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‘He is risen!’ – Part 2


Emeritus Prof. Mercy Olumide

Jesus appearances after the resurrection. The truth of Christianity rests heavily on the Resurrection. If Jesus rose from the grave, who saw Him? How trustworthy were the witnesses? Those who claimed to have seen the risen Jesus went on to turn the world upside down. Most of them also were killed for being followers of Christ. People rarely die for halfhearted belief.

These are the people who saw Jesus risen from the grave. Who were these people?
Mary Magdalene (Mark 16:9-11; John 20:10-18); (2) The other woman at the tomb (Matthew 28:8-10); (3) Peter in Jerusalem (Luke 24:34; 1 Corinthians 15:5); (4) The two travellers on the road (Mark 16:12, 13); (5) Ten disciples behind closed doors (Mark 16:14; Luke 24:36-43; John 20:19-25); (6) All the disciples, with Thomas (excluding Judas Iscariot) (John 20:26-31; 1 Corinthians 15:5); (7) Seven disciples while fishing (John 21:1-14); (8) Eleven disciples on the mountain (Matthew 28:16-20); (9) A crowd of 500 (1 Corinthians 15:6); (10) Jesus’ brother James (1 Corinthians 15:7); (11) Those who watched Jesus ascend into heaven (Luke 24:44-49; Acts 1:3-8). These eye witnesses made Luke, a Gentile physician and the author of Acts affirm that there were “infallible proofs” (Acts 1:3)

Paul, after his conversion, under the awesome inspiration of the Holy Spirit also wrote: “For I delivered to you first of all that which I also received: that Christ died for our sins according to the Scriptures, 4 and that He was buried, and that He rose again the third day according to the Scriptures, 5 and that He was seen by Cephas, then by the twelve. 6 After that He was seen by over five hundred brethren at once, of whom the greater part remain to the present, but some have fallen asleep. 7 After that He was seen by James, then by all the apostles. 8 Then last of all He was seen by me also, as by one born out of due time.” (1 Cor 15:3-8)
“And if Christ is not risen, your faith is futile; you are still in your sins!” (1 Cor 15:17)

“If Christ is not risen.” Some were denying Christ’s bodily resurrection (v12). In response, Paul states that if Christ has not been raised, then there is no deliverance from sin. Clearly, those who deny the objective reality of the resurrection of Christ are denying the Christians faith altogether. They are false witnesses, who speak against God and His Word. Their faith is worthless; they are not, therefore, authentic Christians. (3) Evidence that Jesus actually died and rose; argument and evidence debunking the critics for the empty tomb.

The news of Jesus resurrection sent shivers down the spines of His savage enemies, His murderers. At the instigation of their father—Satan, the father of lies (Jn 8:44), they fought desperately like wounded lions to deny the truth by offering spurious reasons for the empty tomb. They knew the truth that the resurrection miracle was the final blow on their denial of Jesus divine identity, which they wickedly ignored, in spite of all His claims and many mighty miraculous acts.
It has been predicted that His enemies would hate Him for no just cause (see Ps 69:4; John 15:18-25). Satan is the head of the enemies (Gen 3:15; Rev 12:13). Jesus claimed He was the Son of God (Jn 5:18). They knew the implication of the claim “that He was equal with God” (Jn 8:44) and they plotted to kill Him. But Death could not hold Him back.

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Jesus ChristMercy Olumide
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