Christ's Risen, Truly He's Risen

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The Proof of the Resurrection

 An excerpt from "Faith Concerns" Book.

God prepared the events of the resurrection in a way there is no room for any doubt.  All the events prove and give strong evidence for any sincerely devout person.  The resurrection is a truth and is stronger than the well known fact of death.


Who rolled the stone from the sepulcher?

It cannot be the guards that were guarding the tomb of our Savior.  They would sacrifice their life if they had seen somebody trying to roll the stone.  They would be killed if the stone was rolled.  The women named Mary could not move the stone.  The apostles were afraid and locked the door of the upper room because they feared the Jews.  They ran away and left the Lord.  One of them denied his Lord.  There was nobody who would dare to roll the stone and expose himself to death.  Anybody could be punished by the guards that were appointed by the Roman Empire.  The only answer is the angel who is not human; the guards could do nothing against the angel.  How were the guards not punished although the stone was rolled? Their duty was to guard the sepulcher.


Revealing the Resurrection in the Upper Room

"Then the same day at evening, being the first day of the week, when the doors were shut where the disciples were assembled for fear of the Jews, came Jesus and stood in the midst, and said unto them: 'Peace be unto you,'" John 20:19.

The doors of the upper room were shut as our teacher St. John mentioned.  St. John was one of the witnesses of the events of the upper room that were before and after the resurrection.  He wrote, with inspiration from the Holy Spirit, full details of the appearances of the Lord Jesus to the disciples in the upper room after His resurrection.  Thomas was not with them the first time, but he was with them the second time.  The Lord appeared to them many times in the upper room as was mentioned in the Book of Acts written by St. Luke.

St. Paul assured the fact of the resurrection:

“For I delivered unto you first of all that I also received, how that Christ died for our sins according to the Scriptures.  And that He was buried, and that He rose again on the third day according to the Scriptures.  And also He was seen of Cephas, and then He was seen of the Twelve.  After that, He was seen of above five hundred brothers at once of whom the greater part remain unto this present, but some are fallen asleep.  After that He was seen of James then followed of all the apostles.  And last of all, He was seen of me also, as one born out of due time,” 1 Corinthians 15:3-8.

Those Divine revelations were spoken by our holy fathers: St. John the Beloved and Theologian, St. Luke the Evangelist, St. Paul the apostle and missionary, and before them St. Mark the apostle and St. Matthew the apostle.  The Resurrection of Our Lord Jesus is a fact that cannot be doubted.  It is a fact like the shining sun at noontime.  The person that denies the fact of the Resurrection is like the one that denies the sunrise.


All the Apostles witnessed the Risen Lord:

·         Mary Magdalene and the other Mary saw Him more than once, Matthew 28:9-10.

·         He appeared to Mary Magdalene, John 20:1-18.

·         He appeared to the apostles more than once.

·         He appeared for Peter only, 1 Corinthians 15:15 and Luke 24:34.

·         He appeared to Cleopas and his companion on the road on their way to Emmaus, Luke 24:13-35.

·         He appeared to ten of the disciples in a closed room, John 20:19-25 and Luke 24:36-43.

·         He appeared to Thomas and others in the following week of His Resurrection, John 20:26-29.

·         He appeared to more than 500 disciples at once, 1 Corinthians 15:6.  This may have happened in Galilee, Matthew 28:7-8 and Mark 16:7.  It could be the day when the Lord commanded the disciples to teach everywhere, Matthew 28:16-20.

·         He appeared to six of the disciples at the Sea of Galilee, John 21:1-23.

·         He appeared to the apostles and other disciples at the day of His Ascension, Luke 24:36-53 and Acts 1:4-5.

·         The similar appearances.  “To whom also He showed Himself alive after His passion by many infallible proofs, being seen of them forty days, and speaking of the things pertaining to the kingdom of God,” Acts 1:3.

·         He appeared to Saul of Tarsus (St. Paul) on his way to Damascus, Acts 9:3-5, 22:6-9, 26:12-19 and 1 Corinthians 15:8.

One more thing to say is that those men, the disciples and the apostles of Jesus Christ were martyred for preaching this fact of the resurrection of Christ. Do you think that hundreds and thousands of men offer their life and accept to die just for a lie or false witness? Do you think that they said that they saw the Lord Jesus Risen and it was a false testimony and then they insist and persist on that until they get killed? Saint Paul the Apostle says, "If, in the manner of men, I have fought with beasts at Ephesus, what advantage [is it] to me? If [the] dead do not rise, 'Let us eat and drink, for tomorrow we die!'" (1Corinthians 15:32)

Probably it may be possible for one crazy person, or you may say two person, three or ten, but thousands of persons? The crazy one would be the one who call the thousands of martyrs for witness crazy.  

He appeared in many places: Jerusalem, the sea of Tiberias, Galilee, the village of Emmaus.  He appeared in unexpected times suddenly.  They were afraid when He appeared to them on the day of the Resurrection, Luke 24:37.  He appeared to them with a different form and in many cases they did not know Him when they saw Him.  It was above their expectations.  The words of the women seemed to them as idle tales, and they did not believe but they believed him in the following appearances.  He appeared for a long period of forty days.  He ate before them.  They touched Him, saw Him, heard Him, and they spoke with Him and He answered their questions.  He promised them with the coming of the Holy Spirit after few days and the promise was fulfilled.  Three thousand people witnessed the coming of the Holy Spirit that believed and were baptized on Pentecost.  They were Jews and from other far countries as Egypt and Libya.  The number increased to 5000.  He appeared to Saul (St. Paul) that was Jew and persecuted the church and He restored him.


Historical Evidence of the Resurrection of Christ:

1)      The fact of the sudden change of the life of the apostles:  The Eleven disciples were cowards at the time of crucifixion and they fled, Matthew 26:56.  They lost the hope and their hearts were full of grief and despair on the next day when He was in the tomb.  Their hearts were full of joy and faith on the third day after they saw their Risen Lord.  The women came into the sepulcher bringing the spices that they had prepared.  They were not thinking that Christ would rise again.  Everything changed when they saw the empty sepulcher and when they heard the words of the angel.  They believed His resurrection.  The disciples saw the Lord Himself and believed in His resurrection.  And so, the disciples became heroes and were willing to sacrifice their lives for the sake of their Risen Christ.

2)      The coming of the Holy Spirit on Pentecost as fulfillment of the promise of Christ, John 16:14, 15:26, and 16:7; and Acts 2:32-33, 7:37-39.

3)      The day of worship became the day of Resurrection of Christ, which was on Sunday instead of the day of Saturday.

4)      The fast growth of the Christian church.  The Jews considered Our Lord as if He was cursed from God, Deuteronomy 21:23.  But, after 52 days from His crucifixion, many Jews believed in Him, Acts 2:41 and even a large number of the priests, Acts 6:7.

5)      The New Testament message is the resurrection.  The resurrection of the body of Christ is a sure fact in the history.  The resurrection filled the needs of the human race.  It resulted in bestowing eternal life for those that believe.


Anybody can reach this conclusion after studying the facts that are related to the resurrection of the Lord in the New Testament.  The resurrection of Christ is the rock that smashes all the tools of criticism and the resurrection stays flawless.  St. Athanasius the apostolic said the worship of idols ended as well as sins and the Bible spread all over the world not only by words but also by power that changed the lives of the people.  There were many thousands of people from different people even from the rebels of the Jews.  This truth will be in all generations until the time of falling away when the work of the deception of the devil comes to cause judgment to all that refuse the truth and will be pleased by the deception.  This is the truth that shines like the sun at noontime and calls all to believe and to accept the knowledge of the truth.


False Theories that Deny the Resurrection of Christ by Flesh:


1)      The deception theory that says that the disciples stole Him from the sepulcher and they hid Him in some place.  This theory cannot explain how fearful, cowardly men became brave men suddenly.  This theory ignores the existence of the Roman soldiers that were guarding the tomb.  This theory goes with the claim of the elders of the Jews and the rumor that they spread by the guards after they bribed them.  They tried to cover the fact of the empty tomb.  Some came with a different argument saying that the enemies of Christ stole the body and hid it.  The enemies could have showed the body to refute the sayings of the disciples about the resurrection.

2)      The theory of idle tales by saying that the disciples imagined that they saw Jesus.  This claim contradicts with the touching of the disciples of His hands, His feet, and His side.  They talked and ate with Him when He appeared to them, Luke 24:42-43.  They claim that the disciples were occupied by thinking of Jesus and therefore they imagined that.  This theory is as wrong as the theory of the deception.

3)      The theory of visions that says the follower of Jesus saw real visions as a proof that the spirit of Jesus is alive.  This theory cannot solve the mystery of the empty tomb or the touching of the disciples to His body when He appeared to them several times.

4)      The theory of the changeable spiritual body to explain the existence of the linen burial clothes as they were laid in their place where the body was.  The body left the burial linen clothes and went out of the closed door of the sepulcher.  Some people misinterpret what it was mentioned in 1 Corinthians 15:44, saying that Jesus rose with a spiritual non-materialistic body.  This claim is refuted because He ate with His disciples after His Resurrection as well as His disciples touched Him and Thomas put his fingers in the print of the nails and he thrust his hand into His side.  Thomas said unto Him: “My Lord and God,” John 21:25-29.

5)      The theory of fainting that claims that Jesus did not die but he fainted and the disciples refreshed him.  This means that the disciples were deceivers.  Deceivers do not risk their lives.  It is impossible that the centurion gave false testimony to Pilate, Mark 15:44.  The centurion gave this testimony about his death after he verified himself.  This theory is a big insult for the apostles that founded the church and is against the wonders and miracles that they performed in His name.  “They bore witness to God both with signs and wonders, and with diverse miracles, and gifts of the Holy Spirit, according to His will,” Hebrews 2:4.

6)      The theory of the wrong sepulcher that claims that the women went to a different sepulcher separate from the one where Jesus was buried and that they met a strange person and he told them: “He is not here,” so they fled away from him.  This is a disparate theory to deny the miracle of the resurrection.  This theory contradicts the testimony of the Roman soldiers that were guarding the sepulcher.  The women saw also an empty tomb and the linen cloth there and every thing was in its place.  The one that they saw told them first: “Why did you seek the life among the dead.  He is not here, but He is risen,” Luke 24:5-7


The resurrection of the Lord is the essence of the Christian faith and is the foundation of the evangelism all over the world.   

The Doctrine of the Resurrection and faith:

In their ministry, the Apostles’ most important work was to testify about the Resurrection of the Lord. When they wanted to choose an apostle to replace Judas Iscariot, Peter stood amidst the disciples and said, “Therefore of these men who have accompanied us all the time that the Lord Jesus went in and out among us, beginning from the baptism of John to that day when He was taken up from us, one of those must become a witness with us of His Resurrection,” Acts 1:21-32.

When St. Paul went to Athens he preached to the philosophers there about Jesus and his Resurrection (Acts 17:18). He stressed this doctrine very strongly in his teachings, saying to the Corinthians, “And if Christ is not risen your faith is futile, you are still in your sins” (1Cor.15:17-19)...“But now Christ has risen from the dead and has become the first fruits of those who have fallen asleep,” 1 Corinthians15:17-20. Copyright © 2010 Saint Antony Publications, Fr.Marcus St.Antony, All rights reserved.