The Reality of the Resurrection

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Pastor Scott L. Harris
Grace Bible Church, NY
April 5, 2015

The Reality of the Resurrection
Selected Scriptures

Introduction

A wonderful Resurrection Sunday to each of you. He is Risen! It is great to gather together this morning to celebrate the hope that we have because of the resurrection of the Lord Jesus Christ from the dead. This day is more widely called “Easter” in English speaking societies, but that name does not accurately reflect what we are celebrating. Easter is a name that arises from the Teutonic spring goddess to whom sacrifices were offered in April. The translators of the King James Version correctly translate the Greek, to pasca / to pascha, 28 out of 29 times as “The Passover.” However, in Acts 12:4 they translated it as “Easter.” They may have done this as a cultural reference to the general time of year, but whatever the reason, the name entered into general usage among English speaking Christians and became associated with the resurrection of Jesus Christ.

Now you might think that is all a bit nit-picky, but such things become important when they obscure the real meaning of the day. I brought a friend with me this morning to illustrate the point. I am not sure whether to name this rabbit “Roger,” “Bugs” or something else. The development of the Easter Bunny mythology was not done as a direct attack on Christianity, and many Christians over the years have the enjoyed various activities associated with it, and I will quickly add that what you will do with the Easter Bunny will be between you and the Lord. However, I do want to give you a strong challenge this morning to deflate him.

While many Christians associate Easter with the celebration of the resurrection of the Lord Jesus Christ from the dead, the association of a rabbit with Easter is because its cultural roots are in a celebration of the arrival of Spring and fertility. In many respects those roots have sent up many shoots so that the cultural observance of Easter overshadows the celebration of Jesus rising from the dead even for most professing Christians. A survey this past March by the National Retail Federation found that 50.8% plan to attend church, while 87.1% plan on purchasing Easter candy. 57.4% plan to spend the day visiting family and friends and 30.9% of adults plan on conducting an Easter Egg hunt for children.

It is easy to see more evidence of Easter mythology replacing the celebration of the resurrection of Jesus by your shopping experiences this past week. I am sure you saw lots of Easter sales signs printed with pastel colors with bunnies, chicks, and flowers on them, but I doubt anyone saw a sign that said, “Hallelujah, He is Risen!” The cultural has shifted dramatically in my lifetime. When I was growing up, schools had “Easter Vacation” which was always coordinated to coincide with Resurrection Sunday. Now it is called “Spring Break” and occurs randomly in March or April. Some districts even have it in Winter before Spring Equinox.

In saying all this I am not demanding that you go home and get rid of everything with an Easter Bunny on it, however, I am challenging you to make sure that the cultural trappings of Easter do not obscure your celebration of the resurrection of Jesus Christ. Diane and I avoided most of the cultural aspects of Easter in raising our sons from the simple desire that we wanted them to know the true joy of celebrating the resurrection of the Lord Jesus Christ and giving praise to His name without the confusion of giving praise to a mythical rabbit that supposedly hid colored hard-boiled eggs and brought them lots of candy to eat.

What Do You Believe?

Now I recognize that my introduction goes against the grain of our modern society and what goes on in so many churches which just want to jump on the bandwagon of whatever is going on culturally. However, today we have gathered together observe the triumph of the Lord Jesus Christ over death which is the pivotal point of human history. That is what we believe and our actions arise out of what we understand to be true. Even saying that I find myself at odds with our post-modern society in which truth is thought to be relative and absolutes are rejected.

I want to seriously challenge that notion this morning and especially so in relationship to the resurrection of the Lord Jesus Christ from the dead. What you believe and how you respond to the claim of the Scriptures about this will determine your eternal destiny, so it is a very serious matter.

People have become quite loose in their claims about what they believe. In fact, it would be more accurate to say much of what people claim to believe is closer to fluctuating opinion. Beliefs are something you hold onto firmly because they are founded upon conviction of what is true. What you believe you have faith in because you trust it to be true. Opinion is not held to firmly because its foundation is not a conviction about what is true and may not even be based on fact or knowledge. Opinion is a view, judgment or appraisal formed in the mind about a particular matter. Opinion is stronger than an impression and less strong than positive knowledge. Opinion has an element of uncertainty and can often be just personal preference. Opinions are easily changed with new information.

It has become very apparent that many of the professed beliefs of a large portion of our society are actually opinions floating on a sea of relativism. Few are willing to stand up for what they believe and even less are willing to sacrifice for it. People want to avoid conflict, so it is easier to say nothing or be a chameleon fitting in with whatever group they are presently with. Public opinion pols have become crucial because political leaders have become dependant on finding out current trends and trying to get in front of them.

Beliefs are strong and do not change without a foundational transformation of what is believed to be true. Belief also evokes sacrifice such as “Give me liberty or give me death.” Persecuted Christians around the world suffer because they will not yield their belief in Jesus Christ. It is obvious that many professing Christians in America are holding to opinions instead of beliefs because they yield to the pressure of political correctness in order to avoid conflict. Last month the Presbyterian Church (USA), not to be confused with other Presbyterian groups, chose to ignore the Scriptures and redefine marriage to match the present political winds. In rejecting Scripture, they, and so many others like them, have traded belief for opinion, truth for sentiment. I seriously wonder what they would do if they were called to die for their supposed faith.

It is tragic that so many Americans that claim to be Christians are so easily led astray from what God has revealed in the Bible. Some of this is laziness, some of this is ignorance coupled with being deceived, and some of it is out of desire. There are many that claim to be Christians that have gathered pastors and leaders who will “tickle their ears” to tell them what they want to hear. They have an aversion to the bright white of God’s holiness. They do not want to be told about the blackness of their sin or about the red blood that had to be shed to pay for that sin. They want a God that is the pleasant mauve of a benevolent grandfather that gives without question and makes no demands.

Going astray from the scriptures is serious. I warn those who want their ears tickled to repent or your end will not be pleasant for you for will be counted among the fools. To those who are lazy, I admonish you to wake up and gird yourself to diligently seek God through His Word or you will remain spiritually impoverished. To those who are ignorant, I implore you to study the Scriptures for yourself so that you will not be deceived by the many false teachers that abound in our land. My challenge to all is to search out truth without fear for truth will always lead you to God’s word and to Jesus Christ because God’s word is true (John 17:17) and so is Jesus (John 14:6).

The rest of my message this morning will be in defense of the truth of God’s word and specifically its proclamation that Jesus Christ rose from the dead. We live in a time when the tenants of theological liberalism which devastated the mainline denominations in the twentieth century have come flooding into the evangelical camp. That was a major reason for The Inerrancy Summit I attended last month in California (www. shepherdsconference.org or https://vimeo.com/channels/887255) . You can and should be confident that faith in the Lord Jesus Christ is founded on truth and not cleverly devised tales, though there are many cleverly devised tales that are used to try to shake if not destroy that belief.

The Resurrection and Its Importance

The resurrection of the Lord Jesus Christ from the dead is the pivotal event of Christianity. Paul points out in 1 Corinthians 15 that without it the message of Christianity would be a farce. It would be a false religion giving false hope based on a lie. It could not offer redemption and people would be left in their sins while believing falsely that they were forgiven.

Those who have doubted the resurrection have existed throughout history. Though the Old Testament speaks clearly that there will be a resurrection, there were many that did not believe it. The Sadducees, an extremely important and powerful religious group denied it – and that is why there were so sad u cee.

Jesus dealt with them on this issue in Matthew 22 telling them “You are mistaken, not understanding the Scriptures, or the power of God.” And what do the Scriptures say and how powerful is God? Jesus continues in verse 31, “But regarding the resurrection of the dead, have you not read that which was spoken to you by God, saying, I am the God of Abraham, and the God of Isaac and the God of Jacob? He is not the God of the dead but of the living.” Death is not the end. Life continues past the grave.

The Hebrew Scriptures, Jesus and the New Testament writers all make many clear statements regarding the resurrection of the body. Job’s confidence was that even after his skin had decayed he would in his flesh and with his eyes yet see God (Job 19:25-27). The hope of resurrection is expressed in the vision of the dry bones in Ezekiel 37. It is proclaimed in Daniel 12 that those who “sleep in the dust of the ground will awake” – some to everlasting life with God and others to everlasting contempt. Revelation 20 describes that judgment.

Jesus’ claim was that He would be raised from the dead. Jesus told His disciples repeatedly that He was going to Jerusalem where He would be killed but that He would be raised up on the third day (Matt. 16:21; 17:9,23; etc.). He also said this to his enemies in John 2:19. In John 10:17-18 Jesus said that no one could take His life from Him, but He had the authority to lay it down and take it up again. The claim of all the gospel narratives is that Jesus Christ was raised from the dead. Matthew 28:6 records the angel proclaiming, “He is not here, for He has risen, just as He said. Come, see the place where He was lying.” That is the message of the rest of the New Testament. Jesus Christ took up His life again and was resurrected from the dead.

Though the testimony recorded in the Bible is clear, there are many that doubt and deny the resurrection. To deny that Jesus Christ was raised from dead also requires denial of all the testimony given to that fact and a claim to have a superior knowledge than those who were there. As we shall see, there are plenty of people who are willing to do this, for those who want to continue in their sin must flee from the ramifications of the resurrection. From the day Jesus rose from the dead there have been those who will lie and fabricate stories to deny it. Since then there have been plenty of people so proud as to claim knowledge and understanding superior to Apostles and other eye witnesses. These people can be very erudite in their error, but all their arguments are crushed under the weight of truth.

The Theft Theory

We will begin with the oldest denial, the claim that someone stole Jesus body from the tomb. The question of who stole the body would have to be answered first. Jesus enemies would have no motive to steal the body, in fact, they had the opposite motive. That is why they placed a guard unit at Jesus’ tomb – Matthew 27:62-66. Only Jesus’ followers would have motive to steal the body. Matthew 28:11-15 records the origin of the claim that they did.

11 Now while they were on their way, (referring to the women who had first seen the resurrected Christ going to tell the disciples) some of the guard (the soldiers placed at the tomb) came into the city and reported to the chief priests all that had happened. 12 And when they had assembled with the elders and consulted together, they gave a large sum of money to the soldiers, 13 and said, “You are to say, ‘His disciples came by night and stole Him away while we were asleep.’ 14 “And if this should come to the governor’s ears, we will win him over and keep you out of trouble.” 15 And they took the money and did as they had been instructed; and this story was widely spread among the Jews, and is to this day.

Some argue that this was a unit from the Temple Guards thinking it would help their case. However, the evidence points to them being Roman soldiers. 1) The Greek word here is not used of the Temple Guard, but only Roman guards. 2) Pilate would not have allowed the Temple guard jurisdiction outside the temple. 3) These guards were responsible to Pilate, not the priests. However, the presence of guards, whether Roman or Temple guards disproves the theft theory. Why?

1) Both the Roman and Temple guards were well disciplined and used to having night watches. Either group would incur strict punishment if found asleep at their post. For a Roman guard, that could mean death. For a Temple guard, it meant at least a severe beating, and the captain of the guard also had the right to use his torch to set the clothes of the sleeping guard on fire. That gives some new meaning to Revelation 16:15 which says, “Blessed is the one that stays awake and keeps his clothes. . .” Punishment would have been severe for either sleeping or abandoning their post.

2) The guard reported all that had happened and no one questioned the truth of what they said. No attempt to refute it. No attempt to check out the veracity of their report. By not challenging the guards’ story, the Jews gave tacit assent to their story. The chief priests instead told them to lie, and the lie is easily exposed by what they were told to say. If the guards were asleep, how did they know it was the disciples that stole the body? If they were awake, how were the disciples able to get away with the body?

It is preposterous to think the disciples could have stolen Jesus’ body. This is the group of men (with two exceptions) that ran away when Jesus was arrested in the garden of Gethsemane. These are the men (with one exception) that would not approach the cross as Jesus was being crucified. This is the group that was still huddled in the Upper Room for fear of the Jews even after Mary had told them that morning that she had seen Jesus alive (John 20:19). Is it even remotely reasonable that such a group of fearful men would have tried to steal Jesus body away from the watchful eyes of the guards? Even if they had found the courage to go to Jesus’ tomb and would have found the guards asleep, would such timid men risk waking them by rolling the stone away? And if they did roll the stone away, would they have carefully unwrapped the body there or just grabbed it and carried it away as fast as possible?

The Swoon Theory

The next idea is also preposterous. This is the claim that Jesus did not rise from the dead because He did not really die on the cross. The claim is that He just swooned (passed out unconcious) and then revived in the coolness of the tomb, arose and departed. Such an idea flies in the face of all the testimony given. Consider the following:

1) The Soldiers, Joseph & Nicodemus all judged that Jesus was dead. The Centurion, a man certainly most familiar with death, said he was dead (Mark 15:39), and testified to that fact when questioned by Pilate (Mark 15:44). The soldier that was charged to break his legs did not because “He was already dead” (John 19:33). Joseph & Nicodemus took care of Jesus body and buried Him. They would have known whether Jesus was dead or not just by the temperature of the body, but they wrapped Jesus’ body in burial clothes, covered it with spices and placed the corpse in the tomb.

2) The soldier was surprised that He was dead so he tested to make sure by piercing His side with a spear which resulted in blood and water coming out. Medically, this speaks of a ruptured heart and that death has been long enough that the blood had begun to clot and separate from the serum.

3) The disciples did not consider Jesus to have just revived. Consider what the swoon theory requires: Jesus has been deprived of sleep, beaten and severely scourged. He is so weary and weak that He collapsed while carrying the crossbeam. He was nailed to a cross and crucified for at least three hours. His side was pierced with a spear resulting in blood and water flowing out. Strips of cloth were wrapped around the body mummy style layered with spices in between. In Jesus case, this was 70 lbs of spices. A separate facial cloth covered His face before being wrapped. He then lay in the grave from Friday evening to Sunday morning without food or drink. The swoon theory requires that after all this, Jesus revived on Sunday morning, somehow wriggled free of all the grave wrappings, rolled the stone away by himself, overpowered the guards, then after talking with Mary at the tomb, He took a seven mile walk to Emmaus with two disciples and then walked seven miles back to Jerusalem in order to appear to the other disciples that night. That is quite a tale told by skeptics who do not want to believe that Jesus rose from the dead. I suggest they have more miracles to contend with in such a recovery than I do simply believing the Scriptural account.

The Hallucination Theory

This theory claims that all those that said they saw Jesus after His resurrection were just hallucinating. Another idea rejected by reality.

First, the psychological factors necessary for hallucinations to occur were not present with the disciples. These were men that had a hard time believing Jesus was alive even when He was present with them. Thomas refused to believe until he could touch Jesus’ hands and side. The disciples had to believe against their wills.

Second, having as many people hallucinate the same thing on so many different occasions is impossible. Jesus was physically seen by many people and groups. On the day of His resurrection: Mary Magdalene, the women returning from the tomb, Peter later that same day, the two disciples on the road to Emmaus, the apostles except Thomas. During the 40 days following His resurrection: all the apostles including Thomas, the seven by the Lake of Tiberias, 500+ believers on a Galilean mountain, to James, and to the eleven at the Ascension. After the Ascension, Jesus appeared to Paul on several occasions and to John on Patmos.

Third, if all these people were having hallucinations, then why didn’t the chief priests just produce Jesus’ body and disprove them? Why did they instruct the guards to lie? Where was Jesus body? This also answers in part the next two ideas which also prove to be silly.

The Wrong Tomb

This idea proposes that Mary and the others went to the wrong tomb and then assumed Jesus must have risen from the dead.

In addition to the number of people that saw the physically resurrected Jesus in other places, the angel at the tomb confirmed to Mary and the other women that they were at the right tomb. Also, who then was it that then talked to Mary and the others near the tomb that they recognized to be Jesus?

Jesus Was Resurrected Spiritually, Not Physically

This idea proposes that Jesus was made spiritually alive but not physically. This is a popular idea at the present time.

This is refuted simply. If this was true, where was Jesus body and why was it not produced to refute the claim of physical resurrection? The chief priest would have done so if it was possible. Also, how is it this spirit could eat food (fish – John 21:13), and why would this spirit invite Thomas to physically touch His hands and side (John 20:27)?

 Other Evidences of the Physical Resurrection of Jesus Christ

1) The enemies of Christ gave no refutation to the proclamation that Jesus was raised from the dead. In Acts 2 they remained silent at Peter’s preaching. In Acts 25 the Jews charged Paul with all sorts of things, but they did not refute what Festus understood as the central issue which was Paul’s claim that Jesus was alive. The Athenians sneered at Paul, and King Agrippa said Paul was out of his mind, but no one gave a word of evidence to refute Paul’s claim that Jesus was resurrected from the dead.

2) The changed lives of the disciples is a powerful testimony to the risen Lord. These men that were so afraid prior to the resurrection became those that “turned the world upside down” (Acts 17:6). Something radical suddenly happened to each of them. Peter had denied Christ when asked by a young slave girl at Jesus’ trial, yet 53 days later he boldly proclaimed to the people he was preaching too that they had nailed Jesus to the cross by the hands of godless men and put Him to death, but God raised Him up again, putting an end to the agony of death (Acts 2:23-24). The other apostles became just as bold even traveling to distant lands to proclaim the story of Jesus, and all but John were martyred for it. How could they have had such radical change to be so bold and endure such suffering in the cause of Christ if they had any doubt that Jesus was resurrected?

(See: Simon Greenleaf, An Examination of the Testimony of the Four Evangelists by the Rules of Evidence Administered in the Courts of Justice, 1846 – quoted in Evidence that Demands a Verdict, Josh McDowell, Page 192).

3) The existence of the Church itself. Could the church have been founded and grown in the midst of such persecution that it suffered if its central message was a lie?

4) The fact that the church meets on Sunday’s rather than Saturday. The church was formed out of Judaism in which Sabbath worship had been commanded and ingrained. How and why would the church shift to a different day of worship unless something radical had happened. Early Christians began to meet on the first day of the week in honor of Jesus resurrection since that is when He rose from the dead (Acts 20:7).

5) The two ordinances of the church reflect Jesus’ resurrection.

The Lord’s Supper arose out of Passover when Jesus changed the meaning of its elements to a commemoration of His death as the sacrifice for sin (Matthew 26:26-28) yet Acts 2:46 records Communion as a time of joy. How could the occasion be joyful if Jesus remained dead? Paul specifically states in 1 Corinthians 11:26 that eating the bread and drinking the cup proclaims the Lord’s death until He comes. Jesus’ promised coming is dependent on the fact that He is no longer dead, but was resurrected and has ascended to Heaven from which He will return to those who belong to Him.

Paul makes it clear in Romans 6:1-6 that Christian Baptism is the believer’s personal identification with the Lord’s death, burial and resurrection stating, “we have been buried with Him through baptism into death, so that as Christ was raised from the dead through the glory of the Father, so we too might walk in newness of life.”

Conclusions

The conclusion of all the evidence is clear. Jesus rose from the dead. History Professor Thomas Arnold, who was chair of Modern History at Oxford and author of the 3 volume, History of Rome, said this after explaining that the evidence for the Lord’s life, death and resurrection have been examined in detail by tens of thousands including himself many times over according to the diligence of an historian used to weighing the evidence of those who have written about prior times, “. . . I know of no one fact in the history of mankind which is proved by better and fuller evidence of every sort, to the understanding of a fair inquirer, than the great thing which God hath given us that Christ died and rose again from the dead.” (See: Evidence that Demands a Verdict, Josh McDowell, Page 190-191).

We are confident in our belief, our faith is assured, our trust is secure, because we have the truth. He is risen! . . . and that fact proves Jesus’ claims. He is God in human flesh. He lived a sinless life. He willingly laid down His life as the substitutionary sacrifice for sin which was accepted by the Father.

He is risen! . . . and that fact proves Jesus’ promises. Forgiveness of sins is granted to all who place their faith in Him. Those who believe are made new creatures in Him and the Holy Spirit will indwell the believer and transform them to become like Jesus in character. Jesus has ascended to the heaven where He intercedes for His disciples and is preparing a place for them. One day, Jesus will return to take all who belong to Him to be with Him forever.

Why are we Christians so joyful? It comes from one over whelming fact – He is risen!

If you do not have assurance that your sins have been forgiven and that you will be in heaven with Jesus when you die, then talk with myself or any of our church leaders after the service. We would be very happy to explain further the gospel of the Lord Jesus Christ so that you might believe.

 Sermon Notes: The Reality of the Resurrection
Selected Scriptures

Introduction

Easter & Jesus’ resurrection were associated due to ___________in Acts 12:4 translated as “Easter” in KJV

Rabbits are associated with Easter due to its cultural roots as a celebration of _____________and fertility

More Americans view Easter as a day to give / get candy and visit family / friends than to worship ________

American culture has _______________radically away from Biblical Christianity in the last 40 years

Do not let cultural traditions _____________the celebration of the Resurrection of the Lord Jesus Christ

What Do You Believe?

Beliefs and their corresponding actions should arise out of what is understood to be ____________

Your belief about and response to Jesus’ resurrection will determine your eternal ______________

Opinion is _________because it is not based on view / appraisal / preference, not conviction of what is true

Belief evokes willingness to ____________- Persecuted Christians will not yield their belief in Jesus Christ

Professing Christians are lead ______________due to laziness, ignorance / being deceived, desire

Straying from Scripture is ___________- all must search out truth – and truth leads to God’s word and Jesus

The Resurrection and Its Importance

The resurrection of the Lord Jesus Christ from the dead is the ___________event of Christianity – 1 Cor. 15

The OT teaches the ______of resurrection: Exod. 3:6 cf. Matt. 22:29-32; Job 19:25-27; Ezek. 37; Dan. 12:2

_____________claimed that He would rise from the dead – Matt. 16:21; 17:9,23; etc.; John 2:19; 10:17-18

All four gospels record that Jesus did _________from the dead: Matthew 28; Mark 16: Luke 26; John 20-21

To deny Jesus resurrection requires denial of all __________to that fact and a claim to a superior knowledge

The Theft Theory – Jesus’ body was stolen

Jesus’ enemies feared His body would be stolen and so placed a _________unit at the tomb – Matt. 27:62-66

Matthew 28:11-15 records the ___________of the claim that the disciples stole Jesus’ body

Whether Roman or Temple guards, they would have been severely _____________for failure

No challenge was given to the guard’s story – they were instead protected and ________________________

The _______disciples would not risk stealing Jesus’ body – and also carefully leave the grave clothes folded

The Swoon Theory – Jesus did not really die, He only swooned – became unconscious

The soldiers, Joseph & Nicodemus all judged that Jesus was _________- Mark 15:39,44; John 19:33, 38-40

The soldier pierced Jesus’ side with as spear – out came blood & ______- showing it was already separating

This would require Jesus to revive after _____________: sleep deprivation, scourging, severe lose of blood, crucifixion, piercing with a spear, not eating or drinking for 48+ hours, being wrapped with 70 lbs of spices

Jesus would then have to unwrap Himself, roll the stone away, overpower the guards, walk at least ___miles

The Hallucination Theory – Those claiming to have seen Jesus alive were hallucinating

_____________of the psychological factors necessary for hallucinations were present in the disciples

Hallucinations do not occur to a wide variety of people over many days & locations and to ____at same time

Claims based on hallucinations could have been easily refuted by producing Jesus’ ____________

The Wrong Tomb – Mary and the others went to the wrong tomb and assumed Jesus was risen from the dead

Many ______________also saw the physically resurrected Jesus in other places

The ____________confirmed they were at the correct tomb

Jesus Was Resurrected Spiritually, Not Physically

Jesus’ enemies wound then have been able to produce His ____________to refute the claims

After the resurrection, Jesus ate physical food and invited Thomas to ___________________touch Him

Other Evidences of the Physical Resurrection of Jesus Christ

1) The enemies of Jesus gave no _______________to the proclamation that Jesus was raised from the dead.

2) The disciples were radically ______________from being fearful to being bold – even to being martyred

3) The birth and growth of the _____________in the midst of severe persecution

4) The church meets on ______________in honor of the Lord’s resurrection instead of Saturday

5) Communion and Baptism both proclaim Jesus death and _______________

Conclusions

He is risen! . . . Jesus’ ___________of deity, sinlessness, and voluntary sacrifice are proven true

He is risen! . . . Jesus’ ___________to forgive, transform and take those who believe in Him are proven true

KIDS KORNER
Parents, you are responsible to apply God’s Word to your children’s lives. Here is some help. Young Children – draw a picture about something you hear during the sermon. Explain your picture(s) to your parents at lunch. Older Children – Do one or more of the following: 1) Write down all the verses mentioned in the sermon and look them up later. 2) Count how many times the word “resurrection” or “risen is said. Talk with your parents about Jesus’ resurrection and how we know it is true.

THINK ABOUT IT!
Questions to consider in discussing the sermon with others. What is the origin of Easter? How did it get tied to the resurrection of Jesus? How do you see cultural traditions obscuring the celebration of Jesus’ resurrection? What is the difference between belief and opinion? Why are so many professing Christians easily led astray from the Scriptures? Find some Old Testament passages promise a future resurrection. Find verses in which Jesus claims beforehand that He would rise from the dead? What do each of the gospel accounts record about Jesus’ resurrection? What is the Theft Theory? Why does the presence of guards at Jesus’ tomb refute it? Would / could the disciples have stolen Jesus body? Explain. What is the Swoon Theory? What did Jesus physically suffer between Friday morning and Sunday morning? What did Jesus physically do on Sunday? Why is the hallucination theory a figment of imagination? How could claims based on hallucinations been easily disproved? How do we know the women went to the right tomb? The claim that Jesus was only resurrected spiritually must explain what happened to Jesus’ physical body. What other evidences are their that Jesus was physically raised from the dead? What does His resurrection prove? What do you believe?

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