The Fact of the Resurrection
Without the resurrection there could be no salvation. Christ predicted His resurrection many times. He said on one occasion, “For as Jonah was three days and three nights in the whale’s belly; so shall the Son of man be three days and three nights in the heart of the earth” (Matthew 12:40). As He predicted, He rose!
There are certain laws of evidence which hold in the establishment of any historic event. There must be documentation of the event in questions made by reliable contemporary witnesses. There is more evidence that Jesus rose from the dead than there is that Julius Caesar ever lived or that Alexander the Great died at the age of thirty-three. It is strange that historians will accept thousands of facts for which they can produce only shreds of evidence. But in the face of the overwhelming evidence of the resurrection of Jesus Christ they cast a skeptical eye and hold intellectual doubts. The trouble with these people is that they do not want to believe. Their spiritual vision is so blinded and they are so completely prejudiced that they cannot accept the glorious fact of the resurrection of Christ on Bible testimony alone.
The resurrection meant, first, that Christ was undeniably God. He was what He claimed to be. Christ was Deity in the flesh.
Second, it meant that God had accepted His atoning work on the cross, which was necessary to our salvation. “Who was delivered for our offenses, and was raised again for our justification” (Romans 4:25).
Third, it assures mankind of a righteous judgement. “For as by one man’s disobedience many were made sinners, so by the obedience of one shall many be made righteous” (Romans 5:19).
Fourth, it guarantees that our bodies also will be raised in the end. “But now is Christ risen from the dead, and become the firstfruits of them that slept” (1 Corinthians 15:20). The Scripture teaches that as Christians, our bodies may go to the grave but they are going to be raised on the great resurrection morning. Then will death be swallowed up in victory. As a result of the resurrection of Christ the sting of death is gone and Christ Himself holds the keys. He says, “I am He that liveth, and was dead; and, behold, I am alive forevermore, Amen; and have the keys of hell and death” (Revelation 1:18). And Christ promises that “Because I live, ye shall live also.”
And, fifth, it means that death will ultimately be abolished. The power of death has been broken and death’s fear has been removed. Now we can say with the Psalmist, “Yea, though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil: for thou art with me; Thy rod and thy staff they comfort me” (Psalm 23:4).
Paul looked forward to death with great anticipation as a result of the resurrection of Christ. He said, “For to me to live is Christ, and to die is gain” (Philippians 1:21).
Without the resurrection of Christ there could be no hope for the future. The Bible promises that someday we are going to stand face to face with the resurrected Christ, and we are going to have bodies like unto His own body.
from Peace with God by Billy Graham