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Thinking of God with Larry Sheehy: Why is Jesus' resurrection important?
Larry Sheehy mug web
Larry Sheehy

    Faith in Jesus rests firmly on the evidence for his resurrection. In the opening words of his letter to the Roman church, Paul wrote that Jesus “...was declared to be the Son of God in power according to the Spirit of holiness by his resurrection from the dead, Jesus Christ our Lord....” (Romans 1:4).

    The unwavering faith of his disciples in his resurrection contends for its reality. If he hadn’t appeared to them, they wouldn’t have had that faith. Their writings do not suggest that they were mentally unstable.

    The testimony of eyewitnesses is the most valuable of all testimony. Paul gives a list of those who saw the risen Lord, numbering in the hundreds (1 Corinthians 15:5-8):

“...he appeared to Cephas [Peter], then to the 12. Then he appeared to more than 500 brothers at one time, most of whom are still alive, though some have fallen asleep. Then he appeared to James, then to all the apostles. Last of all, as to one untimely born, he appeared also to me.”

    Following are just four of the important things about the resurrection of Jesus:

    1. It is the basis for the preaching of the gospel.

    “And Paul went in, as was his custom, and on three Sabbath days he reasoned with them from the Scriptures, explaining and proving that it was necessary for the Christ to suffer and to rise from the dead, and saying, ‘This Jesus, whom I proclaim to you, is the Christ’” (Acts 17:2-4).

    2. Jesus was glorified by it.

    “When Jesus had spoken these words, he lifted up his eyes to heaven, and said, 'Father, the hour has come; glorify your Son that the Son may glorify you, since you have given him authority over all flesh, to give eternal life to all whom you have given him'” (John 17:1-2).

    3. It delivered a death blow to Satan.

    “Since therefore the children share in flesh and blood, he himself likewise he partook of the same things, that through death he might destroy kthe one who has the power of death, that is, the devil,  and deliver all those who through fear of death were subject to lifelong slavery” (Hebrews 2:14-15).

    4. It makes possible our victory over death.

    “For this perishable body must put on the imperishable, and this mortal body must put on immortality. When the perishable puts on the imperishable, and the mortal puts on immortality, then shall come to pass the saying that is written: ‘Death is swallowed up in victory. O death, where is your victory? O death, where is your sting?' The sting of death is sin, and the power of sin is the law. But thanks be to God, who gives us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ” (1 Corinthians 15:53-57).

    Paul began this marvelous chapter about resurrection — both ours and the Lord’s — with a reminder of his previous preaching: “...I delivered to you as of first importance what I also received: that Christ died for our sins in accordance with the Scriptures, that he was buried, that he was raised on the third day in accordance with the Scriptures....” (15:3-4).

    God has included in his word the most vital truths of all history — Jesus’ death, followed three days later by the defeat of death, both his and ours.

 

    Do you believe in his death and resurrection? If not, will you carefully examine the evidence for them?

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