Many theories and lies have been advanced throughout the centuries concerning the death and the bodily resurrection of Jesus. Discovered tombs and ossuaries near Jerusalem are supposed to have contained the remains of the body of Jesus. What is fact and what is fiction? With that question in mind, let’s consider some of the facts of the resurrection on that first Easter morning.
The Old Testament Fulfilled
The fifty-third chapter of Isaiah is well known for its vivid and clear description of the suffering and death of the Messiah. Seldom is that section of Scripture thought of in connection with the resurrection—but the resurrection of Jesus is clearly promised by Isaiah in those verses.
For example, speaking of Jesus, the Suffering Servant, the LORD promises through Isaiah: “He shall see His seed, He shall prolong His days!”
Thus, for hundreds of years God had promised that Jesus would not only die on the cross “numbered with the transgressors” and give His soul as “an offering for sin” through death, but also that Jesus would also live again to see the results of His work!
Old Testament prophecy concerning the resurrection of Jesus confirms our confidence in the fact of the resurrection—both His and ours!
The Words and Promise of Jesus
The resurrection of Jesus not only fulfilled Old Testament Bible prophecy but also fulfilled the very words of Jesus Himself.
Throughout His earthly ministry Jesus spoke both to His disciples and even to the unbelieving Jews about His approaching death and coming resurrection.
He made it very clear to all people what His purpose was. When the Jews asked for a sign, Jesus compared Himself to the prophet Jonah, saying, “For as Jonah was three days and three nights in the belly of the great fish, so will the Son of Man be three days and three nights in the heart of the earth” (Matthew 12:40).
The words of Jesus recorded in Scripture confirm for us the fact of the bodily resurrection. He promised that He would rise again. He assured them that He would be victorious over death.
The Power of Jesus over Death
Perhaps the reason why there are so many theories surrounding Jesus’ resurrection is because a resurrection from the dead defies human experience. Wherever we look, we see things dying, and none of us has witnessed a person rising from the dead.
Although resurrection to life just isn’t logical, throughout Jesus’ earthly life and ministry He proved that He had power over death.
Jesus crashed every funeral He attended.
He demonstrated His power over death by restoring life to the young daughter of a Jewish synagogue official named Jairus by simply saying, “Little girl, arise.” In the city of Nain He also raised to life a widow’s only son. He also called His friend Lazarus forth from the grave after He had been dead for four days.
Much, much more…
Is the bodily resurrection of Jesus fact or fiction?
Consider the facts:
- We have the prophecy of the Old Testament Scriptures;
- We have the promise of Christ Himself;
- We have the fact that Jesus demonstrated His power over death.
And there is more: there is…
- the declaration of angels (Luke 2:10-11);
- the empty tomb (John 20:1-10);
- the eyewitness testimony of many of the followers of Jesus who heard Him speak as none other could (Luke 24:13-35);
- and the confirmation of the disciples themselves who saw Him perform miracles that only He could (John 21:1-8).
The bodily resurrection of Jesus was confirmed to the disciples and it is confirmed for us.
This shall be my confidence!