The importance of the Bodily Resurrection of Christ.


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Traditionally, Christians have held to the belief of the physical, or bodily, resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead. This is a cardinal doctrine of the Christian faith, for Christianity rests upon the indisputable fact that Christ rose from the dead...

1 Corinthians 15:1-17 King James Version (KJV)
1 Moreover, brethren, I declare unto you the gospel which I preached unto you, which also ye have received, and wherein ye stand;
2 By which also ye are saved, if ye keep in memory what I preached unto you, unless ye have believed in vain.
3 For I delivered unto you first of all that which I also received, how that Christ died for our sins according to the scriptures;
4 And that he was buried, and that he rose again the third day according to the scriptures:
5 And that he was seen of Cephas, then of the twelve:
6 After that, he was seen of above five hundred brethren at once; of whom the greater part remain unto this present, but some are fallen asleep.
7 After that, he was seen of James; then of all the apostles.
8 And last of all he was seen of me also, as of one born out of due time.
9 For I am the least of the apostles, that am not meet to be called an apostle, because I persecuted the church of God.
10 But by the grace of God I am what I am: and his grace which was bestowed upon me was not in vain; but I laboured more abundantly than they all: yet not I, but the grace of God which was with me.
11 Therefore whether it were I or they, so we preach, and so ye believed.
12 Now if Christ be preached that he rose from the dead, how say some among you that there is no resurrection of the dead?
13 But if there be no resurrection of the dead, then is Christ not risen:
14 And if Christ be not risen, then is our preaching vain, and your faith is also vain.
15 Yea, and we are found false witnesses of God; because we have testified of God that he raised up Christ: whom he raised not up, if so be that the dead rise not.
16 For if the dead rise not, then is not Christ raised:
17 And if Christ be not raised, your faith is vain; ye are yet in your sins.

In 1 Cor 15:14, the apostle Paul says: “if Christ has not been raised, our preaching is useless and so is your faith.” Why is the bodily resurrection of Jesus so important?

The answer lies in a core affirmation of biblical faith. The resurrection of Jesus is evidence of God’s love for, and intimate involvement with, His creation, which includes the material creation. The Bible affirms that the entire universe is created by God and is therefore good and important. Far from negating or devaluing the world, the Bible teaches that God loves his creation and providentially sustains the world as a good place to live. The world exists to manifest God’s glory, and God rejoices in what he has made. We read in Luke 24:

Luke 24:1-39 King James Version (KJV)
1 Now upon the first day of the week, very early in the morning, they came unto the sepulchre, bringing the spices which they had prepared, and certain others with them.
2 And they found the stone rolled away from the sepulchre.
3 And they entered in, and found not the body of the Lord Jesus.
4 And it came to pass, as they were much perplexed thereabout, behold, two men stood by them in shining garments:
5 And as they were afraid, and bowed down their faces to the earth, they said unto them, Why seek ye the living among the dead?
6 He is not here, but is risen: remember how he spake unto you when he was yet in Galilee,
7 Saying, The Son of man must be delivered into the hands of sinful men, and be crucified, and the third day rise again.
8 And they remembered his words,
9 And returned from the sepulchre, and told all these things unto the eleven, and to all the rest.
10 It was Mary Magdalene and Joanna, and Mary the mother of James, and other women that were with them, which told these things unto the apostles.
11 And their words seemed to them as idle tales, and they believed them not.
12 Then arose Peter, and ran unto the sepulchre; and stooping down, he beheld the linen clothes laid by themselves, and departed, wondering in himself at that which was come to pass.
13 And, behold, two of them went that same day to a village called Emmaus, which was from Jerusalem about threescore furlongs.
14 And they talked together of all these things which had happened.
15 And it came to pass, that, while they communed together and reasoned, Jesus himself drew near, and went with them.
16 But their eyes were holden that they should not know him.
17 And he said unto them, What manner of communications are these that ye have one to another, as ye walk, and are sad?
18 And the one of them, whose name was Cleopas, answering said unto him, Art thou only a stranger in Jerusalem, and hast not known the things which are come to pass there in these days?
19 And he said unto them, What things? And they said unto him, Concerning Jesus of Nazareth, which was a prophet mighty in deed and word before God and all the people:
20 And how the chief priests and our rulers delivered him to be condemned to death, and have crucified him.
21 But we trusted that it had been he which should have redeemed Israel: and beside all this, to day is the third day since these things were done.
22 Yea, and certain women also of our company made us astonished, which were early at the sepulchre;
23 And when they found not his body, they came, saying, that they had also seen a vision of angels, which said that he was alive.
24 And certain of them which were with us went to the sepulchre, and found it even so as the women had said: but him they saw not.
25 Then he said unto them, O fools, and slow of heart to believe all that the prophets have spoken:
26 Ought not Christ to have suffered these things, and to enter into his glory?
27 And beginning at Moses and all the prophets, he expounded unto them in all the scriptures the things concerning himself.
28 And they drew nigh unto the village, whither they went: and he made as though he would have gone further.
29 But they constrained him, saying, Abide with us: for it is toward evening, and the day is far spent. And he went in to tarry with them.
30 And it came to pass, as he sat at meat with them, he took bread, and blessed it, and brake, and gave to them.
31 And their eyes were opened, and they knew him; and he vanished out of their sight.
32 And they said one to another, Did not our heart burn within us, while he talked with us by the way, and while he opened to us the scriptures?
33 And they rose up the same hour, and returned to Jerusalem, and found the eleven gathered together, and them that were with them,
34 Saying, The Lord is risen indeed, and hath appeared to Simon.
35 And they told what things were done in the way, and how he was known of them in breaking of bread.
36 And as they thus spake, Jesus himself stood in the midst of them, and saith unto them, Peace be unto you.
37 But they were terrified and affrighted, and supposed that they had seen a spirit.
38 And he said unto them, Why are ye troubled? and why do thoughts arise in your hearts?
39 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.

The resurrection of Christ is not to be understood merely in a spiritual sense. He actually rose from the dead. He who came from the tomb was the same Jesus who lived here in the flesh. He came forth in a glorified body, but it was real, so real that the women who went to the sepulcher, as well as the disciples, saw Him. The two disciples on the way to Emmaus talked with Him and He Himself said to the disciples, "Behold my hands and my feet" (Luke 24:39). He had "flesh and bones" (verse 39). He ate with them (verse 43).

Thomas had reason to know it was the same Jesus, for he was invited to "reach hither thy finger, and behold my hands; and reach hither thy hand, and thrust it into my side" (John 20:27). Yes, it was the Saviour Himself. It was not a spirit, not a ghost. It was the real divine Son of God who came forth from the grave. The resurrection of Jesus our Lord was a vital part of the message of the early church. When the apostles preached, they preached of Christ the Messiah, who was raised from the dead. "They . . . preached through Jesus the resurrection from the dead" (Acts 4:2); they "gave . . . witness of the resurrection of the Lord Jesus" (verse 33); Paul "preached unto them Jesus, and the resurrection" (Acts 17:18).

The resurrection of Jesus Christ is of vital importance in God's great plan of salvation. Even the death of Jesus, sublime as it was, would have been of no avail, were it not for His resurrection from the dead. The great apostle to the Gentiles makes this clear in his ringing testimony to the living Christ. In that wonderful chapter on the resurrection, in his message to the Corinthian church, we see the vital place that this great transaction has in the purpose of God. Note what the situation would be if Christ had not been raised from the dead.

1. There would be no benefit from preaching the gospel: "And if Christ be not risen, then is our preaching vain" (1 Cor. 15:14).

2. There would be no forgiveness of sins: "And if Christ be not raised. . . . ye are yet in your sins" (verse 17).

3. There would be no purpose in believing in Jesus: "And if Christ be not raised, your faith is vain" (verse 17).

4. There would be no general resurrection from the dead: "Now if Christ be preached that he rose from the dead, how say some among you that there is no resurrection of the dead?" (verse 12).

5. There would be no hope beyond the grave: "If Christ be not raised, . . . then they also which are fallen asleep in Christ are perished" (verses 17, 18).

This is a message of power, for it is by the power of His resurrection that we live the Christian life, and His life is lived out in the life of the believer. So the bodily resurrection of Jesus is a foretaste and promise of God’s commitment to redeem the cosmos. It is a testimony to God’s desire to redeem this broken world.


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This is a message of power, for it is by the power of His resurrection that we live the Christian life, and His life is lived out in the life of the believer. So the bodily resurrection of Jesus is a foretaste and promise of God’s commitment to redeem the cosmos. It is a testimony to God’s desire to redeem this broken world.
No it isn't. It is a testimony how God wakes the dead. Jesus woke after he died on the cross; the resurrection of his corruptible body has nothing to do with kingdom of God.