Preaching The Resurrection              

Acts 17:18


     The physical, bodily resurrection of our Lord Jesus Christ from the dead is an indisputable fact of history. No honest man can question it. Our Lord appeared at least ten times to a whole multitude of witnesses after his resurrection. First, he appeared to Mary Magdalene (Mk. 16:9-11; John 20:14-18), second, to the disciples on the road to Emmaus (Mk. 16:12, Lk. 24:13-32), third, to Simon Peter (Lk. 24:33-34; I Cor. 15:5), fourth, to the eleven apostles when Thomas was absent (Lk. 24:36-43; John 20:19-25), fifth, to the eleven again when Thomas was present (Mk. 16:14; John 20:27-29), sixth, to the women who had first visited the empty tomb (Matt. 28:9-10), seventh, to all the apostles and more than five hundred brethren at one time in one place (Matt. 28:16-20; I Cor. 15:6), eighth, to the disciples fishing on the lake at Galilee (John 21:1-24), ninth, to James his brother (I Cor. 15:7, and, tenth, to all the apostles assembled at Jerusalem (Lk. 24:44-49; Acts 1:4-8; I Cor. 15:7).

     By these many infallible proofs our Lord showed himself to be alive after he was crucified, buried, and risen as our Substitute. But merely to say that Jesus Christ arose from the dead, or even that he arose according to the scriptures, is not gospel preaching. Many will insist on these facts who do not know or preach the gospel. The facts must be known. But facts are not good news. The good news we preach, the gospel we proclaim is "how" that Christ rose again the third day according to the scriptures.

     To preach the resurrection is to preach THE RESURRECTION OF GOD'S ELECT REPRESENTIVELY WITH CHRIST. When Christ arose from the dead, we arose with him, freed from all the guilt of sin (Eph. 2:5-7). We preach the resurrection when we preach THE RESURRECTION OF GOD'S ELECT SPIRITUALLY BY CHRIST (John 5:25). The new birth is the first resurrection (Rev. 20:6). It is a resurrection of spiritually dead sinners to life eternal by the grace and power of God (Eph. 2:1-4). And we preach the resurrection when we proclaim THE CERTAIN BODILY RESURRECTION OF GOD'S ELECT IN CONFORMITY TO CHRIST (I Cor. 15:20-22; Phil 3:21). In the last day Christ will come again. When he does all men shall be raised from the dead by his power. But all his elect shall be raised in his likeness to eternal glory.


Don Fortner