Summary of passages: Matthew 28:1-15: Mary Magdalene and the other Mary went to Jesus’ tomb after the Sabbath at dawn. An angel of the Lord came down from heaven and rolled the stone back. He appeared like lightning in all white. The guards were afraid of him and fainted.
The angel told the women to not be afraid and that Jesus has risen. Come and see and then go and tell the disciples that Jesus is in Galilee. The women did as told and on the way Jesus met them. They worshipped him and Jesus told the women the same message as the angels said.
The guards went into Jerusalem and told the chief priests what had happened. The chief priests and elders bribed the guards to say that the disciples had come and stolen Jesus’ body and they would keep the soldiers from getting into trouble because of it. The soldiers agreed.
Acts 1:3-11: Luke picks up the story right after the resurrection. Jesus gave many proofs that he was alive. He appeared to the disciples over a a period of 40 days and spoke about the kingdom of God. Jesus told them to stay in Jerusalem until they received the Holy Spirit.
The disciples asked Jesus if he was going to restore the kingdom of Israel. Jesus said that is not for you to know. You will receive power with the Holy Spirit and be his witnesses in Jerusalem, Judea, Samaria, and the ends of the world. Then Jesus was taken up to heaven and as the disciples watched two men told them Jesus would return in the same way he was taken.
9a) 1 Corinthians argues that if Christ didn’t rise from the dead, then our faith is useless and we are all false witnesses. Our faith is futile and we are still unsaved sinners and there is no afterlife with God in heaven. I think the number of witnesses who saw Jesus alive and touched him is proof. Mary clung to Jesus when she met him after his death (John 20:17). Thomas touched Jesus’ wounds (John 20:27).
All the disciples witnessed Jesus in the flesh when he appeared to them. 1 Corinthians 15:6 says 500 people witnesses Jesus walk on the earth after his death. Furthermore, as the Bible is God’s breathed word, we are to have faith in what it says. The Bible says his body rose from the dead and Jesus walked the earth once more. Hence, we are to believe it.
b) Our faith is useless and we are still in our sin. There will be no eternal life with God in heaven. For if Jesus did not rise from the dead, then neither can we.
10) John 10:17-18: Jesus laid down his life and took it up again. This is how it shall be with us.
Acts 2:31 with Psalm 16:10: Jesus would not be abandoned to the grave nor his body decay.
Acts 17:30-31: God will judge the world and His proof is raising men from the dead.
1 Corinthians 15:45-58: Physical death is the penalty for sin so when we die, our sins die with us. When we are raised, we are raised anew–imperishable and immortal–and we are now righteous with God.
Ephesians 1:18-20; Romans 6:4: We can live a new life through the glory of the Father. God has power over the dead to give life.
1 Thessalonians 4:13-14: With Jesus’ death and resurrection, he gave the ability and power for all believers to rise from the dead with him to be with God.
Hebrews 7:16, 23-28: Jesus’ resurrection allows us to live forever and our sins are forgiven forever with his blood. We can all be near to God because of Jesus.
1 Peter 1:3-5: Jesus’ death and resurrection gives us a new life and inheritance in heaven.
Christ’s resurrection must take place physically or we cannot rise from the grave and come to new life in him and live eternally with God.
Conclusions: Great lesson! I had never really connected how it’s the fact Jesus rose from the dead that allows us to rise and be with God. I had always just thought Jesus died for our sins and now we get to be with God. Nope. If Jesus hadn’t risen from the grave, Jesus could have died for our sins but we’d have no eternal life. We’d just be cleansed forever but not live forever.
Hence, Jesus’ physical death on the cross paid for our sins. His resurrection is our resurrection as well: into a new life with God always. Great passages explaining this!
End Notes: Acts 1 records the last time Jesus is seen by his disciples in his physical body. You can only be a witness for Jesus if you have the Holy Spirit within.
Jesus’ commission of Jerusalem, Judea and Samaria, and the rest of the Earth is the outline of the rest of Acts–in that order.
Jesus’ ascension into heaven is for the disciples: so they would know for a fact he was gone. With his departure, the Holy Spirit could now come (John 16:7).
Presumably two angels appear and tell the disciples to get to work.
I love the phrase “same Jesus.” Jesus never changes as God never changes.