By John McCoury
Roan Mountain, Tennessee
“Do not be afraid; for I know that you are looking for Jesus who has been crucified. He is not here, for He has risen, just as He said.” MATTHEW 28:5-6 The fact of Jesus’ resurrection is the climax of redemptive history and the essential basis of the Christian faith. Without the Resurrection, our Christian faith would just be a lot of wishful thinking, no better than human philosophies and speculative religions. Our Savior’s resurrection is truly of great importance in Christianity, so great that His being or not being the Messiah stands or falls with it:’ From its very early accounts, Scripture has contained the message of resurrection hope. Death has never been the end for the believer, but simply a gateway to eternal life in Heaven. Abraham was ready to sacrifice his only son Isaac because in faith “he considered that God is able to raise men from the dead” (Heb. 11:19). The Lord assured Daniel that believers “will awake … to everlasting life” (Dan. 12:2). The Resurrection was the focal point of Christ’s teaching to the disciples about His sufferings and death: “The Son of Man must suffer many things and be rejected by the elders and the chief priests and the scribes, and be killed, and after three days rise again” (Mark 8:31). It is therefore completely understandable that Matthew and the other three Gospel writers all included a historical account of Jesus’ resurrection in their narratives. Paul knew that without the Resurrection our salvation could not have been possible. He was also convinced that the truth of the Resurrection must be believed or else salvation cannot be received: “If you confess with your mouth Jesus as Lord, and believe in your heart that God raised Him from the dead, you shall be saved” (Rom. 10:9). It’s no wonder that Paul, the other apostles, and every leader in the early church continually proclaimed Christ’s resurrection as the culmination of His ministry. Those men were so captivated by the significance of the Resurrection that they could not help but preach it.
And that should be our attitude today. Thank God for the truth of John 1-1:25, which gives us the hope of resurrection in Jesus’ own words. In 1 Corinthians 15, we have a living Lord (1–19). Jesus is alive, and the gospel message is true! Witnesses who saw Him have passed along their testimony to us. When you trust Him, you receive resurrection life, eternal life (John 5:24); death can hold you no more. We have a living hope (20–49). Jesus Christ will come again, and the dead in Christ will be raised. We will have glorified bodies like Christ’s body (1 John 3:1–3). Keep in mind that resurrection is not reconstruction. God does not reassemble the original body that has turned to dust. Like flowers and fruit from the planted seed, the glorified body is related to the “planted” body but different from it. We have a living dynamic (50–58). We have no reason to give up because Jesus has conquered sin and death! If you believe in the resurrection and return of Jesus, verse 58 will characterize your life. The best is yet to come, so let us give Him our best now.
Do you want and need proof of Christ Resurrection? The Bible recorded fourteen appearing’s of CHRIST after his Resurrection We find there are no less than fourteen recorded appearing’s of Christ before Paul wrote to the Church of Corinth, and fifteen if we include Christ’s manifestation to John in the Isle of Patmos. The fourteen appearing’s are as follows; 1.To Mary Magdalene (John 20:14; Mark 16:9). 2.To the other women (Matt. 28:9). 3.To Peter (1 Cor. 15:5; Luke 24:34). 4.To the two disciples on their way to Emmaus (Mark 16:12,13; Luke 24:13-32). 5. The day He appeared to the disciples, in the absence of Thomas (John 20:19-24). 6.To the disciples when Thomas was present (John 20:24-29). 7. To Galilee, at the sea of Tiberias, to Peter, John, Thomas, James, Nathanael, and two others (John 21:1-14). 8.To the disciples on a mount in Galilee (Matt. 28:16). 9.To more than five hundred brethren at once (1 Cor. 15:6). 10 To James the apostle (1 Cor. 15:7). 11. To all the apostles assembled together (1 Cor. 15:7). 12.To all the apostles at His ascension (Luke 24:50,51; Acts 1:9,10). 13. To Stephen, when he was being stoned to death (Acts 7:56). 14.To Paul (1 Cor. 15:8; Acts 9:3-5; 22:6-10). Such a mass of evidence attesting any given fact would be accepted as proof positive as to its validity in any court of justice. Phil 4:23
John McCoury is pastor of Evergreen Freewill Baptist Church in Roan Mountain, Tennessee and the chaplain at Roan Highlands Nursing Center