DEATH AND RESURRECTION OF JESUS CHRIST
"And being found in fashion as a man, he humbled himself,
and became obedient unto death, even the death of the cross-Phil.
2:8"; "To whom also he shewed 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
During this season of the year, the religious world shifts into
high gear with ritualistic thrusts on two "holidays"
or so-called "Holy Days," that it calls "Good
Friday" and "Easter." While giving lip service
to two actions of Christ, nominal apostate Christianity overlooks
the real Biblical significance of Christ's literal death and
literal resurrection, factors which this writer will consider
The Death of Christ
A. The Death of Christ was a VOLUNTARY death. While it is true
that from a human perspective, Christ's crucifixion was the
result of a despicable plot by one of his supposed disciples
(John 13:2) and the chief priests and Pharisees who hated Christ
(John 18:3) and that Roman soldiers actually crucified him on
a cross (John 19:16, 23), the inerrant Scriptures present a
perspective that religious apostates deny and religious liturgists
In an O. T. prophetic passage, Christ himself factually states,
centuries before his crucifixion in Isaiah 50:6, "I gave
my back to the smiters, and my checks to them that pluck off
the hair. I hid not my face from shame and spitting." (Cp:
Mk. 14:65, 15:19) Isaiah 53:2 prophetically declares that "He
poured out his soul unto death."
In Jn. 10:17, Christ said: "Therefore doth my Father love
me, because I lay down my life, that I might take it again.
No man taketh it from me, but I lay it down and I have power
to take it again." After his arrest, Christ declared to
Peter in Matt. 26:53-54: "Thinkest thou that I cannot now
pray to my Father, and he shall presently give me twelve legions
of angels? But how then shall the Scriptures be fulfilled, that
thus it must be." When the Scripture states in John 19:30
that Christ "bowed his head, and gave up the ghost,"
and in Matt. 27:50 that He "yielded up the ghost,"
it was the fulfillment of John 10:17.
B. The Death of Christ was a VITAL death. There are several
great vital needs depraved humanity lacks, that only the death
of Christ could provide. The death of Christ was
(a) Vital for the REMISSION of Sins: "Remission" is
a term that deals with the dismissal, release and forgiveness
of sins. Christ himself stated in Matt. 26:28, "For this
is my blood of the new testament, which is shed for many for
the remission of sins." In Heb. 9:22, referring to Christ's
blood shed on the cross, the author of Hebrews writes that "without
shedding of blood is no remission." Col. 1:14 emphasizes
this wonderful truth of forgiveness when it says: "In whom
[Christ] we have redemption through his blood, the forgiveness
(b) Vital for the REMOVAL of Sins: Praise God, our sins have
just not been forgiven, but they have been forgotten! John was
right when he declared in John 1:29 about Christ: "Behold
the Lamb of God, which taketh away the sin of the world."
While Isaiah 44:21-22 is a passage that looks ahead to Israel's
future forgiveness, it can aptly be applied today to repentant
sinners: "I have blotted out as a thick cloud, thy transgressions."
For the forgiven sinner (now saint), God states to believers
in Ps. 103:12: "As far as the east is from the west, so
far hath he removed our transgressions from us."
(c) Vital for the RECONCILIATION of Sinners: Reconciliation
deals with the re-uniting of sinners to God, who had been previously
separated by sin-Rom 6:23 and spiritual death-Rom. 5:12. Eph.
2:13 speaks about this re-uniting: "But now in Christ Jesus
ye who sometimes were far off are made nigh by the blood of
Christ." Col. 2:21 affirms this reconciliation: "And
you, that were sometime alienated and enemies in your mind by
wicked works, yet now hath he reconciled."
C. The Death of Christ was a VICARIOUS death: The word vicarious
means to assume the place of another, to take another's place,
to become the substitute for; In his death Christ assumed the
place that we deserved; He died as our substitute, taking our
place on the cross, while also freely bestowing the benefits
that result from that atoning substitutionary death.
The Scripture is replete with dozens of verses delineating and
describing this vicarious action: In that great prophetic declaration
in Isaiah 53: 6, the prophet states "All we like sheep
have gone astray; we have turned everyone to his own way; and
the Lord hath laid on him the iniquity of us all. II Cor. 5:21
says "For he hath made him to be sin for us, who knew no
sin; that we might be made the righteousness of God in him.,
while I Peter 2:24 declares: "Who his own self bare our
sins in his own body on the tree, that we, being dead to sins,
should live unto righteousness: by whose stripes ye were healed."
In Titus 2:14 the infallible Word reiterates that Christ "gave
himself for us."
This vicarious death was accomplished via the shedding of Christ's
blood in death on our behalf. That shed blood was (1) Promised
Blood-Lev. 17:11, (2) Pure Blood-I Pet. 1:18-19, (3) Propitiating
Blood-Rom. 3:25, (4) Purchasing Blood-Acts 20:28 (5) Purging
Blood-Heb. 9:14; (6) Prevailing Blood-Rev. 12:11 and (7) Preserved
Blood-Heb. 12:22-25. The prime importance of that blood which
was shed on our behalf in his death must never be minimized
or ignored-I Cor. 2:2, Gal. 6:14.
The Resurrection of Christ
All praise to God, Christ's body did not remain permanently
in the tomb. After three days, Christ's spirit and body were
reunited in a glorious triumph over death. "He is not here,"
He "is risen" were the exhilarating words the angel
spake to Mary Magdalene and Mary, the mother of James on that
great resurrection morning-Luke 24:1-10.
A. The Resurrection of Christ was a VITAL Resurrection: Christ's
resurrection was an imperative and necessary resurrection. The
entire chapter of I Corinthians 15 is devoted to the theme of
resurrection, and in particular to Christ's resurrection. Note
the following truths about Christ's resurrection:
(1) Christ's Resurrection was Vital to our FAITH: Using solid
reasoning, in I Cor. 15:14 the Apostle Paul says "And if
Christ be not risen, then is our preaching vain, and your faith
is also vain."
(2) Christ's Resurrection was Vital to our FORGIVENESS: I Cor.
15:17 states "And if Christ be not raised, your faith is
vain, ye are yet in your sins." A saviour who is permanently
dead has no power to act in granting forgiveness of sins. Rev.
1:5 says that this living Saviour has "washed us from our
sins in his own precious blood." Just a few verses later,
John directly quotes the living Christ who emphatically declares
in Rev. 1:18, "I am he that liveth, and was dead; and,
behold, I am alive for evermore, Amen; and have the keys of
hell and death."
(3) Christ's Resurrection was Vital to our FUTURE: I Cor. 15:19-22
states: "If in this life only we have hope in Christ, we
are of all men most miserable. For since by man came death,
by man came also the resurrection of the dead. For as in Adam
all die, even so in Christ shall all be made alive. But every
man in his own order: Christ the firstfruits; afterward they
that are Christ's at his coming." As the living Saviour,
Christ has entered heaven as our forerunner, becoming the guarantor
of our future entrance there-Heb. 6:18-20.
B. The Resurrection of Christ was a VERIFIABLE Resurrection:
Acts 1:3 states that "he [Christ] shewed himself alive
after his passion by many infallible proof, being seen of them
forty days, and speaking of things pertaining to the kingdom
of God." We do not know exactly how many post-resurrection
appearance Christ made in those 40 days, but from the Scripture
in John chapter 20:1-18 and I Cor. 15:5-8, we know there were
at least 514 witness, including a special appearance to Paul
when, as Saul of Tarsus, he was traveling on the road to Damascus-Acts
According to John chapters 20-21, Christ's body was a real body-John
20:20, a recognizable body-John 20:27 and a remarkable body-John
20:19, not being subject to the limitation of time and space-John
There are least seven Scriptural verifications of Christ's resurrection.
(l) The Testimony of the TOMBS: The first and most empty important
tomb was Christ's empty tomb: Luke 24:3 says that when Mary
Magdalene and Mary the mother of James came to Christ's tomb
that historic resurrection morning, they "found not the
body of the Lord Jesus." Why? Because, as the angel stated:
"He is not here, but is risen." The second testimonial
here involves the empty tombs of saints who appeared in the
city of Jerusalem after his resurrection: Matt. 27:52-53 declares
that "the graves were opened; and many bodies of the saints
which slept arose, And came out of the graves after his resurrection,
and went into the holy city [Jerusalem] and appeared unto many."
(2) The Testimony of the TRAVELERS: On that first resurrection
day, two of Christ's adherents were traveling from Jerusalem
to the little village called Emmaus. The Scripture records in
Luke 24:13-35 that Jesus appeared to these distraught disciples.
Their eyes were originally "holden" so that they did
"know him." However, after he unfolded the O. T. Scriptures
about himself and prayed with them before a meal, "their
eyes were opened" and the Scriptures states that "they
(3) The Testimony of the TANGIBLE: The Jehovah's Witnesses falsely
allege that only Christ the spirit arose, and that Jesus the
man is still dead. Luke 24:36-48 records the events of that
first resurrection evening when Jesus appeared to eleven disciples
and some other fearful believers. The disciples and some adherents
were literally frightened and terrified when Christ suddenly
appeared in their midst and "supposed they had seen a spirit."
Christ, however, reassured them by saying, "Behold my hands
and my feet, that it is I myself; handle me and see; for a spirit
hath not flesh and bone, as ye see me have. And when he had
thus spoken, he shewed them his hands and his feet."
Seven days later when Thomas, who missed Christ's first appearance
and doubted his literal bodily resurrection (John 20:24-25)
was present with the other disciples. Christ appeared again
and personally invited Thomas to behold his literal hands and
thrust his hand into Christ's side. Accepting Christ's invitation,
Thomas immediately responded with the affirmative words: "My
Lord and my God."
(4) The Testimony of the TEXT: The O. T. text infallibly predicted
Christ's resurrection in Ps. 16:10. When this verse is compared
to Acts 2:22-31, particularly Acts 2:31, the fulfillment of
Christ's bodily resurrection is plainly clear. The N. T. text
makes it very plain about Christ's resurrection: In that great
set of salvation verses in Romans chapter 10, the Apostle Paul
says: "That if thou shalt confess with thy mouth the Lord
Jesus, and shalt believe in thine heart that God hath raised
him from the dead, thou shalt be saved-Rom. 10:9."
In Phil. 3:10, the Apostle Paul reaffirms Christ's resurrection
in that aspiration verse: "That I may know him, and the
power of his resurrection, and the fellowship of his sufferings,
being made conformable unto his death." One Bible teacher
has aptly stated that "in the Gospels, Christ's resurrection
is declared, in the Acts, Christ's resurrection is demonstrated,
and in the Epistles, Christ's resurrection is defined."
(5) The Testimony of the TITLE: Before his ascension Christ
is called by his earthly name Jesus 608 times, but only 62 times
is he given this designation after his resurrection and ascension.
Never once, before Christ's ascension does the Scripture give
His complete title: "Lord Jesus Christ," but 81 times
after his ascension to glory, you will discover that title in
the Scriptures. One of the Scriptural keys that explains the
power of the early churches in book of Acts is the fact that
the term "Lord" occurs 117 times in that apostolic
(6) The Testimony of the TRINITY: The Triune God, three distinct
persons, but one divine being, all individually testify to Christ's
(a) God the Father AUTHENTICATES Christ's resurrection: Acts
2:24 "Whom God [the Father] hath raised up, having loosed
the pains of death: because it was not possible that he should
be holden of it, while Acts 10:40 says, "Him God [the Father]
raised up the third day, and shewed him openly."
(b) God the Son AFFIRMS his own resurrection: In Luke 24:39,
Christ himself said: "Behold my hands and my feet, that
it is I myself; handle me and see; for a spirit hath not flesh
and bones, as ye see me have.
(c) God the Holy Spirit ACTUALIZED Christ's resurrection: Rom.
8:11 states: "But if the Spirit of him that raised up Jesus
from the dead dwell in you, he that raised up Christ from the
dead shall also quicken your mortal bodies by his Spirit that
dwelleth in you."
(7) The Testimony of the TRANSFORMED: All you need to do is
to compare the difference in the attitudes of some of Christ's
disciples in Acts 24:17 before they learned about His resurrection
with the dramatic change that occurred after this great fact
become personally known-Acts 24:51-52. Acts 24:17 says: And
he [Christ] said unto them [the two disciples on the Emmaus
road],What manner of communication are these that ye have one
to another, as ye walk and are sad."
Upon his final parting from his disciples after His resurrection,
the Scripture states: "And It came to pass, while he blessed
them, he was parted from them, and carried up into heaven. And
they worshipped him, and returned to Jerusalem with great joy.
The great distinction between "sad" and "joy"
was the intimate knowledge of Christ's resurrection!
C. The Resurrection of Christ was a VICTORIOUS resurrection:
In His resurrection,
(1) Christ was victorious first and foremost over Satan: I John
3:8b says: "
For this purpose was the Son of God manifested,
that he might destroy the works of the devil." In the death
and resurrection of Christ, Satan's doom was sealed. For Satan,
it is only a matter of time before the risen Christ seizes the
complete reigns of divine power and sends the devil hurling
to his eternal doom in the lake of fire-Rev. 20:10.
(2) Christ was victorious over the Sepuchre: In Eph. 4:8-10,
the Scripture states when Christ arose from the dead and ascended
on high that he "led captivity captive." This doctrinally
rich phrase simply means that when Christ arose from the dead"
and ascended to heaven, that he emptied the upper compartment
of Sheol-Hades where the spirits of O. T. saints had been resting
in a place of temporary comfort.(Luke 16:26-31) but not sleeping,
and took them to glory with Him. Since that time, when saints
die their soul and spirit no longer go downward to a place of
comfort, but takes an immediate flight upwards at death to the
presence of Christ-II Cor. 5:1 & 5:8.
(3) Christ was victorious over this Sinful World: While in his
birth and life, Christ was both immaculate [born without sin]
and impeccable [incapable of sin, lived without sin], in His
resurrection and ascension, Christ attained new spiritual heights
never before received: a change of seating arrangement in glory.
Because of His victories, Christ is no longer seated at the
Father's left hand-Ps. 16:8-but at His right hand-Heb. 1:3 &
10:12. Because of Christ's victories in his death and resurrection,
God the Father has given His Son, the place of highest honors
in Heaven. As the eternal High Priest, He ever lives "to
make intercession for them" that "come unto God by
Christ's death and resurrection should always remain a central
focus of the believer's attention-I Cor. 15:1-4. D. J.