Scripture Reading: John 20:19-31
Memory Verse: “And if Christ be not risen, then is our preaching vain, and your faith is also vain.” (1 Corinthians 15:14)
Introduction: “If a man die, shall he live again?” (Job 14:14). The significant extent of Christ’s bodily resurrection to the Christian faith is that if Jesus was not resurrected, there will be no resurrection for mankind (1 Corinthians 15:12-13). Certainly, our Savior was resurrected! All anxiety and doubt should be dispelled by the truth of God’s record of this miraculous event and by a living experience with the risen Christ.
“He is not here: for he is risen, as he said. Come, see the place where the Lord lay,” said the angel. For ages, the question has been: “If a man die, shall he live again?” This question was impressively answered in the affirmative by the genuineness and glory of the risen Christ and the conclusive truthfulness of the empty tomb.
Yes, the bodily resurrection of Christ answered the above question – man will live again; he will be resurrected, because Jesus truly came forth victoriously from the grave (even according to the “sign” of His Messiahship, Matthew 12:39-40). This question contrasts life with death and teaches that the person is not alive (conscious) when he is dead. Will the dead ever be conscious again? Will they ever live, move, or come back from the dead? Will the same personality ever exist again in the resurrection?
Of all the world’s religions, only Christianity has a resurrected Savior whose resurrection further ignited the flames of Christianity, now burning continually after twenty centuries. Had Christ not been raised and appeared to many witnesses, Christianity would have faded quickly from view as a phantom star. There would have been no martyrs to the Cause. There would have been no “Christians” for hungry lions in Rome’s arenas if Christ were dead.
There were nine appearances recorded by the evangelists who saw Him; three revealed by Paul and one in which Paul said that Jesus appeared to more than 500 brethren – all at one time! Paul said that some of these 500 were still alive to testify at the time his letter was written to the Church at Corinth (about 59 A.D., 1 Corinthians 15:3-8). In these appearances, Jesus spoke and acted as He had done before death. He ate with them; they touched Him and talked to Him, and thus, were all convinced that He was alive and bodily risen from the dead.
- What did Paul say of the Gospel and the death, burial, and resurrection of Christ? 1 Corinthians 15:1-9.
- What Scripture did Paul probably have in mind, according to 1 Corinthians 15:3 [last part]? Review briefly Isaiah 53.
- Why was Paul called in question by religious and civil authorities? Acts 23:6; 24:21-25.
- What was the logic of Paul’s defense before Agrippa? Review briefly Acts 26 [especially verses 12-19].
- What are some of the infallible proofs of the bodily resurrection of Christ? Matthew 27:66; 28:2-6; Luke 24:36-43; Acts 1:3.
- Who were witnesses of these things? Acts 3:15; 4:33; 10:41.
- According to Acts 4:1-3; 5:18-19; 7:59-60; 6:25-26, 37; 2 Corinthians 11:23-27, what type of witnesses did God choose?
- Of what great importance is Jesus’ resurrection to believers? 2 Corinthians 4:14; 1 Thessalonians 4:14; Romans 14:9; John 11:25; Acts 24:15; 1 Corinthians 15:12-19.
- Describe the ascension of our risen Savior. Acts 1:9-11. What promise was made at that time? Acts 1:11.
- Discuss Stephen’s view of Christ. Acts 7:54-56. Where was Jesus at that time?