Bible Truth FAQs


    Part I -The Bible Affirms It

The Christian hope of eternal life in Christ is based on his resurrection from the dead. If he be not risen, the resurrection story will be the most colossal hoax ever perpetrated upon the minds of men. Many reject the Christ, his divinity, and his resurrection. The Bible affirms all of these. Both the Old and New Testaments are replete with divine assurances to those who accept the Bible as the inspired word of God.

The books of gospel give record of his resurrection. David prophesied (Ps. 16:10) and Peter affirmed the fulfillment (Acts 2:31-32), adding "Whereof we are all witnesses." Paul wrote to the church at Rome (Rom. 1:4) that Jesus is declared to be the Son of God by the resurrection from the dead. To the church at Ephesus (Eph. 1:19-20) Paul further stated that the exceeding greatness of God's power was wrought toward us who believe when he raised Christ from the dead.

Christianity stands or falls on the issue of the resurrection. Consider this fact and keep it in mind as you follow the remaining parts of this series.

    Part II -His Enemies Deny It

Jesus made known to the people that he would be betrayed; he would suffer many things and be put to death, but that he would rise again the third day. Even though his disciples were slow to believe, his enemies were not. After his crucifixion the chief priests and Pharisees came together unto Pilate saying, "Sir, we remember that that deceiver said, while he was yet alive, after three days I will rise again." They requested the sepulcher be sealed to prevent the disciples from stealing his body, and their request was granted (Matt. 27:62-66).

On the resurrection morning the tomb was found to be empty. The soldiers, assigned to guarding the sepulcher as part of the security measures requested by the chief priests and the Pharisees, went and reported the happenings to the chief priests. The elders and chief priests convened for counsel, then gave large sums of money to the soldiers, instructing them to say, "His disciples came by night and stole him away while we slept." (Matt. 28: 11-15).

Even today his enemies not only deny his resurrection but also his divinity.

    Part III- The Possibilities

Since the Bible affirms the resurrection of Christ, but his enemies deny it, we should consider all of the possibilities, analyzing them so as to arrive at an unmistakable conclusion. There are four possible dispositions of Christ's physical body:

1. It remained in the tomb.
2. The enemies of Christ removed it.
3. The disciples of Jesus removed it.
4. It was resurrected from the dead by the power of God according to the scripture.

Only one of these possibilities can be true; the others are necessarily false. If three of these can be disproved, the one remaining possibility wl11 become increasingly evident that it is the truth.

Whether or not all our readers accept Christ as the Son of God, it may prove beneficial to follow the remaining parts of this series.

    Part IV -First Possibility Disproved

The first possibility is that the physical body of Jesus remained in the tomb. The Old Testament prophecies concerning the death, burial, and resurrection foretold that his flesh would not see corruption. Peter alluded to David's prophecy (Ps. 16:10) in his sermon to the Jews on Pentecost (Acts 2:29-31).

When Mary Magdalene came to the sepulcher (John 20:1-8), she found the stone rolled away, the tomb empty. She ran to report this to Peter and John, saying, "They have taken away the Lord out of the sepulcher, and we know not where they have laid him." Peter and John likewise ran to the tomb and found the grave clothes discarded, but no body.

Matthew recorded (Matt. 28:4) that through fear the soldiers on guard "did shake and became as dead men. " When they came to themselves, they reported to the chief priests and elders that the body was gone and accepted bribes to say that the disciples stole it.

As both the disciples and the enemies of Christ reported the body as missing from the tomb, enough evidence is there to show, without doubt, that this first possibility is disproved.

    Part V -The Second Possibility Disproved

As the body of Jesus was sealed in the tomb by authority of the Roman government and was guarded by Roman soldiers at the suggestion of the Jewish leaders to prevent the disciples from stealing it, in effect the body of Jesus was in custody of his enemies during the time it remained in the tomb. Logically, if anyone could have removed the body it would have been his enemies. The disciples were effectively prevented from doing so.

The Jewish leaders, Christ's enemies, were at a loss to explain the disappearance of the body from the tomb. Because of their hatred, prejudice, and envy they bribed the soldiers to say the disciples stole the body.

When the apostles were preaching the resurrection (Acts 3 and 4), the rulers had Peter and John arrested, imprisoned, and beaten, and commanded that they not "speak at all nor teach in the name of Jesus." (Acts 4:18}. If the Jewish leaders had only produced the dead body of Jesus, they could have forever silenced the resurrection story. Since they did not, it proves they could not, and therefore the second possibility is disproved.

    Part VI -The Third Possibility Disproved

The disciples were denied access to the body of Jesus because of the great stone, which sealed the entrance, and the military guard, both measures insisted on by the Jewish leaders for the express purpose of preventing access until the three days and 4 nights were past (Matt. 21:62-66).

The disciples were responsible for placing the body in the sepulcher (John 19:38-42). They requested custody from Pontius Pilate so they could prepare the body for burial “according to the manner of the Jews." If they had any intentions of keeping and concealing the body, here was a great opportunity.

When fraud and deception are exposed, all support will immediately disappear. Seldom, if ever, will a person choose to die for a cause that he knows to be a hoax. Yet all of the apostles except John were put to death because of the resurrection. Thousands of disciples likewise gave their lives for the cause of Christ. If the disciples disposed of Christ's physical body, are we to suppose that they were willing to die for something they would have known to be a lie? The absurdity disproves the third possibility.

    Part VII -The Remaining Possibility

We have examined three possibilities. Overwhelming evidence disproved the first. The enemies of Christ could not produce the dead body to put the disciples to silence. They certainly would have done so if they could, because this would have dealt the deathblow to Christianity. We have seen also how that Christianity could not have survived with the knowledge that the disciples stole and destroyed the body. This leaves us with the only possibility that can be true, and that is the resurrection from the dead by the power or God according to the scriptures.

Before his ascension Christ made some eleven appearances to his disciples. Luke recorded (Acts 1:3) that he "showed himself alive after his passion by many infallible proofs, being seen of them forty days, and speaking of the things pertaining to the kingdom of God." Paul revealed (I Cor. 15:6) that on one occasion he was seen by over five hundred brethren at once.

The resurrection gives hope for life beyond the grave. John wrote (I John 5:11), "And this is the record, that God hath given to us eternal life, and this life is IN HIS SON.” To enjoy eternal l1fe, one must be IN CHRIST!

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