10 Reasons To Believe Christ
Rose From The
1 A PUBLIC EXECUTION ASSURED HIS DEATH.
During the Jewish Feast of Passover, Jesus was swept away
by an angry crowd into a Roman hall of justice. As He stood
Pilate, the governor of Judea, religious leaders
accused Jesus of
claiming to be the king of the Jews. The
crowd demanded His death. Jesus
was beaten, whipped,
and sentenced to a public execution. On a hill
Jerusalem, He was crucified between two criminals.
Brokenhearted friends and mocking enemies shared in His
the Sabbath neared, Roman soldiers were
sent to finish the execution. To
quicken death, they broke
the legs of the two criminals. But when they
came to Jesus
they did not break His legs, because from experience they
knew He was already dead. As a final precaution, however,
thrust a spear into His side. It would take more than
Him to ever trouble them again.
A HIGH OFFICIAL SECURED THE GRAVESITE.
day, religious leaders again met with Pilate. They
Jesus had predicted He would rise in 3 days. To assure
the disciples could not conspire in a resurrection hoax,
Pilate ordered the official seal of Rome to be attached to the
tomb to put graverobbers on notice. To enforce the order,
soldiers stood guard. Any disciple who wanted to tamper
with the body would have had to get by them, which
have been easy. The Roman guards had good
reason for staying
alert'the penalty for falling asleep while
on watch was
IN SPITE OF GUARDS, THE GRAVE WAS FOUND EMPTY.
On the morning after the Sabbath, some of Jesus' followers
went to the grave to anoint His body. But when they
they were surprised at what they found. The huge
had been rolled into place over the entrance to the
been moved, and Jesus' body was gone. As word
got out, two
disciples rushed to the burial site. The tomb
except for Jesus' burial wrappings, which were
in place. In the meantime, some of the guards
had gone into
Jerusalem to tell the Jewish officials that they
in the presence of a supernatural being that
stone away. And when they woke up, the tomb
was empty. The
officials paid the guards a large sum of
money to lie and
say that the disciples stole the body while
slept. They assured the guards that if the report
missing body got back to the governor, they would
on their behalf.
MANY PEOPLE CLAIMED TO HAVE SEEN HIM ALIVE.
About AD 55, the apostle Paul wrote that the resurrected
Christ had been seen by Peter, the 12 apostles, more than 500
people (many of whom were still alive at the time of his
writing), James, and himself (1 Corinthians 15:5 -8). By
making such a public statement, he gave critics a chance to
check out his claims for themselves. In addition, the New
Testament begins its history of the followers of Christ by
saying that Jesus 'presented Himself alive after His
suffering by many infallible proofs, being seen by [the
apostles] during forty days and speaking of the things
pertaining to the kingdom of God' (Acts 1:3).
APOSTLES WERE DRAMATICALLY CHANGED.
When one of
Jesus' inner circle defected and betrayed Him,
apostles ran for their lives. Even Peter, who earlier
insisted that he was ready to die for his teacher, lost
heart and denied that he even knew Jesus. But the apostles
went through a dramatic change. Within a few weeks, they
were standing face to face with the ones who had crucified
their leader. Their spirit was like iron. They became
unstoppable in their determination to sacrifice everything for
the one they called Savior and Lord. Even after they were
imprisoned, threatened, and forbidden to speak in the name
of Jesus, the apostles said to the Jewish leaders, 'We ought
obey God rather than men' (Acts 5:29). After they were
beaten for disobeying the orders of the Jewish council,
once-cowardly apostles 'did not cease teaching and
preaching Jesus as the Christ' (Acts 5:42).
WITNESSES WERE WILLING TO DIE FOR THEIR CLAIMS.
History is full of martyrs. Countless men and women have
died for their beliefs. For that reason, it is not that
to point out that the first disciples were
willing to suffer and
die for their faith. But it is
significant that while many will
die for what they believe
to be the truth, few if any will die
for what they know to
be a lie. That psychological fact is
important because the
disciples of Christ did not die for
deeply held beliefs
about which they could have been
honestly mistaken. They
died for their claims to have seen
Jesus alive and well
after His resurrection. They died for their
claim that Jesus
Christ had not only died for their sins but
that He had
risen bodily from the dead to show that He was
like no other
spiritual leader who had ever lived.
7 JEWISH BELIEVERS CHANGED THEIR DAY OF
The Sabbath day of rest and worship
was basic to the Jewish
way of life. Any Jew who did not
honor the Sabbath was guilty
of breaking the law of Moses.
Yet Jewish followers of Christ
began worshiping with Gentile
believers on a new day. The
first day of the week, the day
on which they believed Christ
had risen from the dead,
replaced the Sabbath. For a Jew, it
reflected a major change
of life. The new day, along with the
rite of baptism, declared that those who
believed Christ had
risen from the dead were ready for more
than a renewal of
Judaism. They believed that the death and
Christ had cleared the way for a new
relationship with God.
The new way was based not on the law,
but on the
sin-bearing, life-giving help of a resurrected Savior.
ALTHOUGH IT WAS UNEXPECTED,
IT WAS CLEARLY
The disciples were caught off guard.
They expected their
Messiah to restore the kingdom to
Israel. Their minds were
so fixed on the coming of a
messianic political kingdom that
they didn't anticipate the
events essential to the salvation of
their souls. They must
have thought Christ was speaking in
symbolic language when
He kept saying over and over that
it was necessary for Him
to go to Jerusalem to die and be
resurrected from the dead.
Coming from one who spoke in
parables, they missed the
obvious until after it was all over.
In the process, they
also overlooked the prophet Isaiah's
prediction of a
suffering servant who would bear the sins of
led like a lamb to the slaughter, before God
His days' (Isaiah 53:10).
IT WAS A FITTING CLIMAX TO A MIRACULOUS LIFE.
While Jesus hung on a Roman cross, crowds mocked Him. He
helped others, but could He help Himself? Was the miracle
suddenly coming to an end? It seemed like such an
ending for someone who began His public life by
water into wine. During His 3 -year ministry, He
water; healed the sick; opened blind eyes, deaf
tongue-tied mouths; restored crippled limbs; cast
demons; stilled a violent storm; and raised the dead. He
asked questions wise men couldn't answer. He taught
truths with the simplest of comparisons. And He
hypocrites with words that exposed their coverup.
this was true, should we be surprised that His enemies
didn't have the last word?
IT FITS THE EXPERIENCE OF THOSE WHO TRUST HIM.
The apostle Paul wrote, 'If the Spirit of Him who raised Jesus
from the dead dwells in you, He who raised Christ from the
dead will also give life to your mortal bodies through His
who dwells in you' (Romans 8:11). This was the
Paul, whose heart was dramatically changed by
Christ. It is also the experience of people
all over the world
who have 'died' to their old ways so that
Christ can live His
life through them. This spiritual power
is not evident in those
who try to add belief in Christ to
their old life. It is seen only in
those who are willing to
'die' to their old life to make room for
the rule of Christ.
It is apparent only in those who respond to
evidence for Christ's resurrection by
lordship in their heart.
NOT ALONE if you find yourself honestly unconvinced
about whether Christ rose from the dead. But keep in
that Jesus promised God's help to those who want to be right
with God. He said, 'If anyone chooses to do God's will, he
will find out whether My teaching comes from God or whether I
speak on My own' (John 7:17 NIV).
If you do see the
reasonableness of the resurrection, keep in mind that the Bible
says Christ died to pay the price for our sins,
who believe in their heart that God has raised Him from the dead
will be saved (Romans 10:9-10). The salvation Christ
is not a reward for effort, but a gift to all who in light of
the evidence put their trust in Him. To accept God's gift of
forgiveness and everlasting life, you can pray something like
this: 'God, I know I'm a sinner. I know I can't save myself. I
Jesus died on the cross for my sins. I believe He
rose from the dead to live His life through all who believe in
Him. I now receive
Him as my Savior. I accept Your offer of
forgiveness and everlasting life. Thank You, Father. In Jesus'
name I pray. Amen.'
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