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Infallible proofs of Jesus’ resurrection (IV)

So far in this series, I’ve discussed the following proofs of Jesus’ resurrection: the testimony of Jesus himself before his death, Bible prophecy, the conviction of the church about Jesus resurrection and the preaching of it to counter the propaganda and lies that he didn’t resurrect and the empty tomb which even the religious leaders testified to though feebly claiming that Jesus’ body was stolen. 

Last week, I began to talk about the eye witnesses mentioned in the Bible which include Mary Magdalene, Mary Magdalene, Mary the mother of James, and Salome, Peter, the ten disciples, the eleven disciples and the two disciples on their way to Emmaus.

There are still other eye witnesses I want to talk about.

(i)The seven disciples: Jesus showed himself again to another set of his disciples – seven of them by the sea where they had followed Simon Peter to go fishing, and Jesus had breakfast with them. John 21:2 gives us the list of these seven disciples – Simon Peter, Thomas called the Twin, Nathanael of Cana in Galilee, the sons of Zebedee, and two other disciples whose names were not mentioned.  

It must have been another memorable encounter for these disciples who might also have been there during his other appearances after his resurrection. John ended that narrative by saying, “This is now the third time Jesus showed Himself to His disciples after He was raised from the dead.” (John 21:14 NKJV) Did you see that? That occasion was the third time Jesus was appearing to his disciples after his resurrection – that should have convinced any disciple still having any doubt.

 

(ii)Over five hundred followers: In Paul’s narrative on the eye witnesses of Jesus resurrection, he mentioned five hundred people who saw at once the resurrected Lord. “After that, he was seen by more than five hundred of his followers at one time, most of whom are still alive, though some have died by now.” (1 Cor 15:6 NLT) The Bible does not tell us when this incident took place but at the time Paul was speaking, some of those witnesses were alive.

(iii)All disciples during his ascension: Jesus also appeared to all his followers at Mount Olivet before his ascension to heaven. This was his final public appearance. 

Acts 1:9-11 says, “Now when He had spoken these things, while they watched, He was taken up, and a cloud received Him out of their sight. And while they looked steadfastly toward heaven as He went up, behold, two men stood by them in white apparel, who also said, ‘Men of Galilee, why do you stand gazing up into heaven? This same Jesus, who was taken up from you into heaven, will so come in like manner as you saw Him go into heaven.’” (NKJV) 

These disciples became powerful witnesses of Jesus after they received the baptism of the Holy Spirit, and the apostles in particular boldly preached his resurrection which they couldn’t deny took place because they saw the risen Lord. (X) Paul: In 1 Cor 15:8, Paul mentioned his name last as one of the witnesses that saw Jesus after his resurrection as evidence that his resurrection wasn’t a lie; it was real.   

Although Paul only got converted after Jesus has ascended to heaven, and after the early church had begun, he had the privilege of Jesus appearing to him. Jesus appeared to him on the way to Damascus where he was converted. “And Ananias went his way and entered the house; and laying his hands on him he said, ‘Brother Saul, the Lord Jesus, who appeared to you on the road as you came, has sent me that you.’” (Acts 9:17 NKJV) 

In view of his personal experience, Paul was convinced beyond all propaganda and lies that the same Jesus who was crucified was the person that came out of the grave alive – he had incontrovertible evidence. And he preached that gospel of the risen Savior with holy passion. Though not a follower of Jesus when he was doing his ministry on the earth, he had no reason to doubt that he resurrected. The persecutor of the saints became the proclaimer of the Word. That wouldn’t have been possible if Paul was not convinced by the evidence he had.

(XI)James, the half brother of Jesus. James didn’t believe Jesus, his brother, was the Messiah during his earthly ministry. He was converted after his death and resurrection and became the leader of the church in Jerusalem. Giving further list of those who saw the resurrected Jesus, Paul said, “After that He was seen by James, then by all the apostles.” (1 Cor 15:7 NKJV)   

       John 7:5 said, “For even His brothers did not believe in Him.” (NKJV) James was one of the brothers being referred to here. “Is this not the carpenter’s son? Is not His mother called Mary? And His brothers James, Joses, Simon, and Judas?” (Matt 13:55 NKJV) James didn’t believe his brother, Jesus, while he was doing his ministry, and there was no reason for him to believe him after his death. What convinced him was his resurrection. He knew he was killed and was buried but he saw him thereafter so he began to believe that indeed he was the Messiah.  James believed and Acts 15:13 shows James as leader of the church in Jerusalem.

Conclusion:  Do you believe that Jesus died and resurrected?  Are you convinced that Jesus resurrected from the dead, and is alive for ever more?  The proofs you have read are infallible but you determine what you believe. 

I believe in the resurrection of Jesus Christ. I believe he is alive forever more. No propaganda, no theory, no philosophy can convince me otherwise.  “Now if Christ is preached that He has been raised from the dead, how do some among you say that there is no resurrection of the dead? But if there is no resurrection of the dead, then Christ is not risen.  And if Christ is not risen, then our preaching is empty and your faith is also empty. Yes, and we are found false witnesses of God, because we have testified of God that He raised up Christ, whom He did not raise up — if in fact the dead do not rise. For if the dead do not rise, then Christ is not risen.  And if Christ is not risen, your faith is futile; you are still in your sins! Then also those who have fallen asleep in Christ have perished. If in this life only we have hope in Christ, we are of all men the most pitiable.” (1 Cor 15:12-19 NKJV)

    If you believe in his resurrection, the power of resurrection becomes accessible to you. Paul says, “That I may know him, and the power of his resurrection…” (Phil 3:10 ASV) He wanted to experience the power of resurrection which is only possible if you believe that Jesus actually resurrected. 

     Believe in his resurrection. The power of resurrection will give life to your mortal body. “But if the Spirit of Him who raised Jesus from the dead dwells in you, He who raised Christ from the dead will also give life to your mortal bodies through His Spirit who dwells in you.” (Rom 8:11 NKJV) 

For man, death is not the end. There’s going to be a resurrection – a resurrection to eternity, eternity in hell or eternity with God.  “I have hope in God…that there will be a resurrection of the dead, both of the just and the unjust.” (Acts 24:16 NKJV) For the child of God, there is resurrection unto eternity with God. What’s your decision?

 

TAKE ACTION!

 

If you’re not born again, kindly say this prayer now: “0 Lord God, I come unto you today. I know I am a sinner and I cannot save myself. I believe that Jesus is the Son of God who died on the cross to save me and resurrected the third day. I repent and confess my sins. I confess Jesus as my Lord and Saviour and surrender my life to him today. I invite Jesus into my heart today. By this prayer, I know I am saved. Thank you Jesus for saving me and making me a child of God.” 

I believe you have said this prayer from your heart. Congratulations! You will need to join a Bible believing, Bible teaching church in your area where you will be taught how to live your new life in Christ Jesus. I pray that you flourish like the palm tree and grow like the cedar of Lebanon. May you grow into Christ in all things becoming all God wants you to be. I’ll be glad to hear from you. May the Lord be with you.

 

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