9. Jesus’ friends did not steal His body.
In the first place, they would have had no reason. They missed the predictions about his death/resurrection and were so disappointed they were leaving town (see Luke 24).
Second, the amazing transformation in these disciples had to have had a cause. They were practically “shot out of cannons” as they bursted out of Jerusalem and exploded across the Roman Empire with the message of Jesus. Many of them died for the gospel.
No one dies for a hoax.
10. The gospel stands or falls on the resurrection of Jesus.
Paul says, “If Christ be not raised, your faith is worthless and you are still in your sins” (I Corinthians 15:17). He adds, “If we have hoped in Christ in this life only, we are of all men most to be pitied” (15:19).
This is not an optional minor doctrine, friend. This is one of the load-bearing columns, a pillar on which a thousand realities hang.
11. This same “resurrection power” is available now.
Paul states his heart’s desire: “that I may know Him, and the power of His resurrection, and the fellowship of His sufferings” (Philippians 3:10).
In 1945, the world saw the destructive power of atomic energy when our country dropped bombs on the Japanese cities of Hiroshima and Nagasaki. Ever since, we have been devoted to finding positive uses for this energy. Today, nuclear power runs the electricity in my city, sends submarines around the world underwater, and does a thousand other things. The force that raised Jesus from the dead is the same Holy Spirit power that guided my teaching yesterday, empowered your witness last evening, and answered our prayers this morning.
Plus, I expect it’s this same resurrection power that raises you and me one day.
12. The point of the resurrection is a thousand-fold. The two biggies are these:
a) The resurrection of Jesus Christ confirmed His identity—every claim He made for Himself, every promise He gave His followers, and every judgment He delivered to the enemy.
b) And this one: He’s still alive today.
When the disciples of a guru were asked what they did with the resurrection of Jesus—”Doesn’t that make him a zillion miles above all these other religious leaders you believe in?”—they answered, “We do not believe anything that happened 2,000 years ago has any possible meaning for us today.”
It has great meaning if that same Lord—the Jesus of Nazareth who walked the dusty lanes of Galilee and the hills of Zion teaching the way of God, the Savior who took our sins on Himself and paid for them by His death on Calvary—is still alive and a-loose in our world today.
As He is.
We bow at His feet with Thomas and say, “My Lord and my God!” (John 20:28).
Jesus Christ is Lord! He is risen and nothing will ever be the same again!