RESURRECTION FOR THE CHRISTIAN
The Bible speaks much about bodily resurrection. On different occasions some in the Bible were raised from the dead. These were miraculous demonstrations of the power of God over death. But because they eventually died again, they were not bodily resurrected, but rather, they were “resuscitated” back to life. Lazarus is a good example. John 11:39-44.
The first example of death and bodily resurrection is Jesus Christ. Christ is the first-fruit from the dead. “Now is Christ risen from the dead, and becomes the first-fruits of them that slept.” I Corinthians 15:20. The Bible always speaks of the death of a believer as “sleeping” not dying. The first fruits in raising Christ from the dead was God’s pledge that the entire harvest will come later.
The Body of Christ, the true Church, will have a bodily resurrection of its own. “The dead in Christ shall rise first.” I Thessalonians 4:16. This is the resurrection of the bodies of all who have died in Christ. They are united with their soul and spirit and will ascend into heaven to be the bride of Jesus Christ. This is called the “Rapture” of the Church. We will share more about this.
Over 500 people witnessed the appearances of Christ after His bodily resurrection. Their eyewitness accounts defy denials by those who will not believe. In most courts the most eyewitnesses that have been required are seven. The New Testament has records of documented testimonies from those who personally saw Him. Over 500 saw Him in his resurrected body. Others who saw him testified that He was alive. They spoke with Him, ate with Him, and had a time of fellowship as He was with them several times after bodily coming forth from a brutal crucifixion and three days in a guarded stone tomb. There is much clear evidence that Jesus Christ did, in fact, rise bodily from the dead.
The 27 books of the New Testament and the Church are the effects caused by the risen Christ. The Church began immediately, as the Apostles began preaching in Jerusalem where He had been crucified and buried. Three thousand were saved in one day. They went everywhere telling that Jesus was alive from the dead. Believe me, if it were not true the enemy would have produced the body because it would have silenced all the claims of the early Church. The fact is that three days after His crucifixion He bodily rose from the grave. He is alive, and because He lives, we shall live also.