He Rose Again
The great defining passage on the Gospel is 1 Corinthians 15:3-4. Here, the Gospel is defined as the good news that –
• “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.”
We are examining these three vital elements of the Gospel. We have seen in the past weeks that there were many amazing, miraculous, and profound details that God’s Word records. First, we saw that Christ DIED for our sins according to the Scriptures. Then we examined the marvelous details of His Burial. Tonight we begin the journey of Faith and Hope that Christ’s Resurrection Saga offers to us.
“The bodily resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead is the crowning proof of Christianity. Everything else that was said or done by Christ and the Apostles, no matter how great or marvelous, is secondary to the resurrection in importance. If the resurrection did not take place, then Christianity is a false religion. If it did take place, then Christ is God and the Christian faith is absolute truth.
Death is man’s greatest enemy and it has conquered all men but Christ. No matter how brilliant or rich or strong he may be, no man is wise enough to outwit death or wealthy enough to purchase freedom from death or strong enough to vanquish death. The grave always wins the victory and man sooner or later returns to the dust.
In fact, the inexorable triumph of death applies not only to man but to all things. Animals die and plants die, and even whole species atrophy and become extinct. Cities and nations, like people, are born and grow for a season, and then fade away. Homes and automobiles and clothes wear out and must eventually go back to the dust, just as do their owners. Even the universe itself is running down and heading toward an ultimate “heat death.”
This universal reign of decay and death is called in the Bible “the bondage of corruption” (Romans 8:21). In science, it has come to be recognized as the Second Law of Thermodynamics. Also known as the Law of Increasing Entropy, this Second Law is now recognized as a universal law of science, with no known exception ever observed. It says, quite simply, that every system tends to become disordered, to run down, and eventually die. Its entropy, which is a measure of disorder, always tends to increase.
The universality of the reign of decay and death is the measure of the absolute uniqueness of the resurrection of Christ. All other men, even the greatest men, and the holiest men, have died. Buddha, Mohammed, Zoroaster, Confucius, Caesar, Marx — men who made a profound impact on the world in one way or another are all dead.
But Jesus Christ is alive! It is true that He died and was buried, in common with all other men, but unlike other men He returned from Hades, resurrected His own dead body, made it henceforth immortal, and emerged from the tomb, alive forevermore! This was the greatest of all miracles, and could have been accomplished only if Jesus indeed is God, as He had claimed to be.”
There are many details we will see in the days ahead.
• Christ’s Resurrection was DECLARED as the Gospel we believe.
• Christ’s Resurrection was PROMISED in the Old Testament and New Testament.
• Christ’s Resurrection was WITNESSED by more than 500 individuals.
• Christ’s Resurrection was RECORDED by the Four Gospel writers with perfect precision.
• Christ’s Resurrection was APPLIED by Jesus for 40 days until His Ascension.
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