Why Did Jesus Rise from the Dead?
What was the reason for Jesus’ resurrection? According to 1 Peter 1:3, his resurrection provides us with at least two life-changing benefits: a living hope and the opportunity to begin anew in Christ. Let’s take a look at these twin truths—these twin promises—in the context of the New Testament’s greater message.
Raised to Provide a Living Hope
Death is a dreadful thing to experience. The majority of individuals are understandably apprehensive about their own deaths. And, since human existence is about connections, the loss of loved ones robs us of the relationships that we cherish the most in this world. Because of Jesus’ resurrection, believers of Christ do not confront death in the same way as people who have lost hope do (1 Thess. 4:13). The lines “Death has been swallowed up in victory” mark the conclusion of Paul’s monumental exposition of the significance of Jesus’ resurrection in 1 Corinthians 15.
Where has your sting gone, O Death?
- Death was eliminated and “life and immortality” were brought to light as a result of his resurrection (2 Tim.
- But what exactly is the essence of this hope, and how does it function in practice?
- 12:1–2 teaches that many Jews in Jesus’ day believed in a universal resurrection of all people that would usher in a new age at the end of time (Dan.
- “I know he will rise again at the resurrection at the final day,” Martha says to Jesus after he assures her that her dead brother, Lazarus, will live again (John 11:24).
- Even while Lazarus’ resurrection was amazing, it pales in comparison to Jesus’ resurrection.
- He got to his feet in order to return to life as it had been before he died.
- Lazarus is threatened with death right after the next chapter is finished!
The resurrection of Jesus, on the other hand, is a very other story.
The resurrection of his life brought him to a new life beyond death, to a new level of existence.
His resurrection signaled the beginning of a new era in human history.
What took everyone by surprise was that God performed for Jesus in the midst of history what the majority of Jews believed he would perform at the conclusion of history.
What took everyone by surprise was that God performed for Jesus in the midst of history what the majority of Jews believed he would perform at the conclusion of history.
Jesus is the prototype of a new humanity, the first automobile of its kind to roll off the production line in the United States.
It is the Lord Jesus Christ who will “change our humble bodies so that they will be like his magnificent body” (Phil. 3:20–21) at the time of his second coming. We have a live hope as a result of his death and resurrection.
Raised to Walk in Newness of Life
Fortunately, we don’t have to wait until we die or until Jesus comes in order to enjoy resurrection life. We are now living as individuals who are a part of the new age. The resurrection of Jesus Christ is essential for understanding what it means to follow him and be a member of God’s people. “Christ was risen in so that we, too, could walk in newness of life,” says the Bible (Rom. 6:4). What does it mean to live in the present as those who have been resurrected with Christ? Colossians 3 provides some further information.
We must fight the temptations to immorality in sexual matters, greed, idolatry, rage, and unwholesome speech, among other things.
The resurrection of Jesus also inspires us to offer sacrifices in worship.
We’ll Suffer with Him
More somberly, because we have witnessed the power of Jesus’ resurrection in the here and now, we should anticipate to share in his sufferings in the future (Phil. 3:10). The life of a resurrected person is no stroll in the park. To be resurrected with Christ implies that we must die to the way we have been spending our lives out of selfish self-interest. When it comes to love, sacrifice is required, and the ultimate triumph against sin, death, and the Devil will not be achieved until our own resurrection bodies are ready to be assembled.
This triumph, through the same Jesus Christ our Lord, should redeem all of our days; it should pardon our sins, erase our worries, embolden us to thank you and obey your will; and it should fortify us to wait for the culmination of your reign on the last great Day.
Why the Resurrection Matters
Bill Bright is an American businessman and philanthropist. Every day more and more people are taking a look – for some, a second one – at the historical figure of Jesus of Nazareth. So why do His life and teachings still create such fascination today?
What I Found in My Search
To begin with, everything about Him was one-of-a-kind, even the predictions regarding His arrival. His conception and conception of his conception and conception of his conception His whole existence. His philosophies. His works of miracles. It was his demise. And, most importantly, His resurrection. It is the most momentous event in human history. In the case of Jesus’ assertions about Himself, the legitimacy of such claims is determined by the Resurrection – whether He rose from the dead or remained in his tomb.
In the face of the evidence, however, those who are intellectually honest have been obliged to acknowledge that the Resurrection is a historical event that can be proven beyond a reasonable doubt.
A thorough investigation of the evidence has led me to a solid belief that Christ’s physical resurrection is the sole explanation for the empty tomb. Several pieces of evidence aided me in reaching this judgment.
Evidence for the Resurrection
- First and foremost, Christ foretold His own resurrection. According to what the Bible says, “From that point on, Jesus started to demonstrate to His followers that He would have to travel to Jerusalem and suffer a great deal. and be murdered, only to be risen from the dead on the third day ” (Matthew 16:21, New American Standard Bible). Even if His disciples were unable to comprehend what He was saying at the time, they were able to recall and record His remarks
- Second, Jesus appeared to His people on a number of occasions. On Sunday morning, He spoke to and comforted the mourners who had gathered outside His tomb. When He was on the walk to Emmaus, He revealed truths about Himself that He had learned from the Old Testament. Later, He ate in their presence and asked them to come close to Him and touch Him. Jesus was reportedly seen by more than 500 people at one time, according to the Bible. Those who believe that only a small number of individuals could have conspired to deceive will find it difficult to explain the participation of 500 people. Third, the disciples’ unwavering faith in the face of adversity convinces me of the Resurrection. They were the same disciples who had formerly been so terrified that they had fled their Lord, but who now bravely preached this message, risking their lives to do so. Their brave and daring actions would have made no sense unless they had perfect assurance that Jesus had been risen from the dead
- Fourth, the expansion of the Christian church serves as further confirmation of the Resurrection of Christ. People were moved to accept Christ as their living Savior after hearing Peter’s first sermon, which dealt with Christ’s resurrection. “On that day, almost three thousand persons were added,” Luke recounts the exhilarating developments (Acts 2:41). And that community of believers has grown in number to the point that it now encompasses the entire planet. Today, there are hundreds of millions of believers
- And, finally, the witness of hundreds of millions of transformed lives throughout history demonstrates the power of the Resurrection of Jesus Christ.” Many people have been freed from their addictions. The impoverished and despondent have discovered a ray of hope. Marriages that were in trouble have been repaired. The most solid evidence for the resurrection of Jesus Christ is that He is still alive and active among Christians today, manifesting all of His resurrected life and transforming power
The Resurrection distinguishes Christianity from other religions. There has been no other religious leader who has broken the power of death and vanquished sin like Jesus Christ.
Significance of the Resurrection
The Resurrection of Jesus demonstrates that He is who He claimed to be at the time of His death. Take a look at the scope of this catastrophe:
- Christ’s Resurrection demonstrated that he was truly divine. The fact that Jesus Christ died on the cross does not establish that He is God in and of itself. When Jesus rose from the dead, He demonstrated His divinity by fulfilling the predictions about His death and by appearing to the disciples. It is said in the Bible that Christ’s resurrection “confirmed him to be the powerful Son of God, endowed with the holy essence of God Himself” (Romans 1:4, The Living Bible)
- The Resurrection also demonstrated Christ’s ability to forgive sin. “If Christ has not been resurrected from the dead, your faith is meaningless
- You are still in your sins,” the Bible declares (1 Corinthians 15:17). It was through rising from the dead that Jesus demonstrated His authority and strength to free people from sin and to provide forgiveness and eternal life to those who accept His gift of salvation
- The Resurrection demonstrated Christ’s authority and capacity to defeat death. According to what the Bible says, “Christ has risen from the grave and will never die in the same way again. Death no longer has any influence on him at all ” (Romans 6:9, TLB). As a result of the Resurrection, we have gained triumph over death as well, and we have been “lifted up from the dead into glory together with Christ, where we sit with him in the heavenly realms” (Ephesians 2:6)
- The Resurrection conquered God’s adversary. From the beginning of his rebellion until the day of the Crucifixion, the devil waged a ruthless and clever campaign to bring the kingdom of God to its knees in defeat. This ancient conflict may have seemed to Satan to have reached its climax and conclusion when he struck the last blow. The devil, on the other hand, made the most grave error of his career. The Cross represented heaven’s victory. And when Jesus Christ resurrected from the dead, the power of sin and death was irrevocably destroyed. It is because of the Resurrection that Christians will never again have to fear Satan or death.
Completion of Redemption
Christ appeared to His people several times over the course of 40 days following His death and resurrection. A hilltop in Galilee was the location where He assembled His remaining 11 disciples on one occasion and gave them the Great Commission. “Therefore, go and make disciples of all countries, baptizing them in the name of the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit, teaching them to obey everything that I told you; and behold, I am with you always,” he instructed (Matthew 28:19,20). Later, on the Mount of Olives, according to the Book of Acts, He warned His followers to remain in Jerusalem until they were filled with the Holy Spirit, after which they were to spread His message across Jerusalem, Judea, Samaria, and the entire globe (Acts 1:4,5,8).
The ascension of Christ marked the culmination of the drama of salvation on earth.
The resurrection of Jesus Christ is considered to be the greatest transformative event in human history.
His life, on the other hand, has had an equally tremendous impact on the path of history in our own time.
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Bill Bright’s novel, A Man Without Equal, was the inspiration for this adaptation. All intellectual property rights are retained.
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Why Did Jesus Rise? 4 Reasons for the Resurrection
Jesus of Nazareth resurrected from the dead three days after he was executed on the cross. Moreover, when we make such a claim, we are speaking of historical fact: Jesus of Nazareth was born about 4 B.C. and lived until approximately 30 A.D. He was crucified under Pontius Pilate on a Friday, and he rose from the dead a few days later on a Sunday, making him the most famous person in the world. If you could travel back roughly 2,000 years, you would be able to see Jesus of Nazareth’s death on a Roman crucifixion and then witness him come back to life on Sunday.
This is referred to be the Resurrection by Christians.
He wasn’t a ghost in the traditional sense.
There was no great plot at work here.
But why did this happen in the first place? You may have heard that the cross and resurrection of Jesus Christ are at the heart of the Christian message, but why did he feel the need to come back to life once more? Here are four compelling arguments.
1. It Impacts What Jesus Did: His Victory Over Sin and Death
While on the cross, Jesus demonstrated his victory over sin by “cancelling our record of debt that stood against us” (Colossians 2:14). Because of our sin, Jesus died in our place, accepting the penalty that we deserved. “I am willing to give my life for my sheep” (John 10:15). On the cross, Christ demonstrated that he is capable of defeating corruption and forgiving the sins of his people. It was a success because he did something to ensure that sin would not have an indefinite hold over his people.
- However, in order to triumph over sin, Jesus not only had to die in order to take sins upon himself, but he also had to rise from the grave in order to demonstrate that sin had been finally dealt with.
- He died in the place of sinners, and then when he rose from the dead, he demonstrated that the work was actually completed (as he said it was in John 19:30).
- According to the apostle Paul, if Christ has not been risen from the dead, “your faith is worthless, and you remain in your sins” (1 Corinthians 15:17).
- Because if Jesus were still alive, he would not have been able to deal with sin on a final level; it would continue to keep him back.
- As a result of Jesus’ resurrection, those who put their faith in him no longer have the last say over their destiny.
- He comes out on top.
- He got to his feet to demonstrate that this is correct.
- It has been dealt with in the past.
2. It Displays Who Jesus Truly Is: The Lord God
In his resurrection, Jesus also made it very apparent who he was and who he continues to be. He was and continues to be God himself, with the seemingly mad ability to revive himself from the dead on his own terms. When Jesus taught throughout his earthly career, he predicted that the resurrection would take place. In one of his most audacious statements, he said that he had complete control over not just his death, but also his resurrection. “I lay down my life in order to be able to pick it up again,” he proclaimed.
- I have the authority to put it down and I also have the authority to pick it up and put it down again.
- The fact that you did it is extremely extraordinary.
- It is another to act on that power.
- To suggest, however, that you can lay down your life and pick it back up again is another else entirely.
- Is there anyone else who can predict with total certainty that he will die and then rise from the dead three days later (Mark 9:31)?
The Son of God, as well as the Lord himself, are capable (Romans 1:4). Because of this, the resurrection demonstrates who Jesus is: God himself, the real Lord of all, who alone has dominion over everything, including life and death, as demonstrated by the cross.
3. It Tells Us What’s To Come: Our Bodily Resurrection
The resurrection of Jesus also serves as a prelude to what is to come for all of us. When Jesus resurrected from the dead, the Bible declares that his resurrection marked the beginning of this new and restored creation (Colossians 1:18). Following in the footsteps of Jesus, every single individual who dies in the future will be physically resurrected from the dead. Some will then be rewarded with everlasting life, while others will be punished with endless punishment (Daniel 12:2; Matthew 25:46).
In this manner, Jesus’ resurrection serves as a prelude to what is to come for all of us.
And his resurrection reminds us that God will raise each of us on our own terms as individuals as well.
4. It Means Jesus of Nazareth Is Alive Right Now
The three reasons listed above are excellent justifications for why the resurrection is so significant. But perhaps the most straightforward and yet important aspect of the resurrection is that it demonstrates that Jesus is truly alive and well right now. God-man Jesus of Nazareth, the same Person who was born in Bethlehem and died on a Roman cross outside of Jerusalem, is still alive and well at this same moment in time. He is in the body of his resurrected self. He is the only one who can save you.
- He is “Christ, the Lord of all” and “God over all” (Romans 9:5).
- It is a way of life.
- However, this is not the case.
- He’s the genuine deal.
- He was brought up.
- The resurrection of Jesus demonstrates that we do not place our faith in some nice teacher who pretended to be God and then simply died in a kind manner.
- He has risen from the dead, and he will continue to live indefinitely.
Why is the resurrection of Jesus Christ important?
QuestionAnswer There are various reasons why the resurrection of Jesus is significant. In the first place, the resurrection serves as a testament to the great power of God Himself. Believing in the resurrection is the same as believing in God. The existence of God, and the fact that He created the universe and has authority over it, implies that He has the ability to revive the dead. If He does not possess such authority, He is not deserving of our faith and reverence. According to 1 Corinthians 15:54–55, only He who created life has the power to raise it after death, only He has the power to reverse the hideousness that is death itself, and only He has the power to remove its sting and win the triumph over the grave.
- Additionally, the resurrection of Jesus Christ is significant because it confirms that Jesus is who he claimed to be, namely, theSon of God and the Messiah.
- The resurrection of Jesus Christ, which was witnessed by hundreds of eyewitnesses (1 Corinthians 15:3–8), gives unmistakable evidence that He is the Savior of the world and that He is the Son of God.
- Throughout the Scriptures, it is said that God’s “Holy One” would never be corrupted (Psalm 16:10), and Jesus was never corrupted, even after His death (see Acts 13:32–37).
- Furthermore, Christ’s resurrection confirmed His own statements, which were that He would be risen on the third day (Mark 8:31; 9:31; 10:34).
- In truth, we have no Savior, no salvation, and no hope of everlasting life unless and until Christ is raised from the dead through the power of the Holy Spirit.
- According to John 11:25, Jesus declared, “I am the resurrection and the life,” claiming to be the source of both the resurrection and the life.
- Jesus does more than just provide life; He is life itself, and as a result, death has no control over Him at all.
We who believe in Jesus Christ will personally experience resurrection because, through the life Jesus provides, we have triumphed over death and are no longer bound by it.
In the New Testament, Jesus is referred to be “the firstfruits of those who have fallen asleep” (1 Corinthians 15:20).
According to the Christian faith, the resurrection of Jesus Christ is significant because it serves as a witness to the resurrection of human people, which is a fundamental belief.
Every other religion was formed by men or prophets, and their ultimate destination was the tomb.
The grave was unable to contain Him.
The Word of God promises the resurrection of the believer at the second coming of Jesus Christ for His church, which occurs during the rapture.
“Where has your sting gone, O Death?” (See Hosea 13:14 for further information.) Because of the significance of Christ’s resurrection, it has an influence on our current service to the Lord.
You should always give your all to the Lord’s work because you know that your toil in the Lord will not be in vain” (1 Corinthians 15:58).
A thousand Christian martyrs have given their lives in exchange for everlasting life and the hope of resurrection because of the resurrection of Jesus Christ throughout history.
According to the Scriptures, Jesus Christ died, was buried, and rose from the dead on the third day (1 Corinthians 15:3–4).
According to 1 Thessalonians 4:13–18, the dead in Christ will be raised up, and those who are alive at the time of His return will be transformed and given new, glorified bodies.
It demonstrates who Jesus is.
It demonstrates that God possesses the ability to revive us from the grave.
It ensures that the bodies of people who place their faith in Christ will not perish but will be raised to eternal life in the presence of the Lord. Questions regarding Salvation (return to top of page) What is the significance of the resurrection of Jesus Christ?
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3 Reasons the Resurrection Matters
Along with Jesus’ death, the resurrection of Jesus is considered to be the most important historical event in the history of the Christian religion. Christianity would not exist if it were not for the resurrection. According to St. Paul, “if Christ has not been resurrected from the dead, our preaching has been in vain, and your faith has been in vain” (1 Corinthians 15:14). I identify as a Christian because I believe in the resurrection of the body from the dead. Following his horrific death on a Roman crucified on a Friday afternoon in 30 A.D., I am sure that Jesus of Nazareth arose from his tomb on Sunday morning after having died on a Roman cross on a Friday afternoon.
- However, if it is accurate, it will go down in history as the most significant event in human history.
- If you haven’t already, I hope you will take the time to consider the evidence for yourself.
- Please consider the following three examples of how Jesus’ death and resurrection are highlighted in the New Testament.
- The resurrection of Jesus signifies that his atoning death on the cross was adequate, and as a result, our sins may be forgiven.
- After three days of fasting and praying, Jesus rose from the dead, making it clear to those who heard the news that God was completely happy with his Son’s sacrifice.
But, as a result of his vindication, we are also vindicated.
God “raised” Jesus from the dead on Pentecost, “freeing him from the pain of death, because it was impossible for death to maintain hold of him,” as Peter said that day (Acts 2:24).
The resurrection, on the other hand, signifies that Jesus not only beat death for himself, but that he also defeated death for us as well.
However, as Paul explains, “Christ has really been resurrected from the grave, and with him the firstfruits of those who have been asleep.
For just as everyone dies in Adam, so too will everyone be brought alive in Christ” (1 Corinthians 15:20-22).
Lewis, maybe more than any other author, has expressed this sentiment more eloquently.
He is the ‘first fruits,’ the ‘pioneer of life,’ as the saying goes.
He has confronted, fought, and defeated the King of Death on more than one occasion.
This marks the beginning of the New Creation, and with it, the beginning of a new chapter in the history of the universe.
This is both personal and very uplifting to me at the same time.
I have a child who has Type 1 diabetes and needs to take at least four insulin injections every day to stay healthy.
Nevertheless, I believe that because of the resurrection of Jesus, I will one day have 20/20 eyesight, my kid will never require another shot, and my mother will recognize me once again.
The resurrection of Jesus demonstrates that the material world is important.
The rising Jesus was not a phantasm or a ghost, but a real being who ate breakfast and was made of flesh and bone like everyone else (seeLuke 24:36-43andJohn 21:10-14).
The resurrection demonstrates to us that matter does matter.
Despite the fact that we are still waiting for the full completion of new creation, the Scriptures teach that the same force that resurrected Jesus from the grave is currently acting inside us (Ephesians 1:19-20).
In addition to being the Lead Pastor of Fulkerson Park Baptist Church, Brian G.
Brian and his wife Holly have four children and reside in the city of South Bend, in the United States.
Notes at the end N.
Wright’s The Resurrection of the Son of God (Christian Origins and the Question of God, Volume 3) is a classic work on the subject of resurrection (Minneapolis, MN: Fortress, 2003).
Miracles, by C. S. Lewis (New York, NY: HarperCollins, 1947), pages 236–237. “Seven Stanzas of Easter,” by John Updike, published inTelephone Poles and Other Poems (Random House, 2013).
Why did Jesus Rise on the Third Day?
Derek Hiebert contributed to this article. 1 year ago today
Why did Jesus Rise on the Third Day?
As a matter of tradition, Christians have commemorated the resurrection of Jesus Christ on a Sunday, three days following the commemoration of his crucifixion on Good Friday. This three-day chronology is based on a number of allusions in the New Testament to the Old Testament. Many times, Jesus foretold it, and the apostles included it in their delivery of the gospel message as well (see footnote references). However, why did Jesus’ resurrection take place three days after his death is a mystery.
Is the third day only a coincidental, insignificant element put on to the story of Jesus’ death and resurrection?
The Third Day Matters
Timing is extremely important for Jesus and his apostles because it has significant theological ramifications. When it comes to biblical story, the three-day timeframe is important because it represents the one-of-a-kind day on which God creates new life and activates his covenant with mankind. How did the writers of the New Testament get at this conclusion? After all, the Hebrew Scriptures have a constant “third day” design pattern, which Jesus and the New Testament authors are using as a model.
The Third Day Pattern in the Hebrew Bible
The passages Jonah 1:17 and Hosea 6:1-2 in the Hebrew Scriptures are among the clearest illustrations of third-day resurrection in the whole Bible. Jesus used Jonah’s three days in the belly of the huge fish as a metaphor for his own three days in the belly of the great fish. The prophet Hosea predicted that God’s reviving operation for Israel would take place on the third day. While these are important passages to study, the pattern of resurrection on the third day is established far earlier in the tale of Jesus.
The creation narrative in Genesis 1 and Abraham’s test in Genesis 22 both begin to develop a pattern of new life emerging on the third day.
The First “Resurrection”
What is the location of the initial glimpse into the three-day significance? The first page of the Bible. The creation story in Genesis 1 is written in the style of a poetry, with repeated declarations and parallelism between events. Within the rhythm of these repeats, two events in the creation tale stand out as particularly noteworthy, each occurring at a three-day interval and occurring at different points in the narrative. During the first “third day,” God creates dry ground and enables flora to emerge from the soil, including plants that produce seeds as well as trees that give fruit for human use (1:11-13).
The second “third day” event occurs on the sixth day of creation, when God produces animals and human beings for the first time (1:24).
Humans were produced from the dust of the earth, according to what we learn later in the book (2:7).
Take note of the parallels between humans and trees: both are newly generated from the ground (2:7, 9), both carry seeds and produce fruit (1:11, 28; 3:15), and both are made in this manner on the third day of creation.
One thing that distinguishes people from other animals, however, is that they are created in God’s image, and that God enters into a covenant with human beings, blessing and instructing them in their behavior.
A Pattern Emerges
There are three major characteristics of the “third day” events in Genesis 1 that serve as a template for subsequent events:
- God brings new life where there was once only death (1:11-13
- God establishes his covenant with the creatures he has newly created, in this case humans (1:28-29)
- God creates new life where there was once only death (1:11-13
- 26 In Eden, which we understand to be a lofty site from which a river runs out (2:10-14), the event takes place.
It is impossible to emphasize the significance of this picture and pattern, since it serves as a precedent for future resurrections to come.
Abraham’s Test on the Third Day
Is there any other place where this pattern can be found? Abraham is put to the test by God in yet another “third day” occurrence, which is one of the most interesting events in all of Scripture (Genesis 22:1-19). When God commands Abraham to present his only son Isaac as a burned offering on a mountain, the Bible states that Abraham spotted the location from a distance on the third day and proceeded to complete the test (22:4). God wants Abraham to learn to put his confidence in him when it comes to the covenant and the blessing of offspring in this scenario.
The connection to the “third day” concept is established in this passage by a strikingly dramatic act of atonement on the part of God, in which he substitutes a ram for Isaac (22:13-14).
On the third day, we notice the same trend as we did on the first:
- God working to bring fresh life, in this case to Isaac by his life being spared and to Abraham with the return of his son (22:11-14). (Genesis 22:17-18) God confirms his bond with Abraham, using language and ideas identical with Genesis 1:28
- (22:2, 14) This event takes place on the summit of a mountain.
Israel’s Third Day at Sinai
At a critical moment in the Bible’s narrative, we discover still another occurrence taking place on the third day. With his people just delivered from decades of tyranny in Egypt, Yahweh is on the verge of entering into another covenant with Israel, this time on a mountaintop (Exodus 19:2-3). God makes it clear that he will descend to Mount Sinai in the presence of all of the people on the “third day” mentioned above. This time is a test for Israel, just as it was for Abraham. Their preparations for entering into covenant with God are to be completed by the “third day,” when they will be ready (Exodus 19:9-16).
As a result of what we’ve seen so far with “third day,” we should have come to assume a specific pattern, which we’ve now witnessed yet another time:
- It is God who brings about new life for his people — in this case, new identity for Israel — just as he did at the creation and with Abraham and Isaac (19:4-6)
- God enters into covenant with his people, specifically Israel (19:4-6)
- God accomplishes all of this on a mountain (19:2)
- And God accomplishes all of this on a mountain (19:2).
And that is exactly what we see in the tale! The rest of Israel’s experience in the Hebrew Scriptures, on the other hand, is defined by rebellion and disbelief, as well as a failure to fulfill their half of the agreement. This leads us back to the prophetic texts that refer to the third day, such as Hosea and Jonah, which we discussed before.
Hosea’s Hope, Jonah’s ‘Resurrection’
By returning to these prophets, we get a more complete picture of the “third day” and the tremendous imagery of resurrection that it evokes, as well as its relationship to God’s covenant with Abraham. A typical prophetic phrase for repentance toward covenant integrity is “return to Yahweh,” which Hosea uses to exhort Israel to do, and he also provides them hope in the form of resurrection language (Hosea 6:1-2). This restoration to the covenant will be marked by a renewal of life, as well as our resurrection as a people into the life of Yahweh, which will take place on the “third day,” in accordance with our pattern.
In many respects, the story of Jonah and his failure is a metaphor for the story of Israel. God, on the other hand, does not give up on him or his people. In the third day, he vomits Jonah out of the fish, bringing him back to life in one of the most bizarre “resurrections” recorded in the Bible.
Jesus Predicts a Third Day Resurrection
In the Gospels, we find Jesus speaking of a third-day resurrection while he is discussing his death with his followers, which leads us to believe that he would rise from the dead on the third day. In fact, he refers to “three days” a total of 21 times! By now, you’ve undoubtedly figured out that this was not a coincidental choice of words. It is on the third day that Jesus was adamant, since it signifies God’s initiative in the creation of new life and the establishment of a covenant with mankind.
- Specifically, God raises fresh life from the earth (tomb), in this case, Jesus. God acts to bring about the new covenant via Jesus’ atoning death and resurrection, which in this case is for the benefit of everyone who believe in him. The act of atonement performed by Jesus takes place on a hill.
With the imagery of new life coming up from the earth in Genesis 1-2 on the third day, combined with the connection to the divine covenant found throughout the Hebrew Scriptures, the imagery of Jesus’ resurrection paints a striking picture of the theological importance of his resurrection. The significance of Jesus’ resurrection is underscored even further on the third day. It is the culmination of God’s mission of new life and covenant, which has been brilliantly represented since the beginning of time, and which will culminate in the future resurrection of Jesus’ disciples and the restoration of the entire universe at the conclusion of time.
So what does this mean for us?
This year, as we commemorate the resurrection of Jesus on Easter Sunday, we are not just carrying on a centuries-old tradition. We are engaged in a profoundly important theology centered on the third day, with all of the implications of God’s redeeming work that it entails, at this time. The design pattern for the third day serves as a reminder that God has begun the process of reviving individuals to new life and bringing them into his covenant partnership with them. What role are we going to play in it today?
What Skeptical Scholars Admit about the Resurrection Appearances of Jesus
On June 26, 2000, the television network ABC broadcasted a documentary titled The Search for Jesus. Peter Jennings, the network’s most prominent news anchor, conducted interviews with liberal and conservative experts of early Christianity to learn more about what we may learn about Jesus’ life, death, and resurrection from historical records. The series came to a close with a powerful speech from New Testament scholar Paula Fredriksen, who is not herself a Christian. In response to questions about Jesus’ post-Resurrection appearances, Fredriksen stated, “I know that what they saw was the risen Jesus in their own words.” That’s what they claim, and then all of the historical information we have afterwards confirms their belief that this is exactly what they witnessed.
- I was not present.
- But, as a historian, I’m confident that they must have witnessed something significant.
- Fredriksen is not the only one who believes that these followers must have witnessed something unusual.
- This is what sparked the birth of the world’s most populous religion.
Two thousand years later, the message of Jesus’ death and resurrection is being preached by billions of Christians in almost every country and in nearly every language spoken on the face of the planet Earth. What exactly did all of these eyewitnesses witness?
A Bedrock Confession
Following the death and resurrection of Jesus, according to the earliest source we have for the event, a hidden pearl contained inside 1 Corinthians 15, Jesus appeared to a number of individuals and organizations, as well as at least one adversary. According to practically all experts, this creedal tradition goes back to a period of five years after Jesus’ death on the cross. We can trace our lineage back to the early years of the Christian movement in Jerusalem, to the foundational confession of the very first disciples of Jesus, thanks to the use of this source.
- After then, he appeared to more than five hundred of the brothers and sisters at the same time, the vast majority of them are still alive, but some have passed away, according to the records.
- There is no other inventory of Resurrection appearances like this anywhere else in the New Testament, or even in all of ancient literature, to compare.
- As well as this, we discover that Jesus appeared to three groups of people: the Twelve (excluding Judas), more than 500 early followers, and the entire assembly of apostles.
- When Paul indicates that the majority of them are still alive, he takes a risk with his reputation and puts it on the line.
- The fact that reliable eyewitness testimony to the risen Jesus was easily accessible in the decades following his resurrection might be seen as evidence of this.
- Mary Magdalene also fits on the list of important eyewitnesses because she, like the other eyewitnesses, was easily accessible to be questioned about her encounter with the resurrected Jesus after his resurrection.
Ehrman in his book How Jesus Became God, that Mary Magdalene “enjoys such prominence in all of the Gospel Resurrection accounts, despite the fact that she is almost missing anywhere else in the Gospels.” In the whole New Testament, she is mentioned just once in connection with Jesus during his public ministry (Luke 8:1–3), yet despite this, she is always the first to report that Jesus has been risen from the dead.
What is the reason behind this?
It was bestowed to Mary Magdalene the distinction of being not only the first person in history to view the resurrected Jesus, but also the first person in history to announce, “I have seen the Lord!” (See also John 20:18.) Whatever it was that these eyewitnesses witnessed changed their lives to the point that they were prepared to suffer and die as a result.
On his excursions around the Roman Empire, he was beaten, imprisoned, stoned, hungry, and lost at sea, and he was always in risk of being attacked by every kind of evil.
For example, Peter was nailed on a cross. James had been stoned. Paul was executed by beheading. Whatever it was that they witnessed was worth risking their lives for. They sealed their testimony with the blood of their victims.
The Magic Wand of ‘Mass Hysteria’
In order to explain away these Resurrection appearances, some scholars have speculated that the eyewitnesses were merely hallucinating. In his excellent bookResurrecting Jesus, New Testament scholar Dale Allison surveys the available scientific studies and literature on hallucinations. In documented cases, he concludes, there are four things that do not happen (or rarely happen) (or rarely happen). First, hallucinations are rarely seen by multiple individuals and groups over an extended period of time.
- Third, hallucinations haveneverled to the claim that a dead person has been resurrected.
- (We could also add the fact that hallucinations typically aren’t known for launching global movements or world religions.) Yet in the case of the resurrection appearances of Jesus, every last one of these rare or seemingly impossible circumstances has come to pass.
- The apologists for the faith say that the sightings of Jesus must, given the reports, have been objective.
- And dozens over an extended period of time?
In the face of such a compelling historical record, the only alternative option offered by credible experts is some form of “I don’t know.” “That Jesus’ followers (and later Paul) had Resurrection experiences is, in my opinion, a fact,” argues noted New Testament scholar E. P. Sanders in The Historical Figure of Jesus. “That Jesus’ followers (and later Paul) had Resurrection experiences is, in my opinion, a fact.” “I have no idea what the reality was that gave rise to the experiences.” Jordan Peterson, a well-known professor of psychology at the University of Toronto, is also included in this group of individuals.
Upon being questioned explicitly if Jesus had truly arose from the grave, Peterson said, “I’d need to think about it for approximately three more years before I’d even attempt a response beyond what I’ve already said.” The cautious-point agnostic’s of view is one that ought to be heard.
Nonetheless, if someone with an open mind and heart, such as Peterson, pursues the evidence wherever it goes, I am confident that he will find himself at Jesus’ feet, saying with Thomas, “My Lord and my God!” (See also John 20:28.)
The remarkable character of Jesus’ resurrection reminds me of a moment from Shakespeare’sHamlet, which is one of my favorite scenes in all of literature. The play starts with the “wondrous weird” apparition of Hamlet’s deceased father to Bernardo and Marcellus, and then to Hamlet’s friend Horatio, which are described as “wondrous odd” in nature. As the skeptic of the group, Horatio is challenged by Hamlet to reconsider his skepticism about supernatural events in the following exchange: But this is amazing weird!
- In any case, as a stranger, please accept my greetings.
- When Shakespeare communicates via Hamlet, he is advising us to be prepared for the unthinkable.
- It is, without a doubt, marvelous and weird that the ghost of Hamlet’s father is coming to people, but do not dismiss it just on the basis of this fact.
- Everything in our magnificent planet (and beyond) is happening at a faster rate than you can possibly fathom.
- The ancient world, as well as present times, should be viewed with an open mind when miraculous claims are made.
The most crucial question to ask about any miracle claim is, “What proof do you have to back up your claim?” After all, even from the most critical researchers’ perspective, we have seen that the weight of the historical evidence attests that a large number of persons and groups thought they had seen the rising Jesus.
What makes you think they’re lying?
Moreover, we may go beyond the first century to discover how believing in the Resurrection lay the groundwork for all of Western civilization, inspiring some of the world’s greatest works of art and literature as well as works of music, film, philosophy, morals, and ethics.
And if all of that isn’t enough, let our Horatios look around at the billions of people all across the globe who are willing to attest to how the living Christ has altered their lives right before their eyes.
They have discovered in Christ all of the treasures of wisdom and understanding that can be found.
They are looking for it in you.
Before Easter goes away into the shuffle of regular life, ask your neighbor: What (or who) did all those witnesses witness and how did they perceive it?
This is indeed a wondrous strangeness!
Justin Bass is a professor of New Testament at Jordan Evangelical Theological Seminary in Amman, Jordan, where he lives with his wife and children.
[This article is also accessible in the following languages: Espanol and Portuguese.]