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The Gospel Reminder: Christ's Resurrection

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The Doctrine
Beloved congregation in the Lord Jesus Christ
Charles Spurgeon once said: “The heart of the gospel is redemption, and the essence of redemption is the substitutionary sacrifice of Christ.
If the substitutionary sacrifice of Christ is the essence of redemption, then the resurrection of Christ is the voice of redemption.
The resurrection of Christ is the declaration that the Father was satisfied with the work of His Son.
It gives you the assurance that Christ did meet all the demands of the Law and on the cross, He took upon the curse that laid upon us all.
If you faith is in the works of Christ for your complete redemption, then the resurrection of Christ is a guarantee that you have been justified, declared righteous before a Holy God.
() [Jesus our Lord] who was delivered up for our trespasses and raised for our justification.
Without the resurrection of Christ, there would be no salvation. Paul states this in :
“And if Christ has not been raised, your faith is futile and you are still in your sins.”
In order to believe in the Gospel, you must believe in the life, death, and resurrection of Jesus Christ. Without Christ fulfilling the demands of the Law in life, making atonement for our sin in His death, and declaring victory over death, then there would be no hope or comfort because it would mean that the wrath of God.
Thanks be to God, Christ did indeed accomplish redemption, and He did arise from the dead, therefore there is no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus.
Historical Context
In the Greek culture, there were those who did not believe in the resurrection of the body. They believed that the soul was good and the body was evil, therefore that last thing the Greeks wanted was a literal resurrection of the dead.
This world view crept into the Corinthian church and caused men and women to deny the doctrine of the resurrection.
Our World Today
There is still a denial of the resurrection today
People in our culture and sadly even in many churches who deny the physical resurrection because it is supposedly scientifically impossible and irrational for a dead body to come back to life after three days.
For those who deny the resurrection of Christ, they have no proof to support their denial. The only evidence that would disprove the resurrection of Christ would be finding the body.
We who believe in the resurrection of Christ have plenty of evidence that proves that the body can and will rise from the dead.
Paul’s main authority for the doctrine was the resurrection is the Bible.
“That He was buried, and that He rose again the third day according to the Scriptures.”
Beloved, our source of truth does not come from what the world says. Our source of truth comes from God’s Word says.
The Bible is authoritative and our only rule for faith and life because it comes from God Himself.
  “All Scripture is breathed out by God and profitable for teaching, for reproof, for correction, and for training in righteousness,  that the man of God may be complete, equipped for every good work.”
If the Scriptures are God breathed, then all the evidence we need to prove the resurrection of Christ is the Scriptures themselves.
Main Point: This morning, we are going to address the world’s objections to the resurrection through the Scriptures, for if Christ was buried and arose from the dead according to the Scriptures, then we must go to the Scriptures.
Main Point
This morning, we are going to address the world’s objections to the resurrection through the Scriptures, for if Christ was buried and arose from the dead according to the Scriptures, then we must go to the Scriptures.
Philosophers, scientists, and the rest of the world knows that history and evidence from Scripture is on our side, therefore, in order to reject the resurrection of Christ, they must make up theories to explain the resurrection to fit their worldview.

I. Theory 1: Christ’s didn’t really die upon the cross

A. The theory
This is called the swoon theory
This theory suggests that Jesus never really died on the cross—he simply fainted, or swooned, and was presumed dead.
For those looking for a reason to reject the resurrection of Christ might find this theory plausible, but really it is not a good theory at all!
B. The refutation
The Romans were masters at crucifixions.
They knew just how much punishment that they could inflict on the body without killing a man, and if they wanted to speed up the process of death, all they would have to do is break the legs of the criminal.
For if a crucified man was unable to lift himself up while on the cross, his lungs would fill up with fluid and he would suffocate. If you broke a man’s legs upon the cross, he would eventually die.
This is why the Roman soldiers broke the legs of the two criminals crucified with Jesus.
The soldiers never broke the legs of Jesus because He was dead before they could.
They knew Jesus was dead because when they pierced Jesus side, blood and water came out giving proof that He was indeed dead.
For a Roman soldier to botch a crucifixion would be worthy of the death penalty.
C. The scriptural basis
In our passage, it says that Christ was buried.
This shows that He was really dead. No Roman soldier would have buried a man alive.
Some might say, well Jesus passed out and woke up in the tomb, rolled the giant rock away, and appeared as if He had arisen from the dead.
Let me ask you, if a man was beaten, flogged with whips that ripped away skin, muscles, and tendons, and then hung on the cross for six hours, could He have enough strength to roll away a gigantic rock on His own that took multiple men to move?
Jesus was buried, therefore He was really dead.

II. Theory 2: The Disciples hallucinated seeing Jesus after His death

A. The theory
In this theory, it is believed that the disciples were under so much traumatic stress at the death of Jesus they ended up hallucinating the resurrected Christ
B. The refutation
Could one person hallucinate after a post traumatic event? Sure, but could twelve men have the same hallucination at the same time? No, and there were more than just the disciples who saw the resurrected Christ.
Paul says to the Corinthian church: He was seen by Cephas, then by the twelve. After that He was seen by over five hundred brethren at once, of whom the greater part remain to the present, but some have fallen asleep. After that He was seen by James, then by all the apostles. Then last of all He was seen by me also, as by one born out of due time.
Now, do you think that 500 people could hallucinate a vision of Christ at the same time? It would be impossible.
C. The scriptural basis
Scripture says, “By the mouth of two or three witnesses every word shall be established.”
All you would need is two to three witnesses to verify a statement to be truthful according to the Bible.
In our day and age, all people need to be believed and condemned in the court of public opinion is one accusation posted on twitter or Facebook. If enough people like and share your post, then it must be true according to our world.
If you are willing to believe an accusation by one person, would you believe 500 people if they made the same accusation. Absolutely!
According to Paul, there were over 500 witnesses still alive to verify the truth that Jesus did indeed rise from the dead.
Though those eyewitnesses are not alive today, we have four Gospel accounts that describe the resurrection.
The Book of Acts makes mention of Jesus’ ascension into heaven.
Matthew, Paul, Peter, James, and John were eyewitness of the resurrection, and they wrote a total of 22 Books in the New Testament.
Though the Bible is considered as one book, it really a collection of 66 books, written by many different human authors, and different times, yet there is unity and consistency in those 66 books.

III. Theory 3: The Disciples stole the body and made up the story of Christ’s resurrection to advance Christianity

A. The theory
This is the belief that the disciples created “fake news” by stealing the body and saying that He had arisen from the dead.
B. The refutation
The problem with that theory is that by the council of the scribes and Pharisees, the Romans prepared for that possibility.
[Turn to and then ]
Not only did they prepare for this possibility, but when the guards told them what they had seen, they paid off the guards to tell the story that the disciples had taken Christ’s body away.
C. The scriptural basis
If you know anything about the disciples before witnessing the resurrection, they were not fearless.
Peter denied Christ three times in fear of a couple servant girls who recognized him as a follower of Jesus.
Does that sound like a man who would be willing to steal the body of Christ guarded by soldiers?
Does that sound like a man who would be willing to be crucified for the sake of a lie? Of course not!
The only way the the disciples and the Apostle Paul could be willing to die for the sake of Christ is if He had actually arose from the dead!


Call to Repentance
Maybe your sitting here today thinking, I still don’t believe in the resurrection of Jesus Christ. Maybe your faith in science textbooks rather than in God and His Word.
Maybe your hypothesis is that when you die, your body will remain forever dead.
The only way your going to test that hypothesis is by dying and we will all die one day. Do you really want to test God?
Scripture says, “It is prepared for man once to die and then face judgement.”
Do you want to gamble with your soul? Those who die without the blood of Christ removing the guilt of their sins will face the eternal judgement of God. When Christ does come again, the souls of the wicked will be reunited with their bodies and be cast into hell forever.
If you deny the resurrection of Christ, hell will be your final destination, therefore repent of your sins and turn to Christ, and He will save you!!! Then the resurrection of your body will not be a fearful thing, but a joyful one!
Comforting Reality
Maybe your sitting here and you believe in the Gospel whole-heartily.
You believe that Christ died for your sins, was buried, and arose again from the dead on the third day. You believed that you are saved by grace, through faith, it is not of yourself, it is a gift from God, therefore you cannot boast in your works, but instead you boast in the cross of Christ and believe that His atoning sacrifice was fully sufficient to satisfy for all your sins.
If that be the case, then the resurrection of Jesus Christ should give you assurance!
The resurrection of Christ should give you assurance that Jesus has indeed fully satisfied for all you sins, therefore by faith you stand before God justified.
“Therefore, since we have been justified by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ.”
The resurrection of Christ should give you assurance that Jesus has indeed given you the Holy Spirit, for without Christ’s resurrection, you would still be dead in your sins, but by the Holy Spirit, your spiritually dead heart has been raised in the newness of life, for says:
“We therefore were buried with Him through baptism into death, in order that, just as Christ was raised from the dead through the glory of the Father, we too may walk in newness of life.”
3. The resurrection of Christ should give you assurance, that just as Christ has arose from the dead, so will your bodies will arise in the likeness of Christ’s glorified body, for Paul says:
“But in fact Christ has been raised from the dead, the firstfruits of those who have fallen asleep. For as by a man came death, by a man has come also the resurrection of the dead.”
Know this: Your Redeemer lives, and on the Last Day, you will see Him standing upon the face of the earth in your flesh! May that truth fill your hearts with joy this day and everyday!
The next day, that is, after the day of Preparation, the chief priests and the Pharisees gathered before Pilate and said, “Sir, we remember how that impostor said, while he was still alive, ‘After three days I will rise.’ Therefore order the tomb to be made secure until the third day, lest his disciples go and steal him away and tell the people, ‘He has risen from the dead,’ and the last fraud will be worse than the first.” Pilate said to them, “You have a guard of soldiers. Go, make it as secure as you can.” So they went and made the tomb secure by sealing the stone and setting a guard.
Now after the Sabbath, toward the dawn of the first day of the week, Mary Magdalene and the other Mary went to see the tomb. And behold, there was a great earthquake, for an angel of the Lord descended from heaven and came and rolled back the stone and sat on it. His appearance was like lightning, and his clothing white as snow. And for fear of him the guards trembled and became like dead men. But the angel said to the women, “Do not be afraid, for I know that you seek Jesus who was crucified. He is not here, for he has risen, as he said. Come, see the place where he lay.
While they were going, behold, some of the guard went into the city and told the chief priests all that had taken place. And when they had assembled with the elders and taken counsel, they gave a sufficient sum of money to the soldiers and said, “Tell people, ‘His disciples came by night and stole him away while we were asleep.’ And if this comes to the governor's ears, we will satisfy him and keep you out of trouble.” So they took the money and did as they were directed. And this story has been spread among the Jews to this day.
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