Jesus' death and resurrection are affirmations and proofs of his deity and encouragement for all his disciples. Jesus roses again from the grave after perishing on the cross. In Matthew 20.28, Jesus said, "the Son of Man came not to be served but serve, and give his life as a ransom for many." Saint Paul sought to prove the case for Jesus' death and resurrection in 1 Corinthians 15.12-15, "But if people preach that Christ is risen from the dead, how can some of you say that there is no resurrection of the dead?" The hope of the resurrection is a reality for all born-again believers. ✞
Dr. Scott Munger of Biblica, who published the New International Version of the Bible, was a former agnostic who came to faith in Christ. He wrote of eight proofs of Jesus' death,
1. The Romans inflicted severe physical damage upon Jesus' body.
2. Jesus was whipped, beaten, and crucified by Roman soldiers, who had done this before.
3. Soldiers struck him in the side with a spear.
4. Water and blood came out of the wound in his side, indicating severe internal damage.
5. Despite agonizing torture and significant loss of bodily fluids, he had nothing to drink for many hours.
6. The soldiers checked the bodies on the three crosses and didn't break Jesus' legs because they believed he was already dead.
7. Those who buried Jesus' body wrapped it in tight clothes. They had seen dead bodies before.
8. They placed him in a cold rock tomb sealed with a heavy stone and guarded by soldiers.✞
Together these treatments would kill a person. Surviving such treatment would require a miracle. Though Jesus performed many miracles upon others, he never spoke about escaping death. On the contrary, he says he came to die and would undoubtedly perish. ✞
The six testimonies about Jesus' death are consistently reliable,
1. The soldiers who crucified him believed he had died. They knew the end when they saw it.
2. Witnesses convinced Pilate that Jesus was dead.
3. The historical accounts of Mathew, John, and Mark state that he died.
4. A physician and proven historian, Luke, interviewed many people and wrote about Jesus and his death.
5. The other disciples and followers of Jesus believed that he had died.
6. First and second-century secular writers like Tacitus and Josephus spoke of Jesus' death. ✞
Saint Paul argued that Jesus had indeed died and then rose from the dead. In 1 Corinthians 15.20-23, he concluded, "Christ has indeed risen from the dead, the first fruits of those fallen asleep. For since death came through a man, the resurrection of the dead also comes through a man. For as in Adam all die, so in Christ, all will be made alive. But each in his turn, Christ, the first fruits, then, when he comes, those who belong to him." Saint Paul was here stating that just as Adam died, so must all human beings die. But as Jesus rose from the dead, then all of Jesus' disciples will also arise to be with their Lord forever in heaven. What a beautiful thought this is! ✞
When Jesus' heavenly reign begins, Christians will know him and see him as their Lord and King. Everything will be under Christ. Saint Paul wrote to the Corinthian church in 1 Corinthians 15.24-25 about Jesus' heavenly reign. Paul explained, "Then the end will come when he hands over the kingdom to God the Father after destroying all dominion, authority, and power, for he must reign until he has put all his enemies under his feet. The last enemy to be destroyed is death. The words "has put everything under his feet" are quoted from Psalm 8.6, which says, "You made them rulers over the works of your hands, you put everything under their feet." In modern usage, being "under one's feet" means being so physically close to someone as a nuisance or obstruction, even as a tripping hazard. One might also say, "I haven't been able to get any work done today with the kids under my feet asking me to take them to the park." But in this Biblical usage, it probably means "a minor ruler being subject to a major ruler." The phrase, "You made them rulers," may mean "You made him ruler." ✞
When Saint Paul said, "everything" had been put under him, it is clear that this does not include God himself. When he does this, the Son himself will be made subject to him who puts everything under him so that God may be all in all. To know Jesus is to know God, the Heavenly Father. John 8.19 explains, "Then they asked him, 'Where is your father?' 'You do not know my Father or me,' Jesus replies. 'If you knew me, you would know my Father also.'" Again in John 14.7, Jesus says to his disciples, "If you know me, you will know my Father as well. From now on, you do know him and have seen him." Some manuscripts read, "If you knew me, you would know my father as well." ✞
The NIV Study Bible comments, "Once more Jesus stresses the intimate connection between the Father and himself. Jesus brought a full revelation of the Father so that the Apostles had a real knowledge of him." To see Jesus was to see God the Father. Jesus further explained in John 12.45, "The one who looks at me is seeing the one who sent me." The Expositors Study Bible explains, "This had to be done by faith because Christ in his human form offered no expression of deity." ✞
To believe Jesus Christ and honor him is also to accept and glorify his Father in Heaven. On one occasion in John 14.9, Jesus answered a question from Philip. He said, " 'Don't you know me, Philip, even after I have been among you such a long time? Anyone who has seen me has seen the Father.' How can you say, 'Show us the Father?'" To believe in Jesus Christ is to believe in God the Father, asserted Jesus. Then, to emphasize this, Jesus stated in John 12.44, " 'Whoever believes in me does not believe in me only, but in the one who sent me." To reassure his hearers, Jesus again said in John 14.1, "Do not let your hearts be troubled. You believe in God, also believe in me." ✞
To believe in Jesus and to receive him is to receive God the Father also. Jesus emphasized this truth in Mark 9.37, "Whoever welcomes one of these little children in my name welcomes me, and whoever welcomes me does not welcome me, but the one who sent me." Jesus makes it clear that not believing in him is the same as not believing in God. He says in John 15.23, "Whoever hates me hates my Father as well." To love and honor Jesus is to exalt God. Therefore John wrote in John 5.23 that "all may honor the Son just as they honor the Father. Whoever does not honor the Son does not honor the Father, who sent him." ✞