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1662. The Resurrection of His Body from the Tomb

The Daily Platform / Bob Jones University
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December 12, 2023 3:33 pm

1662. The Resurrection of His Body from the Tomb

The Daily Platform / Bob Jones University

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December 12, 2023 3:33 pm

Dr. Greg Stiekes continues the series entitled “I Believe,” with a message from Luke 24.

The post 1662. The Resurrection of His Body from the Tomb appeared first on THE DAILY PLATFORM.

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I believe in the inspiration of the Bible, both the Old and the New Testaments. The creation of man by the direct act of God. The incarnation and virgin birth of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. His identification as the Son of God. His vicarious atonement for the sins of mankind by the shedding of His blood on the cross. The resurrection of His body from the tomb. His power to save men from sin. The new birth through the regeneration by the Holy Spirit.

And the gift of eternal life by the grace of God. The fundamental doctrines of the Christian faith are centered around these things. That's why we have a creed. Welcome to The Daily Platform from Bob Jones University. Today we're continuing a study series based on the creed that students recite each day in chapel services, which is a summary of the doctrines of our Christian faith. Today's sermon will be preached by Dr. Greg Stikes, a professor in the seminary, and he'll be guiding us through the doctrine of the resurrection of Jesus Christ. Please open your Bibles this morning to Luke chapter 24, the last chapter of Luke's Gospel. It is a real privilege for me to preach on the topic of the resurrection of His body from the tomb on this great day, October 31st, which you know what that is, right? Reformation Day.

This is the day, historically, when Martin Luther nailed the 95 theses of the door at Wittenberg Chapel. And so it's a wonderful day to celebrate the resurrection of Jesus' body from the tomb. In this last chapter, we have Luke's account of the resurrection of Jesus from the dead. And at the end of this chapter, you notice starting in verse 33 that those who saw Jesus alive after His death are meeting together.

And with wonder and amazement, they are sharing their stories. The Lord has truly risen. He appeared to Peter.

Yes, He talked with us on the road to Emmaus. And they spoke excitedly and with anticipation. And if you go down to verse 36, it says that Jesus suddenly stood in their midst. Well, that shocked them out of their minds.

I mean, they thought that they were seeing a ghost. But Jesus calms them and assures them and shows them His physical body, His scarred hands and feet. He was their Lord and He was truly alive. Now I want you to skip down to verse 45 and I want you to see what Jesus tells them. It says that Jesus opened their understanding that they might understand the scriptures and said unto them, thus it is written and thus it behooved Christ.

It was necessary for Him to suffer and to rise from the dead the third day. And that repentance and remission of sins should be preached in His name among all nations beginning at Jerusalem. And ye are witnesses of these things. I want you to notice that Jesus calls them witnesses.

Well, He calls them the same thing in Acts 1-8 when He commissions them by saying, ye shall receive power after that the Holy Ghost has come upon you and ye shall be witnesses unto me. What is a witness? Well, when you think of the word witness, you probably think of simply sharing the gospel with someone.

Maybe sharing your personal testimony or explaining how somebody can have faith in Jesus Christ. But the word witness is actually a juridical term. It has to do with proceedings in a court of law. When a judge hears a case, those who are seeking to exonerate the defendant call forth witnesses.

A witness in this context is a person who speaks on behalf of the defendant, presenting evidence in his favor. You see, all throughout Jesus' ministry, He was on trial, both in the court of public opinion and before the condemning eyes of the Jewish religious leaders. And no matter what Jesus did, no matter what miracles, what acts of compassion He performed, they would not believe that He was the Messiah come to save them.

And so they rejected Him. They would not believe His testimony. So finally, to destroy Him, the scribes and Pharisees and members of the Sanhedrin arrested Jesus and staged a trial to find Him guilty of blasphemy. And when they had their verdict in hand, they brought Jesus before Pilate for execution on charges of insurrection. And you know, by reading the story, that neither Pilate nor Herod in Luke's gospel would find Jesus guilty of that charge. The Jewish leaders manipulated Pilate, therefore, to sign off on Jesus' death so Jesus was still condemned and crucified. So what's happening in Luke 24 and Acts 1-8 when Jesus says, you are my witnesses?

Here's what's happening. Jesus is now risen, and He summons His followers as witnesses to a court of law to go into the world and to make a case once again for who He is and what He has done by offering fresh evidence that will vindicate Him and acquit Him of all charges. What is this fresh evidence that the apostles testify to the world as they begin at Jerusalem and go to Judea and Samaria and to the end of the earth? What is this new evidence that exonerates the Lord Jesus from false charges, proving that He is indeed both Lord and Christ?

The evidence is the resurrection of His body from the tomb. And almost every instance of the word witness in the book of Acts refers to the apostles being witnesses of this new evidence. Jesus was publicly condemned and crucified for claiming that He was the Messiah, but they said, we have seen Him alive.

And now He calls upon you to embrace His death for your sins and His resurrection for salvation. When the disciples are seeking to replace Judas in Acts 1, they look for a man who is ordained to be a witness of Jesus' resurrection. When Peter preaches his sermon in Acts 2, he refers to himself and to the other apostles as witnesses of the resurrection of Jesus. In Acts 4, the Holy Spirit gives the apostles great power to be witnesses of the resurrection of Jesus. In Acts 5, the apostles declare, we are His witnesses, and they're referring specifically to the fact that God exalted Jesus in the resurrection. We see this throughout Acts. We see it in Acts 10, and in Acts 13, and in the apostle Paul's ministry, specifically in Acts 22. Now, of course, the apostles are preaching the good news of the vicarious atoning death of Jesus Christ for our sins and through the shedding of His blood on the cross.

That is the truth that Dr. Olinger marvelously proclaimed last Wednesday. But if you look carefully at the narrative of the book of Acts, the apostles are bearing witness primarily to the climax of the gospel message, the resurrection. And that's the way it is this morning for you and me if you are a believer in Christ. Jesus calls us as His followers to believe in and to bear witness to His resurrection from the dead, to boldly declare, I believe in the resurrection of His body from the tomb. Now, look, if the resurrection of Jesus is at the center of the evidence that we are called to proclaim as His witnesses, then it is important that we understand the profound implications of belief in the resurrection. So this morning, I want to impress upon you these implications of the resurrection of Jesus Christ, and there are implications that go in two directions. There are apologetical implications, and there are theological implications. So first, let's deal with the apologetical implications of Jesus' resurrection. What do I mean by apologetical? Well, a lot of you remember that in 1 Peter 3.15, he says that we should be ready always to give an answer to everyone that asks us of a reason for the hope that is within us. And when Peter says to give an answer, the word answer actually means a defense. And once again, the kind of defense you would give in a court of law. It's the Greek word apologia, an apology, not in the sense of having to rush to apologize for something, but in the sense of giving a reason for it, proving it, verifying it.

That is what we are called to do. You see, when we say, I believe in the resurrection of His body from the tomb, just like the original apostles, we are making a claim to historical reality. Jesus did not merely rise in a spiritual sense. The event of the resurrection was not a make-believe story to help invent a new religion called Christianity. Jesus was really dead, and He really came back to life in time and space. And that means there will be historical evidence testifying to that historical truth. We can't win people to Christ on the basis of merely rational arguments, but if we are unwilling to engage skeptical people with defensible arguments, we give the impression that our gospel is not defensible.

And we miss our opportunity to point them to the word of God and to the gospel itself. So here very quickly are some evidences of the historical reality of the resurrection. First of all, the majority of historians affirm that there was a man named Jesus who lived and died by Roman crucifixion. You say, you know, His death is evidence of His resurrection.

Yes, because in order for Jesus to really come back to life, He had to be really dead in the first place. Historians also affirm the evidence that Jesus' tomb was empty and the body was never produced. In all four gospel accounts, thirdly, there are women who first discover the empty tomb. Mary Magdalene, Joanna, mother of the Mary of James.

This is powerful evidence of the truthfulness of the resurrection. Do you know why? Because at that time, women were not counted as credible witnesses. In fact, women were not even allowed to testify in a Jewish court of law.

Don't be mad at me, I'm just the messenger on that note. So if the resurrection then were a hoax, if the disciples of Jesus were trying to invent a credible story, they would not have made women the primary witnesses of their lie. Nobody would have believed them. So the prominence of women in the story is to any critical historian a piece of evidence that argues strongly for the truth of the account. Fourthly, there is also much historical evidence that the disciples really believed that they were in the presence of the risen Lord after His death.

Not a hallucination, not a vision. Then there's the conversion of Paul, which historians still puzzle over how a first century Jewish Pharisee, rabbinically trained, could turn from a persecutor of those who believed in Jesus to a defender of the resurrection. And that he could be so persuaded by the truth of the resurrection that he would be willing to suffer and to die for that claim. And when you read his letters, it's obvious that he's not a lunatic. He's a brilliant reasoning theologian who really believed that Jesus was alive and had appeared to him.

The next proof is very fascinating to me. The fact that the claims about the bodily resurrection of Christ come seemingly out of nowhere. You see, modern historians explain all religion by means of evolutionary development. Judaism is merely a version of ancient Near Eastern pagan religion, they will argue. And Christianity is just a conflation of Jewish and Greek Hellenistic ideas. But in this line of secular thinking, there is no good explanation, then, for why the early followers of Jesus believed that the Lord came out of the tomb with a powerful physical resurrection body. Paganism held that once the soul left the body, the two would never meet again. Judaism believed in a resurrection, but they believed that the resurrection would only be at the end time, and the body would simply return to its former state. But nothing, not in pagan thinking nor in Jewish theology, is consistent with the kind of resurrection you find in the New Testament.

The kind the early church proclaimed. That explanation of the resurrected body comes out of nowhere. And the most logical explanation is that they really saw Jesus alive.

And then finally, we see the flourishing of the church throughout the world. And I would dare say, because we're here today on the other side of the globe, having believed in the death and resurrection of Christ. Not because we were coerced into it.

Not because somebody forced us. In fact, some of you even suffered. And you even put up with rejection, even from your family, because you believed in Jesus Christ.

And yet you did. The gospel of Christ, his death for our sins, and his resurrection is still transforming the world. That response to Jesus Christ has been taking place since his resurrection. Those are some of the apologetical implications from the resurrection of Jesus from the dead. Because the resurrection is a verifiable, literal, historical event.

It bears the mark of historical evidence. Now, there's a second set of implications. These are theological implications. And I know we don't have a lot of time this morning to probe these in much depth, but I would encourage you that just as many of you are learning about the wonderful implications of Christ's death for your sins, that you would grow in your knowledge and love of the implications of Christ's resurrection, its nature, and its glory, and its hope. First, let's consider the nature of the resurrection of Jesus Christ. You know, in Colossians 1.18, the Apostle Paul refers to Jesus as the firstborn from the dead. And later in 1 Corinthians 15, he calls Jesus the firstfruits of those who are asleep in death, who will one day rise again. But how can Jesus be the first to have risen?

I mean, Elijah raised the Shunammite woman's son in 2 Kings 4, Elisha, and Jesus raised Jairus' daughter and the widow's son at Nain and Lazarus. Didn't they come back to life before Jesus? But the difference is, those who were raised again before Jesus all came back to life only to die again.

These people had two funerals. Their resurrections were only signs pointing to a better resurrection. Jesus' resurrection was far better in nature, better in kind, because Jesus rose from the grave never to die again. Paul says in Romans 6.9, Christ, being raised from the dead, dieeth no more.

Death hath no more dominion over him. Paul describes this resurrection body in 1 Corinthians 15. He says that the body is sown or buried in corruption, but it's raised in incorruption. It's buried in dishonor, but it's raised in glory.

It's buried in weakness, but it's raised in power. It's buried a natural body, but it's raised a spiritual body or a body animated by God's Spirit. It is a body of a completely different kind than our bodies that are subject to weakness and blemish and age and decay, a body that never dies again. And Jesus is the first to have that body. He's the firstborn from the dead, and it was a glorious event. And so let's consider next the glory of the resurrection of Christ. The powers of sin and Satan and all the forces of evil inflicted their worst on Jesus Christ. They crucified the Lord of glory, the Son of God who had come to bring salvation, was dead and buried.

Sometimes I think about those three days Jesus was in the tomb. They must have been the saddest days in human history. All hope gone. The disciples demoralized, devastated, scattered. Satan and his forces had seemingly gained the upper hand. They had crushed and defeated the Messiah. I wonder if the world went on as normal. Did a pall of darkness settle upon the earth?

Did the birds stop their singing? But then, Jesus burst forth from the tomb, never to die again. Conquering death and hell and sin forever. 2 Timothy 1 says that this act of Jesus abolished death and brought life and immortality to light. Hebrews 2.14 says that Jesus destroyed the devil who had the power of death. And Paul says in Colossians 2.15 that when the host of darkness rushed to defeat the Lord of glory, thinking they had won the day, Jesus victoriously defeated them all. In military conquest, he made a show of them openly and triumphed over them. What more can Satan and sin and darkness do to Jesus Christ?

I mean, that was their best shot. What more can you do to destroy someone who will not stay dead? So this is the pivotal point, the decisive moment in human history.

This is where everything changed. You see, the moment back in the garden when our sin and disobedience through our first parents brought death into the world and decay and sickness and sadness and brokenness and pain and sorrow ever since that time, God has been systematically bringing about the plan of the ages to reconcile all things to himself, to undo the curse of the world, not merely to restore the world to its former glory, but to make it better than it was before. And God would do this by destroying death, making death obsolete, by bringing life out of death. During the entire Old Testament of failed messiahs, God was systematically and patiently preparing for the Son to enter the world as a human being through a virgin. And when he was born in Bethlehem and lived a sinless life, he became our perfect representative, the only person of the humanity who did not deserve to die. Yet he was sentenced to death and became our sacrifice and went into the tomb. And when he broke free from the bonds of death, humanity broke free from the bonds of death.

What God did in preparing since the garden had finally taken place in Christ. Light had burst forth from darkness, life had burst forth from death, and immortality had sprung from decay. Jesus' resurrection, and 50 days later his pouring out of the Spirit, literally begin the last days. All that is needed for redemption and reconciliation with God to take place has been secured. We simply have to believe it. With the resurrection, we entered into the final era of salvation history.

This is just the endgame. And that is why we can turn to a third set of theological implications of Jesus' resurrection, the hope that we have in the resurrection. Would you turn in your Bibles over to 1 Corinthians chapter 15, that great chapter in Paul on the resurrection? Do you realize that if Christ is not raised from the dead this morning, we have no hope at all? We are going to die and suffer eternal damnation, conquered and defeated by sin and Satan if it's not for the resurrection. That's what Paul says in 1 Corinthians 15, look at verse 19. If in this life only we have hope in Christ, if we're clinging to a dream, if there's nothing to all of this, we are of most men to be pitied.

What changes us from a state of misery to a state of triumph? The next lines in this chapter, but now is Christ risen from the dead and become the firstfruits of them that slept. For since by man, Adam, came death, by a man, Jesus Christ, also came the resurrection of the dead. For as in Adam all die, even so in Christ shall all, and that's all who believe on him, shall be made alive. This is our hope, if you're a believer in Christ this morning, this is your hope that we will be made alive through our faith in Jesus Christ. In our closing moments, let me give you just a glimpse of the hope that we have in the resurrection.

We have hope, first of all, of new life. Paul says in Romans 6 that we who believe in Christ Jesus have been united with him. We have brought into an intimate union with Christ so that what is true of him is now true of us. Paul says that we were crucified with him and buried with him, but we also arose with him and now we live with him. We walk in newness of life when we place our faith in Christ's death and resurrection. It's like we ourselves have come out of the grave to live a new life, a transformed life. Peter says that God has birthed us into the family of God, characterized by a living hope which comes from the resurrection of Jesus from the dead. Paul says that God made us alive with Christ and he did this by raising us with Christ and seeding us with Christ in heavenly places.

Not only do we have this hope of a new life, we also have the hope of a justified life. Paul says that Jesus was delivered up to die for our trespasses, but he was raised from the grave for our justification. Verification means that I am standing righteous in the sight of God. Now how can I, as a sinner, stand as righteous in the sight of God? Does God zap me with righteousness?

No, he does something much more profound. He places me into union with Christ so that when Christ died, I died. When Christ birthed forth from the grave, having paid the penalty for sin, I myself birthed forth from the grave in Christ with my sins forgiven. Because of the resurrection, I now live as righteous, justified in the sight of God. And what seals that truth for me is the resurrection of Jesus Christ. And because I am justified in God's sight through the Son, I have hope of eternal life. Do you know why, if you are a believer in Jesus Christ, you don't just get eternal life, but you right now already have eternal life?

Do you know why that is? It's because we are in him, and Christ, being raised from the dead, dies no more. Death no longer has dominion over him.

You know what that means? Death no longer has dominion over me. And what is more, Jesus is going to give me a body like his glorious resurrection body. Do you see that described here in 1 Corinthians 15, starting in verse 51?

Paul says, Behold, I show you a mystery. We shall not all sleep. In other words, will not remain in the graves.

We shall be changed in a moment, in the twinkling of an eye, at the last trump. For the trumpet shall sound, and the dead shall be raised incorruptible, and we shall be changed. We'll have a body like Jesus Christ's. For this corruptible body must put on incorruptible body. And this mortal flesh must put on immortal flesh. When this corruptible shall have put on incorruption, and this mortal shall have put on immortality, then shall be brought to pass the saying that is written, Death is swallowed up in victory. Jesus lives, and so shall I. Death, thy sting is gone forever. He who deigned for me to die lives.

The bands of death to sever, he shall raise me from the dust. Jesus is my hope and trust. And you know what that means? It means that right now, we can know abundant life. Abundant life. Don't live a defeated, boring, depressed, Christian life. I know things happen in their heart.

I know that sad things happen sometimes to you and your family. I've been there because we are sinners in a fallen world. But you, as a believer, are united with Jesus Christ. And he's not still dead.

He's alive. And we are alive in him. And his resurrection life through the Spirit courses through us. The truth is, if you are a child of God, you can walk with Christ. You can know victory over sin.

You can walk in obedience. You can know peace and joy. You can live life in the Spirit.

Why? Because Jesus is alive. And you are alive in him. And that is why Paul climaxes this great chapter on the resurrection with these triumphant words, which dare to mock at death.

He says, oh death, where is your sting? Oh grave, where is your victory? But thanks be to God, which giveth us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ.

And then he turns to encourage you and me. Therefore, my beloved brethren, be steadfast, unmovable, always abounding in the work of the Lord. For as much as ye know that your labor, your trial, what you're doing here to follow the Lord, is not in vain in the Lord. So let us believe in and celebrate and rejoice in the resurrection of his body from the tomb. Father, use this scripture to convict our hearts and to change our love for you and for your resurrection, for your name's sake, we pray in Christ's name. Amen. You can easily do that through the website,, and then click on the Give button on the home page. Thanks again for listening, and we hope you'll join us tomorrow at the same time as we study God's word together on The Daily Platform.
Whisper: medium.en / 2023-12-15 19:34:47 / 2023-12-15 19:44:44 / 10

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