Jesus death and resurrection were affirmations and proofs of his deity and encouragement for all his disciples. Jesus rose again from death after dying on the cross. Jesus predicted this to his disciples when he was recorded as saying in Matthew 20.28, "the Son of Man did not come to be served, but to serve, and to 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 it is preached that Christ has been raised from the dead, how can some of you say that there is no resurrection of the dead? If there is no resurrection of the dead, then not even Christ has been raised. And if Christ has not been raised, our preaching is useless and so is your faith. More than that, we are then found to be false witnesses about God, for we have testified about God that he raised Christ from the dead. But he did not raise him if in fact the dead are not raised."✞
The hope of the resurrection was a reality for all born-again believers. Saint Paul then added, "But if it is preached that Christ has been raised from the dead, how can some of you say that there is no resurrection of the dead. If there is no resurrection of the dead, then not even Christ has been raised. And if Christ has not been raised, our preaching is useless and so is your faith. More than that, we are then found to be false witnesses about God, for we have testified about God that he raised Christ from the dead. But he did not raise him if the dead are not raised."✞
Dr. Scott Munger of Biblica who was a former agnostic who came to faith in Christ wrote of the proofs of the death of Jesus,
* Severe physical damage was inflicted upon Jesus' body
* Jesus was whipped, beaten, and crucified by Roman soldiers, who had done this before.
* Soldiers stuck him in the side with a spear.
* Water and blood came out of the wound in his side indicating severe internal damage.
* Despite agonizing torture and great loss of bodily fluids, He had nothing to drink for many hours.
* The soldiers checked the bodies on the three crosses and didn't break Jesus' legs because they believed he was already dead.
* Those who buried Jesus' body wrapped it in tight clothes. They had seen dead bodies before.
* He was put in a cold rock tomb sealed with a heavy stone and guarded by soldiers.✞
Taken together these treatments would kill a person. Surviving such treatment would require a miracle. Though Jesus had performed many miracles upon others, He never spoke about escaping death. On the contrary, He said he came to die and would certainly be killed.✞
The testimonies about Jesus death are consistently strong,
* The soldiers who crucified him believed he had died. They knew death when they saw it.
* Pilate was convinced that Jesus had died.
* The historical accounts of Mathew, John, and Mark state that He died.
* A physician and proven historian, Luke, interviewed many people and wrote about Jesus and His death.
* The other disciples and followers of Jesus believed that he had died.
* First and second-century secular writers like Tacitus and Josephus also spoke of Jesus' death.✞
Saint Paul argued that Jesus had truly died and then rose from the dead. He concluded in 1 Corinthians 15.20-23, "But Christ has indeed been raised from the dead, the first fruits of those who have fallen asleep. For since death came through a man, the resurrection of the dead comes also 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 too. But just as Jesus rose from the dead then all disciples of Jesus will also rise to be with their Lord forever in Heaven. What a wonderful thought this is!✞
When Jesus' heavenly reign begins, Christians will know him and see him as their Lord and their King. Everything will be under Christ.Saint Paul wrote to the Corinthian church in 1 Corinthians 15.24-25 about Jesus' heavenly reign. He explained, "Then the end will come when he hands over the kingdom to God the Father after he has destroyed 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. This last part, he 'has put everything under his feet'" was quoted from Psalm 8.6, "You made them rulers" This may also be read as "made him ruler over the works of your hands; you put everything under his feet." When Saint Paul said "everything" had been put under him, it was clear that this did not include God himself. When he had done this, then the Son himself would be made subject to him who put 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 me or my Father,' Jesus replied. 'If you knew me, you would know my Father also.'" Again in John 14.7, Jesus said 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 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 to honor him is to also believe and honor Jesus' 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 was 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, believe also in me."✞
To believe in Jesus and to receive him was and 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 made it clear that not to believe in him was the same as not believing God. He said in John 15.23, "Whoever hates me hates my Father as well." To believe and honor Jesus is to honor 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."✞