, obviously believed something occurred, which changed their entire outlook.

Peter was a weakling who denied Christ in response to a servant girl's questions. He cursed, denying he ever knew Christ. Peter feared being identified as a disciple of Jesus.

After Jesus rose, Peter boldly proclaimed Jesus was alive -- risking his own life. Peter became impossible to silence by anyone. Why did he change?

ACTS 3:14-15 NKJ
14 "But you denied the Holy One and the Just, and asked for a murderer to be granted to you,
15 "and killed the Prince of life, whom God raised from the dead, of which we are witnesses.

ACTS 4:19-20 NKJ
19 But Peter and John answered and said to them, "Whether it is right in the sight of God to listen to you more than to God, you judge.
20 "For we cannot but speak the things which we have seen and heard."

Saul of Tarsus, who killed Christians, claimed he met the risen Lord Jesus, Who changed his life completely. He became Paul the Apostle -- ultimately giving his life for his belief in Jesus Christ.

3 For I delivered to you first of all that which I also received: that Christ died for our sins according to the Scriptures,
4 and that He was buried, and that He rose again the third day according to the Scriptures,
5 and that He was seen by Cephas, then by the twelve.
6 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.
7 After that He was seen by James, then by all the apostles.
8 Then last of all He was seen by me also, as by one born out of due time.

In John 7:5, we read that even Jesus' brothers did not believe in Him. Yet after His resurrection they also became His disciples.

ACTS 1:14-15 NKJ
14 These all continued with one accord in prayer and supplication, with the women and Mary the mother of Jesus, and with His brothers.
15 And in those days Peter stood up in the midst of the disciples (altogether the number of names was about a hundred and twenty), and said,

Consider the character of the witnesses. They taught and lived the highest moral and ethical values ever -- as even their enemies were forced to admit.

If Jesus' disciples did invent a resurrection lie -- would they have included details that condemned them? (Such as their unbelief, unfaithfulness, etc.)

Could a deliberate lie possibly change a company of defeated cowards into heroes? Then inspire them to a life of sacrifice -- often ending in torture and martyrdom? Could anyone imagine that not one of these "conspirators" would ever divulge their secret -- even under torture?

Why did the early Christians, who were all Jewish, change their day of worship from the Sabbath to Sunday (the day of Christ's resurrection)?


If Jesus Christ rose from the dead, He must be what He claimed to be: The Son of God -- the only way to God the Father -- Lord and God!

9 For to this end Christ died and rose and lived again, that He might be Lord of both the dead and the living.

6 Jesus said to him, "I am the way, the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through Me.

The resurrection of Jesus Christ validates Christianity, and gives Him, and His teaching, the highest authority.

4 and declared to be the Son of God with power, according to the Spirit of holiness, by the resurrection from the dead,

For more evidence on Christ's resurrection read:

Evidence That Demands A Verdict #1 (Josh McDowell). San Bernardino, CA: Campus Crusade for Christ, 1972

The Resurrection Factor (Josh McDowell). San Bernardino, CA: Here's Life Publishers, Inc., 1981.

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