November 7 I Wednesday
“…because we know that the One who raised the Lord Jesus from the dead will also raise us with Jesus and present us with you to Himself.” —2 Corinthians 4:14
It is one thing to say that believing in Jesus gives us confidence in this life and the next, but what is this confidence based on? Paul gives the answer in the opening verse. The resurrection of Jesus Christ is a precedent for the resurrection of all who belong to Christ. If His resurrection can be confirmed, so is ours, because the futuricity of our resurrection is based on the historicity of Christ’s resurrection. On the other hand, Paul admits, “If Christ has not been raised, our preaching is useless and so is your faith” (1 Corinthians 15:14). This raises the question: How can we, who live 2000 years after Christ, be certain that He really was raised from the dead?
One of the strongest biblical evidences for Christ’s resurrection is found in 1 Corinthians 15, part of a letter Paul wrote around 20 years after Jesus’s death and resurrection. Included in this letter is an impressive list of people who saw Jesus after He was raised from the dead. Paul writes that Jesus “...appeared to Cephas, and then to the Twelve. After that, He appeared to more than five hundred of the brothers and sisters at the same time, most of whom are still living, though some have fallen asleep. Then He appeared to James, then to all the apostles, and last of all He appeared to me also...” (1 Corinthians 15:5-8). This list of firsthand witnesses to the resurrected Jesus was Paul’s proof. Paul was essentially saying to these Corinthian believers, who lived within a generation of Jesus and could have sought out any of these hundreds of people for more proof, “Don’t just take my word for it. Ask them!”
Many atheists have tried to disprove Christ’s resurrection only to discover the evidence in favour is overwhelming. Dr. Antony Flew, lawyer Frank Morison and journalist Lee Strobel are all fine examples. They were each convinced that God could not exist and that there is no such thing as miracles, but after coming face to face with the empty tomb, they were forced to conclude that a supernatural ingredient had to be involved. Jesus truly was raised from the dead.
The resurrection of the Lord Jesus was not purely spiritual, like how a musician is said to live on in the hearts of their fans through their music, but was a literal, historical resurrection from the dead. His resurrection is the single most important moment in all of history because it is the guarantee of our resurrection. On the resurrection of Christ stands all of Christianity and the certainty that by being united to Him, we also are raised to walk in newness of life in Him.
Prayer: Lord Jesus, thank You for the strong evidence of Your resurrection and that because You were raised to life, my resurrection is certain as well.