10 Reasons To Believe Christ
Rose From The Dead

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1 A PUBLIC EXECUTION ASSURED HIS DEATH.
 

During the Jewish Feast of Passover, Jesus was swept away
by an angry crowd into a Roman hall of justice. As He stood
before Pilate, the governor of Judea, religious leaders
accused Jesus of claiming to be the king of the Jews. The
crowd demanded His death. Jesus was beaten, whipped,
and sentenced to a public execution. On a hill outside of
Jerusalem, He was crucified between two criminals.
Brokenhearted friends and mocking enemies shared in His
deathwatch. As the Sabbath neared, Roman soldiers were
sent to finish the execution. To quicken death, they broke
the legs of the two criminals. But when they came to Jesus
they did not break His legs, because from experience they
knew He was already dead. As a final precaution, however,
they thrust a spear into His side. It would take more than
resuscitation for Him to ever trouble them again.



2 A HIGH OFFICIAL SECURED THE GRAVESITE.

The next day, religious leaders again met with Pilate. They
said Jesus had predicted He would rise in 3 days. To assure
that the disciples could not conspire in a resurrection hoax,
Pilate ordered the official seal of Rome to be attached to the
tomb to put graverobbers on notice. To enforce the order,
soldiers stood guard. Any disciple who wanted to tamper
with the body would have had to get by them, which
wouldn't have been easy. The Roman guards had good
reason for staying alert'the penalty for falling asleep while
on watch was death.



3 IN SPITE OF GUARDS, THE GRAVE WAS FOUND EMPTY.

On the morning after the Sabbath, some of Jesus' followers
went to the grave to anoint His body. But when they
arrived, they were surprised at what they found. The huge
stone that had been rolled into place over the entrance to the
tomb had been moved, and Jesus' body was gone. As word
got out, two disciples rushed to the burial site. The tomb
was empty except for Jesus' burial wrappings, which were
lying neatly in place. In the meantime, some of the guards
had gone into Jerusalem to tell the Jewish officials that they
had fainted in the presence of a supernatural being that
rolled the stone away. And when they woke up, the tomb
was empty. The officials paid the guards a large sum of
money to lie and say that the disciples stole the body while
the soldiers slept. They assured the guards that if the report
of the missing body got back to the governor, they would
intercede on their behalf.



4 MANY PEOPLE CLAIMED TO HAVE SEEN HIM ALIVE.

About AD 55, the apostle Paul wrote that the resurrected
Christ had been seen by Peter, the 12 apostles, more than 500
people (many of whom were still alive at the time of his
writing), James, and himself (1 Corinthians 15:5 -8). By
making such a public statement, he gave critics a chance to
check out his claims for themselves. In addition, the New
Testament begins its history of the followers of Christ by
saying that Jesus 'presented Himself alive after His
suffering by many infallible proofs, being seen by [the
apostles] during forty days and speaking of the things
pertaining to the kingdom of God' (Acts 1:3).


5 HIS APOSTLES WERE DRAMATICALLY CHANGED.

When one of Jesus' inner circle defected and betrayed Him,
the other apostles ran for their lives. Even Peter, who earlier
had insisted that he was ready to die for his teacher, lost
heart and denied that he even knew Jesus. But the apostles
went through a dramatic change. Within a few weeks, they
were standing face to face with the ones who had crucified
their leader. Their spirit was like iron. They became
unstoppable in their determination to sacrifice everything for
the one they called Savior and Lord. Even after they were
imprisoned, threatened, and forbidden to speak in the name
of Jesus, the apostles said to the Jewish leaders, 'We ought to
obey God rather than men' (Acts 5:29). After they were
beaten for disobeying the orders of the Jewish council, these
once-cowardly apostles 'did not cease teaching and
preaching Jesus as the Christ' (Acts 5:42).



6 WITNESSES WERE WILLING TO DIE FOR THEIR CLAIMS.

History is full of martyrs. Countless men and women have
died for their beliefs. For that reason, it is not that significant
to point out that the first disciples were willing to suffer and
die for their faith. But it is significant that while many will
die for what they believe to be the truth, few if any will die
for what they know to be a lie. That psychological fact is
important because the disciples of Christ did not die for
deeply held beliefs about which they could have been
honestly mistaken. They died for their claims to have seen
Jesus alive and well after His resurrection. They died for their
claim that Jesus Christ had not only died for their sins but
that He had risen bodily from the dead to show that He was
like no other spiritual leader who had ever lived.



7 JEWISH BELIEVERS CHANGED THEIR DAY OF WORSHIP.

The Sabbath day of rest and worship was basic to the Jewish
way of life. Any Jew who did not honor the Sabbath was guilty
of breaking the law of Moses. Yet Jewish followers of Christ
began worshiping with Gentile believers on a new day. The
first day of the week, the day on which they believed Christ
had risen from the dead, replaced the Sabbath. For a Jew, it
reflected a major change of life. The new day, along with the
Christian conversion rite of baptism, declared that those who
believed Christ had risen from the dead were ready for more
than a renewal of Judaism. They believed that the death and
resurrection of Christ had cleared the way for a new
relationship with God. The new way was based not on the law,
but on the sin-bearing, life-giving help of a resurrected Savior.



8 ALTHOUGH IT WAS UNEXPECTED,
   IT WAS CLEARLY PREDICTED.


The disciples were caught off guard. They expected their
Messiah to restore the kingdom to Israel. Their minds were
so fixed on the coming of a messianic political kingdom that
they didn't anticipate the events essential to the salvation of
their souls. They must have thought Christ was speaking in
symbolic language when He kept saying over and over that
it was necessary for Him to go to Jerusalem to die and be
resurrected from the dead. Coming from one who spoke in
parables, they missed the obvious until after it was all over.
In the process, they also overlooked the prophet Isaiah's
prediction of a suffering servant who would bear the sins of
Israel, being led like a lamb to the slaughter, before God
'prolong[ed] His days' (Isaiah 53:10).



9 IT WAS A FITTING CLIMAX TO A MIRACULOUS LIFE.

While Jesus hung on a Roman cross, crowds mocked Him. He
helped others, but could He help Himself? Was the miracle
suddenly coming to an end? It seemed like such an
unexpected ending for someone who began His public life by
turning water into wine. During His 3 -year ministry, He
walked on water; healed the sick; opened blind eyes, deaf
ears, and tongue-tied mouths; restored crippled limbs; cast
out demons; stilled a violent storm; and raised the dead. He
asked questions wise men couldn't answer. He taught
profound truths with the simplest of comparisons. And He
confronted hypocrites with words that exposed their coverup.
If all this was true, should we be surprised that His enemies
didn't have the last word?

10 IT FITS THE EXPERIENCE OF THOSE WHO TRUST HIM.

The apostle Paul wrote, 'If the Spirit of Him who raised Jesus
from the dead dwells in you, He who raised Christ from the
dead will also give life to your mortal bodies through His Spirit
who dwells in you' (Romans 8:11). This was the experience of
Paul, whose heart was dramatically changed by the resurrected
Christ. It is also the experience of people all over the world
who have 'died' to their old ways so that Christ can live His
life through them. This spiritual power is not evident in those
who try to add belief in Christ to their old life. It is seen only in
those who are willing to 'die' to their old life to make room for
the rule of Christ. It is apparent only in those who respond to
the overwhelming evidence for Christ's resurrection by
acknowledging His lordship in their heart.

YOU'RE NOT ALONE if you find yourself honestly unconvinced about whether Christ rose from the dead. But keep in
mind that Jesus promised God's help to those who want to be right with God. He said, 'If anyone chooses to do God's will, he
will find out whether My teaching comes from God or whether I speak on My own' (John 7:17 NIV).

If you do see the reasonableness of the resurrection, keep in mind that the Bible says Christ died to pay the price for our sins,
and those who believe in their heart that God has raised Him from the dead will be saved (Romans 10:9-10). The salvation Christ
offers is not a reward for effort, but a gift to all who in light of the evidence put their trust in Him. To accept God's gift of
forgiveness and everlasting life, you can pray something like this: 'God, I know I'm a sinner. I know I can't save myself. I believe
Jesus died on the cross for my sins. I believe He rose from the dead to live His life through all who believe in Him. I now receive
Him as my Savior. I accept Your offer of forgiveness and everlasting life. Thank You, Father. In Jesus' name I pray. Amen.'

If you made a decision to put your trust in Christ, let us know by clicking here and you will receive, without cost or obligation, devotional and Bible-study materials designed to help you grow in your new life as a child of God. Also, pray for God to lead you to a church that faithfully teaches the Bible in a spirit of love and Christlikeness.

For more information, or for a catalog of our resources (which includes other 10 Reasons To Believe brochures),
write to RBC Ministries at:

USA: PO BOX 2222, GRAND RAPIDS, MI 49501-2222
CANADA: BOX 1622, WINDSOR, ON N9A 6Z7

RBC Ministries Internet Address: www.rbc.org ' 2009

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