Proof! Jesus Arose from the Dead

   Written by on June 16, 2017 at 1:03 pm

logo-hevenerAlthough many mainline seminaries are teaching relativism, materialism, and no resurrection, to the fair and unbiased mind, there is proof that Jesus Christ arose from the grave.

First, let us make a clear distinction between “evidence” and “proof.”  Evidence may be of many stripes.  In a typical courtroom setting, “eyewitness” evidence is usually called for because it is considered one of the strongest types of evidence. A judge can be expected to reject “hearsay” evidence as weak and inconsequential.   Therefore, a collection of “eyewitness” testimony may be so persuasive that a judge or jury will issue a ruling on that evidence.  In other words, the judge or jury may consider the accumulation of “eyewitness” evidence strong enough to be “fact,” and, therefore, “proof.”

Jesus was on this earth 40 days before He ascended to Heaven to be at the right hand of the heavenly Father.   Why 40 days?  The number 40, along with other numbers such as 3, 7, and 12, appear to have special favor with God.

   In the Old Testament, when God destroyed the earth with water, He caused it to rain 40 days and 40 nights (Genesis 7:12). After Moses killed the Egyptian, he fled to Median, where he spent 40 years in the desert tending flocks (Acts 7:30). Moses was on Mount Sinai for 40 days and 40 nights (Exodus 24:18). Moses interceded on Israel’s behalf for 40 days and 40 nights (Deuteronomy 9:1825). The Law specified a maximum number of lashes a man could receive for a crime, setting the limit at 40 (Deuteronomy 25:3). The Israelite spies took 40 days to spy out Canaan (Numbers 13:25). The Israelites wandered for 40 years (Deuteronomy 8:2-5). Before Samson’s deliverance, Israel served the Philistines for 40 years (Judges 13:1). Goliath taunted Saul’s army for 40 days before David arrived to slay him (1 Samuel 17:16). When Elijah fled from Jezebel, he traveled 40 days and 40 nights to Mt. Horeb (1 Kings 19:8).

There is additional persuasive evidence of Jesus’ resurrection! We have Jesus’ testimony about His resurrection:  I am the Living One; I was dead, and behold I am alive for ever and ever! And I hold the keys of death and Hades (the grave, Strong). (Revelation 1:18)

The first appearance of Jesus was to Mary Magdalene: Now when she had said this, she turned around and saw Jesus standing there, and did not know that it was Jesus. Jesus said to her, ‘Woman, why are you weeping? Whom are you seeking?’ She, supposing him to be the gardener, said to him, ‘Sir, if you have carried him away, tell me where you have laid him, and I will take him away.’ Jesus said to her, ‘Mary!’ She turned and said to him, ‘Rabboni!’ (which is to say, Teacher). (John 20:14-16)

Luke records Jesus saying: Look at my hands and my feet. It is I myself! Touch me and see; a ghost does not have flesh and bones, as you see I have. (Luke 24:39).

Following are a few additional records of appearances of the many that Jesus made to numerous people at various places and times.

Peter was the first apostle to see the risen Christ. This was a private appearance to reassure him since he had just denied his Lord. The gospels are completely silent as to the details of this meeting. Luke merely wrote: The Lord is risen, indeed, and has appeared to Simon! (Luke 24:34).

Later Jesus appeared again; “doubting” Thomas was present:  And after eight days his disciples were again inside, and Thomas with them. Jesus came, the doors being shut, and stood in the midst, and said, ‘Peace to you!’ Then he said to Thomas, ‘Reach your finger here, and look at my hands; and reach your hand here, and put it into my side. Do not be unbelieving but believing.’ And Thomas answered and said to him, ‘My Lord and My God!’ (John 20:26-28)

At another time Jesus appeared to over  five hundred people at one time: After that he was seen by over five hundred people at once, of whom the greater part remain to the present, but some have fallen asleep (1 Corinthians 15:6).

After His resurrection, He appeared again, this time to Saul, later named Paul:  And as he [Saul] traveled he came near Damascus, and suddenly a light shone around him from heaven. Then he fell to the ground, and heard a voice saying to him, ‘Saul, Saul, why are your persecuting me?’ And he said, ‘Who are you, Lord?’ And the Lord said, ‘I am Jesus, whom you are persecuting.’ (Acts 9:3-5)

In conclusion, we have seen a few of the many appearances that Jesus made to various people, at various times, and in various places.  Yes, there is ample evidence for the objective mind to conclude that Jesus overcame death and the grave; therefore, it is through faith in and obedience to Him that one may look forward with assurance to the resurrection from the grave taught by the Apostle Paul in 1 Corinthians, Chapter 15.

Until next week, may God richly bless you and yours!

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©Fillmer Hevener, 2017

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