In some areas of life, a small margin of error won’t really make much of difference in the outcome; however, when it comes to your faith, even a small margin of error is unacceptable. For instance, in 1983, an Air Canada flight ran out of fuel above Gimli, Manitoba. Canada had switched to the metric system in 1970, and the plane is reported to have been Air Canada’s first aircraft to use metric measurements. The plane’s onboard fuel gauge was not working, so the crew used measuring “dipsticks” to check how much fuel the plane took on during refueling. Things went wrong when they converted this measurement of volume into one of weight. They got the number right, but the unit wrong – mistaking pounds of fuel for kilograms. As a result, the plane was carrying about half as much fuel as they thought. Luckily, the pilot was able to land the plane safely on the Gimli runway, giving the plane the nickname “Gimli Glider”. Even though they had made an error in their measurements, they were still able to avoid a disaster. When it comes to your faith, you cannot afford to make an error.
Today we will look at the many infallible proofs of the resurrection of the Lord Jesus Christ:
- Eyewitness accounts
- Physical resurrection body
- Length of time spent with the Disciples
To whom also he shewed himself alive after his passion by many infallible proofs, being seen of them forty days, and speaking of the things pertaining to the kingdom of God: - Acts 1:3
The Resurrection is an essential Doctrine of the Christian faith
Now if Christ be preached that he rose from the dead, how say some among you that there is no resurrection of the dead? 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. Yea, and we are found false witnesses of God; because we have testified of God that he raised up Christ: whom he raised not up, if so be that the dead rise not. For if the dead rise not, then is not Christ raised: And if Christ be not raised, your faith is vain; ye are yet in your sins. Then they also which are fallen asleep in Christ are perished. If in this life only we have hope in Christ, we are of all men most miserable. - 1 Corinthians 15:12-19
If the resurrection is not true, we do not have any basis at all for our faith. Our entire faith system depends upon the fact that Jesus died for our sins, that he was buried and that he physically rose from the dead.
The resurrection was Prophesied of in the Old Testament Scriptures
Therefore my heart is glad, and my glory rejoiceth: my flesh also shall rest in hope. 10, For thou wilt not leave my soul in hell; neither wilt thou suffer thine Holy One to see corruption. - Psalms 16:9-10
Many years before Jesus even walked the earth, his resurrection was prophesied. The scriptures teach that he would not be left in hell, but would rise again from the dead. See also Isaiah 53:10.
The resurrection was Pictured in the Old Testament Scriptures
And the chief butler told his dream to Joseph, and said to him, In my dream, behold, a vine was before me; And in the vine were three branches: and it was as though it budded, and her blossoms shot forth; and the clusters thereof brought forth ripe grapes: And Pharaoh's cup was in my hand: and I took the grapes, and pressed them into Pharaoh's cup, and I gave the cup into Pharaoh's hand. And Joseph said unto him, This is the interpretation of it: The three branches are three days: Yet within three days shall Pharaoh lift up thine head, and restore thee unto thy place: and thou shalt deliver Pharaoh's cup into his hand, after the former manner when thou wast his butler. But think on me when it shall be well with thee, and shew kindness, I pray thee, unto me, and make mention of me unto Pharaoh, and bring me out of this house: For indeed I was stolen away out of the land of the Hebrews: and here also have I done nothing that they should put me into the dungeon. - Genesis 40:9-15
The chief butler’s dream was a picture of the future resurrection of the Lord Jesus Christ. In scripture, the juice of grapes is compared to and called the blood of grapes. The butler’s dream was showing that all the blood was going to be spilled out into a cup, and three days later he would be restored to his previous position. This is exactly what Jesus did for us. He shed every ounce of blood out of his body, and on the third day he was restored to his previous position, and now sits as an advocate for us, like the butler did for Joseph in Genesis 41:9-14.
The resurrected Jesus is Presently seated in Heaven
By the which will we are sanctified through the offering of the body of Jesus Christ once for all. And every priest standeth daily ministering and offering oftentimes the same sacrifices, which can never take away sins: But this man, after he had offered one sacrifice for sins for ever, sat down on the right hand of God; From henceforth expecting till his enemies be made his footstool. - Hebrews 10:10-13
The founder of our faith is alive today and is seated at the right hand of the father, making intercession for us.
The implications of the resurrection for believers
And if Christ be not risen, then is our preaching vain, and your faith is also vain. - 1 Corinthians 15:14
In order for any of the following implications to apply to you, first, you must become a believer. You must be born again. Knowing that Jesus was born of a virgin and that he died on a cross, and rose again from the dead are just facts. The Devil also knows these facts, but according to James 2:19 these facts cause him to tremble. The reason that these facts cause trembling in the devil is that he has not done anything with that knowledge, and if you do not do anything with that knowledge you too should be trembling. You must apply the blood sacrifice to your own account by accepting the free gift of eternal life that Jesus is offering you today:
That if thou shalt confess with thy mouth the Lord Jesus, and shalt believe in thine heart that God hath raised him from the dead, thou shalt be saved. For with the heart man believeth unto righteousness; and with the mouth confession is made unto salvation. For the scripture saith, Whosoever believeth on him shall not be ashamed. For there is no difference between the Jew and the Greek: for the same Lord over all is rich unto all that call upon him. For whosoever shall call upon the name of the Lord shall be saved. - Romans 10:9-13
The first implication of the resurrection is justification
The resurrection enables our justification to take place. If it was not for the resurrection, we could not have righteousness imputed to us. The Lord would not be able to apply the righteousness of Jesus to our accounts if it was not for the resurrection:
But for us also, to whom it shall be imputed, if we believe on him that raised up Jesus our Lord from the dead; Who was delivered for our offences, and was raised again for our justification. - Romans 4:24-25
The second implication of the resurrection is sanctification
We could not be sanctified or consecrated without the resurrection. Believers are to be set apart and to grow in the grace and knowledge of the Lord. To be sanctified is to become more like Christ, we are to walk in newness of life. Without the resurrection, we would not have the option of a new life. We can yield ourselves as instruments of righteousness because of the resurrection:
What shall we say then? Shall we continue in sin, that grace may abound? God forbid. How shall we, that are dead to sin, live any longer therein? Know ye not, that so many of us as were baptized into Jesus Christ were baptized into his death? Therefore we are buried with him by baptism into death: that like as Christ was raised up from the dead by the glory of the Father, even so we also should walk in newness of life. For if we have been planted together in the likeness of his death, we shall be also in the likeness of his resurrection: Knowing this, that our old man is crucified with him, that the body of sin might be destroyed, that henceforth we should not serve sin. For he that is dead is freed from sin. Now if we be dead with Christ, we believe that we shall also live with him: Knowing that Christ being raised from the dead dieth no more; death hath no more dominion over him. For in that he died, he died unto sin once: but in that he liveth, he liveth unto God. Likewise reckon ye also yourselves to be dead indeed unto sin, but alive unto God through Jesus Christ our Lord. Let not sin therefore reign in your mortal body, that ye should obey it in the lusts thereof. Neither yield ye your members as instruments of unrighteousness unto sin: but yield yourselves unto God, as those that are alive from the dead, and your members as instruments of righteousness unto God. For sin shall not have dominion over you: for ye are not under the law, but under grace. - Romans 6:1-14
The third implication of the resurrection is the future resurrection of believers
If Jesus did not raise from the dead, then we would have no hope of a future resurrection or the hope of a future reconciliation with those believers who have gone on before us:
So also is the resurrection of the dead. It is sown in corruption; it is raised in incorruption: It is sown in dishonour; it is raised in glory: it is sown in weakness; it is raised in power: It is sown a natural body; it is raised a spiritual body. There is a natural body, and there is a spiritual body. And so it is written, The first man Adam was made a living soul; the last Adam was made a quickening spirit. Howbeit that was not first which is spiritual, but that which is natural; and afterward that which is spiritual. The first man is of the earth, earthy: the second man is the Lord from heaven. As is the earthy, such are they also that are earthy: and as is the heavenly, such are they also that are heavenly. And as we have borne the image of the earthy, we shall also bear the image of the heavenly. Now this I say, brethren, that flesh and blood cannot inherit the kingdom of God; neither doth corruption inherit incorruption. Behold, I shew you a mystery; We shall not all sleep, but we shall all be changed, In a moment, in the twinkling of an eye, at the last trump: for the trumpet shall sound, and the dead shall be raised incorruptible, and we shall be changed. For this corruptible must put on incorruption, and this mortal must put on immortality. So when this corruptible shall have put on incorruption, and this mortal shall have put on immortality, then shall be brought to pass the saying that is written, Death is swallowed up in victory. O death, where is thy sting? O grave, where is thy victory? The sting of death is sin; and the strength of sin is the law. But thanks be to God, which giveth us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ. - 1 Corinthians 15:42-57But I would not have you to be ignorant, brethren, concerning them which are asleep, that ye sorrow not, even as others which have no hope. For if we believe that Jesus died and rose again, even so them also which sleep in Jesus will God bring with him. For this we say unto you by the word of the Lord, that we which are alive and remain unto the coming of the Lord shall not prevent them which are asleep. For the Lord himself shall descend from heaven with a shout, with the voice of the archangel, and with the trump of God: and the dead in Christ shall rise first: Then we which are alive and remain shall be caught up together with them in the clouds, to meet the Lord in the air: and so shall we ever be with the Lord. Wherefore comfort one another with these words. - 1 Thesselonians 4:13-18
The resurrection has been continually attacked
Since the resurrection, it has been attacked. First, by the religious leaders of the time, and now by mankind in general. Many people try to convince themselves that the resurrection is not true so that they can make a feeble attempt at justifying themselves. If they can convince themselves that the resurrection did not happen, then they can act like they will not have to give an account of their sinful life to God. The religious leaders tried to pay off the soldiers to spread their lies. Today, people pay enormous sums of money to try and prove that there is no God, to make themselves feel better. Just because you avoid the bill collector, doesn’t mean that you no longer owe the debt. Just because you try to convince yourself and avoid the fact that you owe God a debt that you can not pay, will not make that debt go away. The only way to satisfy that debt is to come to the Lord Jesus Christ and accept him as your only hope of salvation.
Now when they were going, behold, some of the watch came into the city, and shewed unto the chief priests all the things that were done. And when they were assembled with the elders, and had taken counsel, they gave large money unto the soldiers, Saying, Say ye, His disciples came by night, and stole him away while we slept. And if this come to the governor's ears, we will persuade him, and secure you. So they took the money, and did as they were taught: and this saying is commonly reported among the Jews until this day. - Matthew 28:11-15
The resurrection is a historical reality
Josephus, as well as other non-Christian historians, have written and confirmed the fact of the resurrection. The apostles were willing to give their very lives for the preaching of the resurrection because it actually happened.
- 1 Corinthians 15:3-8
- Matthew 28:1-8
- Mark 16:1-8
- Luke 24:1-10
- John 20:1-9
- 2 Timothy 2:8-10
The many infallible proofs of the resurrection
Not just many proofs, people could come up with many proofs for just about any idea that they are passionate about. Not just convincing proofs, again, people can convince themselves of just about anything if they try hard enough.
Infallible proofs are proofs that are absolute and without question. The following three proofs are infallible, they are without error or deception. They cannot be discounted or ignored.
1. Eyewitness accounts
The fact of the resurrection was witnessed by above five hundred different people. According to Mosaic Law, it takes only three to establish a fact:
at the mouth of two witnesses, or at the mouth of three witnesses, shall the matter be established. - Deuteronomy 19:15
Paul records that Jesus was seen by the Apostles, and by James and himself along with five hundred other witnesses, this more than satisfies the requirement of three witnesses.
For I delivered unto you first of all that which I also received, how 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: And that 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. After that, he was seen of James; then of all the apostles. And last of all he was seen of me also, as of one born out of due time. For I am the least of the apostles, that am not meet to be called an apostle, because I persecuted the church of God. - 1 Corinthians 15:3-9That which was from the beginning, which we have heard, which we have seen with our eyes, which we have looked upon, and our hands have handled, of the Word of life; (For the life was manifested, and we have seen it, and bear witness, and shew unto you that eternal life, which was with the Father, and was manifested unto us;) That which we have seen and heard declare we unto you, that ye also may have fellowship with us: and truly our fellowship is with the Father, and with his Son Jesus Christ. - 1 John 1:1-3
Jesus walked and talked with these witnesses
And, behold, two of them went that same day to a village called Emmaus, which was from Jerusalem about threescore furlongs. And they talked together of all these things which had happened. And it came to pass, that, while they communed together and reasoned, Jesus himself drew near, and went with them. But their eyes were holden that they should not know him. And he said unto them, What manner of communications are these that ye have one to another, as ye walk, and are sad? And the one of them, whose name was Cleopas, answering said unto him, Art thou only a stranger in Jerusalem, and hast not known the things which are come to pass there in these days? And he said unto them, What things? And they said unto him, Concerning Jesus of Nazareth, which was a prophet mighty in deed and word before God and all the people: And how the chief priests and our rulers delivered him to be condemned to death, and have crucified him. But we trusted that it had been he which should have redeemed Israel: and beside all this, to day is the third day since these things were done. Yea, and certain women also of our company made us astonished, which were early at the sepulchre; And when they found not his body, they came, saying, that they had also seen a vision of angels, which said that he was alive. And certain of them which were with us went to the sepulchre, and found it even so as the women had said: but him they saw not. Then he said unto them, O fools, and slow of heart to believe all that the prophets have spoken: Ought not Christ to have suffered these things, and to enter into his glory? And beginning at Moses and all the prophets, he expounded unto them in all the scriptures the things concerning himself. And they drew nigh unto the village, whither they went: and he made as though he would have gone further. But they constrained him, saying, Abide with us: for it is toward evening, and the day is far spent. And he went in to tarry with them. And it came to pass, as he sat at meat with them, he took bread, and blessed it, and brake, and gave to them. And their eyes were opened, and they knew him; and he vanished out of their sight. And they said one to another, Did not our heart burn within us, while he talked with us by the way, and while he opened to us the scriptures? And they rose up the same hour, and returned to Jerusalem, and found the eleven gathered together, and them that were with them, Saying, The Lord is risen indeed, and hath appeared to Simon. And they told what things were done in the way, and how he was known of them in breaking of bread. - Luke 24:13-35
Jesus spent time eating and drinking with these witnesses
And while they yet believed not for joy, and wondered, he said unto them, Have ye here any meat? And they gave him a piece of a broiled fish, and of an honeycomb. And he took it, and did eat before them. And he said unto them, These are the words which I spake unto you, while I was yet with you, that all things must be fulfilled, which were written in the law of Moses, and in the prophets, and in the psalms, concerning me. Then opened he their understanding, that they might understand the scriptures, - Luke 24:41-45
2. Physical resurrection not just spiritual
Jesus resurrected in his physical body, this is proof that he not only rose from the dead, but he rose in the same body that he suffered in.
And as they thus spake, Jesus himself stood in the midst of them, and saith unto them, Peace be unto you. But they were terrified and affrighted, and supposed that they had seen a spirit. And he said unto them, Why are ye troubled? and why do thoughts arise in your hearts? Behold my hands and my feet, that it is I myself: handle me, and see; for a spirit hath not flesh and bones, as ye see me have. And when he had thus spoken, he shewed them his hands and his feet. - Luke 24:36-40
Jesus rose physically, this was not a vision or a manifestation of some kind. This was not a hallucination, Jesus showed these witnesses his hands, feet, and pierced side. He allowed them to “handle” him as proof that he was not a spirit.
3. The length of time that Jesus remained with these witnesses
To whom also he shewed himself alive after his passion by many infallible proofs, being seen of them forty days, and speaking of the things pertaining to the kingdom of God: - Acts 1:3
Jesus spent forty days with these witnesses. This was not just a real quick appearance or a one-time situation. From the first day of his resurrection to the last was forty days. This gave these witnesses plenty of time and opportunity to reflect on what they had seen. This gave them time to satisfy any questions that they may have had about the reality of what they had witnessed.
With these infallible proofs, you cannot honestly argue that Jesus did not physically rise from the dead. Not if you are going to use any sort of logical reasoning, logic dictates that you must believe that Jesus rose from the dead on the third day, and because he rose from the dead, he is now offering us the hope of eternal life. If Jesus did not rise from the dead than we have no hope.
Jesus said that he would rise from the dead
Jesus did rise from the dead
and he proved it.
Our hope at Irvington Bible Baptist Church is that this podcast provided some encouragement and has helped you to develop a closer relationship with the LORD Jesus Christ.