The Resurrection of Jesus Christ
1 Corinthians 15:16-17 “For if the dead rise not, then is not Christ raised: And if Christ be not raised, your faith is vain.”
Romans 4:25 “Who was delivered for our offenses, and was raised again for our justification.”
There is so much about the Christian faith that hinges on the Resurrection of Jesus Christ. So much so that Paul tells us that if Christ has not been raised that our faith is in vain. If Christ has not been Resurrected then man is still in his sins, still under the bondage of the devil's rule. If Christ has not been raised then everything that we as Christians believe and preach is just senseless babble. If Christ has not been raised from the dead and is alive today then we have no future hope of life after death. This life is all that there is. Paul said in Romans 4:25 that HE was raised for our justification. HE suffered the penalty of sin on the Cross. Then after the demands of justice had been perfectly satisfied for all who would believe on HIM forever HE was raised again. If Christ be not risen, then our worst fears become reality...Eternity without GOD!
Christ's birth set HIM apart from all of the founders of this world's various religions for none other can lay claim to the Virgin birth. HIS preexistence places HIM in a class of HIS own. Only Jesus Christ was GOD and with GOD before all things, and only by HIM were all things created and exist! HIS perfectly sinless life makes HIM superior to the founders of every other religion. HE is known throughout the world as the Miracle Worker. HIS miracles were HIS greatest arsenal against the unbelief of mankind. HE sealed the deal with the Greatest of all distinctions, HIS Resurrection. Who else may claim such a thing?
HIS Resurrection was witnessed by HIS disciples, as well as many others who saw HIM during the forty days after HE was risen. HE was seen by 500 people as HE departed into Glory. This event would have been easy to disprove. If HIS disciples had hidden HIS body it would have been found long ago. No one prior to this ever made such a claim of their leader, and no one has since! Too many historical fact bear witness to the reality of Christ's Resurrection.
I quote J. Rodman Williams, “Christianity stands or falls with the reality of the raising of Jesus from the dead.” Williams goes on to point out three main points that verify the actuality of the Resurrection: The Witness of Scripture, Best Explanation of all the data, the Certification of Faith and Experience. Of the Witness of Scripture Williams says, “Utterly no doubt exists among any of the New Testament writers that Christ rose from the dead.” Concerning the best possible explanation of all the data J. Rodman points out, “(1. Eye witness accounts: It is not simply that the New Testament proclaims the Resurrection, but that it asserts this proclamation to be based on the account of eyewitnesses. It is quite unlikely that so many people could have been misled about a matter of such critical importance. (2. Transformed disciples: It would seem impossible to explain the transformation of the disciples from disillusionment, fear, even unbelief, to a bold, and courageous faith without Jesus' Resurrection from the dead. (3. Ease of disproof: Assuming that the disciples fabricated the whole matter of Jesus' Resurrection, disbelievers or enemies could easily have disproved their testimony with a corpse from the grave. No record exists of anyone so much as suggesting a search for Jesus' body. (4. Survival of Christianity: It is hard to believe that Christianity could have survived so long if either an illusion or a lie constituted its foundation. (5. Continuation of Christ's presence: Jesus Christ is experienced not as a blessed memory of one whose influence lives on, but as a real and continuing presence.
Finally, J. Rodman Williams deals with the Certification of Faith and Experience by saying, “Countless Christian believers through the Centuries have come to know that Christ is alive. They have not only accepted the testimony of the Scripture regarding HIS Resurrection but in faith have also received HIM into their hearts. The witness of the Scriptures, the eyewitness accounts, the transformed disciples, the ease of disproof, the survival of Christianity, the continuation of Christ's presence and the certification of faith and experience today provides more than enough proof that Christ is indeed alive!
If Christ is alive, then our sins are forgiven before GOD. Since HE has risen HIS once and for all Sacrifice has indeed provided Eternal Redemption for us! HE has put away sins forever! HE has fulfilled the Law of Moses and put it away forever! Since HE lives, then it must be true that HE stands in the Presence of GOD as our Representative. Then it is also true that no one, man or devil, can lay anything to our charge because GOD has justified us. Who can lay sin to your account when GOD has put Christ's Righteousness to your account? Who is able to condemn you since it is Christ Himself Who died for you, was raised again for you and now is in the Presence of GOD interceding for you? GOD has done all that HE needs to do in order to save man, now it is ours to lay hold of by faith.