“No Hope Without It”

Posted: April 11, 2020 in Death, Resurrection

Many people, who refer to themselves as Christians, usually go to church on Easter Sunday to celebrate the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead. However, Easter means many things to different people. Some folks think that Jesus died and then rose from the dead but only in people’s hearts. They don’t believe in His bodily resurrection from the dead, and His resurrection seems to have little or no effect on their daily lives.

His Death. Christ’s birth and first coming were predicted by many Old Testament prophets (Isaiah 7:14; 9:6, 7). But so was His death, burial, and resurrection predicted by them and by Christ Himself (Psalm 22:1 ff; 16:10; Isaiah 53:6; John 2:19; 10:17). While many people will acknowledge that Jesus was a good man and a teacher, who died about 2,000 years ago, they don’t all acknowledge that He was God manifested in human flesh or agree as to the purpose of His death and resurrection (John 1:1-18, 29; 1 Peter 3:18; Romans 4:25). The Scriptures tell us that He died on a cruel cross to pay the debt that all of us owed to God for sin (Romas 6:23; Isaiah 53:6; Philippians 2:8). The beneficiaries of His death included all mankind, but especially those who would believe in Christ as their personal Savior (1 Timothy 4:10; John 3:16; 2 Corinthians 5:19; 2 Peter 2:1; 1 John 2:2). Those who limit Christ’s death to a select group of people have difficulty sharing the Gospel with others because they can’t say to them, “Christ died for your sins…was buried, and rose again bodily on the third day” (1 Corinthians 15:3, 4). They would have to say something like this – “Perhaps Christ died for you.” “Maybe God so loved you.” “Christ shed His blood for you, perhaps.” “Salvation has been provided for you, maybe.” “Possibly God commendeth His love toward you.” “Hopefully He’s the propitiation for your sins.” “There is a possibility that Christ died as your Substitute.” “I bring you good news, maybe.” [1] We need to notice that neither Lucifer/Satan or those angels/demons that followed him in his rebellion against God have no deliverance from the lake of fire provided for them (Matthew 25:41, 46).  But they haven’t been cast into the lake of fire yet.  People who reject God’s offer of salvation will spend eternity with them in that awful place (Matthew 25:41, 46). God holds all mankind responsible for the death of Christ, not just the Jews (Acts 3:14 ff ; 5:27 ff; 1 Corinthians 2:8).

His Burial. Not too many days before Jesus was crucified on the cross, Lazarus, Jesus’ friend, died and was buried for four days. His body had begun to decay and it smelled. To demonstrate His power over death, Jesus resuscitated him back from the dead (Luke 11:39-44). Subsequently, he died again physically. But Jesus was buried only for three days and three nights (Matthew 12:40).  This was the maximum amount of time He could be dead without His body starting to decay. This is what was predicted about His death and burial (Psalm 16:10; 22:1 ff). Every year religious unbelievers try to discredit Christ’s death and resurrection by claiming that He only swooned, or that His disciples stole His body, and all kinds of other theories.

His Bodily Resurrection. Some folks, in the cults, deny His bodily resurrection from the dead by using the Scripture that says, “Flesh and blood cannot inherit the kingdom of God” (1 Corinthians 15:50). That’s true. Our current physical bodies consist of flesh, bones, and blood. We also have a soul and spirit (1 Thessalonians 5:23; Hebrews 4:12). But Christ’s resurrected, glorified body consisted of flesh and bones, but it had/has no blood. When Jesus appeared to His disciples after His resurrection, He showed them His hands and feet, and the wound in His side (Luke 24:33-43; John 20:27-31). In His resurrected and glorified body He was able to go right through closed doors, and to appear and disappear instantly, and to travel at the speed of thought (John 20:17; Luke 24:31).

His Appearances. To validate His bodily resurrection from the dead, He appeared to numerous people, on ten different occasions, to prove to them that He had indeed risen from the dead. This assured His disciples that He was worthy of their trust, and that He would keep all His promises to them (John 20:31). Without His bodily resurrection from the dead they and all true Christians would be hopeless and most pitiable (1 Corinthians 15:12-19). We would have no hope of a better life in the future with a resurrected, glorified body like Christ’s (1 John 3:2; 1 Corinthians 15:32).

His Ascension. Rather than secretly riding into heaven at night on a horse, without any witnesses to validate Mohammed’s ascent into heaven, Jesus went to the Mount of Olives with His disciples and then ascended publicly, gradually, and literally into heaven as His disciples watched Him go (Acts 1: 9-11). Then two angels asked them why they were gazing into heaven. They told them that Jesus would come again in like manner as they saw Him leave (Acts 1:9-11; Matthew 24:29 ff; Revelation 19:11 ff; Contrast John 14:1-3; 1 Corinthians 15:51, 52; 1 Thessalonians 4:13-18).

Our Response To It. Knowing and believing the facts of the Gospel aren’t not enough to save anyone. The demons know and believe them and that Jesus is the God-man (James 2: 19). We must place our faith and trust in the Lord Jesus Christ exclusively as our personal Savior (Acts 4:12; 16:31; John 3:16, 18, 36). [2] Our good works can’t save us (Ephesians 2:8, 9; Titus 3:5; Isaiah 64:6). Neither can our faith PLUS our good works save us (1 Corinthians 15:2). Only after a person has been saved can he/she do the good works that God wants him/her to do for the glory of God and the good of others (Ephesians 2:10; 1 Peter 4:10).

Help. We’re here to assist those who are teachable and willing to change if necessary (2 Timothy 2:2, 15; 3:16, 17). We can be reached through our website: www.kelseypeach.com. If this has helped you, please SHARE it with others. To receive future articles as they come out, click on Follow.

[1] http://www.middletownbiblechurch.org/reformed/dangers.pdf

[2] Dr. Manfred Kober, Do We Really Know The Gospel?”  https://www.faith.edu/1993/02/do-we-really-know-the-gospel/

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