No Resurrection, no New Testament

It is Easter, the time of the year that we celebrate the greatest event of all time: the Redeemer, the King on the Cross that died and was resurrected on the third day.  It sounds a bit strange, but it is a demonstration of how God’s ways differ from the ways we think.

#  Did the Resurrection happen?

At this time of the year many defenders of the faith write about the Resurrection and how we can know it really happened.  They understand that without the Resurrection, we would have no New Testament.  The logic in Scripture tells us that Jesus rose from the dead.  Let us look at what the New Testament reveals:

#  Jesus’ appearances to Peter and Paul after His resurrection

  • Jesus talked to Peter after His Resurrection.1  Peter wrote the two letters, 1 & 2 Peter.
  • The Resurrected Lord Jesus appeared to Paul on the road to Damascus.  If Jesus was then still in the grave, He could not have appeared to Paul.  He did.  Which explains why we have Paul’s letters.  Without the Resurrection, Romans as well as the letters to the Corinthians, Galatians, Ephesians, et cetera would not be in the Bible. 2
  • Paul’s companion, Luke, wrote both the Gospel of Luke and Acts.  There would have been no message to spread if Jesus did not rise from the dead.  Luke accompanied Paul on some of his journeys to bring the Gospel to the Gentiles.  Luke reports in Acts 22:21 that the resurrected Lord Jesus said to Paul, ‘Go; I will send you far away to the Gentiles.’

#  Because of the Resurrection we have the four Gospels.

  • If Jesus did not rise from the dead, why would the disciples tell the world His story?  Jesus said to His disciples just before His ascension, ‘All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me.  Therefore go and make disciples of all nations….’ 3  So the four Gospels as well as the spread of the Gospel throughout the world testify to Jesus’ resurrection.

#  The beloved John wrote and saw the glorified Jesus.

  • Scholars accept that Jesus’ beloved disciple, John, wrote the 3 letters of John.  John writes about Jesus as if He is alive in His Father’s presence, ‘But if anybody does sin, we have one who speaks to the Father in our defence – Jesus Christ, the Righteous One.’ 4  That is only possible because Jesus rose from the dead.
  • Likewise the resurrected Jesus gave the book of Revelation to John.  The glorified Lord Jesus said to John, ‘I am the First and the Last.  I am the Living One; I was dead, and behold I am alive for ever and ever….’ 5  

#  Jesus’ brothers believe in Him.

  • We read in John 7:3-9 that Jesus’ brothers did not have faith in Him.   Yet the letters of His brothers James and Jude are in the New Testament.  Their change from unbelief to belief must have happened after the Resurrection.

#  Jesus at His Father’s right hand in heaven

  • In the letter to the Hebrews God says to the Lord Jesus after His ascension, ‘You are my Son, today I have become your Father.’ 6  God also said to Jesus, ‘Sit at my right hand….’ 7  It happened after the Resurrection, because the Father was satisfied that Jesus paid the death penalty for sin.

Conclusion

If Jesus did not rise from the dead on the third day, there would be no New Testament.  We have the New Testament.  We glorify the Resurrected Jesus, our glorious, wonderful Saviour.

References

  1. John 21:1-22
  2. Acts 9:4-16; 22:7-10; 26:14-18
  3. Matthew 28:18
  4. 1 John 2:1
  5. Revelation 1:18
  6. Hebrews 1:5
  7. Hebrews 1:13

Does death solve all your problems?

If you are a follower of Jesus you don’t have to fear death. We will be resurrected and be with the Father, Jesus and Holy Spirit who love us, eternally.

Sometimes death solves all our problems, sometimes it doesn’t.  With the celebration of the resurrection of Jesus from the dead, God showed us again that we do not die like animals and that’s the end.  There is life after death and that will be exhilarating for some and excruciating for others.

#  The resurrection of Jesus

The resurrection of Jesus is the reason why He could say, ‘I hold the keys of death and Hades.’ 1  He conquered death, but it led to many disputes over the ages.  Paul asked a valid question in Acts 26:8, ‘Why should any of you consider it incredible that God raises the dead?’

#  The resurrection of followers of Jesus

For followers of Jesus their resurrection will bring eternal love, joy, peace and happiness with the Father, the Son (the Bridegroom) and the Holy Spirit.  ‘There will be no more death, or mourning or crying or pain, for the old order of things has passed away.’

#  The resurrection of rejecters of Jesus

People who rejected Jesus have nothing to look forward to.  They will spend eternity with the ruler of the world, the devil, who hates them and wants them to share his terrible fate.  Revelation 20:10  tells us ‘…the devil…was thrown into the lake of burning sulphur….[He] will be tormented day and night for ever and ever.’

#  The Trinity’s involvement in the Resurrection

The resurrection was such a ‘big deal’ because it began God’s new order.  All three Persons of the Trinity were involved in it:

  • God: ‘…God raised Him from the dead, freeing Him from the agony of death, because it was impossible for death to keep its hold on Him.’ 3
  • Jesus:  He said, ‘The reason my Father loves me is that I lay down my life – only to take it up again.  No one takes it from me, but I lay it down of my own accord.  I have authority to lay it down and authority to take it up again.  This command I received from my Father.’ 4
  • The Holy Spirit:  ‘The Spirit of God, who raised Jesus from the dead, lives in you.  And just as He raised Jesus from the dead, He will give life to your mortal body by this same Spirit living within you.’ 5  The analogy is clear: the Holy Spirit who helped to raise Jesus from the grave, will also give eternal life to us.

Conclusion

If you are a follower of Jesus you don’t have to fear death.  We will be resurrected and be with the Father, Jesus and Holy Spirit who love us, eternally.  6

References

  1. Revelation 1:18
  2. Revelation 21:4
  3. Acts 2:24
  4. John 10:17-18
  5. Romans 8:11, New Living Translation
  6. Revelation 22:1,3,4,17
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