Acts 1:3, “He also presented Himself alive after His suffering by many infallible proofs”
Acts 2:32, “This Jesus God has raised up, of which we are all witnesses”
The resurrection of Jesus Christ is the cornerstone of the Christian faith, because without it, we have no hope for this life nor the life to come. That’s why it’s important to recognize that our belief in Christ’s resurrection isn’t based on some religious feeling, nor on unfounded rumor, but on historical fact with solid evidence to support it. The Bible says that Jesus “presented Himself alive after His suffering by many infallible proofs”. My brethren, this is more than a historic statement made by Luke. It is a challenge to all the critics who would deny the literalness of the bodily resurrection of the Lord Jesus Christ.
In the early part of this century, a group of lawyers met in England to discuss the biblical accounts of Jesus’ resurrection. They wanted to see if enough information was available to make a case that would hold up in a court of law. Their conclusion was that Christ’s resurrection was one of the most well-established and documented facts of history! Konrad Adenauer, former Chancellor of West Germany, said, “If Jesus Christ is alive, then there is hope for the world. If not, I don’t see the slightest glimmer of hope on the horizon.” Then he added, “I believe Christ’s resurrection to be one of the best-attested facts of history.”
Kenneth Scott Latourette, former chairman of the department of religion at Yale Graduate School, wrote, “That short life of Jesus has been the most influential ever lived. Through Him millions have been transformed and have begun to live the life which He exemplified. Gauged by the consequences which have followed, the birth, life, and death and resurrection of Jesus have been the most important events in the history of man.
In considering the facts of Christ’s life, death, and resurrection. His integrity is well-founded. Prophets foretold His coming. Miracles supported His deity. Eyewitnesses verified His resurrection. If the apostles had not been convinced that Jesus rose from the dead, they would not have been transformed from a band of cowards into bold witnesses willing to suffer and die for the message that proclaimed. And today the Holy Spirit confirms to anyone who is seeking to know the truth that Jesus is alive.
Please go back with me in time. It is the day after Jesus was crucified. His body lay in a tomb; however, the chief priests and Pharisees who had engineered His crucifixion had the uneasy feeling that this might not be the end of the Jesus story. So they went to Pilate and told him that Jesus’ disciples might steal His body to try to convince the people that He had fulfilled His prediction to rise from the grave. Pilate responded, “You have a guard; go your way, make [the tomb] as secure as you know how” (Matthew 27:65).
A guard was posted and the tomb was secured with an official Roman seal (Matthew 27:66). The religious and political leaders did their very best to make sure that the body of Jesus remained in the tomb, but they were attempting the impossible. Death could not hold the sinless Son of God in its grasp, and on the third day He rose just as He said He would (Matthew 20:19; 27:63; 28:1-8)
After the resurrection, the chief priests bribed the soldiers and told them to spread a ridiculous story about the disciples stealing the body (Matthew 28:11-14). Still today skeptics offer one fanciful theory after another, attempting to disprove the resurrection of Jesus. However, in spite of their efforts to cast doubt on the historical record, the truth is that Jesus Christ came out of the tomb. No matter where we go, the Lord’s people are there. The risen Christ is powerfully present in and through all who know Him as Lord and Savior of their life. My brethren, Christ is risen indeed and we serve a living Savior!
Christ’s resurrection is more than a fact of history – it’s the proof of our salvation.