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The Doctrine of Christ

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    Section VIII—THE RESURRECTION OF CHRIST

    LESSON TWENTY-SIX The Fact of Christ’s Resurrection

    1. Those who had seen Christ put to death and laid in the tomb, afterward found the tomb empty. Luke 23:49, 55; 24:1-12; Matthew 28:5-7; Mark 16:5-8; John 20:1-9.TDOC 70.1

    2. Many persons saw Christ after his resurrection. Matthew 28:16, 17; Acts 1:3; 1 Corinthians 15:5, 6; Acts 10:40, 41; 13:31.TDOC 70.2

    3. These facts convinced his intimate associates, who had been with him before his death, that he had been raised from the dead, although they were not predisposed to believe it. Matthew 28:17; John 20:9, 19, 20; Acts 2:32. (Compare Acts 1:8, 22.)TDOC 70.3

    4. Saul of Tarsus, who had been a persecutor of those who believed in the resurrection of Jesus, became convinced that Jesus had risen from the dead. Galatians 1:13-16; 1 Corinthians 15:8; Acts 26:12-15, 19, 20.TDOC 70.4

    5. The resurrection of Christ was foretold by the prophet David. Psalm 16:9, 10; Acts 2:25-31.TDOC 70.5

    6. Christ foretold his’ own resurrection. John 2:19-21; Matthew 16:21; 27:62, 63.TDOC 70.6

    NOTES: A fundamental truth

    “The resurrection of Jesus Christ is one of the two fundamental truths of the gospel, the other being his atoning death.”TDOC 70.7

    “Of vital character to Christianity is the question touching the proper place and import of Christ’s resurrection in the scheme of redemption.”TDOC 70.8

    An impregnable foundation

    “While the literal bodily resurrection of Jesus Christ is the cornerstone of Christian doctrine, it is also the Gibraltar of Christian evidence and the Waterloo of infidelity and rationalism. If the Scriptural assertions of Christ’s resurrection can be established as historic certainties, the claims and doctrines of Christianity rest upon an impregnable foundation.”TDOC 70.9

    Evidences of the resurrection

    The resurrection of Christ is at once the most important, and the best authenticated fact in. the history of the world, says Dr. Charles Hodge, and he gives the following resume of the evidence of its occurrence:TDOC 71.1

    1. It was predicted in the Old Testament.TDOC 71.2

    2. It was foretold by Christ himself.TDOC 71.3

    3. It was a fact admitting of easy verification.TDOC 71.4

    4. Abundant, suitable, and frequently repeated evidence was afforded of its actual occurrence.TDOC 71.5

    5. The witnesses to the fact that Christ was seen after his death on the cross, were numerous, competent, and on every account worthy of confidence.TDOC 71.6

    6. Their sincerity of conviction was proved by the sacrifices, even that of life, which this testimony entailed upon them.”TDOC 71.7

    The evidence of Sonship

    “Had the first disciples analyzed the process by which they came to believe in Jesus Christ as the Son of God in an altogether unique sense, they would have ascribed a higher degree of importance to the resurrection than to any other branch of evidence.”TDOC 71.8

    “We have now nothing to set against the overwhelming evidence which attests that Jesus of Nazareth announced salvation for all who believe his words, that in support of this announcement he claimed to be the Son of God, and that in proof of this claim he rose from the dead.”TDOC 71.9

    The empty tomb

    “And so we come again to that insuperable barrier, the empty tomb, which, together with the apostolic witness, stands impregnable against all the attacks of visional and apparitional theories. It is becoming more evident that these theories are entirely inadequate to account for the records in the Gospels, as well as for the place and power of those Gospels in the early church and in all subsequent ages. The force of the evidence for the empty grave and the disappearance of the body is clearly seen by, the explanations suggested by various modern writers. It will suffice to say that not one of them is tenable without doing serious violence to the Gospel story, and also without putting forth new theories which are not only improbable in themselves, but are without a shred of real historical or literary evidence. The one outstanding fact which baffles all these writers is the empty grave.”TDOC 71.10

    Beyond doubt

    “We have, then, several independent lines of argument pointing decisively and conclusively to the, resurrection of Christ from the dead. Some of them taken separately prove the fact, but taken together they constitute an argument that makes doubt of the resurrection of Christ impossible to the candid mind.”TDOC 71.11

    The real historical evidence

    “The real historical evidence for the resurrection is the fact that it was believed, preached, propagated, and produced its fruit and effect in the new phenomenon of the Christian church, long before any of our Gospels were written. This is not said to disparage the Gospel, or to depreciate what they tell, but only to put the question on its true basis. Faith in the resurrection was not only prevalent, but immensely powerful before any of our New Testament books were written.”TDOC 72.1

    The conviction of the resurrection

    “The four Gospels, the book of Acts, and the epistles of Paul agree to say that Christ rose from the dead on the second morning after his crucifixion; that on that morning his grave was found empty; that he appeared several times to one or more of his disciples, men or women, in a manner which produced in them complete conviction that his body had returned to life; and that shortly afterward the body thus raised from the dead was taken up to heaven. The documentary evidence before us proves that all this was firmly believed by the apostles, that it was soon afterward believed by multitudes in the city in which he died, that it became the deep conviction of a friend of his murderers, and of the followers of Christ throughout the world. In other words, as we trace to its source the great religious impulse which has rescued the world from ruin and turned it into a path of sustained progress, we find it inspired by a serene conviction that Christ had trampled death under foot by returning alive from the grave; and this conviction we have traced to Jerusalem and to within a few days of his death.”TDOC 72.2

    The resurrection of Jesus

    “There is no real doubt that Christ anticipated and spoke of his own resurrection. His veracity is therefore at stake if he did not rise. Surely the word of such a one as Jesus Christ must be given due credence. We are therefore compelled to face the fact that the resurrection of which the Gospels speak is the resurrection of no ordinary man, but of Jesus, that is of one whose life and character had been unique, and for whose shameful death no proper explanation was possible or conceivable.”TDOC 72.3

    Preaching a risen Savior

    “The apostles were witnesses of the resurrection of Jesus-but how! Why did Jesus himself not appear after his resurrection to the unbelieving Jews? The apostles preached, not evidence proving the miraculous fact of the resurrection, but a risen Savior: resurrection power was theirs, and the Spirit convinced their hearers of that life in a risen Savior! Our faith is not to stand in the wisdom of men, but in the power of God. When the word of the Lord comes to the soul, it brings its authority, power, and attraction with it, and the response of the heart is, not ‘What is this Book?’ but, ‘Who art thou, Lord?’”TDOC 72.4

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