Each year at this time there is an annual assault by some on the concept of the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead.
Likewise, there is a counter to these assaults in books, articles, sermons, theses, dissertations, etc., in an effort to defend and proclaim the reality and factual data regarding the resurrection. Most often these efforts are intended to prove that it did, in fact, occur.
Perhaps we should just take the Bible at its word since it is a time proven and trustworthy document and accept its clear statements regarding the reality of the resurrection as proof enough that it occurred just as the Bible said it did. Perhaps, also, we should shift the focus from seeking to “prove” the resurrection to exploring the question of exactly what the resurrections “proves.”
For example, the resurrection of Jesus proves the truthfulness of the Word of God. In Peter’s sermon in Acts 2 on the Day of Pentecost he quotes three Old Testament passages (Psalm 2, Psalm 16, and Isa. 55:3) to show that the Old Testament had predicted the resurrection of the Messiah. As difficult as that would have been to believe prior to the actual event, these Old Testament writers faithfully recorded what God told them to write and then in time the resurrection occurred just as God predicted that it would.
The resurrection proved the trustworthiness of the Word of God.
Second, the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead proved that He was deity (the Son of God). He had been claiming that He was, as had been others but how does one actually goes about proving it one way or the other? Well, who else could embrace death and then conquer it after three days in the tomb but God himself? When the apostle Paul wrote to the Romans regarding the gospel message as it related to Jesus Christ, part of what he said was, “Regarding his Son, who as to his human nature was a descendant of David, and who through the Spirit of holiness was declared with power to be the Son of God by his resurrection from the dead: Jesus Christ our Lord.” (Romans 1:3-4).
The resurrection proved the deity of Jesus Christ.
The resurrection also proved the completion of salvation. Had Jesus remained in the grave it would have been clear that the sacrifice made by him on the cross was not accepted by God and was insufficient for our salvation. By being raised from the dead, however, it was proof positive that all who believe in him would be saved through his all-sufficient and fully acceptable sacrifice for sinners. God’s word puts it like this: “He was delivered over to death for our sins and was raised to life for our justification.” (Romans 4:25)
So, this Easter season remember that the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead proves the trustworthiness of the Word of God, the full deity of the Son of God, and the completeness of the salvation of God for believing sinners. Trust in God’s Word, look to God’s Son by faith alone, and trust in his death burial and resurrection for your eternal salvation.
Have a great Easter!
Dr. Randall Odom is senior pastor of the Grace Church of the Carolinas.