The Power of Jesus' Resurrection
Dr. Christopher Sun
"...a week later His disciples were in the house again, and Thomas was with them. Though the doors were locked, Jesus came and stood among them and said, "Peace be with you!" Then He said to Thomas, "Put your finger here; see my hands. Reach out your hand and put it into my side. Stop doubting and believe." Thomas said to Him, "My Lord and my God!" Then Jesus told him, "Because you have seen me, you have believed; blessed are those who have not seen and yet have believed." (John 20:26-29)
Today we live in an age filled with both scientific wonders and potential dangers to all human lives. Some have even called our time an age of "Revolution Of Computer And Information." Others said that our time is an age of "The Explosion Of Knowledge."It does not matter how times change, human history and culture will never depart from the prophecies of the Bible. Before human beings even discovered that the earth is round, the Prophet Isaiah had indicated, 2700 years ago, that the earth is round. He said, "God sits enthroned above the circle of the earth." (Isaiah 40:22). 2700 years ago, people would not believe anything unless they saw it; but today, satellites and spaceships have taken a number of pictures of the earth and shown that to the whole world. Many generations have passed, and those who wanted to see a round earth have already departed from the world. No wonder our Lord Jesus said, "Blessed are those who have not seen and yet have believed."More than 2500 years ago, the Bible warned the world that, in the end time, before God comes back to judge the world, one of the most obvious signs is that there will be an explosion of human knowledge. The Prophet Daniel recorded in the Bible, "Close up and seal up the words of the scroll until the time of the end. Many will go here and there to increase knowledge." (Daniel 12:4) Many things in the past, of which people have said that "I would not believe unless I see", God has revealed them to the people of this generation. Yet, many still do not believe. Yes, "Blessed are those who have not seen and yet have believed."It does not matter how men's knowledge may increase, human nature is unchangeable. Sin is not changeable; pain cannot be changed: death cannot be changed. Millions of people have lived throughout history, and regardless of one's reputation, fame, wealth and power, in the end one will die and be buried in a grave. But the grave of the Lord Jesus Christ is empty! On the third day after the crucifixion of Jesus, at the break of dawn, a couple of the disciples of Jesus came and visited the grave. Suddenly there was a violent earthquake, an angel of the Lord descended from heaven and rolled away the stone. The soldiers watching the grave were so afraid of him that they shook and became like dead men. The angel said, "He is not here; He has risen, just as He said." (Matthew 28:6)Jesus Christ has risen. The Bible clearly records His resurrection, and has treated the resurrection as something that can be validated by human beings' sight, hearing and touch. After Jesus' resurrection, before He ascended into heaven, for forty days, He showed Himself to the Twelve Apostles, and then later on to more than 500 brothers at the same time, and the majority of these witnesses were still alive during the time when the Apostle Paul preached the Gospel (1 Corinthians 15:6). Christ has an actual body. He is not an illusion or just a spirit. The disciples could all see Him with their own eyes, and they walked with Him, and ate with Him. I believe that the resurrection of the Lord Jesus Christ from the dead is a true historical fact. Regarding this I have the following proofs:First, looking at the process of the crucifixion of Jesus Christ, we clearly know that His death is real. Those who gave evidence of the death of Jesus were not His friends, but His enemies who pierced Him on the side. A Roman soldier saw that Jesus was dead on the cross, pierced the side of the body and immediately blood and water came out (John 19:34). Modern medical analysis says that this is the position of the human heart. Roman soldiers were certain that Jesus actually died before they turned the body over to Joseph for burial.In addition, a big stone was used to block the entrance of the tomb, and soldiers were sent to watch the grave. It is never true that Jesus did not die, and later on woke up in the grave. Since His hands and feet were already wounded heavily by the nails, He would be unable to move about normally. He could not have single-handedly moved the big stone that blocked the entrance of the tomb. In addition, there were soldiers outside of the grave, and there were no alternate routes available. If Jesus were not truly resurrected and His form was changed afterwards, it would be impossible for Him to walk with the two disciples to Emmaus for 25 miles, speak with them, discuss with them the biblical prophecies of resurrection (Luke 24: 13-35). Jesus truly is risen.Second, on the day of the resurrection of Jesus, the disciples went over to the tomb where Jesus lay, and saw that the tomb was empty. Peter and John were among those to inspect the empty tomb. They saw the strips of linen lying there, and the burial cloth was neatly folded up in a different place. They knew of Jesus' living habits, and saw the orderliness of the tomb after the resurrection, they then believed (John 20:1-8). This also proves that no one could have stolen the body, because it is unreasonable for one to steal just the body but leave the linen and the cloth behind. Even if these were left, it would be doubtful that there was time to arrange them in an orderly fashion. Jesus definitely was resurrected.Third, the tomb was empty, and it was impossible that someone would steal the body of Jesus. The Jews heard of Jesus prophesying about Himself, that He would be resurrected on the third day. They were afraid that the disciples would steal the body, so they asked the Roman governor to send guards to watch the tomb (Matthew 27:62-66).It is impossible for either the Romans or the Jews to steal the body. If this were to happen, confusion would start and both would have to answer to the Roman Emperor ultimately. Also, when the disciples were preaching and believing that Jesus was resurrected, one could just produce the body of Jesus and make a mockery out of the disciples. But the fact is that this did not happen, which means they did not steal the body, and in turn they accused the disciples of body stealing (Matthew 28: 11-15).The disciples would not go and steal the body either. As a matter of fact, when Jesus was betrayed by Judas, all the disciples left Him and fled (Mark 14:50). Even Peter denied Jesus three times. After Jesus' death on the cross, the disciples were afraid and hid themselves (John 20:19). They all thought that Jesus was the Messiah, the Saviour, but He died and was buried. They still didn't understand why Jesus said that there would be a resurrection on the third day. Would He really rise again? They would believe it after they saw it.Suddenly they were changed. After seeing the resurrected Lord, their faith was restored. They were willing to suffer for the Gospel to the point of death. They were stoned, beaten, persecuted, imprisoned, and put to death, but even still with peace and joy! If Jesus Christ did not really rise from the dead, why would the disciples give up everything just to preach the Gospel of the Kingdom? Beginning from A.D. 64 to A.D. 305, during ten periods of great Roman persecution of Christians, thousands and thousands of Christians were martyred. If the resurrection of Jesus was not a certainty to them, would they give up their lives like this? Miraculously, in A.D. 378, the Roman Emperor finally declared Christianity as the national religion for Rome. Right up to today, many all over the world have given their lives for the sake of Jesus Christ. We are surrounded by such a great cloud of witnesses. Jesus truly is resurrected.If we can accept facts of history, then we should also accept the historical fact that Jesus Christ was raised from the dead. This is a fact that no one can change. What impact could this fact, the resurrection of Jesus Christ, have as it relates to our faith?First, because He rose again, he is making petition for us on the right hand of our Heavenly Father, and He listens to our prayers. The Bible says, "Who is he that condemns? Christ Jesus, who died - more than that, who was raised to life - is at the right hand of God and is also interceding for us. Who shall separate us from the love of Christ? (Romans 8:34-35).
Some people ask, "Do I have hope? Will God forgive me?" The love of Jesus Christ helps each one of us. What He has accomplished for us on the cross is able to save everyone who believes in Him. Jesus has taken upon Himself all our sins when He was nailed to the cross. He died for you. He bore the judgment and penalty that should be upon us. He has forgiven all your sins. If you believe in Him today, He is going to declare on the right hand side of the Father: "This person has already been cleansed by the blood that I shed on the cross. Beginning from today he will become a new person, he will be saved and will have an eternal life in the future." Are you willing to come and accept Him as your Saviour?Second, because He is resurrected, He will transform our lives into a new dimension. The Bible says we have all sinned, disobeyed God. We are separated from God so our bodies must die. But Jesus Christ was resurrected from the dead, and He has overcome death completely so that all those who believe in Him may receive eternal life. One day when He returns to judge the world, we will be resurrected from the dead, and our body shall have the same form as the body of Jesus when He was resurrected.The Apostle Paul said, "I declare to you, brothers, that flesh and blood cannot inherit the Kingdom of God, nor does the perishable inherit the imperishable. Listen, I tell you a mystery: We will not all sleep, but we will all be changed -in a flash, in the twinkling of an eye, at the last trumpet. For the trumpet will sound, the dead will be raised imperishable, and we will be changed. For the perishable must clothe itself with the imperishable, and the mortal with immortality.... then the saying that is written will come true: 'Death has been swallowed up in victory."' (1 Corinthians 15:50-54).Third, because He is risen, Jesus Christ shall give the great power of His resurrection to us. When Jesus was resurrected, He said, "All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me." (Matthew 28:18). Today if you accept Jesus as your Saviour, the great power of the resurrection of Jesus Christ shall be with you. He wants to give you strength and power to do your daily works. He is going to make you stand and be victorious.It does not matter what conditions of darkness you are in today, he wants to save you completely and help you overcome. The Bible says, "To all who received Him, to those who believed in His name, He gave the right to become children of Goa. " (John 1:12). Arise today and accept the Lord Jesus Christ as your Saviour. Today, in the name of the Lord Jesus you can rebuke Satan and break all the works of the evil spirits, so that in the Lord Jesus Christ you can have victory after victory!Fourth, because He is risen from the dead, He will live with us always. Jesus Christ watches over us. He is the eternal friend for everyone who believes in Him. He said, "Teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you. And surely, I am with you always, to the very end of the age." (Matthew 28:20).
The resurrection of Jesus Christ guarantees that there is a new meaning for us as we live in this world. Our lives will be purposeful. The Bible says, "Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation; the old has gone, the new has come!" (2 Corinthians 5:17). Even though today the world is filled with different kinds of danger and temptations, AIDS and cancer are like the black plague of the 20th century covering over the world, Jesus promised that He would be with us always to the end of the age. Thousands and thousands of believers can go to their home in heaven with joy and peace because of their faith in Jesus Christ. Many believers, prior to their death, peacefully told their families with a smile, that Jesus Christ came and welcomed them. To Christians, the death of this world is the beginning of a new life beyond. In a world like ours, who can truly keep us except for Jesus?Fifth, because He is resurrected, He is coming back to judge the whole world. The future and answer to human beings rest upon the resurrection of Jesus Christ. He will come back to be the King of this world. His Kingdom will one day rule in this place.
1980 some years ago, when the disciples stood at the place where Jesus ascended into heaven, two angels were speaking to them while they watched, "Why do you stand here looking into the sky? This same Jesus, who has been taken from you into heaven, will come back in the same way you have seen Him go into heaven." (Acts 1:11). Yes, He will descend from heaven to judge the world.None in the world can escape the final judgment of God. The Bible says, "Just as man is destined to die once, and after that to face judgment.'' (Hebrews 9:27). The Bible, from the beginning to the end, warns us that God will judge the world one day. The Apostle Peter clearly pointed out: "The Lord is not slow in keeping His promise, as some understand. slowness. He is patient with you, not wanting anyone to perish, but everyone to come to repentance. But the day of the Lord will come like a thief. The heavens will disappear with a roar ; the elements will be destroyed by fire, and the earth and everything in it will be burned up." (2 Peter 3:9-10).Jesus Christ will come back and judge, because He is resurrected. The whole Bible concludes like this: "He who testifies to these things says, 'Yes, I am coming soon.' Amen. Come, Lord Jesus. The grace of the Lord Jesus be with God's people. Amen." (Revelation 22:20-21). Some people will not believe until they see Him return, but to repent then is too late. The Bible says, "If anyone's name was not found written in the Book of Life, he was thrown into the Lake of Fire."Come now and receive Him as you Saviour. Do not wait. Ask yourself, are you truly born again? Is you name really written in the book of life? Jesus Christ told Thomas: "Because you have seen me, you have believed; blessed are those who have not seen and yet believed." Let us come to Him and pray this prayer to accept Jesus Christ as our personal Saviour:"Dear Heavenly Father, I come to you in the name of Jesus Christ. Please forgive my sins and transgressions, and cleanse me with the blood of Jesus Christ. I believe Jesus died on the cross, and on the third day, He rose from the dead. He ascended into heaven, and He will return to judge the world. Now I am willing to depart from my sins, and I open my heart to accept Jesus Christ as my Saviour. Thank you for saving me. In the name of my Lord Jesus Christ I pray. Amen."
A Servant of Christ Jesus,
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