Why I believe in the resurrection

Understanding why I believe   •  Sermon  •  Submitted   •  Presented   •  1:15:24
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Important facts

Facts to receive, facts to believe, facts to obey. Facts, truth, they matter.
Believe in God
He was there in the beginning and spoke all things into existence (Gen1:1)
Believe in the Bible
As God’s inerrant word given through the prophets and the apostles as inspired by the Spirit so we can have everything to take us from glory to glory! (2Tim3:16-17)
Believe in Christ
Must believe in Christ as you believe in God (Jn14:1, 6)
Believe in simple Christianity
There is one Church that Jesus Christ built (Mt16:18)
Believe in the gospel
it has things to believe, things to obey. For it is the power of God unto salvation (Rom1:15-16)
Believe in baptism
It is for the remission of sins (Act2:38)
It is an appeal to God for a clear conscience (1Pt3:21)
It is the place where we are circumcised with circumcision not made with hands (Col2:11)
Believe in Lord’s supper
Do it in remembrance, in proclamation, in celebration and in fellowship (Mt26:26-27; 1Cor11:26)
Believe in virgin birth
As foretold born of a virgin (Mt1:23)
Today, we will look at why we believe, or should believe in the resurrection of Jesus.
It is an essential for if there was no resurrection than:
Our faith would be futile (1Cor15:14, 17)
Our sins would still be upon us (1Cor15:17)
Those who died in Christ would have perished (1Cor15:18)
And, we would be most pitiful (1Cor15:19)
For us to get a good understanding, we need to look at context so open your bibles to 1Cor15 with me, I want to read 1Cor15:1-19. I know it is a long section, but it is important we grasp the context.
THE RESURRECTION - OUR HOPE (1Cor15:1-19)
1Cor15:1-3 “1 Now I make known to you, brethren, the gospel which I preached to you, which also you received, in which also you stand, 2 by which also you are saved, if you hold fast the word which I preached to you, unless you believed in vain. 3 For I delivered to you as of first importance what I also received, that Christ died for our sins according to the Scriptures,”
1Cor15:4-7 “4 and that He was buried, and that He was raised on the third day according to the Scriptures, 5 and that He appeared to Cephas, then to the twelve. 6 After that He appeared to more than five hundred brethren at one time, most of whom remain until now, but some have fallen asleep; 7 then He appeared to James, then to all the apostles;”
1Cor15:8-11 “8 and last of all, as to one untimely born, He appeared to me also. 9 For I am the least of the apostles, and not fit to be called an apostle, because I persecuted the church of God. 10 But by the grace of God I am what I am, and His grace toward me did not prove vain; but I labored even more than all of them, yet not I, but the grace of God with me. 11 Whether then it was I or they, so we preach and so you believed.”
1Cor15:12-15 “12 Now if Christ is preached, that He has been raised from the dead, how do some among you say that there is no resurrection of the dead? 13 But if there is no resurrection of the dead, not even Christ has been raised; 14 and if Christ has not been raised, then our preaching is vain, your faith also is vain. 15 Moreover we are even found to be false witnesses of God, because we testified against God that He raised Christ, whom He did not raise, if in fact the dead are not raised.”
1Cor15:16-19 “16 For if the dead are not raised, not even Christ has been raised; 17 and if Christ has not been raised, your faith is worthless; you are still in your sins. 18 Then those also who have fallen asleep in Christ have perished. 19 If we have hoped in Christ in this life only, we are of all men most to be pitied.”
(Transition) so, in context we have reasons why we should believe in the resurrection, and this morning we will now get into some details.
Numbers
Character
Strength
All that help us to further understand why we believe, or should believe in the resurrection.

Numbers

Numbers matter to establish a matter (Deu17:6; Mt18:19). And the witnesses, the number of witnesses of the resurrection matter.
The more witnesses, the stronger the testimony is established (Deu17:6)
Deuteronomy 17:6 NASB95
6 “On the evidence of two witnesses or three witnesses, he who is to die shall be put to death; he shall not be put to death on the evidence of one witness.
or you can look at a New Testament passage
Matthew 18:19 NASB95
19 “Again I say to you, that if two of you agree on earth about anything that they may ask, it shall be done for them by My Father who is in heaven.
Today in our society, in our judicial system the number of witnesses help to solidify a matter. The more witnesses there are the stronger the evidence.
Many witnesses of the resurrection (1Cor15:3-8) and more
Cephas (Lk24:34)
Luke 24:34 NASB95
34 saying, “The Lord has really risen and has appeared to Simon.”
Jesus had appeared to the two men on the road to Emmaus and after the encounter they went and found the apostles and they prophetically told them that the Lord had appeared to Simon.
The twelve (Lk24:36-43; Act1:2-3)
It was after that the Lord appeared in the midst of the apostles and spoke to them.
Just like right before the ascension
Acts 1:2–3 NASB95
2 until the day when He was taken up to heaven, after He had by the Holy Spirit given orders to the apostles whom He had chosen. 3 To these He also presented Himself alive after His suffering, by many convincing proofs, appearing to them over a period of forty days and speaking of the things concerning the kingdom of God.
The five-hundred (Mt28:10, 16-17)
Matthew 28:10 NASB95
10 Then Jesus said to them, “Do not be afraid; go and take word to My brethren to leave for Galilee, and there they will see Me.”
Jesus had appeared to the women and told them to go tell the apostles and to go to Galilee.
Matthew 28:16–17 NASB95
16 But the eleven disciples proceeded to Galilee, to the mountain which Jesus had designated. 17 When they saw Him, they worshiped Him; but some were doubtful.
And, by Paul (Act22:6-10)
we know the passage in Act9:3-6), but hey, let’s look at another account.
Acts 22:6–7 NASB95
6 “But it happened that as I was on my way, approaching Damascus about noontime, a very bright light suddenly flashed from heaven all around me, 7 and I fell to the ground and heard a voice saying to me, ‘Saul, Saul, why are you persecuting Me?’
Acts 22:8–9 NASB95
8 “And I answered, ‘Who are You, Lord?’ And He said to me, ‘I am Jesus the Nazarene, whom you are persecuting.’ 9 “And those who were with me saw the light, to be sure, but did not understand the voice of the One who was speaking to me.
Acts 22:9–10 NASB95
9 “And those who were with me saw the light, to be sure, but did not understand the voice of the One who was speaking to me. 10 “And I said, ‘What shall I do, Lord?’ And the Lord said to me, ‘Get up and go on into Damascus, and there you will be told of all that has been appointed for you to do.’
This was not all of them, other witnesses:
Mary of Magdalene (Mk16:9; Jn20:14)
The other women (Mt28:9-10)
Apostles minus Thomas (Jn20:19-24) then Apostles with Thomas (Jn20:26-29)
The seven by the sea (Jn21:1-23)
Apostles at the ascension (Act1:3-12)
(Transition) so over the 40 day period, of which Mormon’s say Jesus came to the America’s we have more than 500-witnesses who saw Jesus after his death.
Some believe they were deceived, and we are gullible to believe, but then that brings us to the character of the witnesses. That is what we want to look at together now.

Character

Character, the mental and moral qualities distinctive to an individual. So, let’s look at the character of the witnesses of the resurrection.
Character of the unbelievers, the skeptics and the enemies
Some did not believe, but came to believe (Jn7:3-5; Mk3:21; Act1:14)
Jn7:3-5 “3 Therefore His brothers said to Him, “Leave here and go into Judea, so that Your disciples also may see Your works which You are doing. 4 “For no one does anything in secret when he himself seeks to be known publicly. If You do these things, show Yourself to the world.” 5 For not even His brothers were believing in Him.”
and Mk3:21 “21 When His own people heard of this, they went out to take custody of Him; for they were saying, “He has lost His senses.” -Some thought him as crazy.
But the end, well Act1:14 “14 These all with one mind were continually devoting themselves to prayer, along with the women, and Mary the mother of Jesus, and with His brothers.”
Some were skeptical, but came to believe (Jn20:24-28)
jn20:24-26 “24 But Thomas, one of the twelve, called Didymus, was not with them when Jesus came. 25 So the other disciples were saying to him, “We have seen the Lord!” But he said to them, “Unless I see in His hands the imprint of the nails, and put my finger into the place of the nails, and put my hand into His side, I will not believe.” 26 After eight days His disciples were again inside, and Thomas with them. Jesus came, the doors having been shut, and stood in their midst and said, “Peace be with you.””
Jn20:27-28 “27 Then He said to Thomas, “Reach here with your finger, and see My hands; and reach here your hand and put it into My side; and do not be unbelieving, but believing.” 28 Thomas answered and said to Him, “My Lord and my God!””
One was an enemy who came to believe Him as Lord (Act9:1-2; 26:9-11)
Paul consented to the death of Stephen, he was breathing murderous rage and was persecuting the church. Then:
Act26:9-11 “9 “So then, I thought to myself that I had to do many things hostile to the name of Jesus of Nazareth. 10 “And this is just what I did in Jerusalem; not only did I lock up many of the saints in prisons, having received authority from the chief priests, but also when they were being put to death I cast my vote against them. 11 “And as I punished them often in all the synagogues, I tried to force them to blaspheme; and being furiously enraged at them, I kept pursuing them even to foreign cities.”
But this man, he came to believe and obey the gospel (Act22:16) and a major contributor to the New Testament and a church planter!
(Transition) - The seeing him after his resurrection, they the unbelieving brothers, the skeptics and the former enemy believed. They are strong evidence in the resurrection. But wait, there is more.

Strength

Empirical (verifiable) testimony of the witnesses add to the evidence of the witnesses.
Empirical (adj) based on, concerned with, or verifiable by observation or experience rather than theory or pure logic.
Over the 40-day period (between resurrection and ascension) they were given infallible proof (Act1:3)
Acts 1:3 NASB95
3 To these He also presented Himself alive after His suffering, by many convincing proofs, appearing to them over a period of forty days and speaking of the things concerning the kingdom of God.
They even ate and drank with physical Jesus (Act10:41)
Acts 10:41 NASB95
41 not to all the people, but to witnesses who were chosen beforehand by God, that is, to us who ate and drank with Him after He arose from the dead.
They saw, heard, and touched Him (1Jn1:1-2; Jn20:24-28)
1 John 1:1–2 NASB95
1 What was from the beginning, what we have heard, what we have seen with our eyes, what we have looked at and touched with our hands, concerning the Word of Life— 2 and the life was manifested, and we have seen and testify and proclaim to you the eternal life, which was with the Father and was manifested to us—
With the number of witnesses, the evidence provided there is no way they could have been deceived or deluded. Jesus appeared to people and to groups and if it were not so, there would be proof of refuting the testimony of the 500 plus witnesses. - the nature of their testimony strengthens their witness.
Evidenced, demonstrated by their transformation
Prior afraid and without hope (Mk14:50; Mk14:66-72; Lk23:27; Lk24:13-17; Jn20:19)
They fled from the garden at His arrest (Mk14:50)
Peter denied Him (Mk14:66-72)
The women mourned His crucifixion (Lk23:27)
The disciples were sad (Lk24:13-17)
After they praised God and proclaimed Jesus (Lk24:52-53; Act5:28-32, 41-42)
Lk24:50-53 “50 And He led them out as far as Bethany, and He lifted up His hands and blessed them. 51 While He was blessing them, He parted from them and was carried up into heaven. 52 And they, after worshiping Him, returned to Jerusalem with great joy, 53 and were continually in the temple praising God.
Act5:38-42 “38 “So in the present case, I say to you, stay away from these men and let them alone, for if this plan or action is of men, it will be overthrown; 39 but if it is of God, you will not be able to overthrow them; or else you may even be found fighting against God.” 40 They took his advice; and after calling the apostles in, they flogged them and ordered them not to speak in the name of Jesus, and then released them. 41 So they went on their way from the presence of the Council, rejoicing that they had been considered worthy to suffer shame for His name. 42 And every day, in the temple and from house to house, they kept right on teaching and preaching Jesus as the Christ.”
act5:41-42 “41 So they went on their way from the presence of the Council, rejoicing that they had been considered worthy to suffer shame for His name. 42 And every day, in the temple and from house to house, they kept right on teaching and preaching Jesus as the Christ.”
In 1979 Time magazine printed an article, quoting Pinchas Lapide a former Chairman of the applied linguistics dept at Israel’s Bar-lland University saying
“If the disciples were totally disappointed and on the verge of desperate flight because of the very reason of the crucifixion. it took another very real reason in order to transform them from a band of disheartened and dejected Jews into the most self-confident missionary society in the world.”
(Transition) but wait there is more, so let me quickly touch on just two more things that build the case on why I believe or should believe in the resurrection.
Further exampled by their moral standards
They taught by example living holy lives (1The4:1-7; Eph4:25)
They lived above reproach, in unimpeachable way (1The3:1-12)
Finally by their own sacrifices
The apostles suffering (1Cor4:9-13)
The historical evidence of the apostles martyr deaths (excluding John).
I suggest you look up those scriptures on your own, be a good Berean.
A thought here. Would you be willing to suffer, die if it were a lie? Would you put yourself in harm’s way for an untruth and keep doing it? - NO!
You have the evidence, the reason we should believe in the resurrection, if we don’t than we are false witnesses who believed in vain and our faith is worthless like Paul says (1Cor15:14-16)
So, do you believe?
(Insert Invitation slide- He is risen-1 here)
Invitation, Song, prayer, close
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