The Resurrection of Christ

“He is not here, but is risen! Remember how He spoke to you when He was still in Galilee, saying, ‘The Son of Man must be delivered into the hands of sinful men, and be crucified, and the third day rise again’” (Luke 24:6–7).

Today, we’re celebrating the Resurrection of our Savior Jesus Christ (an event that we really should be remembering and celebrating every day). The Apostle Paul taught that the Resurrection was the key to the gospel. Without it, we would still be in our sins!

As you and your family meditate on the Resurrection of Christ and what it means for us as believers, I encourage you to read this short piece by Dr. John Whitcomb, a pioneer in the modern biblical creation movement. He offers some great insights about one of the greatest miracles recorded in Scripture.

The Resurrection of Christ

by Dr. John C. Whitcomb

The Resurrection of the Lord Jesus Christ from the dead with a glorified body is a foundational truth of the New Testament.  In fact, “if Christ is not risen, your faith is futile; you are still in your sins! Then also those who have fallen asleep in Christ have perished. If in this life only we have hope in Christ, we are of all men the most pitiable” (1 Corinthians 15:17–19).

But how can we be absolutely sure that He rose from the dead three days after He died on the Cross for our sins? Even one of the twelve apostles denied His Resurrection:  “Unless I see in His hands the print of the nails . . . and put my hand into His side, I will not believe” (John 20:25). Eight days later, Thomas saw Him in the upper room, and exclaimed,  “My Lord and my God!” (John 20:28).

But how can we say what doubting Thomas finally confessed if we haven’t seen Him as Thomas did? Our Lord gave to him—and to all men everywhere—the answer: “Because you have seen Me, you have believed.  Blessed are those who have not seen and yet have believed” (John 20:29).

This is an amazing statement! How can we believe in something so stupendous about someone whom we have not seen? The answer may come as a surprise even to many Christians. It is the same dynamic by which we can know how the world was created by God a few thousand years ago—not billions of years ago by chance through evolution:  “By faith we understand that the worlds were framed by the word of God, so that the things which are seen [i.e., sun, moon, stars, plants, animals and people] were not made of things which are visible” (Hebrews 11:3).

Many people who believe in supernatural creation by an Intelligent Designer would question this. They are convinced that the theory of evolution has been disproven by the Second Law of Thermodynamics—that everything in the universe is deteriorating in quality—and by the obvious irreducible complexity of all living things.  Therefore, they say, we don’t need to accept creation “by faith.” (See J.C. Whitcomb, Jesus Christ: Our Intelligent Designer, 2012).

But this involves a profound misunderstanding of what the Bible teaches. We are not told to take by faith what anyone says—but what God has said!  That is why “faith [in what He has said] is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence [confidence] of things not seen” (Hebrews 11:1).

But, how do we know for sure that God is speaking to us?  The first chapter of the Bible provides the answer:  “Then God said, ‘Let Us make man in Our image, according to Our likeness’” (Genesis 1:26).

Human beings are infinitely different from animals.  We have a mind, a soul/spirit, and a conscience. We have a unique capacity among all living beings on this Earth to hear God speak to us. “Gentiles . . . show the work of the law written in their hearts, their conscience also bearing witness . . . and their thoughts accusing or else excusing them” (Romans 2:14­–15).   When God spoke to our first parents, they didn’t say, “Who are you?” (See Romans 1:18–23.)

One of the special ministries of the Holy Spirit, the third Person of the triune Godhead, is to illumine our minds concerning divine realities. The Lord Jesus said of Him, “But when the Helper comes, whom I will send to you from the Father, the Spirit of truth who proceeds from the Father, He will testify of Me” (John 15:26).  Furthermore, “He will convict the world of . . . righteousness . . . because I go to My Father and you see Me no more” (John 16:8–10).  And, “when He, the Spirit of truth, comes, He will guide you into all the truth” (John 16:13).

That is how some Greek politicians in Athens, hearing the preaching of Paul (Acts 17:18), were able to believe in the Resurrection of Christ.  “When they heard of the resurrection of the dead . . . some men joined him and believed” (Acts 17:32–34).

Friend, do you believe that Christ died for our sins and rose again? Through the inspired words of the Bible, we are told that He “was declared to be the son of God with power according to the Spirit of holiness, by the resurrection from the dead” (Romans 1:4). Don’t wait until you see Him—like doubting Thomas. Believe in Him now—because your God, who created you, has told you to!

May every Christian in the world today trust the Holy Spirit to make us effective “light reflectors” for the resurrected and glorified Christ until He comes again.

I also encourage you to read Tim Chaffey’s new book, In Defense of Easter: Answering Critical Challenges to the Resurrection of Jesus, now available at a special sale price in our online store. This easy-to-understand book will equip you to answer skeptical questions about Christ’s Resurrection, the necessity of Genesis to the gospel, and more!

Find out more about Dr. Whitcomb and his ministry at whitcombministries.org.

Thanks for stopping by and thanks for praying, and have a blessed Easter.

Ken