“Our Living and Returning Savior Part 2” 11/21/2015 By Wally Fry

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By Wally Fry on November 16, 2015 • ( 9 ) Posted on https://thei535project.wordpress.com

Original post @  https://thei535project.wordpress.com/2015/11/16/10831/

Our Living and Returning Savior Part 2

Seen on a Church Sign

return of jesus

Last time we talked briefly about the vast importance of the resurrection of Jesus and I hope arrived at the conclusion that there is no event more central to the Christian faith than the resurrection of Jesus after three days in the grave. Next, I want to talk about the nature of the resurrection.

Not only is the belief in the fact of the Resurrection vital, but the correct belief in the nature of the Resurrection of Jesus is also vital. Many false belief systems believe in some form of a “Resurrection”; they just believe wrongly about the nature of it. For instance, one of the biggest heresies concerning the Resurrection is that Jesus did not really return to life physically, but was merely raised spiritually in spirit. In this section, then, we will not only establish the importance of the fact of the Resurrection, but the importance of the nature and substance of it. As stated in an earlier post, the correct belief about the resurrection of Jesus, is that it was a physical, bodily resurrection.

Jesus Christ had to die. Before we cover why Jesus had to arise from the dead, a quick review of why He had to die is in order to properly set the stage. It is important that Jesus, the Man, die a very human and very complete death. Jesus was our substitute. For the record, this is not an in depth study of all the thought regarding Substitutionary Atonement here; that is beyond both the scope of this post and my own scope as well. We all understand this concept, as it is the basic premise of the Gospel. A just, righteous God demands that a penalty be paid for the sin of each of us as well as the sin for all of mankind. Jesus, as both God and man, could pay that infinite penalty. The issue is the comparison of God’s Holiness with our sinfulness. We learn in Leviticus 11:44 and Proverbs 15:9 how God is Holy and hates unholiness. Peter also taught us this in 1 Peter 1:16.  Perhaps the best overview of our situation was written by the Apostle Paul:

Romans 3:10-20  As it is written, There is none righteous, no, not one: There is none that understandeth, there is none that seeketh after God.They are all gone out of the way, they are together become unprofitable; there is none that doeth good, no, not one.Their throat is an open sepulchre; with their tongues they have used deceit; the poison of asps is under their lips:Whose mouth is full of cursing and bitterness:Their feet are swift to shed blood:Destruction and misery are in their ways:And the way of peace have they not known:There is no fear of God before their eyes.Now we know that what things soever the law saith, it saith to them who are under the law: that every mouth may be stopped, and all the world may become guilty before God. Therefore by the deeds of the law there shall no flesh be justified in his sight: for by the law is the knowledge of sin.

It has to be specifically Jesus who died, and no other man. Because man had sinned, man had to die. If a man were sentenced to death, no secular judge could ever accept a plant as a substitute. So, man had to die for man’s sin. But, it also took more than a mere man to die for the sin of all men. A mere human can only die for themselves, they cannot cover the cost for anyone but themselves. So, not only did Jesus have to be fully human, but He had to be infinite in nature to substitute for all humanity on the Cross. That is a very quick review, but it covers the basics of the fact that Jesus did have to literally, physically die.

Jesus’ Resurrection proves He was the Divine Son of God, and that He was God in the flesh. Men die; however, men do not return from the dead. That is, of course, unless they are brought back to life by God Himself. Other than that, men stay dead once they are dead. The act of dying on the Cross proves nothing really, but the act of rising in three days proves everything. God Himself told us this through the Apostle Paul in Romans 1:4, that Jesus’ Resurrection declares Him to be the Son of God. We cannot get a more reliable witness than the Supreme witness! Returning from the dead is perhaps the single most important testimony to the divinity of Jesus Christ.

Jesus’ Resurrection proves the Word of God to be true. God Himself has said in His Word numerous time that it is true, and no other event shows us as clearly why we can believe The Bible is true than the Resurrection of Jesus Christ. The Bible contains prophecies throughout about the future resurrection of Jesus, and they all have come to pass. If we accept the truth of the Resurrection, then these fulfilled prophecies constitute much proof of the reliability of God’s Word. Below we will look at some of them.

Jesus Himself foretold His own death and ultimate resurrection. In Matthew 16:21 we learn how Jesus began to teach His disciples about His upcoming capture, death on the cross, and resurrection after three days. He taught them the same lesson in Matthew 20:17-19. The list goes on, as Jesus taught of this concept over and over: Mark 8:31; Matthew 12:40; Luke 9:22; John 2:19-22. In that last verse, we see how the disciples ultimately believed Jesus had predicted His death, burial and resurrection and believed on Him.

Even Jesus’ enemies recalled clearly that He had predicted His death and resurrection. That is why the Scribes and Pharisees came to Pontius Pilate after His death requesting a guard be placed on His tomb. This account can be found in Matthew 27:62-66.

The Resurrection makes our justification possible. Without the Resurrection we have no hope of eternal life; in fact, without it we remain dead in our sins. Paul pointed out in his first letter to the Corinthians that without the Resurrection, our faith is vain and useless, in 1 Corinthians 15:13-17. The Resurrection is as much a part of the process of our salvation, really, as the death of Christ. Even when we teach children the ABCs of salvation, they learn this idea. The B is what we believe. We don’t just teach them to believe Jesus died for our sins. We teach them they need to believe that He died for our sins, was buried, and then rose again from the dead.

First we have to understand the fact that Jesus became sin for us; 2 Corinthians 5:21 teaches that to us. Then we also learn in Romans 6:23 what the penalty for sin is, and that penalty is death. We know that Jesus lived a perfect and sinless life and did not deserve to die. It was his sinless perfection which earned Him the right to not stay dead, but to rise from the dead. In other words, Jesus earned the right to overcome death because of His sinless life. It is through his overcoming of death that we are ultimately justified. We, of course, do not earn our own justification. We are given credit for Jesus’ payment as our justification. It is fairly simple really; if Jesus stayed dead it was because He deserved death. If He deserved death then He could not pay our assigned penalty of death. So, The Resurrection is absolutely a necessary part of or justification.

Without the Resurrection, Jesus is just another dead “Prophet.” Every other prophet or founder of any world “religion” has died. The list is long and here are just a few: Buddha(Buddhism), Joseph Smith(Mormonism), Charles Taze Russell(Jehovah’s Witnesses) and of course Mohammed(Islam). Those are just the founders and prophets of some of the major religions movements in the world today; there have been countless religions founded by countless “prophets” throughout history. What they all share in common is that they all died. In that sense, they are no different from Jesus Christ, as we know he died also. There the similarity ends. First and foremost, Jesus died for a specific reason; that reason was to pay the penalty God required for the sins mankind had committed. No other religion even makes such a claim as that. And finally and most importantly, all those other men and women stayed quite dead! In fact, no other religion even claims that their founder or prophet died then came back in a bodily form.

As we pointed out earlier, this concept is key and central to the very core of the Christian Faith. Without a bodily resurrection, our entire faith simply melts away. Without the Resurrection, Jesus was not God; he was just a martyred prophet. Without the Resurrection, every single prophecy about it is false; that renders the Bible false. Without the Resurrection, even Jesus’ own prophecies about His death and Resurrection were false, making Him not even a real prophet, but a false one. Without the Resurrection, we cannot be justified and cleared of our sin; If Jesus is still dead then we are still dead in our sin. Without the Resurrection, there is no hope. If Jesus died and stayed dead, then we also will die and stay dead.

Coming up. Why believe in the Resurrection

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About Godsmanforever

I present posts about God's Word, with a personal focus on how God's grace is received through saving faith in the Lord Jesus Christ... Sinners must understand and obey the Gospel of our Lord Jesus Christ... See this link for more... https://godsmanforever.com/2014/10/26/the-truth-about-sin-10262014-by-bruce-reposted-from-7112013/
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