The Journal of Biblical Accuracy

On Jesus’ resurrection (PDF) PDF version

On Jesus’ resurrection

Jesus’ resurrection is a fact of monumental importance. Jesus is the only person that passed from the face of this earth who though He died, yet He was raised from the dead and now lives forever. As He Himself said:

Revelation 1:18
“I died, and behold I am alive forevermore”

The purpose of this article is to first demonstrate the facts of Jesus’ resurrection, then to show the witnesses of His resurrection and finally to show the tremendous effects His resurrection has.

1. Jesus’ resurrection: the facts.

To see what the Word of God tells us about the resurrection of Jesus, let’s start from Mark 16:1-6.

"when the Sabbath was past, Mary Magdalene, Mary the mother of James, and Salome bought spices, that they might come and anoint him. Very early in the morning, on the first day of the week, they came to the tomb when the sun had risen and they said among themselves, "Who will roll away the stone from the door of the tomb for us?"  But when they looked up, they saw that the stone had been rolled away - for it was very large. And entering the tomb they saw a young man clothed in a long white robe sitting on the right side; and they were alarmed. But he said to them, "Do not be alarmed. You seek Jesus of Nazareth, who was crucified. He is risen! He is not here."


These women went there to anoint Jesus’ body with spices and oils. They expected to find Jesus in the same position as when he was buried. They wondered about the stone and how to move it. However, God relieved them from their concerns: He raised Jesus Christ from the dead! The women found an angel, who told them what happened: "He is risen. He is not here". Jesus Christ was raised from the dead. All men that died saw corruption. However, Jesus Christ did not see corruption. He was raised from the dead and lives forever. Acts 13:34-37 tells us:

"And that he [God] raised him [Jesus] from the dead, no more to return to corruption he has spoken thus: "I will give you the sure mercies of David". Therefore he also says in another psalm "you will not allow your holy one to see corruption". For David after he had served his own generation by the will of God, fell asleep, was buried with his fathers, and saw corruption; But he whom God raised up saw no corruption"

Everyone else, except Jesus Christ, has seen corruption. All the various famous people who lived through the centuries saw corruption. All the founders of the various religions are dead. They saw corruption. However, this did not happen to Jesus Christ. That's one of the reasons that makes Christianity so much different. Its leader is alive NOW and HE WILL BE ALIVE FOREVER.

2. Jesus’ resurrection: the witnesses.

Although we saw the witness of the Word of God regarding the resurrection of Jesus, there are also many eyewitnesses to this monumental event. I Corinthians 15 gives an account of those who saw Jesus after His resurrection.

I Corinthians 15:3-8
"For I delivered to you first of all that which I also received: that Christ died for our sins according to the scriptures and that he was buried and that he was raised again the third day according to the scriptures, and that he was seen by Cephas [it is another name for Peter] then by the twelve. 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. After that he was seen by James, then by all the apostles. Then last of all he was seen by me also"

I have in the above passage emphasized those who saw Jesus after His resurrection. Even if no-one had seen Him, the witness that God gives in His Word should have been enough to believe in the resurrection. You do not believe something because someone else or you have seen it but because the Word of God says it. However, in the case of Jesus’ resurrection, the Word of God refers hundreds of direct witnesses. Also a look at the gospel records shows that the disciples touched the resurrected body of Jesus and that he "ate and drank" (Acts 10:41) with them. As it says in Acts: Jesus Christ "presented himself alive after his suffering by many infallible proofs" (Acts 2:3). For forty days Jesus Christ was presenting himself alive by many (not just one or two but many) infallible proofs.

In a court, the witness to whom is given critical importance is the eyewitness. There were hundreds of people who saw Jesus Christ in his resurrected body. THEY are the direct witnesses of his resurrection. Today, even two witnesses would be enough to establish a fact. Here, there are hundreds of witnesses and still we have unbelieving people coming after two thousand years and saying: "Come to me. I will tell you what happened that day". How do they know? Were they there? NO! I prefer the witness that God gives in His Word. He certainly knows what happened.

3. Jesus’ resurrection: the effects.

Having seen what the Word of God says about the resurrection of Jesus, we will continue to examine what are the effects of His resurrection. Differently from other events whose importance decline through time, the resurrection of Jesus has on the lives of people the same tremendous effects today as it had when it happened. Below we show why.

3.1 The resurrection of Jesus: prerequisite for our justification.

To see the effects of the resurrection of Jesus, let's start from Romans 4:25. There it says:

Romans 4:25
"who [Jesus Christ] was delivered for our offences and was raised for our justification"

Jesus Christ was delivered for our offences and was raised for our justification. The fact that you are now righteous before God is based on the fact that Jesus Christ was raised from the dead. Without Jesus’ resurrection there could be no justification. It is as simple as that. In the articles “Bible and Righteousness” and “Saved and righteous by grace” we saw that to be righteous requires to believe in the Lord Jesus Christ and His resurrection. However, this condition (believe in Jesus Christ and you will become righteous before God) was made available because Jesus Christ was raised from the dead. How wonderful is to be righteous before God!! And all this because of Jesus’ resurrection. His resurrection is not just a historical fact. Its implications continue to be the same today as they were 2,000 years ago.

3.2 Jesus’ resurrection: prerequisite to be born again.

Having seen that it is because of Jesus’ resurrection that we are righteous after believing in Him, let's now go to I Peter 1:3. There it says:

I Peter 1:3
"Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ who according to his abundant mercy has begotten us again to a living hope through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead"

God has begotten us to a living hope. Today, when one believes in Jesus Christ he is begotten again, born again. However, see that this was made available "through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead". If Jesus Christ had not been raised from the dead, then we couldn't be born again either. You could probably understand better the great effects of the resurrection of Jesus Christ to millions of people who believed, believe or will believe in Jesus Christ, when you see the result: each one of them is - because of Jesus’ resurrection and their believing in Him - born again, a son or a daughter of God. However, the effects of the resurrection of Jesus do not stop here. Let’s carry on

3.3. Jesus’ resurrection: prerequisite for the sending forth of the holy spirit.

One more of the effects of the resurrection of Jesus is given in Acts 2. The passage refers to the day of Pentecost, where the holy spirit was for the first time made available. Peter is speaking to the Israelites that were there and were amazed by the fact that the apostles were speaking in tongues (see Acts 2:1-13). He said:

Acts 2: 22-23, 32-33
"Men of Israel, hear these words: Jesus of Nazareth, a man attested by God to you by miracles, wonders and signs which God did by him in your midst, as you yourselves also know, him being delivered by the determined purpose and foreknowledge of God, you have taken by lawless hands, have crucified, and put to death;.........This Jesus God has raised up, of which we are all witnesses. THEREFORE being exalted to the right hand of God, and having received from the Father the promise of the holy spirit he poured out this which you now see and hear"

What did they "see and hear"? They saw and heard the apostles manifesting the holy spirit by speaking in tongues. The proof that the holy spirit was poured out was that they saw and heard them speaking in tongues. However, see that FIRST Jesus was raised from the dead and THEN he received the promise of the holy spirit and made it available. This "therefore", which I capitalized in the above passage tells us that what follows this word is a consequence of what precedes it. The fact that the holy spirit was made available is because of the resurrection of Jesus. Without His resurrection we could not have this "therefore" and what follows it (the pouring out of the holy spirit). But Jesus WAS indeed raised from the dead! The same spirit that was manifested in the day of Pentecost IS available today to everyone that believes in Him!

3.4. Jesus’ resurrection: we were raised with Him!!

To see another of the effects of the resurrection of Jesus let's go to Ephesians 2: There it says:

Ephesians 2:4-7
"But God, who is rich in mercy, because of his great love with which he loved us even when we were dead in trespasses, made us alive TOGETHER WITH CHRIST (by grace you have been saved), AND RAISED US UP TOGETHER, and made us SIT TOGETHER IN THE HEAVENLY PLACES in Christ Jesus."

According to this passage, when God raised Jesus Christ from the dead, we also were raised with him. When Jesus Christ was made alive, we also were made alive with him. When Jesus Christ sat in the heavenly places, we also sat there with him. These have not been materialized yet. They will, when Jesus Christ comes back. However, see that from God's point of view, it is something that was accomplished when He raised Jesus Christ from the dead. That is what all these "together" mean. Had Jesus not been raised from the dead nothing of these could have happened. BUT Jesus Christ WAS indeed raised from the dead. And because of this event, we also are considered as raised from the dead, as alive and as sited up in the heavenly places. That's some of the tremendous effects of the Jesus’ resurrection.

4. Jesus’ resurrection: conclusion.

To conclude this short article on Jesus’ resurrection: His resurrection is a fact that had not just a few but hundreds of witnesses. Furthermore not only is the resurrection of Jesus a historical reality but its effects continue as strong today as they were when it originally happened. As we saw, after believing in the resurrection of Jesus and confess Him as Lord (Romans 10:9), we are: born again, righteous, the holy spirit is given to us as a gift plus we are raised up together and sited up with him in heaven. All these are facts, realities and they are realities now because Jesus was raised from the dead.

Anastasios Kioulachoglou