This week we wrapped up the 4-week series called "Why?" at WNW. We opened with a worship set that included "Like A Lion/God's Not Dead" (Crowder/Newsboys), "God Is Able" (Hillsong), "Beautiful" (Phil Wickham). After looking last week at why Jesus had to die for us, we finished the series by looking at why He had to rise from death. First we discussed the proof that Scripture shows us that Jesus rose from death:
1) The Empty Tomb- Luke 24:1-3
-They knew that He had risen but they still lied about it in Matthew 28:11-15. If Jesus was still dead they wouldn't have had to work so hard to lie about it because they would have been able to prove that He was still dead. Also His body wouldn't have been easily stolen as it was guarded by Roman guards.
-The tomb is also still empty today!
2) The Linen Cloth- John 20:7
-If His body had been stolen, they wouldn't have taken the time to unwrap the linen cloth.
3) Post-Resurrection Appearances
-Mary Magdalene- Mark 16:9-11; John 20:11-18
-To women who had come to the tomb- Matthew 28:8-10
-To two travelers on the road to Emmaus- Mark 16:12-12; Luke 24:13-32
-Peter- Luke 24:34; 1 Corinthians 15:5
-To 10 apostles- Luke 24:36-43; John 20:19-23
-To 11 apostles- John 20:26-29; 1 Corinthians 15:5
-To 7 disciples- John 21:1-23
-To 11 apostles- Matthew 28:16-20
-To over 500 people at the same time- 1 Corinthians 15:6
-To James His half-brother- 1 Corinthians 15:7
-To the disciples who were present at His ascension- Luke 24:50-51; Acts 1:3-8
-To Stephen as he was stoned- Acts 7:55
-To Saul/Paul on the road to Damascus- 1 Corinthians 15:8 perhaps describing Acts 9:1-8
-To Paul to warn him to get out of Jerusalem- Acts 22:17-19
-To Paul to encourage him while on trial- Acts 23:11
-To John- Revelation 1:9-3:22
4) The conversion of many Jews including priests- Acts 6:7
-The priests had originally despised Jesus and had paid Judas to betray Him- Matthew 26:14-16
5) The Transformed Disciples- Luke 24:45-47
-They were changed and went on to transform the world
6) Observance of the 1st day of the week
-Originally the Sabbath was not the 1st day of the week. We see an example of the change in Acts 20:7.
-7) The Existence of the Church- The book of Acts
So after looking at the proof of the resurrection we look at the significance:
1) It's one of the main proofs of the deity of Jesus Christ- Romans 1:4
2) It validated Jesus as the true Messiah- Acts 2:36
3) It fulfilled prophecies concerning His resurrection- Acts 2:25-27 quoting Psalm 16:10
4) It validates Jesus' predictions of future events- John 5:22, 25; 14:2-3
If Jesus was still dead He would either be a liar or a lunatic based on His claims. However, since He is alive we can rejoice in the fact that He is the One True God, Lord of All, and the only One worthy of our affection.