He Really Is Alive
Shadow Mountain Community
The most important doctrine in the Bible is the doctrine of the Resurrection of Jesus Christ. For you see, the Resurrection of Jesus Christ is the validation that what he did on the cross was accepted and that it was real. I hope that if you will open your heart to this message, Easter will become even more special to you than it already is. I know it's special to you because you're here today, celebrating it with your family and your friends.
I think one of the most unknown things about Easter are all the little miracles that were a part of the big miracle. The miracle of the Resurrection is first of all the miracle of the predictions of the Resurrection by Jesus Christ himself. Now, in the New Testament, one of the amazing things about the Resurrection of Jesus Christ is that the Lord Jesus Christ himself predicted what would happen, exactly when it would happen, and how it would happen. Over and over again, the Lord Jesus talked about the Resurrection before it ever happened.
In Matthew chapter 16, and verse 21, Jesus is speaking and this is what it says: "From that time Jesus began to show to His disciples that He must go to Jerusalem, and suffer many things from the elders and chief priests and scribes, and be killed, and be raised the third day."
In the very next chapter of Matthew, right after the record of the transfiguration of Christ, we find these words: "Now as they came down from the mountain, Jesus commanded them, saying, 'Tell this vision to no man until the Son of Man is risen from the dead.'" "Now while they were staying in Galilee, Jesus said to them, 'The Son of Man is about to betrayed into the hands of men, and they will kill Him, and the third day He will be raised up.' And the disciples were exceedingly sorrowful." Think of the absurdity, men and women, of what Jesus said if it was not, in fact, true.
In John chapter 10, in verse 18, Jesus explains all of this. He says, "No man takes my life from Me, but I lay it down of Myself. I have the power to lay it down, and I have the power to take it again." Jesus said, "Nobody's gonna take my life from me. I voluntarily lay it down and I have the power to take it back up again."
And that's what he did on that Resurrection Sunday. He took back the power of his own life and was resurrected from the dead. That's why when you get to the final book of the New Testament you read these words, spoken by Jesus and reported by John: "I am He who lives, and was dead, and behold, I am alive forevermore. Amen. And I have the keys of Hades and of Death."
Jesus Christ is the King of life and the King of death. If you look at all of the New Testament Scriptures, you will find at least ten appearances of Christ to his followers after he came out of the tomb, having been resurrected from the dead. The variety of the Lord's appearances after the Resurrection is one of the reasons why those who have studied the Resurrection consider it to be so well documented.
According to the Apostle Paul, after Jesus was raised from the dead, "he was seen by over 500 brethren at one time, of whom the greater part remain to the present," said Paul, "and some have fallen asleep." When Paul gave this message, he told the people that over 500 people had seen Jesus Christ alive after his death and Paul said, at the time that he wrote it, that many of those people were still alive, who could have come up and discounted what Paul said, but none of them did because it was true.
One of the proofs of Christ's Resurrection is the number of sightings from individuals to large groups over a period of 40 days, at all times, at all sorts of places. He appeared in Jerusalem, in Emmaus, in Galilee, and on a mountain. His appearances were documented by people who saw him and heard him and touched him and watched him eat in their midst.
Jesus wanted to make dead certain that his Resurrection was proven beyond all doubt to his disciples. In fact, when Luke wrote the introduction to the Book of Acts, he introduced it in these words: "To whom He also presented Himself alive after His suffering by many infallible proofs." Jesus proved himself alive after his death by many infallible proofs, undeniable proofs. Think for just a moment about the disciples.
If you know the story of the New Testament, you know at first the disciples were nothing to write home about. They might have been called disciples but that was a stretch of the word. Because the Scripture says when Jesus was suffering and he was being taken to the cross, he gets to the cross and here's what the Scripture says about his disciples: "They all forsook Him and they fled."
In fact, at the cross, only one of them is left: John the apostle standing at the foot of the cross with the mother of Jesus. The Bible says they were hiding out. We find out later, they were hiding out in the Upper Room and they were cowardly. They were afraid. They knew that what happened to Jesus would surely happen to them if they didn't get out of circulation. So they ran away and they left Jesus to suffer by himself.