top of page

The Resurrection of Jesus

Now I make known to you, brethren, the gospel which I preached to you, which also you received, in which also you stand, by which also you are saved, if you hold fast the word which I preached to you, unless you believed in vain. For I delivered to you as of first importance what I also received, that Christ died for our sins according to the Scriptures, and that He was buried, and that He was raised on the third day according to the Scriptures.

-- 1 Corinthians 15:1-4 --

Why am I writing this now and not just before Easter? Because the gospel of Christ is not limited to Easter Sunday. The crucifixion, death, and burial of Jesus is just part of the gospel of Christ. If this is where it ended, then there is no gospel. We will perish in our sins for all eternity! Jesus claimed that He will be crucified then rise from the grave on the third day (Matthew 17:22-23; 20:19; Mark 10:33-34; Luke 18:33). Not only did Jesus have the authority to lay down His life on His own initiative, He also had the authority to take it up again (John 10:17-18). Jesus told the Jews, “Destroy this temple, and in three days I will raise it up” (John 2:19). Jesus is “the resurrection and the life” (John 11:25). He has life in Himself (John 1:4; 5:26). If He did not rise from the dead then all of His claims are false and we will have no reason to believe in Him.

For if the dead are not raised, not even Christ has been raised; and if Christ has not been raised, your faith is worthless; you are still in your sins. Then those also who have fallen asleep in Christ have perished (1 Corinthians 15:16–18).

Jesus proved, beyond a reasonable doubt, exactly who He claimed to be - the Son of God. Thus, we can have complete confidence in everything written about Him in the Scriptures. The great prophet of Islam, Muhammed, died and was buried in A.D. 632. He is still in the grave regardless of claims by some in Islam that he is alive.

According to the Scriptures

When Paul wrote "according to the Scriptures" in 1 Corinthians 15:1-4, he was referring to Old Testament prophecies concerning the death, burial, and resurrection of Christ.

  • "Christ died for our sins" -> Psalm 22:1-8; Isaiah 53:4-8.

  • "He was buried" -> Isaiah 53:9.

  • "He was raised on the third day" -> Psalm 16:9-10; Isaiah 53:10 ("He will see His offspring and prolong His days"); Hosea 6:2.

Three Days and Three Nights

Many, including myself at one time, have thought the following: if Jesus spent three days and three nights in the grave, then He must have been crucified on Thursday instead of Friday, or He must have rose from the dead on Monday instead of Sunday. The problem with this thought is that our twenty-four hour days start and end at midnight (12pm). However, Jewish days start and end at sunset. Jesus told His disciples, “The Son of Man must suffer many things and be rejected by the elders and chief priests and scribes, and be killed and be raised up on the third day” (Luke 9:22). Jesus was crucified on the first day (Friday) and was taken off the cross and buried before the Sabbath began (Luke 23:50–55). The Sabbath (Saturday) started at sunset, the beginning of the second day. Luke 23:56 records that the women returned and prepared spices and perfumes for the body of Jesus who was laid in the tomb, then rested on the Sabbath according to the commandment. The third day (Sunday) began the sunset after the Sabbath. This was the first day of the week. Jesus rose from the dead sometime before early dawn when the women came to the tomb bringing the spices which they had prepared. And they found the stone rolled away from the tomb, but when they entered, they did not find the body of the Lord Jesus (Luke 24:1–3).

According to Matthew 12:40, Jesus said He will “be three days and three nights in the heart of the earth” yet He rose from the grave on the third day. Is this a contradiction? Jewish reckoning of days and nights is inclusive meaning any part of a day was considered a whole day (sunset to sunset). He was taken off the cross and buried before sunset on Friday (one day/night). Jesus spent all day Saturday in the grave (second day/night), then part of Sunday in the grave (third day/night). He clearly understood this (Mark 9:31; 10:34; John 2:19) and those seeking to kill Him clearly understood this (Matthew 26:61; 27:40, 63; Mark 8:31; John 2:20).

Evidences for the Resurrection

There were four eyewitnesses at the empty tomb.

As I previously stated, there is no gospel without the resurrection of Jesus from the grave. The first hand eyewitness accounts of Mary Magdalene, Mary the mother of James and Salome, Peter, and John (Matthew 28:1–10; Mark 16:1–8; Luke 24:1–10; John 20:1–18), testify that the tomb Jesus was laid in was empty. The women who came with Jesus from Galilee saw the tomb and how His body was laid (Luke 23:55). Those same women saw that the body of Jesus was no longer in the tomb where He was previously laid (Luke 24:1–3).

Jesus was completely dead.

Some would argue that Jesus wasn’t completely dead. After His body was resuscitated from sleep in the coolness of the tomb, He woke up and walked out of the tomb. To ensure Jesus was dead, one of the Roman soldiers thrust a spear in His side. Blood and water came out of the wound indicating He was clearly dead. The soldiers would have broken His legs if He was still alive causing death almost immediately. In either case, Jesus was dead (John 19:32–35) when His body was laid in the tomb. A stone was rolled against the entrance of the tomb. This stone would have been impossible to roll away from inside the tomb (Mark 15:46). In fact Mary Magdalene and the other Mary said to one another, “Who will roll away the stone for us from the entrance of the tomb?” They testified that “it was extremely large” (Mark 16:3-4).

The body of Jesus was not stolen.

Did the disciples steal the body of Jesus? This was a major concern of the chief priests and Pharisees. Upon their request, Pilate ordered them to make the tomb as secure as possible and place a guard there (Matthew 27:63–66). Matthew 28:11–15 provides evidence that the disciples did not steal the body. When the guards reported that the body of Jesus was gone, the chief priests and elders made up a story that the disciples stole the body when the guards were asleep to keep them from getting in trouble with the governor.

Would you put your life on the line for a lie?

Why would His disciples, or anyone else, put their lives on the line for a lie? All of Jesus’ disciples left Him and fled when He was arrested (Mark 14:43–51). Peter, after telling Jesus, “I will lay down my life for You” (John 13:37), denied ever knowing Him several hours later (Mark 14:66–72). Yet, these men who literally abandoned Jesus out of fear for their own lives, were somehow going to concoct a false narrative and stick by it, knowing they would be arrested and killed! Were the disciples hallucinating when they saw the resurrected Christ? A hallucination doesn’t start a charcoal fire with fish and bread placed on it (John 21:9–11). Jesus invited Thomas to see His hands and put his fingers into His side (John 20:26-28). His resurrected body consisted of flesh and bones – He was not a spirit (Luke 24:39) nor was he a hallucination. A hallucination doesn’t talk with two disciples on the road to Emmaus, about seven miles from Jerusalem, concerning the things about Himself in all of the Scriptures, break bread with them, then vanish from their sight (Luke 24:13–35). Who would put their lives on the line for a hallucination. It is believed that Peter was crucified upside down, as per his request, under the Roman Emperor Nero around A.D. 64-65.

A physician recorded many convincing proofs.

Luke, a physician (Colossians 4:14), recorded the following – “To these He also presented Himself alive after His suffering, by many convincing proofs, appearing to them over a period of forty days and speaking of the things concerning the kingdom of God” (Acts 1:3). Peter, who denied ever knowing Jesus over a month earlier, gave a powerful sermon about Him to the men of Judea and Israel on the day of Pentecost (Acts 2:14–36). He boldly proclaimed, “Therefore let all the house of Israel know for certain that God has made Him both Lord and Christ—this Jesus whom you crucified” (Acts 2:36). He couldn’t have done this if he was not filled with the Holy Spirit who Jesus promised would come when He returns to the Father (John 16:5–15).

The testimony of Paul.

And then there is a young man named Saul (Acts 7:58) who stood by while Stephen, a man full of faith and of the Holy Spirit (Acts 6:5), was being stoned because of his bold testimony (Acts 7:1–60). Saul persecuted the church – he began ravaging the church, entering house after house, and dragging off men and women who he put in prison (Acts 8:3). He was on the road to Damascus to bring men and women of the Way, bound in chains, to Jerusalem when he encountered the resurrected Jesus who he was persecuting (Acts 9:1–8). Saul, latter known as Paul, became the apostle to the Gentiles (Acts 9:15). He wrote the following in 2 Corinthians 11:23–27 – “Are they servants of Christ?—I speak as if insane—I more so; in far more labors, in far more imprisonments, beaten times without number, often in danger of death. Five times I received from the Jews thirty–nine lashes. Three times I was beaten with rods, once I was stoned, three times I was shipwrecked, a night and a day I have spent in the deep. I have been on frequent journeys, in dangers from rivers, dangers from robbers, dangers from my countrymen, dangers from the Gentiles, dangers in the city, dangers in the wilderness, dangers on the sea, dangers among false brethren; I have been in labor and hardship, through many sleepless nights, in hunger and thirst, often without food, in cold and exposure.” Paul didn’t suffer and face death for a lie or because he had a hallucination. He suffered for the cause of Christ. It is widely believed that Paul, because he was a Roman citizen, was not crucified but beheaded under Emperor Nero around A.D. 67-68.

The Shroud of Turin and Linen Wrappings.

Many believe that the image of the man embedded on the Shroud of Turin is the crucified Jesus that was produced by some sort of radiation the moment of His resurrection. The assumption is that Jesus was wrapped in a single shroud, from His head to His feet. Unfortunately for those needing physical evidence today to believe that Jesus was real and rose from the grave, the Bible does not support this assumption. When Jesus raised Lazarus from the grave, "the man who had died came forth, bound hand and foot with wrappings, and his face was wrapped around with a cloth" (John 11:44). It was customary to wrap the limbs and torso of the deceased in linen and wrap a cloth around the deceased's face. Likewise, the body of Jesus was bound "in linen wrappings with the spices, as is the burial custom of the Jews" (John 19:40). When they arrived at the empty tomb, Peter and John "saw the linen wrappings lying there" and "the face-cloth which had been on His head, not lying with the linen wrappings, but rolled up in a place by itself" (Luke 24:12; John 20:4-7). They did not find a single shroud nor is it recorded in their testimony that there was an image of Jesus' face on the cloth that was on His head!

Believing is not always based on seeing.

Thomas made it very clear to his fellow disciples who saw the Lord: "Unless I see in His hands the imprint of the nails, and put my finger into the place of the nails, and put my hand into His side, I will not believe" (John 20:25). He knew Jesus died and was buried, but who in their right mind would believe that His badly scourged and crucified body could ever rise from the dead. Thomas saw the resurrected Christ eight days later and believed. Jesus said to him, “Because you have seen Me, have you believed? Blessed are they who did not see, and yet believed" (John 20:26-29).

Hebrews 11:1 says, "Now faith is the assurance of things hoped for, the conviction of things not seen." The words faith, faithful, and faithfulness are used 381 times throughout the Bible, with 296 occurrences in the New Testament. It refers to the basis for belief, the act of believing, or the content of what is believed. It is impossible to please God without faith. "He who comes to God must believe that He is and that He is a rewarder of those who seek Him" (Hebrews 11:6).

A Living Hope

We are told to "always be ready to make a defense to everyone who asks you go give an account for the hope that is in you" (1 Peter 3:15). This is "a living hope through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead" (1 Peter 1:3). With the exception of watching movies and television shows where actors played the part of Jesus, I never saw the real Jesus but I believe in my heart that He was crucified and died for my sins, that He was buried, and that He rose from the dead on the third day!

11 views0 comments

Recent Posts

See All


Post: Blog2 Post
bottom of page