IF JESUS CHRIST DID NOT RISE BODILY FROM THE DEAD THEN JESUS CHRIST WAS A FRAUD AND THERE IS NO CHRISTIANITY.
The Apostle said this same thing this way,
"Now if Christ be preached that he rose from the dead, how say some among you that there is no resurrection of the dead? But if there be no resurrection of the dead, then is Christ not risen: And if Christ be not risen, then is our preaching vain, and your faith is also vain. 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. For if the dead rise not, then is not Christ raised: And if Christ be not raised, your faith is vain; ye are yet in your sins."
But, a denial of the bodily resurrection of Jesus Christ can only come from two sources, simple ignorance (just do not know any better) or willful ignorance (refuse to acknowledge the truth).
The historical evidence for the bodily resurrection of Jesus Christ is prolific and sound.
- The Biblical historian Luke (a Greek, and medical doctor) said, "The former treatise have I made, O Theophilus, of all that Jesus began both to do and teach, Until the day in which he was taken up, after that he through the Holy Ghost had given commandments unto the apostles whom he had chosen: To whom also he shewed himself alive after his passion by many infallible proofs, being seen of them forty days, and speaking of the things pertaining to the kingdom of God:" (Acts 1:1-3)
- Fact One: Jesus Christ died. To rise from the dead one must first die. Jesus was beaten, scourged with a cat-o-nine-tails, nailed to a Roman cross and died. Jesus' death was confirmed by the Roman soldiers (experts in death), who pierced Jesus's side with a spear whereupon out came blood and water (clear fluid gathers around heart and lungs at death).
- Fact Two: Empty tomb inspite of government and military work to seal and protect the tomb against feared attempts to steal Jesus body. Matthew 27:62-66; 28:11-15.
- Fact Three: Resurrection was not denied, but rather believed, by those charged with killing Jesus. Read Acts 1:22-38. Notice the Apostle Peter flatly charges his hearers as having "taken, and by wicked hands have crucified and slain" Jesus Christ, the Son of God. Peter then proves to them a number of facts about who Jesus Christ is from the Old Testament Scriptures. These people accept themselves as guilty! They are in Jerusalem. These people were all in Jerusalem when Jesus was crucified just 50 days prior to this. Many of them had condemned Jesus and watched Him be crucified. Do you think that if they could have walked to the tomb Jesus was placed in and produced the body of Jesus they would have believed Peter and have accepted and been broken over their guilt? Not on your life! If Jesus had not risen he was an impostor.
- Fact Four: A group of over five women were the first to see the empty tomb--Luke 24:1-5, 10.
- Fact Five: Mary Magdalene was the first to see Jesus Christ after He rose. John 20:11-18.
- Fact Six: Peter was the first of the Apostles to see Jesus Christ after His resurrection. 1Corinthians 15:3.
- Fact Seven: Two disciples saw Jesus Christ the day He was resurrected on the road to a place named, Emmaus. Luke 24:13-35.
- Fact Eight: Jesus showed Himself to His disciples the night after He was resurrected in the city of Jerusalem and stressed that He was flesh and bone. Luke 24:36-43.
- Fact Nine: Jesus shewed Himself to His disciples beside the Sea Tiberias. John 21:1-14. [This is the third Jesus showed Himself--not all the times Jesus showed Himself are recorded.]
- Fact Ten: Jesus showed Himself to over 500 disciples at one time. 1Corinthians 15:6.
- Fact: Eleven: The man, Saul of Tarsus, who hated Christ, saw Christ as Saul traveled on a road to Damascus. Saul submitted to and believed in Jesus Christ as the Son of God and the Saviour of the world, Acts 9:1-20. You may have heard of this man Saul of Tarsus, as the Aposlte Paul--same man!
- Fact Twelve: When Jesus was betrayed by Judas Iscariot, all Jesus disciples fled in fear and confusion. Matthew 26:47-56. After the resurrection these same disciples were preaching boldly, enduring beatings, poverty, persecution, violent deaths, scattered from their homes they continued preaching. If the disciples lied about the resurrection of Jesus Christ they suffered the loss of all for that lie--I hardly think so!
The historical FACT that Jesus Christ rose from the dead means...
Jesus is GOD, become a man, to die for the salvation of sinful men.
Matthew 1:23, "Behold, a virgin shall be with child, and shall bring forth a son, and they shall call his name Emmanuel, which being interpreted is, God with us."
Mark 10:45 "For even the Son of man came not to be ministered unto, but to minister, and to give his life a ransom for many." [ransom = the price to purchase back]
Acts 4:10-12, "Be it known unto you all, and to all the people of Israel, that by the name of Jesus Christ of Nazareth, whom ye crucified, whom God raised from the dead, even by him doth this man stand here before you whole. This is the stone which was set at nought of you builders, which is become the head of the corner. Neither is there salvation in any other: for there is none other name under heaven given among men, whereby we must be saved."
Jesus is GOD, your judge.
John 5:22:29, "For the Father judgeth no man, but hath committed all judgment unto the Son: That all men should honour the Son, even as they honour the Father. He that honoureth not the Son honoureth not the Father which hath sent him. Verily, verily, I say unto you, He that heareth my word, and believeth on him that sent me, hath everlasting life, and shall not come into condemnation; but is passed from death unto life. Verily, verily, I say unto you, The hour is coming, and now is, when the dead shall hear the voice of the Son of God: and they that hear shall live. For as the Father hath life in himself; so hath he given to the Son to have life in himself; And hath given him authority to execute judgment also, because he is the Son of man. Marvel not at this: for the hour is coming, in the which all that are in the graves shall hear his voice, And shall come forth; they that have done good, unto the resurrection of life; and they that have done evil, unto the resurrection of damnation."
Time of Ignorance is Over
"Then Paul stood in the midst of Mars’ hill, and said, Ye men of Athens, I perceive that in all things ye are too superstitious. For as I passed by, and beheld your devotions, I found an altar with this inscription, TO THE UNKNOWN GOD. Whom therefore ye ignorantly worship, him declare I unto you. God that made the world and all things therein, seeing that he is Lord of heaven and earth, dwelleth not in temples made with hands; Neither is worshipped with men’s hands, as though he needed any thing, seeing he giveth to all life, and breath, and all things; And hath made of one blood all nations of men for to dwell on all the face of the earth, and hath determined the times before appointed, and the bounds of their habitation; That they should seek the Lord, if haply they might feel after him, and find him, though he be not far from every one of us: For in him we live, and move, and have our being; as certain also of your own poets have said, For we are also his offspring. Forasmuch then as we are the offspring of God, we ought not to think that the Godhead is like unto gold, or silver, or stone, graven by art and man’s device. And the times of this ignorance God winked at; but now commandeth all men every where to repent: Because he hath appointed a day, in the which he will judge the world in righteousness by that man whom he hath ordained; whereof he hath given assurance unto all men, in that he hath raised him from the dead."
God cammands all man everywhere to repent--turn from your way and your love of your sin to God.
God loves you--He gave His Son to die for you! God has proven HIS LOVE for YOU. He is not going to give you heaven on earth to prove it.
God gives the GIFT of eternal life and forgiveness of sins by Jesus Christ, Who was sinless, who died for you, and rose victoriously over sin and death to all broken hearted sinners that believe on Christ alone.
"For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God: Not of works, lest any man should boast." Grace is God's undeserved favour (kindnesses). Faith is the entrusting ourselves to God, and what He says--His Word. Salvation is a gift--you cannot in any way earn it.
"For the wages of sin is death; but the gift of God is eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord." The only thing you have earned is death, because of your great sin before God. Salvation in Christ Jesus is a gift to be received by faith.
One last thing.
"Jesus saith unto him, I am the way, the truth, and the life:
no man cometh unto the Father, but by me."
Jesus is GOD!
There is only ONE GOD.
GOD will not give HIS GLORY to another.
Jesus is the ONLY SAVIOUR.
JESUS is TRUTH AND LIFE.