This is my search section here


← back to Sermons

    Mar 09, 2016

    Class 3: Jesus' Resurrection from the Dead

    Series: Explaining Christianity

    Category: Core Seminars, Apologetics, Evidence for Faith, The Wrath of God, Resurrection of Christ, Atonement, Heaven & Hell



    • This class is for believers and non-believers…
    • What is the most important holiday traditionally associated with Christianity?
      • Likely answers are Christmas and Easter.  Of course, neither holiday is in the Bible, though each refers to an important event. Christmas celebrates the birth of Jesus Christ, while Easter celebrates his resurrection from the dead. Both events are important, but…
      • I think it is fair to say that if Jesus had not got up from the dead three days after his crucifixion, the fact of his birth would have soon passed into obscurity. This fact, that Jesus rose from the dead, is the foundational claim of Christianity. As the apostle Paul said in his first letter to 1 Corinthians 15:17-19, “And if Christ has not been raised, your faith is futile and you are still in your sins.Then those also who have fallen asleep in Christ have perished.  If in Christ we have hope in this life only, we are of all people most to be pitied.”
      • Sir Norman Anderson, a Christian scholar and Professor of Oriental Law at London University living in the mid-20th century, put it this way: “Either the resurrection is infinitely more than a beautiful story, or else it is infinitely less.  If it is true, then it is the supreme fact of history, and to fail to adjust one’s life to its implications means irreparable loss.  If it is not true, if Christ has not risen, then Christianity is all a fraud foisted on the world by consummate liars – or at best, deluded simpletons."
    • This week we want to consider the amazing claim that Jesus Christ was not only crucified on behalf of sinners, as we looked at last week, but that three days later he got up from the dead. We will look at the resurrection account in the Gospel of Mark, as well as other passages in the Bible to help us understand the meaning and implications of the resurrection.


    • What are we using as our original source and why? Gospel of Mark.  Why Mark? First Gospel written.  Short and concise.  Gospel of action.
    • What does Gospel mean? Good news, particularly the “good news about Jesus Christ the Son of God” – Mark 1:1. To review, Christianity, as the name implies, has Jesus Christ at its core.  Therefore, any thoughtful and thorough study of Christianity must begin with the person of Jesus Christ.
    • Who can summarize what we learned about Jesus’ authority?  Jesus was the Son of God, the divine King of the world, who has unique authority:
      • Over people (calls Simon and Andrew (1:16-20))
      • As teacher (taught as one with authority, not as teachers of the Law (1:22))
      • Over evil spirits (evil spirits recognize Christ as Holy one of God capable of driving them out – as occurred in the synagogue in Capernaum (1:26))
      • To forgive sin (2:1-12)
      • Over sickness (heals paralytic by His word (2:11))
      • Over nature (calms storm in Sea of Galilee, again by His word. (4:35-41))
      • Over death (raises daughter of Jairus (5:21-43))
    • Q: How would you define sin?
      • An attitude of rebellion against God in thought, word or deed.  It involves a failure to conform to and a breaking of the moral law of God. We don’t do the things we should do and we do the things we ought not to do.
      • Book illustration
    • Q: Could someone explain the spiritual significance of the crucifixion – substitution and reconciliation?
      • Remember, on the cross God, who is perfectly loving and perfectly just, was punishing sin.  His death also served to reconcile us to God by being our ransom.  By dying on the cross he paid the penalty for the sins of believers in every age in order to set them free from God’s just judgment.

    The Resurrection

    • Today we will complete our study of the three facts that any person must believe in order to be a Christian:
      • Jesus is God’s Son
      • He died on the cross as our substitute, to ransom us from our slavery to sin, and
      • He physically rose from the dead.
    • Resurrection Predicted by Jesus
      • Let’s start where we ended in the last class.
      • At the surface, the crucifixion appears to be a wrong turn in God’s plan; however, scripture clearly teaches that Jesus himself taught that these events must come to pass.
      • God’s love for us is so awesome and amazing that He killed his perfect and holy Son in order to redeem us from our willful and rebellious sin. 
      • But God’s plan did not stop with Jesus’ death.  Let us begin by noticing that in addition to predicting his own death, Jesus’ also foretold his coming resurrectionChrist makes mention of his coming death and resurrection on four separate occasions.
        • READ Mark 8:31 – After Peter confessed that he believes Jesus is the Christ, Jesus then “…began to teach them that the Son of Man must suffer many things and be rejected by the elders and the chief priests and the scribes and be killed, and after three days rise again.”
        • READ Mark 9:9: After the transfiguration (Elijah and Moses): “as they were coming down the mountain, he charged them to tell no one what they had seen, until the Son of Man had risen from the dead.”
        • READ Mark 9:31 – Jesus “was teaching his disciples, saying to them, ‘The Son of Man is going to be delivered into the hands of men, and they will kill him. And when he is killed, after three days he will rise.’  But they did not understand the saying, and were afraid to ask him.”
        • READ Mark 10:32-34 – “Taking the twelve again, he began to tell them what was to happen to him, 33 saying, ‘See, we are going up to Jerusalem, and the Son of Man will be delivered over to the chief priests and the scribes, and they will condemn him to death and deliver him over to the Gentiles. 34 And they will mock him and spit on him, and flog him and kill him. And after three days he will rise.’”
      • Christ clearly understood that he was not only to die a humiliating death, but that he would rise three days later and ascend into heaven. The resurrection was not God’s plan B, after everything went terribly wrong at Calvary. Rather, Christ’s death and resurrection were God’s intent all along!
    • The Resurrection Event
      • First we'll read of the resurrection event itself, and then read about evidences and reactions to the resurrection
      • READ Mark 16:1-8 – The Resurrection Event
    • Evidence of the Resurrection
      • Although Mark contains a brief account of witnesses to the resurrection, we can turn to another gospel, the book of John chapters 20-21 (go ahead and turn there), to see a longer account. 
      • Let's skim through these chapters, and point out a few eye witnesses to his resurrection:
        • READ John 20:10-18
        • READ John 20:19-20
        • READ John 20:24-29
        • READ John 21:1-7
      • There are at least 10 references in the gospels where Jesus appears after the resurrection. Additionally in Acts 1:3 states that “After his suffering, he showed himself to these men and gave many convincing proofs he was alive.  He appeared to them over a period of forty days and spoke about the kingdom of God.”
      • For further exploration of the validity of the resurrection, I’ve provided a few references at the end of the handout.
    • Significance and Meaning of the Resurrection
      • Before we consider implications for our lives, let's first study the meaning or the significance of the resurrection.
      • While we normally stay in the book of Mark and the gospels, we'll spend some time now practicing how to interpret scripture with scripture and see what God has told us about the resurrection in Romans and Acts, two other books in the Bible.  As we read the following passages, let’s think about what the scripture says about the resurrection.  I’ll pause after each and ask for your thoughts on what each passage reveals about the significance of the resurrection.
      • READ Romans 1:1-4 - 1Paul, a servant of Christ Jesus, called to be an apostle, set apart for the gospel of God, which he promised beforehand through his prophets in the holy Scriptures,concerning his Son, who was descended from David according to the flesh and was declared to be the Son of God in power according to the Spirit of holiness by his resurrection from the dead, Jesus Christ our Lord,”
        • Q: What do we see scripture teaching about the significance of the resurrection?
          • Christ is proven to be divine, the Son of God

    o   READ Romans 4:25 - “[Jesus] was delivered up for our trespasses and raised for our justification.”

    §  Q: What do we see scripture teaching about the significance of the resurrection?

    ·         Enables believer justification

    ·         No more atonement is needed

    ·         Sin is dealt with completely

          • God’s wrath has been fully satisfied
      • READ Romans 6:4-14, 23 – We were buried therefore with him by baptism into death, in order that, just as Christ was raised from the dead by the glory of the Father, we too might walk in newness of life.  For if we have been united with him in a death like his, we shall certainly be united with him in a resurrection like his. We know that our old self was crucified with him in order that the body of sin might be brought to nothing, so that we would no longer be enslaved to sin. For one who has died has been set free from sin. Now if we have died with Christ, we believe that we will also live with him. We know that Christ, being raised from the dead, will never die again; death no longer has dominion over him. 10 For the death he died he died to sin, once for all, but the life he lives he lives to God. 11 So you also must consider yourselves dead to sin and alive to God in Christ Jesus.  12 Let not sin therefore reign in your mortal body, to make you obey its passions. 13 Do not present your members to sin as instruments for unrighteousness, but present yourselves to God as those who have been brought from death to life, and your members to God as instruments for righteousness. 14 For sin will have no dominion over you, since you are not under law but under grace.  AND verse 23: “For the wages of sin is death, but the free gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord.”


        • Q: What do we see scripture teaching about the significance of the resurrection?

    ·         Christ was raised by God’s glory

          • Believers are united to Christ
          • Believers have been (union with Christ) and will be (eternal life) raised to a new life – Jesus is the first fruits of the resurrection (1 Cor 15:23)
          • Victory over sin
          • Victory over death
          • Perfect sacrifice, needed only once – no more sacrifice required, no more guilt
          • Resurrection is eternal
      • We'll now turn to the book of Acts in Chapter 10.  Peter’s teaching to a group of non-Christians.  This is the same Peter who confessed Christ just before Jesus’ first prediction of his death and resurrection. Peter has been speaking to Cornelius, a centurion in the Roman army, and his relatives and close friends.  Peter is recounting things Jesus commanded him to teach.
      • READ Acts 10:39-43 – 39 And we are witnesses of all that he did both in the country of the Jews and in Jerusalem. They put him to death by hanging him on a tree, 40 but God raised him onthe third day and made him to appear, 41 not to all the people but to us who had been chosen by God as witnesses, who ate and drank with him after he rose from the dead.42 And he commanded us to preach to the people and to testify that he is the one appointed by God to be judge of the living and the dead. 43 To him all the prophets bear witness that everyone who believes in him receives forgiveness of sins through his name.”
        • Q: What do we see scripture teaching about the significance of the resurrection?
          • Judge of the living and the dead
          • Everyone who believes in him receives forgiveness of sins through his name
    • Implications of the Resurrection on our Lives [Note to Teacher: Focus on Acts 10 and Mark]
      • All people will be raised
        • *Acts 10:42 refers to “the living and the dead”.  The Bible looks to a day when all people living and dead from all ages will be raised.  And this isn’t necessarily good news. 
        • Acts 24:14-15:  Paul is on trial before the Roman Governor Felix and says, “I believe everything that agrees with the Law and that is written in the Prophets, and I have the same hope in God as these men, that there will be a resurrection of both the righteous and the wicked.”
        • In John 5:28-29, Jesus says: “28 Do not marvel at this, for an hour is coming when all who are in the tombs will hear his voice 29 and come out, those who have done good to the resurrection of life, and those who have done evil to the resurrection of judgment.”
      • All people will then be judged by Jesus
        • *Mark 8:38 reads, “For whoever is ashamed of me and of my words in this adulterous and sinful generation, of him will the Son of Man also be ashamed when he comes in the glory of his Father with the holy angels.”
        • *In Acts 10:42 we see that Jesus has been appointed by God to act as judge over the living and the dead.  We are not simply free agents on this earth.  Someday we will give an account to God for our lives. 
        • Romans 2:6 states that, “He will render to each one according to his works.” In this day and age we can be so focused on the here and now.  We avoid talking about death and remove it as far from our lives as possible. But the resurrection of Jesus Christ challenges us to consider our own death, because death is not the end. All of us will be judged by Jesus.

    o   All people will be divided into two groups

        • *Mark 8:38 reads, “For whoever is ashamed of me and of my words in this adulterous and sinful generation, of him will the Son of Man also be ashamed when he comes in the glory of his Father with the holy angels.”

    §  *Acts 10:43 - “Everyone who believes” implies there are some who believe and some who do not believe.  Once judged by Jesus, people will be divided into two groups: (1) those who believe in Jesus now and are forgiven at judgment, and (2) those who reject Jesus now and will be rejected by Jesus at judgment.

    o   The division is forever

    §  In the Bible there is no concept of a second chance after death.  Hebrews 9:27 says, “just as it is appointed for man to die once, and after that comes judgment.”

    §  Matthew 25:32-46 – Jesus teaches: “Before him will be gathered all the nations, and he will separate people one from another as a shepherd separates the sheep from the goats.… Then he will say to those on his left, ‘Depart from me, you cursed, into the eternal fire prepared for the devil and his angels… And these will go away into eternal punishment, but the righteous into eternal life.”

    o   The life we have now is our one and only opportunity to believe in Jesus.  Know that your attitude to Jesus in this life is the same as His attitude to you in the next.  If you accept Him now, He will accept you then.  If you reject Him now, He will reject you then.


    • Clearly, the resurrection has tremendous significance for it ensures that; (1) we will be raised, (2) we will then be judged by Jesus, (3) we will be separated into either the wicked, or the righteous, and (4) that division is eternal.
    • When Christ rose from the dead, God the Father was in effect saying that he accepted Christ’s work of suffering and dying for our sins, that his work was completed, and that Christ no longer had any need to remain dead.  There was no penalty left to pay for sin, no more wrath of God to bear, no more guilt or liability to punish – all had been completely paid for, and no guilt remained.
    • So in the resurrection, Christ is victorious over sin.  He conquered sin and death on the cross so that we who repent of our sin and trust in him are forgiven and will receive eternal life.
    • So there is the final pillar of the Christian faith: (1) Jesus is the Son of God, (2) Jesus substituted himself for our sins by dying on the cross, and (3) Jesus got up from the dead to declare victory over sin and to be the judge of the world.
    • Any questions?


    • Romans 6:6-9 – “We know that our old self was crucified with him in order that the body of sin might be brought to nothing, so that we would no longer be enslaved to sin. For one who has died has been set free from sin. Now if we have died with Christ, we believe that we will also live with him. We know that Christ, being raised from the dead, will never die again; death no longer has dominion over him.”