4/1/18 – The Case for the Resurrection of Jesus Christ

1 Corinthians 15:1-23 ESV
1 Now I would remind you, brothers, of the gospel I preached to you, which you received, in which you stand, 2 and by which you are being saved, if you hold fast to the word I preached to you—unless you believed in vain. 3 For I delivered to you as of first importance what I also received: that Christ died for our sins in accordance with the Scriptures, 4 that he was buried, that he was raised on the third day in accordance with the Scriptures, 5 and that he appeared to Cephas, then to the twelve. 6 Then he appeared to more than five hundred brothers at one time, most of whom are still alive, though some have fallen asleep. 7 Then he appeared to James, then to all the apostles. 8 Last of all, as to one untimely born, he appeared also to me. 9 For I am the least of the apostles, unworthy 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 toward me was not in vain. On the contrary, I worked harder than any of them, though it was not I, but the grace of God that is with me. 11 Whether then it was I or they, so we preach and so you believed. 12 Now if Christ is proclaimed as raised from the dead, how can some of you say that there is no resurrection of the dead? 13 But if there is no resurrection of the dead, then not even Christ has been raised. 14 And if Christ has not been raised, then our preaching is in vain and your faith is in vain. 15 We are even found to be misrepresenting God, because we testified about God that he raised Christ, whom he did not raise if it is true that the dead are not raised. 16 For if the dead are not raised, not even Christ has been raised. 17 And if Christ has not been raised, your faith is futile and you are still in your sins. 18 Then those also who have fallen asleep in Christ have perished. 19 If in Christ we have hope in this life only, we are of all people most to be pitied. 20 But in fact Christ has been raised from the dead, the firstfruits of those who have fallen asleep. 21 For as by a man came death, by a man has come also the resurrection of the dead. 22 For as in Adam all die, so also in Christ shall all be made alive. 23 But each in his own order: Christ the firstfruits, then at his coming those who belong to Christ.

A.The cross and resurrection were prophesied by the scriptures and witnessed by hundreds.
B.The disciples of Jesus saw, touched, and fed the resurrected human body of Jesus. (John 21:1-14)
C.James, the brother of Jesus, went from doubter to disciple after seeing the resurrected Jesus.
D.Paul went from persecutor to preacher after seeing the resurrected Jesus. (Acts 8:1-3, 9:1-9)

A.There are 2 basic types of evidence: circumstantial and eye-witness testimony.
B.Eye-witness testimony always trumps circumstantial evidence.

A.The Swoon Theory: Jesus swooned on the cross and only appeared to die.
B.The Hallucination Theory: Jesus hypnotized everyone into thinking they saw Him after He died on the cross.
C.The Ninja Disciple Theory: Cowardly disciples found their courage and stole the body of Jesus and buried it elsewhere.

A.Our hope is determined by the resurrection.
B.If Jesus is dead, so is our hope.
C.Because Jesus is alive, hope for us is alive, too.

1.Is your hope sure because you are sure of the resurrection or are you without hope because you simply hope in the resurrection?