Resurrection of Jesus: What Is It All About?

Resurrection of Jesus: What Is It All About?

Was Jesus truly resurrected from the dead, and does it really matter?

The case for

Christ’s

resurrection is not based merely on an empty tomb.

Does Jesus’ resurrection—real or hoax—really matter?

“If Jesus has not been raised, then our faith is worthless; and we are to be pitied above all men (1 Corinthians 15:14).”

Some people really don’t think it matters whether or not Jesus was actually raised from the dead. They think that whatever actually happened back then, Jesus showed us a moral way to walk our lives out and we ought to follow Him as a teacher, if not as the Messiah.

The problem with that thinking is that if Jesus said He would rise from the grave after three days and then He did not do it, you can’t really call Him a “good teacher.” That’s because people who lie are called liars, not “good.” He made no pretense about who He was and what He came to do. He also made it very clear what is expected of His followers.

Either you believe all of what He said or you believe none of what He said. You can’t pick and choose. This is the One who claimed to BE GOD.

Christianity requires faith—but not blind faith.

blind faith

Photo courtesy of Ryoji Iwata on Unsplash

There are those who have tried (unsuccessfully) to argue that although there is more than enough historical evidence to verify Jesus’ claim to have been resurrected from the dead, that He never really died. They subscribe to the “Swoon Theory” that says He never actually died, but swooned due to blood loss and shock. Incredible as it seems, they theorize thus:

 

Jesus never really died; He only appeared to die. In fact—they claim—He merely fainted from loss of blood and shock. When He was then removed from the cross, He was placed in the tomb of Joseph of Arimathea, one of the leading Jews.

Now here’s where it gets really interesting (and totally unbelievable).

Jesus revived due to the coolness of the tomb. (Current medical advice for someone suffering from shock is to keep them warm, not cool.) Despite the fact that He had lost enormous amounts of blood from the scourging, the crown of thorns, and the nails themselves, and despite the fact that He had no medical help (today, fluids and oxygen are given to the patient), He nonetheless revived on His own. Then He unwrapped the cloths that tightly bound Him (and which weighed in the area of 100 pounds due to spices in the burial cloth), neatly folded the cloth that covered His face, got up in total darkness and walked on nail-pierced feet to the tomb entrance. (Medical science tells us to loosen restrictive clothing on someone in shock to enable them to recover. Jesus’ burial clothes were tightly wrapped around His body, pinning His arms to His sides.)

There, even though He had collapsed on the way to the cross and someone else had to carry His cross for Him, He had revived enough to roll away a stone—from the inside!—and walk unnoticed past the guards. After that, He continued on those maimed feet to where His disciples were, appeared in a locked room, and announced to them that He had risen!

To roll the stone away would have not been possible for one man inside the tomb, anyway (unless he was God, which makes everything else moot anyway). The round stone would have been 4′ to 6′ in diameter to cover the entrance. It would have weighed between 2,000 lbs and 4,000 lbs. It took two men to roll it into place. Not only did they have the stone itself to grip, but tombs were hewn out of the rock with a groove that would slant downward as the stone was rolled into place. To remove the stone would require rolling it uphill. This, they posit, was accomplished by a severely dehydrated, severely wounded man with nothing to grip onto inside the tomb. And He did it with hands that had been pierced with 5″ nails. Even if you go with the theory that the nails pierced His wrists, how would that make it more likely?

And that was only the beginning of His post-resurrection appearances.

One thing that flies in the face of that theory is that medical science can show that those who are crucified die from a combination of hypovolemic shock, exhaustion asphyxia, and even acute heart failure. The soldiers stuck a spear in His side, and what came out was blood and water. Medical professionals today say that in most probability, what John saw was blood and the clear fluid that surrounded Jesus’ heart. The spear would have pierced both the lungs and the heart. Without modern medicine, no one would have survived this final assault on His body. (For a look at a documented case of survival after crucifixion, see Josephus’ description. It is not clear to exactly what he was referring when he cited crucifixion.)

Here are just a few of the scriptures that prophesy Jesus’ death and resurrection.

One thing that is irrefutable: neither Jesus nor His disciples could orchestrate the fulfillment of the over 100 prophecies that He did, indeed, fulfill, including the one that hundreds of years before crucifixion was invented said His hands and feet would be pierced !

[bctt tweet=”One thing that is irrefutable: neither Jesus nor His disciples could orchestrate the fulfillment of the over 100 prophecies that He did, indeed, fulfill, including the one that hundreds of years before crucifixion was invented said His hands and feet would be pierced!” username=”suzi59344978″]

PROPHECY:

Isaiah 53:3 says, “He was despised and rejected by men, a man of sorrows, and familiar with suffering. Like one from whom men hide their faces he was despised, and we esteemed him not.”

FULFILLMENT:

John 1:10-11 says, “He was in the world, and though the world was made through him, the world did not recognize him. He came to that which was his own, but his own did not receive him.” 

PROPHECY:

Psalm 41:9 says, “Even my close friend, whom I trusted, he who shared my bread, has lifted up his heel against me.”

FULFILLMENT:

Mark 14:10 says, “Then Judas Iscariot, one of the Twelve, went to the chief priests to betray Jesus to them.” 

PROPHECY:

Zechariah 11:12 says, “I told them, ‘If you think it best, give me my pay; but if not, keep it.’ So they paid me thirty pieces of silver.”

 

FULFILLMENT:

Matthew 26:14-16 says, “Then one of the Twelve – the one called Judas Iscariot – went to the chief priests and asked, ‘What are you willing to give me if I hand him over to you?’ So they counted out for him thirty silver coins.” 

PROPHECY:

Isaiah 53:7 says, “He was oppressed and afflicted, yet he did not open his mouth; he was led like a lamb to the slaughter, and as a sheep before her shearers is silent, so he did not open his mouth.”

FULFILLMENT:

Mark 15:5 says, “But Jesus still made no reply, and Pilate was amazed.” 

PROPHECY:

Psalm 22:1-2 says, “My God, my God, why have you forsaken me? Why are you so far from saving me, so far from the words of my groaning? O my God, I cry out by day, but you do not answer, by night, and am not silent.”

FULFILLMENT:

 Matthew 27:46 says, “About the ninth hour Jesus cried out in a loud voice, ‘Eloi, Eloi, lama sabachthani?’ – which means, ‘My God, my God, why have you forsaken me?'” 

PROPHECY:

Psalm 22:7-8 says, “All who see me mock me; they hurl insults, shaking their heads: ‘He trusts in the LORD; let the LORD rescue him. Let him deliver him, since he delights in him.'”

FULFILLMENT:

Matthew 27:41-44 says, “In the same way the chief priests, the teachers of the law and the elders mocked him. ‘He saved others,’ they said, ‘but he can’t save himself! He’s the King of Israel! Let him come down now from the cross, and we will believe in him. He trusts in God. Let God rescue him now if he wants him, for he said, I am the Son of God.’ In the same way the robbers who were crucified with him also heaped insults on him.” 

PROPHECY:

Psalm 22:15 says, “My strength is dried up like a potsherd, and my tongue sticks to the roof of my mouth; you lay me in the dust of death.”

FULFILLMENT:

Matthew 27:48 says, “Immediately one of them ran and got a sponge. He filled it with wine vinegar, put it on a stick, and offered it to Jesus to drink.” 

PROPHECY:

Psalm 22:17-18 says, “I can count all my bones; people stare and gloat over me. They divide my garments among them and cast lots for my clothing.”

FULFILLMENT:

John 19:23 says, “When the soldiers crucified Jesus, they took his clothes, dividing them into four shares, one for each of them, with the undergarment remaining. This garment was seamless, woven in one piece from top to bottom.”

Want more evidences in prophecy?

Here’s a more extensive list of prophecies that Jesus has already fulfilled. With the historical verity of these, you can rely on the rest of the Word of God to continue being true.

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A Christian Seder

A Christian Seder

The original Seder


MY FAMILY is Christian, although my husband is a Messianic Jew. We don’t often celebrate the Jewish holidays, but sometimes we enjoy doing it. There is no Biblical mandate for Christians to keep the Jewish feasts and fasts, as Christ came “to fulfill the law” (Matthew 5:17), but there’s no reason not to if you want to. This year, we will hold a Christian Seder meal to celebrate Passover, which falls in 2015 on Easter. Resurrection Day is my most favorite day of the whole year, when our salvation was secured over 2,000 years ago.
Passover is a commemoration of the time when God freed the Hebrews from slavery in Egypt and brought the famous ten plagues down on Pharaoh who refused to let the people go. You probably know the story, but if you don’t, now would be a good time to read up on it. You’ll find the story in Exodus in the Bible. The story includes the favorite part of Moses parting the Red Sea so that the Israelites could cross on dry land, and then bringing the sea crashing down to drown Pharaoh’s army when they tried to follow.
Here’s a cheat sheet to the order of the Seder. I hope you decide to join us this year and remember the roots of our faith as we celebrate the deliverance of God’s people from slavery to Egypt and slavery to sin.

A traditional Seder table.


Seder service order
KADESH – the Benediction
With the first of four cups of wine, we recite the kiddush. We are reclining to eat the whole meal.
Blessed are you, Lord our God, King of the Universe, who brings forth the fruit of the vine. Amen.
URCHATZ – Purification
Our hands are washed in the ritually correct way, but without reciting the blessing. This is because the next step is dipping the karpas, which is done without utensils.
KARPAS -the Appetizer
Although it may not seem particularly appetizing, a piece of boiled potato or onion are the appetizer, which we dip in salt water, after saying the blessing over the vegetables.
Praised are you, Adonai, Ruler of the Universe, who brings forth the fruit of the earth. Amen.
The salt water symbolizes the tears of the Jews in Egypt.
YACHATZ – Breaking the Matzah
Three pieces of matzah are used during the Seder. They have piercings and stripes on them which remind us of the pierced hands and feet and stripes on the body of Jesus. Two pieces are left whole and one is broken in half, symbolizing Jesus’ body, broken for us. Half of it is hidden inside a napkin, symbolizing Jesus’ burial. It is saved to become the afikoman, or last morsel eaten.
MAGGID – the Haggadah
At this point, the Seder tray is moved aside and the poor are invited in to join the family. A second cup of wine is drunk.
Now comes the most interesting part of the Seder ceremony, the haggadah or telling of the Exodus story. The story includes a brief history of the Jews, the time of their slavery in Egypt, the plagues and the miracles God did on their behalf.
Traditionally, the youngest child asks four questions about why the family is celebrating this day in this particular way, and you must know the story to answer the questions. This is how the traditions were passed from generation to generation, as each child at one point is the youngest. Here are the four questions:
1. On all other nights we eat leavened or unleavened bread; why on this night do we eat only unleavened bread?
2. On all other nights we eat all kinds of herbs; why on this night only bitter herbs?
3. On all other nights we do not dip our herbs even once; why on this night do we dip them twice?
4. On all other nights we eat either sitting up or reclining; why on this night do we all recline?
The answers to these questions can be found in Exodus 13:14.
ROCHTZAH – the Washing before the Meal
After the second cup of wine is drunk comes the traditional washing of the hands, along with the customary blessing in thanks for bread.
Blessed are you, King of the Universe, who brings forth bread from the ground. Amen.
MOTZI MATZAH – the Eating of the Matzah
Hold all three pieces of the matzot together, with the broken one between the two whole ones. Let the bottom matzah fall back onto the plate and recite the special prayer over them.
[God] who has sanctified us with His commands and commanded us to eat matzah.
Then, breaking off at least an ounce of each matzah, eat them together.
MAROR -the Bitter Herbs
Break off at least an ounce of the bitter herbs and dip it in charoset, shake it off, and eat it while standing. This symbolizes that the Jews had to be ready to flee in a moment, that there was no time to sit down to a meal (which is also why the bread is unleavened, besides the fact that leaven represents sin). Bless the herbs by saying [God] who sanctifies us by His commandments and has commanded us to eat bitter herbs.
KORECH – the Sandwich
Once again reclining, break off at least two ounces of the bottom matzah and make a sandwich with the bitter herbs between the one ounce pieces of matzah and eat it.
SULCHAN ORECH – the Feast
Now the feast begins, starting with hard boiled eggs dipped in salt water. This is a festive time and many delicious foods are served. Next week, I’ll post a list of recipes for your Seder meal.
TZAFUN – Finding the Matzah
After the feast, the children search for the afikoman, the half matzah that an adult may have hidden for this part of the Seder, or it is taken out of the napkin wherein it was wrapped, and eaten. This half of the matzah represents the risen Christ. (In Jewish culture, it represents the sacrificed Passover lamb, which Christ is!) It is the last thing eaten, and nothing else will be eaten or drunk except the last two cups of wine.
Here’s where the Christian Seder departs from the Hebrew one, because the last two cups of wine are drunk in anticipation of Elijah and the Messiah. Since Jesus said Elijah had already come in John the Baptist and Jesus is Himself the Messiah, we drink the wine in anticipation of Christ’s return, saying blessings and ending our feast with singing praise songs to God.
Next week I’ll post some Passover foods, and the week after suggestions for decorating. The final week, I’ll post children’s games and crafts.