God entered the world in Jesus Christ, whose life, teachings and miracles point to his divine nature. Yet the ultimate proof of JesusвЂ™ divinity is His resurrection from the dead.
Of all the major religions, Christianity alone bases its claim on the resurrection of its founder.
The resurrection is crucial to Christianity. According to Paul it is of first importance. If the resurrection did not happen our preaching & faith is useless, Christians are false witnesses, sins are still unforgiven, the dead have no hope of salvation and Christians are to be pitied more than all men (1 Corinthians 15:3-8, 14-19).
1. Jesus Rose from the Dead. It was difficult for his disciples to believe. There are those who do not believe Jesus raised from the dead and attempt to explain away the resurrection.
A. The disciples removed the body and pretended He rose from the dead. Why violate the teachings of thier master? Why die for a liar?
B. Hallucinations. The excitement of the disciples produced hallucinations. Some overcome with emotion and believed they saw a resurrected Jesus. Yet it is not consistent with the law of the law of hallucination:
C. Jesus never really died on the cross, but only appeared to die. Not consistent with his character.
D. The gardener moved the body. Yet, how could a single gardener overcome the guards and move the body?
E. Thieves (grave robbers) stole body. While it was common in the ancient world, why steal the body? In light of the evidence, it takes more faith not to believe in the resurrection than to accept it as true.
2. Jesus Transforms
He turned their pain into hope. These men hoped he was the one to redeem Israel. Their hearts were broken. If you need hope, you must walk with Him. He will not force or walk alongside someone who does not want him there. Listen to him and see Him for who He really is. Being with Jesus filled a longing nothing else could.
He turned their doubts to faith by turning their confusion into clarity. He turned their hearts to repentance. He turned their hearts to purpose.