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Is the resurrection of Jesus true? Was Jesus Christ really resurrected?

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Scripture presents the resurrection of Jesus Christ as true in numerous passages. All four Gospel accounts record Christ's resurrection as indisputable fact: Matthew 28:1–20; Mark 16:1–8; Luke 24:1–53; and John 20:1—21:25. The resurrected Christ also appears in the Book of Acts (Acts 1:1–11). So astonishing was this event that the lives of the people who saw the risen Christ were dramatically changed. The disciples went from a group of men frightened and in hiding to courageous witnesses sharing the gospel throughout the world. They risked their lives willingly, sang joyfully while in prison for preaching the gospel, and suffered untold hardships throughout their lives. Most of the eleven apostles (the original twelve with the exception of Judas Iscariot) were martyred for their faith, but none of them turned away from their Savior or denounced Him. Only a supernatural event such as the resurrection and the appearance of the risen Christ in a person can explain this phenomenal transformation.

Even doubting Thomas, who claimed he would not believe in the resurrection unless he saw the nail prints in Jesus' hands, worshipped Him as Lord and God when the resurrected Christ appeared to him. Then Jesus said that while Thomas believed because he saw the risen Christ in the flesh, we who believed without having seen Him would receive the greater blessing (John 20:24–29).

The life of the apostle Paul offers additional proof that the resurrection of Jesus Christ is true. Paul had been a zealous persecutor of the church until the risen Christ appeared to him on the road to Damascus (Acts 9:1–6). After that meeting, Paul became the primary apostle of Christianity, preaching and teaching and planting churches throughout the ancient world with incredible power. From persecuting and murdering those who followed Christ to the one hounded and persecuted for the sake of the gospel of Christ? How else can this be explained but that he really met with the resurrected Christ on that road?

Another proof of the resurrection is the number of people Jesus appeared to who testified that they had seen Him. He appeared to two women right after He rose from the grave (Matthew 28:5); to the eleven disciples (Judas having killed himself) (Matthew 28:9, 16–17); to two men on the road to Emmaus (Luke 24:13–35); to the disciples to show them His hands and side and give them the Holy Spirit (John 20:19–23); to the disciples again at the Sea of Galilee when He performed another miracle (John 21:1–14); and for the last time just before He ascended into heaven (Acts 1:6–11). All in all, He appeared numerous times to as many as 500 people during the forty days following the resurrection (1 Corinthians 15:6). Surely these witnesses can't all have been hallucinating.

The truth of Christ's resurrection is the cornerstone of Christianity. In 1 Corinthians 15:12–20, Paul explains why it is crucial to understand and believe that the resurrection of Jesus Christ is true. First, if Christ was not raised from the dead, neither will be those who believe in Him. If He was not resurrected, our faith in Him is futile. Secondly, if Christ was not resurrected, He is not a divine being and His sacrifice for sin was not sufficient to cover our sins and we are still responsible for them. Further, we are in danger of suffering the wrath of God against sin. But Jesus' resurrection proved that His death was accepted by God as the atonement for our sins. If He had simply died and stayed dead, like the "prophets" and founders of all false religions, His sacrifice would not be sufficient to atone for sin. We, too, would remain dead after we die, and there would be no hope of eternal life. "But in fact Christ has been raised from the dead, the firstfruits of those who have fallen asleep" (1 Corinthians 15:20). He is the first to be resurrected; we will be among those who have fallen asleep and will also rise from the dead.

First Corinthians 15 tells us how Christ's resurrection proves He had the ultimate victory over sin and how, because of it, those who belong to Him can live victoriously over sin (v. 24–34). It promises that we, too, will have a glorious resurrection body like His (v. 35–49). Most gloriously, as a result of Christ's resurrection, all who believe in Him have the ultimate victory over death (v. 50–58). According to the Bible, the resurrection of Jesus Christ is most definitely true. The Bible records the details of Christ's resurrection and its impact on those who witnessed it. The resurrection is the basis of the faith that has changed the lives of millions throughout the world down through the centuries.

Related Truth:

Why should I believe in the resurrection of Jesus Christ?

Why is the reality of the bodily resurrection of Jesus so central to the Christian faith?

What is the significance of the resurrection of Jesus?

Was Jesus resurrected? How can you prove Christ's resurrection?

Why is the empty tomb so important?

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