Friday, May 20, 2016

Young Men, Consider the Risen Jesus

Christ died for our sins according to the Scriptures, that he was buried, that he was raised on the third day according to the Scriptures…”
(1 Corinthians 15:3-4,

These verses enshrine the essence of the Christian faith. They contain the essential message of Easter, the most important even in the church year. Three great truths are emphasized. On Friday Jesus died on the cross. On Saturday He lay in Joseph’s tomb. On Sunday He rose from the dead. Deny these fundamental facts and you negate Christianity.

Two other very important things about Christ emerge from these verses. First, He was truly man because He died. Death is characteristic of mankind. In this fact lay the necessity for the incarnation. He was also really God because He rose from the dead. Man cannot rise from the dead. Because Jesus was infinite, His death was of infinite value and made expiation for the sins of the whole world.

Exactly in the manner and for the purposes revealed in the Scriptures, He died for our sins. He was buried, not in a common grave, but in a new tomb. He rose again on the third day under the circumstances recorded on Scriptures. It was a bodily resurrection. When the women and Peter and John looked into the tomb, it was empty except for the grave clothes, still lying in the folds that had encased Him. The butterfly had flown, leaving an empty chrysalis (Muslims glory in a full coffin in Mecca. Christians glory in an empty tomb in Jerusalem. We have a living Christ; they have a dead prophet).

But how can the resurrection be explained? Christ’s body must have been removed either by human or by superhuman hands. If by human hands, it must have been by the hands of friends or foes. His foes would not, because that would look as if He really had risen. His friends could not remove the body for the tomb was sealed, and a guard of sixty soldiers watched to ensure that it was not rifled. The only alternative is that “God the Father… raised him from the dead” (Galatians 1:1).

If Christ did not rise from the dead as His disciples claimed, we cannot account for the complete transformation of these men who had been cowering behind closed doors for fear of the Jews. Their radiant joy and fearless witness is testimony of His transformation.
You ask me how I know He lives?
He lives within my heart.
(A.H. Ackley)

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