The Resurrection – Paul Vaughan

Paul Vaughn

The resurrection of the dead is the most critical issue in Christianity. Paul stated very powerfully that the resurrection of Christ is the foundation upon which the gospel message is built and proclaimed: “But if there be no resurrection of the dead, then is Christ not risen: And if Christ be not risen, then is our preaching vain, and your faith is also vain” (1 Cor. 15:13-14). If Christ is not risen from the dead, there is no value or hope in Christianity and no future for the soul of man. Paul said, “Prove all things; hold fast that which is good” (1 The. 5:21). How can the resurrection of Christ be proved? One must look at the evidence that verifies and confirms the resurrection of Christ Jesus.

The resurrection of Christ is confirmed by fulfilled prophesy. In the book of Psalms David prophesied about the resurrection of the coming Christ. “For thou wilt not leave my soul in hell; neither wilt thou suffer thine Holy One to see corruption” (Psa. 16:10). David wrote this Psalm about a thousand years before Christ’s death and resurrection. Peter said that David was not speaking about himself, but Christ.

Therefore being a prophet, and knowing that God had sworn with an oath to him, that of the fruit of his loins, according to the flesh, he would raise up Christ to sit on his throne; He seeing this before spake of the resurrection of Christ, that his soul was not left in hell, neither his flesh did see corruption (Acts 2:30-31).

The fulfilled prophesy of David proves not only the resurrection of Christ, but that God keeps His Word and this relates to His promises of the resurrection of all the dead. There were eyewitnesses who declared the resurrection of the Christ. The testimony of Thomas is powerful evidence which proves that the grave had no power over the Lord. Christ appeared to his disciples on the first day of the week after His resurrection. One disciple was not present at that time (Thomas).

The other disciples therefore said unto him, We have seen the Lord. But he said unto them, Except I shall see in his hands the print of the nails, and put my finger into the print of the nails, and thrust my hand into his side, will not believe (John 20:25).

Thomas is just simply stating that he will not believe unless he has evidence to prove the resurrection of Christ. The next week Thomas saw the evidence he needed to believe in the resurrection of the Lord. When Jesus appeared, Thomas “said unto him, My Lord and my God” (John 20:28). There were others that saw the Lord after His resurrection. Mary Magdelene saw Him (John 20:16). Paul said, “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” (1 Cor. 15:5-6). The eyewitness accounts prove the resurrection of Christ.

The transformation of Saul proves the resurrection of Christ. The biblical record teaches that Saul persecuted the church. “As for Saul, he made havoc of the church, entering into every house, and haling men and women committed them to prison” (Acts 8:3). In an epistle to the church at Philippi, Paul said, “But what things were gain to me, those I counted loss for Christ” (Phi. 3:7). What could account for the change in his life? He saw the resurrected Christ! Paul went from being a persecutor of Christianity, to one that was willing to die for the cause of Christ. This is strong evidence for the resurrection of Christ.

The evidence confirms that Christ’s body did not stay in the grave, but that His body arose from the grave and He lives. Because of the resurrection of Christ, there is hope for all. His resurrection ensures victory from the grave and takes the sting out of death.

The resurrection of Christ has been the focal point of controversy since the first century. The Sadducees rejected the idea of resurrection. Philosophers of Athens mocked at the idea of the resurrection of the dead. Skepticism has not changed throughout history. It is only polished to make it more acceptable in a modern time. Yet, the empty tomb of Christ speaks to all and its testimony is powerful! Christian faith is not in a corpse that saw corruption, but in Christ who conquered death and “brought life and immortality to light through the gospel” (2 Tim. 1:10). Christ’s resurrection ensures hope for a greater day and takes the sting out of death. “O death, where is thy sting? O grave, where is thy victory?” (1 Cor. 15:55). The resurrection of Christ is the guarantee.

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Author: Editor

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