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Because of the Resurrection

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Thursday, April 14, 2022 @ 8:52 AM Because of the Resurrection ATTENTION: Major social media outlets are finding ways to block the conservative/evangelical viewpoint. Click here for daily electronic delivery of The Stand's Daily Digest - the day's top blogs from AFA.

Matthew White The Stand Writer MORE

(Editor's Note: This article was first published in the April 2022 print edition of The Stand.)

Sir Lionel Alfred Luckhoo once stated, “I say unequivocally that the evidence for the Resurrection of Jesus Christ is so overwhelming that it compels acceptance by proof which leaves absolutely no room for doubt.”

An attorney by trade, Luckhoo, in the world’s eyes, had everything a person could want. The Guinness Book of World Records cited him as the world’s most successful criminal attorney – a result of his 245 consecutive murder-charge acquittals. 

He was knighted by the Queen of England twice. He was mayor of Georgetown, Guyana, and presided as judge of the Supreme Court of Guyana.

Luckhoo seemingly needed nothing. Yet late in life, he recalled, “I found I did not have peace. And if I could have purchased peace, I would have given a blank check. I found I couldn’t sleep at night because within me there was turmoil.”

But on November 7, 1978, friends introduced Luckhoo to Jesus, and at age 64, he accepted Jesus Christ as his personal Lord and Savior.

“I went home that night and did a postmortem on myself,” Luckhoo said. “I found I had everything – a little bit of education, a little bit of money, a little bit of culture … but spiritually I was completely dead … because I knew not the Word of God.”

It was Christianity, and in particular, the claim of the Resurrection that he simply could not ignore.

Because of the Resurrection …

… believers can find forgiveness

Paul said, “… if Christ be not raised, your faith is vain; ye are yet in your sins” (1 Corinthians 15:17 KJV).

What a horrible condition man would endure were it not for the Resurrection of Jesus. He would be left in his sins to suffer eternal death and condemnation as a result. What does the Resurrection have to do with forgiveness?

Paul said elsewhere, “… we have redemption through his blood, the forgiveness of sins” (Ephesians 1:7 KJV). He also said we are “…  justified by his blood …” (Romans 5:9 KJV).

If redemption and justification are “by His blood,” was the Resurrection truly even necessary?

Dr. Robert Jeffress explains it this way: “… the Resurrection proved that God accepted Jesus’s payment for our sins. … To pay off somebody else’s debt, you have to be debt-free. To pay off somebody else’s sin, you have to be sin-free, and only Jesus Christ was sin-free.”

Because of the Resurrection …

… believers can face their fears

Consider the disciples prior to the Resurrection. They were a fearful bunch, illustrated numerous times in Scripture.

When they saw Jesus walking on the sea, “they cried out for fear” (Matthew 14:26 KJV).

On a ship during a storm, Jesus asked the disciples, “… why are ye fearful, O ye of little faith?” (Matthew 8:26). All the disciples “forsook Him, and fled,” when the mob came to arrest Jesus (Matthew 26:56 KJV).

Yet, after the Resurrection, but prior to seeing Christ, the disciples were hiding behind closed doors “for fear of the Jews” (John 20:19 KJV).

After the Resurrection, however, those once cowardly men became courageous men.

In Acts 5, Peter and the other apostles can be found boldly professing before a council and the high priest: “We ought to obey God rather than men.”

Much could be said of countless Christian martyrs who followed the apostles through the ages, even to contemporary times, courageously facing their fears and giving their lives for the sake of the gospel. They did so fully confident that because Christ is alive, they too would live again.

Today, fear seems to have entrapped the entire world – from the current pandemic, to threats of war, a Marxist takeover in America, indoctrination of children, and more.

However, believers need not fear.

Just as the early believers faced their dark world with full assurance in Christ, believers today should do so as well.

Because of the Resurrection …

… believers can face their frailties

The frailty of the human condition cannot be denied. Man’s physical body will perish.

Truly, “… it is appointed unto men once to die…” (Hebrews 9:27 KJV).

The Psalmist asked, “What man is he that liveth, and shall not see death? shall he deliver his soul from the hand of the grave? Selah” (Psalm 89:48 KJV).

Paul encourages believers to “… faint not; but though our outward man perish, yet the inward [man] is renewed day by day” (2 Corinthians 4:16 KJV).

For the Christian, death is not the end. It is only the beginning.

The great Puritan preacher Thomas Watson wrote: “We are more sure to arise out of our graves than out of our beds. Oh! How precious is the dust of a believer!”

Jesus Christ’s Resurrection proved once and for all that He conquered the grave. The grave could not hold Him, and because it could not hold Him, neither will it be able to hold those who have trusted Him as Savior and Lord.

That’s why Paul could boldly exclaim, “O death, where is thy sting? O grave, where is thy victory?” (1 Corinthians 15:55 KJV).

Because of the Resurrection …

… believers can face their future

Paul spoke of how Jesus served as a type of firstfruits offering: “But now is Christ risen from the dead, and become the firstfruits of them that slept” (1 Corinthians 15:20 KJV).

In Old Testament times, the Israelites observed a celebration known as the Feast of Firstfruits. It was observed during the early spring at the beginning of the grain harvest, specifically, the third day after Passover.

It was a time to thank God for His provision for the upcoming harvest and commemorate their deliverance from bondage and possession of their promised land.

During the festival, the Jews gave the first sheaf of the grain harvest as an offering and were not permitted to eat anything from the crop until the initial portion had been given unto the Lord.

This proved their dependence upon Him for His blessing and provision on the harvest yet to come. Once the firstfruits offering was accepted, it made the remaining harvest acceptable as well.

The firstfruits offering served as a type of Christ and found its fulfillment in Jesus. Since Jesus, “the firstfruits of them that slept,” was resurrected, the remaining harvest – those who have trusted Jesus for salvation – will be resurrected as well.

Though darkness seemingly pervades all of society, the future is not dark. It is bright for those who shall one day be risen with Christ.

Luckhoo summed it up this way: “The bones of Muhammad are in Medina, the bones of Confucius are in Shantung, the cremated bones of Buddha are in Nepal. Thousands take pilgrimages to worship at their tombs, which contain their bones.

But in Jerusalem there is a cave cut into the rock. This is the tomb of Jesus. It is empty! Yes, empty! Because He is risen! He died, physically and historically. He arose from the dead, and now sits at the right hand of God.” 

 

More insight on the Resurrection

For a wealth of faith-bolstering resources – books, articles, documentaries, and more – visit Dr. Gary Habermas at garyhabermas.com. He is one of the world’s foremost scholars on the Resurrection.

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