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The Great Evidence that Christ is Risen

Mark Finley
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Mark Finley

Assistant to President for Evangelism at the General Conference

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  • April 3, 2021
    11:00 AM
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Christianity hangs on one question Did Jesus Christ actually rise from the dead now if Christ did not rise the Christian faith is merely a myth and elusive dream or at worst a blatant false would now merely because Christ claimed to be the Messiah does not really prove anything Josephus tells us the Jewish historian that there were at least 12 messiahs. At the time of Jesus around that time one of the most famous of these messiahs was a member of the name of Bar Kochba Bar Kochba lived in the early 2nd century about 132 a d. he led a Jewish revolt against the Romans and was successful it was an insurrection and they had a section of Palestine that really became a Jewish state in the time of the Roman Empire they printed their own coins and so just because Jesus claimed to be the Messiah did not necessarily a stablished the fact that he was the Messiah because as I mentioned there were at least 12 other messiahs beside that the thing that makes Jesus unique is not that he was crucified in 7 a.d. the Romans crucified at least 3000 people so the crucifixion was really a Roman method of torture and many other people were crucified Besides Jesus so it was not his birth that makes him the Messiah because there are many that denied the virgin birth not the miracles that he worked because there were many that claim they could work miracles not the death that he died because many claimed that they met the Romans crucified many others the single thing that establishes Christ as the Messiah is the resurrection because no other so-called Messianic think here could claim that he raised from the dead so that's the key thing Henry Morris scholar stated it well when he said the bodily resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead is the crowning proof of Christianity if the resurrection did not take place then Christianity is a false religion. If it did take place then Christ is God and the Christian faith is an absolute truth an English journalist by the name of Frank Morrison was fascinated with the life of Christ and as he began to study the life of Christ he was infected and I think that's the right word he was infected by the teachings of a number of Jewish of the English skeptics and so Frank Morrison said I'm going to look at the evidence to see whether or not from an intellectual standpoint there is legitimate proof for Christ's resurrection Frank Morris this English journalist skeptic who wrote a book called Who Moved the stone and it's one of the most powerful books on the reality of Christ's resurrection he lists that least 7 powerful undisputable arguments from an intellectual standpoint that Jesus was resurrected from the dead 1st he talks about the Roman soldiers testimony imagine this see the Roman soldiers are standing guard over that to the earth shakes the lightning flashes an angel descends from Heaven and says sung by Father call a thief the stone rolls away these soldiers fall over like the dead men. And they begin to run they run through the garden gate like drunkards they they stagger as they're running their color has left them their knees quake their stomachs are a nut they're shaking in fear for what they've just seen and as they are running they're telling other people we've seen the Lord this this Christ the one that was crucified is resurrected from the dead and they're telling others as they do word comes to pilot and pilot demands that they come to see him but before they go to sea pilot the Jewish authorities sidetrack them and these soldiers come before the Jewish authorities and they tell their story they tell the story of the resurrection the Jewish authorities bribe them and they say when you go to pilot tell him that you were sleeping now that is a that's one of 3 basic arguments against the resurrection by some of the scarlet community that the soldiers were sleeping that's rather foolish argument even a child can see through that one if you're sleeping How do you know that he's resurrected from the dead and if the end if these soldiers were sleeping the other problem is that's a dereliction of duty and immediately they would be put to death by the Roman authorities so that argument doesn't hold to the testimony of the Roman soldiers was the Jesus and Christ did rise 2nd thing that Marsland list is the Roman seal on the 2 you remember that just before Christ death. And just after his death would be more accurate to say when Joseph a very Mathieson and Nica Demas took Christ to be buried that the Roman authorities were fearful and particular the Jewish priests were fearful that somebody might take him from the tomb that the cycles would steal his body and say that he was resurrected and so what did they do the Jewish priests went to the Roman authorities and they said to them seal the to make it as difficult as possible for somebody to steal his body that's one of the greatest evidences of the resurrection the tomb was sealed not to break a Roman seal again was a crime of civil disobedience and punishable with death so if these soldiers are sleeping how in the world would they not have been awakened when the disciples supposedly came to break the Roman seal which would have put the disciples in violation of Roman law and they would have been put to death 3rd evidence is the size of the stone the stone was between a ton and a half and 2 tons and then when that stone was rolled into place it was rolled down a very gentle grade so to move the stone one would have had to push a one and a half ton stone up a very gentle grade impossible impossible forth evidences the multiple witnesses if you have a trial you have to have witnesses and when you look at the multiple witnesses of Christ's resurrection the 2 Marys Peter John the 12 disciples the 2 disciples on the mayor's Road 500 other followers these multiple witnesses testify Christ is alive. 5th really the commitment of the disciples Let's suppose the disciples made up the story for purpose of discussion would you die for a myth that you made up it's rather insensitive to say that it is these disciples made up a myth but they're willing to die for that myth the 6th great evidence is the absence of a body now just think about this one there is a theory that says The disciples went to the wrong 2 and they saw the tomb was empty that's nonsense ago because all you'd have to do is the Roman authorities and the Jewish authorities this find the right do you know where Christ was buried he was buried in the tomb of jurors of Verma Theo and the nicotine which you can easily find that or all you would have to do to prove that Christ wasn't resurrected very simply is find a body has just discovered his body and all of the nation of Rome could have easily done that the Jewish authorities could have done that the 7th reason is the rapid growth of Christianity how can you explain that a few believers that meet in the Upper Room 120 rock the world with the gospel because they are absolutely compelled to preach that Christ has risen these 7 evidences demonstrate beyond a shadow of a doubt for thinking inquiring minds that Christ is alive once we have demonstrated that then you have to ask the next question what difference does it make what difference does it make that Jesus Christ is alive to men and women living in the 21st century Well 1st Christ's resurrection is essential to our faith it's at the very heart of the Christian faith take your Bible please and turn to 1st Corinthians the 15th chapter which will be the basis of our study this morning 1st Corinthians Chapter 15. And we're looking there at verses 141517 through 19 1st Corinthians Chapter 15 we begin looking at verse 14 the point that we are making is that Christ's resurrection is essential to Christianity if you are foggy about the resurrection if that's he see in your mind it undermines the entire Christian faith 1st crewed Corinthians Chapter 15 verse 14 and if Christ is not risen then our preaching is vain and your thief is also vain the word vain there in verse 14 in the original language means empty without content devoid of truth so the text could read of Christ is not risen that are preaching is empty of content it is devoid of truth your faith has no truth in it verse 15 yes in we are found false witnesses of God because we have testified of God that he raised up Jesus whom he did not raise up in fact the dead do not rise for if the dead do not rise then Christ is not risen you see there is a group of Sajid sees the Jewish cult like you have the Pharisees and Sadducees the Pharisees were more conservative Sadducees more liberal So if you if you do away with the resurrection then you're really saying that not only did the dead not rise the Pharisees didn't believe that the dead rise rose but you're also saying that Christ did not rise and of Christ is not risen verse 17 your faith is is futile you're still in your sins but your eyes drop down out of verse $990.00 then also those who have fallen asleep in Christ of perish so he told us making the argument look if you do away with the resurrection in all your preaching is in vain everything you've taught about is in vain if you do away with the resurrection. Then in addition to that those who have fallen asleep that have died in Christ they perished verse 3019 if the envious life we have hope in Christ we have are all men most miserable Now why is that true because Jesus repeatedly declared that he would rise from the dead Jesus repeatedly declare that he would rise from the dead and if he didn't rise from the dead then he is a false messiah like the other false messiah as let's look at some a Christ statements in the book of Matthew Chapter 16 Christ was very clear there is no doubt about it you can underline it you can put an exclamation point after it you can highlight in it in yellow Christ was clear Matthew 16 verse 21 Jesus says from that time Jesus began to show to his disciples that he must go to Jerusalem suffer many things from the elders and chief priests and scribes be killed be raised again the 3rd day Jesus states it clearly that he would rise again the 3rd day Matthew Chapter 17 verse $22.00 Matthew 17 verse $22.00 verse $23.00 now while they were staying in Galilee Jesus said to them The Son of Man is about to be retrained into the hands of men they will kill him in the 3rd day he will be raised up again Jesus states that Matthew chapter 20 verse 17 to 19 you see if Christ did not rise from the dead then he is not the Messiah if you rise from the dead then he is full of false Messiah one who merely lied Matthew chapter 20 verse 17 to 19. Thank God the evidence is abundantly plain that Jesus is the Messiah the tomb is empty Christ is alive the stone was rolled away Matthew 20 verse 17 then Jesus going up to Jerusalem took the 12 disciples as a side on the road and said to them behold we are going up to Jerusalem the Son of Man will be betrayed to the chief priests and to the scribes they will condemn him to death and verse 19 and deliver him to the Gentiles to mock and scourging crucify in the 3rd day he will rise again so it is abundantly plain that Christ repeatedly declared that he would rise so what difference does the resurrection make 1st it is the very heart of Christianity it distinguishes Jesus from every false messiah 2nd according to 1st Corinthians 15 Christ's resurrection is the believers guarantee of eternal life if Christ died on the cross but did not conquer the 2 then there is no guarantee that when you and I die that we can come out of the grave alive so if Christ did not rise we lose every guarantee of eternal life and that's the way Paul reasons in 1st Corinthians 15 go back to 1st Corinthians 15 verse 20 to 22 1st Corinthians the 15th chapter verses 2222 and notice what Paul says but now Christ is risen from the dead and have become the 1st fruits of those who have fallen asleep now let's pause there why does Paul say that Jesus is the 1st fruits of those that have fallen asleep. Were there any resurrected beef from the dead before Jesus died certainly Lazarus For example Jesus resurrected from the dead a number of people and you're a member. Who came to the Schuman woman's son who died in raised that son from the dead so there were those but why is it that Jesus is the 1st fruits because Christ's resurrection was the guarantee of every other resurrection every other resurrection would look forward in faith to the resurrection of Christ. We look backward to his resurrection as hope so Christ's resurrection from the dead is the 1st fruits in the sins and that is the divine Son of God He would into the grave and he said I have Power To lay down my life and I have power to take it up again because you cannot kill divinity and so here verse 21 for sins by man came death by man came also resurrection from the dead now in verse $22.00 you have to all those that are significant for as an Adam what's the next word after Adam what's that word oh for as an Adam all die how many die in Adam all even so when Christ what's the next word all shall be made alive now in Adam all die as children of Adam as sons of Adam we inherited a sinful fall in nature as Jeremiah $79.00 says the hardest to see for above all things and desperately wicked so see in is deadly and fatal every single single one of us have a deadly mode lignin disease that dooms us to eternal death for all not one or 2 notice what it says in the text it says verse 22 and verse 2322 for as an Adam all die even so in Christ now the 1st all is universal the 2nd all is limited 2nd all is not universal because there is no universal salvation all men and women are in Adam but all men and women are not in Christ so coming to Christ we find eternal life coming to Christ we find the one who promised that in him because of his life death and resurrection we can live for ever. In Christ all are made alive there's a wonderful statement in that book on the life of Christ desire of ages speed 786787 it says to the believer to everybody to the believer Christ is the resurrection in the life in our Savior the life that was war through c.n.n. is restored for he has life in himself to quicken who me will he is invested with the right to give immortality the life that he laid down in humanity he takes up again and gives to humanity I love that statement the life that he laid down in humanity he takes up again in gives to humanity so on the cross Christ pour your guilt your shame your condemnation on the cross Christ poor at the guilt of seein on the cross Christ bore the torments of Hell itself the life that he laid down in humanity in his resurrection he takes up again and that life he gives to humanity he says I am current He said that they might have life and they might have it more abundantly we need not fear we need not go through life with our heads down discouraged we need not face life hopeless because in Jesus and by Jesus and through Jesus and because of Jesus the life that he laid down is the life that he took of and the life that he laid down and the life that he took up is the life of his resurrected life that he gives to us now the 3rd thing the 3rd reason the resurrection is so important is this Christ's resurrection. Is the assurance that one day death will be defeated if you do not have the resurrection of Christ the death becomes a dark hole in the ground the grave becomes a long night without a morning if you don't have the resurrection of Christ your last heart beat is your last heartbeat your last breath is your last breath your last polls is your last pulse but with the resurrection of Christ the grave that is conquered death is defeated 1st Corinthians Chapter 15 verse 23 to 26 1st Corinthians Chapter 15 verse 23 to 26 after Paul says in verse 22 for is an Adam all die even so in Christ all shall be made alive verse $23.00 but each one in his own order Christ the 1st fruits after those who are Christ at His coming so Christ is the 1st fruits raised from the dead he is the one who is risen from the dead. With the divine life that is within him but after those those that are after the those who are Christ at His coming then comes the end when he delivers the kingdom of God to God the Father when he puts an end to all rule authority or power or rule of what or rule of sin or authority of what all the dominion of Satan or power what the power of the grave for he must reign till he has put all enemies one of the enemies the enemies of fear worry and anxiety the enemies are sickness suffering heartache and death the enemies are murder and bloodshed the enemies are the graves in the 2 verse 25 for he must reign till he's put all the enemies under his feet and the last enemy the what letter enemy everybody the last Stephanie that will be destroyed is what death I love a little piece of prose that says this the tune could hold him no longer death is strong but life is stronger stronger than the dark stronger than the light stronger than the wrong the right thing a thin hope triumphant say Christ a rose that Resurrection Day deserve ages page 530 in Christ is life original unpowered under. The divinity of Christ is the believers assurance of eternal life he that believes in me said Jesus though he were dead yet show he live and whosoever lives and believes in Me shall never die the miracle that Christ was about to perform you know when he raised last verse from the dead would represent the resurrection of the righteous dead by his works he declared himself the author of the resurrection he who himself was soon to die upon the cross stood with the keys of death a cone purred the grave and asserted his right in power to give eternal life when Christ came out of that to the devil knew that his fate was sealed I can only imagine it that resurrection morning the sun is shining sun rises in the east painting the horizon as with a master artist's brush flaming crimson birds are singing flowers are blooming Israel is a beautiful place it's gorgeous with flowers blooming in the spring I can only imagine that scene that morning as the angel descends in iridescent glory the stone is rolled away and Christ comes out of the to the darkest hours just before daybreak it had come Christ was still a prisoner in that narrow to the great stone was still in place the Roman seal was unbroken the Roman guards were keeping their watch and there were unseen watchers host of Evil Angels gathered around that too they wanted to keep Christ imprisoned locked their. Without a heart that was beating hope well a breath that was breathing without a pulse that was pole sating hosts of Evil Angels gathered about that had it been possible the Prince of Darkness would have kept forever sealed the tomb that held the Son of God but a heavenly host surrounded that separate her angels that Selinski excel in strength regarding the 2 waiting for the Prince of life and behold the there's this great earthquake and the angel of the Lord to sins from heaven clothed with a pen a plea of God The angel left his heavenly courts the bright beams of God's Corps went before him his countenance was like lightning rain in white as snow and for fear of him the keeper shook the priests and rulers Where is the power of your guard now Stone what power do you have before the power of the Almighty God brave soldiers the never been afraid of human power are now as captives without sort of spear the face they look upon as Jesus comes out is not the face of s'more the warrior It is the face of the highest of the Lord's host Jesus comes out of that to iridescent with the glory of God the earth trembles the hosts of darkness flee the stone is rolled away heaven comes down to earth Jesus comes forth he is the resurrection and the life because he has risen we can have hope over 500000 deaths in Co vid 19 some of us have lost fathers and mothers and sisters and brothers some of us have lost husbands or wives and our hearts are heavy. We look back over this last year. And in many instances it's been a tough year tough year for many but the good news is that father that mother that sister that brother that son or daughter that sleeps in the grave one day one day Jesus will come and just as heaven saying show called Jesus forth Mary come forth John come forth Eric come forth Joe and come forth one day the graves will open one day we will see our loved ones again that have been believe or is in Christ why is the resurrection important because it is a divine testimony that death has been defeated Fourthly Christ's resurrection is the promise of hope beyond tomorrow hope beyond tomorrow probably some of the most magnificent verses in all the Bible on this our 1st Corinthians Chapter 15 verse 51 to 54. Christ's resurrection speaks to us there's something more to life there's something more than getting up in the morning and wolfing down your breakfast on the way to work hoping you'll get there on time and avoid the traffic if you're in the Washington area you know what I mean particularly if you travel down the 66 of the 495 there's something more than going to work in eking out an existence something more and having enough money to retire on in my new home in a retirement home is something more than survive because here is the truth of the matter for every one of us. If Jesus doesn't come it's going to be a last breath for every one of us if Jesus doesn't come there's going to be a last heart beat for every one of us if Jesus doesn't come there's going be a time when there is no more poles for every one of us if Jesus doesn't come there's going to be a last goodbye the last time you put your arms around your wife and say goodbye the last time you kiss your husband say goodbye the last time you hug a child who's dying and say goodbye for every one of us if Jesus doesn't come there's going to be Alaska by that's why the resurrection gives us such hope 1st Corinthians the 15th chapter verse 51 Behold I tell you a mystery we shall not all sleep but we shall be jaded in a moment in the twinkling of an eye at the Last Trumpet death according to Paul is put a sweep there is no passage of time we rest until and it's a twinkling of an eye the last trumpet for the trumpet will sound trumpets soon to signify victory trumpets signified triumph trumpets signify glory the battle has been won the war is over the conflict is finished for the trumpet will sound the dead will be raised in corruptible no more sickness suffering heartache death we shall be changed for this corruptible must put on incorruption this mortal most part in him matelote So when this corruptible has put on incorruption this mortal has put on immortality then shall be brought to pass the say. Death is swallowed up in victory Oh Death where is your sting Oh Hades of the grave where is your victory the sting of death is see in the strength of scene is the law but thanks be to God who gives us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ she was only 15 years all suddenly cast on a bed of suffering completely paralyzed on one side nearly blind as she lay there ravaged with fever shaking from head to toe sweating the doctor said to her parents as they stood by the bedside holding her hand she has seen her best days O.-Port child she doesn't have much life left in her the 15 year old girl heard the doctor and with all the strength she could muster She looked up with a faint smile and said no doctor my best days are yet to come when I shall see the king in his beauty this is our hope we won't sink into annihilation Christ rose from the dead to give us a push in rising the resurrection is the great antidote for death nothing can take its place riches genius worldly pleasures or pursuits cannot bring us consolation in a dying hour that there's one more thing about the resurrection that's absolutely critical and it almost seems strange that Paul would in the 1st Corinthians 15 this way but the more you delve into it the more you look at it you see this last verse in 1st Corinthians 15. It is like a multi-faceted diamond that you hold in your hands that the sun refracts over 1st Corinthians 15 last verse there is 58 therefore Now why did it what is that there for there for there for what's that there for there for there for since Christ is risen Therefore since the grave is empty therefore since Christ is alive therefore since death has been conquered Therefore because you have a hope to live for Therefore because you have a purpose for living therefore my beloved brother and sisters be steadfast immovable always of bounding in the work of the Lord knowing your labor is not in vain what Paul is saying is this since Christ is alive you have everything to live for and everything to die for since Christ is alive the power of the Living Christ is yours not only in resurrection power but it sure is today as you walk through life Hebrews Chapter 4 verse $14.00 to $16.00 Polis making an appeal to rock like stability in the light of Christ's resurrection the Savior is alive and in Christ divine power that's available to every believe for his ministry in the sanctuary above because he's alive can hold a steady immovable unshakable in the face of Satan stem patients Hebrews 4th chapter Hebrews Chapter 4 see Paul is arguing that the resurrected living Christ however weak you are however. Sinful You are however many times you have fallen in temptation that this living Christ has resurrected from the dead can hold you steady he can hold you in moveable Hebrews Chapter 4 verse 14 seeing then we have a high priest whose passed through the heavens Jesus the Son of God Let us hold fast our confession for we do not have a High Priest who can sympathize with our weaknesses but was at all points tempted like we are let us come boldly or confidently to the throne of grace that we may obtain mercy find grace to help in time of need what Paul is saying is the to the same thing Christ is alive and in hear him we can find strength in here we can find courage in here our frailty can become enduring might our weakness can become strength through here is eternal power the matter how weak I find myself to be Jesus is strong no matter how frail this man is Jesus is almighty no matter how many times you failed he can pick you up you can be according to 1st Corinthians 1550 it immoveable you can be steadfast Hebrews Chapter 7 verse 25 Hebrews 7 verse 25 we look there in Christ the life and his death and his resurrection and in his high priestly ministry Jesus is the Taurus over say to. Jesus says never lost a battle with Satan yet Steber is 7 verse 25 therefore he is a what is Jesus is a book you like that song he is a bow he is a bow I know my lord is a vote therefore he is able to save to the uttermost How much does he say just a little bit he saves to the what uttermost those who come to God through him why because he ever lives I serve a risen Savior he ever lives he's resurrected he is alive to make intercession for them the impact of Christ's resurrection can be summed up in one word victory victory over fear of an aimless purposeless existence see because Jesus lives I can live life with purpose Christ is alive and that makes all the difference you can sum up the resurrection one word victory victory over the fear of loneliness Christ is alive his promise never to leave us or forsake us victory over the fear of powerlessness Christ is alive and he wants to impart strength to remain steadfast and so we can remain immovable victory over the fear of hopelessness Christ is alive history's not some endless cycle Christ is alive and soon will come again victory over the fear of death Christ is a law of the 2 Miss empty and because he lives we can live our victory is signed by the blood of Christ on Calvary's cross our victory is sealed. But the resurrection of Christ our victory is supplied by the High Priest Lea ministry of Christ and our victory is secured by the 2nd coming of Christ that's something to sing about a victory that signed by the blood of Christ a victory that sealed by the resurrection of Christ a victory that is supplied by the power of Christ and a victory a victory that is secured by the glorious 2nd coming of Christ because he lives I can face what tomorrow somebody here today that you sense that you need the hope that only Jesus can give resurrection is a sign of new life in Christ maybe you need a new beginning a new beginning in your devotional life your prayer life has slipped your Bible study life it's kind of fallen by the wayside Christ as a life he gives us new life places within our heart a new desire to know him maybe you need a new beginning a new beginning in your marriage a new beginning with your kids a new beginning in some relationship Christ is a life he is the one of New Beginnings the great sign of the resurrection of course his baptism maybe this Easter weekend there are those who have been thinking about it and you're saying who are. Soon I want to walk into those waters and signify my life as a new beginning for Jesus we're going to pray that God is touching your life you may be watching. And You Tube You may be here present and maybe you're thinking I need a new life in my devotional life would you just raise your hand now I'm going to pray for you someone needs a new life in their devotional life. You've been coming to church but your per life has been slipping your bible readings been slipping you say Lord I need that new life the resurrected Christ. Maybe there's somebody here today that needs a new beginning in a relationship some relationship you just say or do I just need a new beginning with that help to make things right with somebody else make that phone call write that letter make that visit you need a new beginning in a relationship just raise your hand and pray for you. And maybe there is somebody here today that you've been thinking contemplating baptism. And use one to lift your hand and say. Soon. I want to look forward. To that new beginning at symbol of the resurrection Christ went into the grave and came out alive and I want to go in as a symbol of the cleansing of my sin and open my heart to the power the Holy Spirit in its fullness walk with Jesus a new life just raise your head I'm a pray for you. Father you see the hands you know our hearts what a joy to know resurrection of Christ what a joy to know the tomb is empty what a joy to know that Jesus is alive. What a joy to know that he's coming again that those dead loved ones that have been believes in Christ can be resurrected. We can see them again. What a joy to know that every day we can live purposeful meaningful lives because you're alive send us from this place today filled with hope may our hearts rejoice in the living Christ who is alive forevermore in Jesus' name. This media was brought to you by audio verse a website dedicated to spreading God's word through free sermon audio and much more if you would like to know more about audio verse if you would like to listen to more sermon leave a visit w w w audio verse or.

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