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Blog by Ron – The Resurrection

The Resurrection of Jesus Christ is a hotly debated issue. Some people say it never happened. These have their heads in the sand.

Others say He was resurrected in the spirit. But that leaves a body in the tomb, yet the tomb has been and is empty.

Still others believe that He was bodily resurrected and coming back. These people have a rock-solid faith.

Let’s take a closer look.

The Cross

A literal reading of the Word of God leads to the belief that Christ was crucified on Wednesday and arose Sunday morning. Some people believe that He was crucified on Friday and celebrate the day as Good Friday. This is not supported with scripture unless you divide the days.

Why?

Simple math. You cannot get three days and nights which comprise 72 hours into two days (Friday and Saturday). The only way this is achieved is be dividing the days which neither the context nor the actual wording support.

Part of the confusion rests on the sabbath. There is the sabbath which occurs on Saturday, and the Passover, a high day or high sabbath. In John 19:14, 31 we learn that Jesus was crucified on the day of preparation for the Passover, the next day. Thus, the crucifixion was on Wednesday, not Friday.

Another factor is the confusion over how long Jesus was in the tomb. It was three days and three nights. Only a crucifixion on Wednesday allows this. Consider that Thursday the Passover began in our time Wednesday at 6pm (sundown). This means Jesus was in the tomb (using our time) from Wednesday 6pm to 6am (night), Thursday 6pm to 6am, and Friday 6pm to 6am. He was also in the tomb in our time from Thursday 6am to 6pm (day), Friday 6am to 6pm, and Saturday 6am to 6pm.

Thus He was in the tomb three days and three nights, and was resurrected sometime after 6pm Saturday which was the beginning of Sunday. The stone was rolled away at dawn not to let Jesus out but to allow the women to look in.

The Resurrection Means No Body in the Tomb

There are a great number of man-made religions in the world and the bones of the founders never left the burial place. But we know that Jesus left the tomb and was seen of many. At one time He appeared to some 500 people. While it is possible to delude one or two people at the same time, it is not possible to delude 500 at the same time.

The Resurrection is Absolute

Some deniers claim the resurrection is unimportant. That is because they think that Christianity is just another religion. But it is more than a religion, it is a relationship between God and man through the God-man Jesus Christ. If Christ was not resurrected then He was buried and no longer lives. If He no longer lives there is no hope for us, we are most miserable (1 Cor. 15:19).

The Resurrection is Historical

After the crucifixion Christ appeared to many people as noted above. It was the fact of the resurrection that empowered the early church to dig deep roots and survive the persecution that came.  That led to the imprisonment of the apostles and none recanted their belief in the resurrection. Look at this list:

  • Peter: crucified upside down.
  • Andrew: crucified on an X.
  • Phillip: crucified upside down.
  • Thomas: stabbed with spears.
  • Matthew: murdered after scolding a king.
  • Bartholomew: skinned alive.

None of these recanted in their belief in the resurrected Christ.

The church itself would have died quickly if the resurrection were a lie.

Although the Jewish culture had always had Saturday worship, the church began worshipping on Sunday immediately! The only explanation is the resurrection.

The Jewish sacrificial system was abandoned and disappeared shortly after the resurrection. While many reasons may be given, the only one that makes any sense is they are no longer needed.

Jesus Himself told the Pharisees that He would be raised (John 2:19).

The resurrection was real and well documented. It is an historical fact that changed the world. Jesus Christ came to take your sins and mine and to take them to the cross. There He dismissed His spirit and died in our place. He was buried in a tomb and arose after three days and nights in the tomb. And He ever lives and will come back for us some day soon!

___

R. Frederick Riddle is an author, teacher, publisher, and the owner of T&R Independent Books. The website is at Home – T&R Independent Bookstore (trbookservices.com).

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What’s So Special About Easter?

What's True About Easter?

What’s So Special About Easter? Jesus Christ, the Son of God, bore our sins to His cross and died in yours and my life. That is the difference.

A Special Sacrifice

His sacrifice of Himself upon the cross forever changed the cross. Invented and used as an instrument of torture and death for criminals was transformed to the very symbol of God’s love and His signature for the church. Where once man hoped (i.e., I hope such and such will happen), the cross represents our hope (a sure confidence in the blood of Christ).

More on the other side of this break.

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A Special Burial and Resurrection

Not only was His sacrifice special, but the Resurrection was special. Jesus spent 3 days and nights in a tomb prepared for but never used for a rich man. It was the special fulfillment of scripture, “And he made his grave with the wicked, and with the rich in his death…” (Isaiah 53:9)

The fulfillment of Old Testament prophecies marks His burial as very special. But it was the three days and three nights in the tomb which is really special. I deal with this subject in What’s True About Easter. Many try to explain it away, but it always best to take the Bible literally unless told otherwise. Such an approach clarifies scripture not only in Matthew 12:40, but in such books as Revelation.

What’s So Special About the Characters

Priests. In Jesus’ day He had many enemies. Among them were the Jewish priests, primarily the Pharisees. They knew that He claimed to be the Messiah, and they also knew He met every requirement of the scriptures. But He was a threat to their position in Jewish society, so they opposed Him. They bought Judas’ help in delivering Him to them, they forced a secret and illegal trial, bought false witnesses, and then forced Pilate to execute Him.

Pilate. This man is a Roman equestrian or knight of the Samnite clan. His appointment came as a result of Sejanus, who had strong connections to Emperor Tiberius. There are some who venerate him for declaring Jesus’ innocent, but most believe he was weak. His cruelty during his governorship indicates his moral weakness.

In any case, the priests perceived this weakness and played on it. There is the possibility that Pilate was under pressure from Rome and desperately trying to set Jesus free. But he lacked the courage to do what he knew was right, washed his hands, and turned Jesus over to be crucified.

Jesus. The Old Testament is full of prophecies of the Messiah. Everyone that dealt with his birth, death, and resurrection were fulfilled. Here are a few:

  • Numbers 24:17 – …there shall come a Star out of Jacob, and a Sceptre shall rise out of Israel…
  • Deuteronomy 18:18 I will raise them up a Prophet from among their brethren, like unto me; unto him ye shall hearken.
  • Isaiah 11:1 – And there shall come forth a rod out of the stem of Jesse, and a Branch shall grow out of his roots.
  • Micah 5:2 – But thou, Bethlehem Ephratah…out of thee shall he come forth… Note: There were two Bethlehems, thus the more specific name.
  • Isaiah 7:14 – Behold, a virgin shall conceive, and bear a son, and shall call his name Immanuel.
  • Isaiah 52:13-53:12 – Fifteen verses concerning the Messiah as our crucified Savior.
  • Isaiah 53:10-12 – The resurrection is pictured here.
  • Zechariah 12:10 – …they shall look upon me whom they have pierced…
  • Psalm 22:1-18 – the crucifixion described.
  • And more.

These are just a few scriptures that were fulfilled. And there are many more!

What is So Special About Easter?

Jesus Christ, God the Son of God, willingly went to the cross to pay for yours’ and my sin. He died for us and then three days and three nights later He arose! And now He sits on His throne forever in heaven.

He is my Savior, and I hope He is yours as well. He’s only a prayer away.

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T&R Independent Bookstore is a division of T&R Independent Books founded in 2014 by R. Frederick and Tess Riddle. TR Ministry, aka Ministry Services, is both a charge and an exciting outreach to the Christian Community.