ANASTASIS – DEMONSTRATED by Dr. Shah, Clearview Church, Henderson, NC
Introduction: When I travel, I’m extra careful to make sure that we’re at the right terminal and the right gate. Once in a while I’ve seen people realizing at the last moment that they were at the wrong gate, even the wrong terminal. Then, you see them running across the airport trying to catch their plane. In other words, it’s not enough just to be at the airport. You have to get on the right plane. So also, when it comes to salvation, it’s not enough just to go to church. You have to believe the right gospel. In part 2 of this series titled “Anastasis,” we’re going to learn the right beliefs about the resurrection of Jesus Christ. Main point: Jesus Christ, our Great High Priest, is bone of our bone and partaker of our flesh and blood. His very body that was placed in the tomb on Good Friday rose from the tomb on Easter Sunday. It was imperishable and immortal, not invisible and immaterial. If all this is not true, then the gospel is false and all hope is lost.
Luke 24 38 And He said to them, “Why are you troubled? And why do doubts arise in your hearts? 39 Behold My hands and My feet, that it is I Myself. Handle Me and see, for a spirit does not have flesh and bones as you see I have.”
Background: Time and again through the history of Christianity, there have been individuals and groups who have denied the bodily resurrection of Jesus Christ. This began right in the beginning, even while the apostles were still alive. 1 John 4 1“Beloved, do not believe every spirit, but test the spirits, whether they are of God; because many false prophets have gone out into the world. 2 By this you know the Spirit of God: Every spirit that confesses that Jesus Christ has come in the flesh is of God, 3 and every spirit that does not confess that Jesus Christ has come in the flesh is not of God. And this is the spirit of the Antichrist, which you have heard was coming, and is now already in the world.” Again, 2 John 7 “For many deceivers have gone out into the world who do not confess Jesus Christ as coming in the flesh. This is a deceiver and an antichrist.” The passage is not relegated to just the coming of Jesus but also his remaining. In other words, any person or group that believes that the glorified body of Jesus was not flesh and bones but only spiritual and immaterial is not only unscriptural but also the antichrist! It goes against the gospel and against the hope that is promised to us.
For the next few minutes, I would like to divide this message into two halves: the demonstration of this truth about the resurrection and the importance of this truth.
1. Demonstration of the resurrection truth:
A. The tomb was empty.
Matthew 28 5 But the angel answered and said to the women, “Do not be afraid, for I know that you seek Jesus who was crucified. 6 He is not here; for He is risen, as He said. Come, see the place where the Lord lay.
John 20 6 Then Simon Peter came, following him, and went into the tomb; and he saw the linen cloths lying there, 7 and the handkerchief that had been around His head, not lying with the linen cloths, but folded together in a place by itself. Jesus was not in a hurry!
B. The disciples touched him.
Mary Magdalene – John 20 16 Jesus said to her, “Mary!” She turned and said to Him, “Rabboni!” (which is to say, Teacher). 17 Jesus said to her, “Do not cling to Me, for I have not yet ascended to My Father…”
Thomas – John 20 26 And after eight days His disciples were again inside, and Thomas with them. Jesus came, the doors being shut, and stood in the midst, and said, “Peace to you!” 27 Then He said to Thomas, “Reach your finger here, and look at My hands; and reach your hand here, and put it into My side. Do not be unbelieving, but believing.” 28 And Thomas answered and said to Him, “My Lord and my God!”
Other Disciples – Luke 24:39 Behold My hands and My feet, that it is I Myself. Handle Me and see, for a spirit does not have flesh and bones as you see I have.”
C. Jesus ate with his disciples at least four times:
Luke 24 40 When He had said this, He showed them His hands and His feet. 41 But while they still did not believe for joy, and marveled, He said to them, “Have you any food here?” 42So they gave Him a piece of a broiled fish and some honeycomb. 43 And He took it and ate in their presence.
Acts 10 40 Him God raised up on the third day, and showed Him openly, 41 not to all the people, but to witnesses chosen before by God, even to us who ate and drank with Him after He arose from the dead.
“Jesus’ resurrection was more than a resuscitation but not less than one.” – Geisler
D. At least 12 post-resurrection appearances of Jesus to over 500 people over a 40-day period.
1 Corinthians 15 4 and that He was buried, and that He rose again the third day according to the Scriptures, 5 and that He was seen by Cephas, then by the twelve. 6 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. 7 After that He was seen by James, then by all the apostles. 8 Then last of all He was seen by me also, as by one born out of due time.
2. Importance of the resurrection truth:
A. The heart of the apostolic preaching and teaching:
Acts 2 23 Him, being delivered by the determined purpose and foreknowledge of God, you have taken by lawless hands, have crucified, and put to death; 24 whom God raised up, having loosed the pains of death, because it was not possible that He should be held by it…26 Therefore my heart rejoiced, and my tongue was glad; Moreover my flesh also will rest in hope. 27 For You will not leave my soul in Hades, nor will You allow Your Holy One to see corruption.” Also, Hebrews 2:14 “Inasmuch then as the children have partaken of flesh and blood, He Himself likewise shared in the same, that through death He might destroy him who had the power of death, that is, the devil.”
B. The earnest expectation of the creation:
Romans 8 19 For the earnest expectation of the creation eagerly waits for the revealing of the sons of God. 20 For the creation was subjected to futility, not willingly, but because of Him who subjected it in hope; 21 because the creation itself also will be delivered from the bondage of corruption into the glorious liberty of the children of God. 22 For we know that the whole creation groans and labors with birth pangs together until now.
C. The hope of our gospel:
People have so many questions about the afterlife, heaven, and how things will be on the other side. Here it is!
1 Corinthians 15 20 But now Christ is risen from the dead, and has become the firstfruits of those who have fallen asleep. 21 For since by man came death, by Man also came the resurrection of the dead. 22 For as in Adam all die, even so in Christ all shall be made alive. 23 But each one in his own order: Christ the firstfruits, afterward those who are Christ’s at His coming.
We will read about the spiritual body, but spiritual body means a body dominated by the spirit, not devoid of matter (from Geisler, “The Battle for the Resurrection”).
1 Corinthians 15 35 But someone will say, “How are the dead raised up? And with what body do they come?”…40 There are also celestial bodies and terrestrial bodies; but the glory of the celestial is one, and the glory of the terrestrial is another…42 So also is the resurrection of the dead. The body is sown in corruption, it is raised in incorruption. 43 It is sown in dishonor, it is raised in glory. It is sown in weakness, it is raised in power. 44 It is sown a natural body, it is raised a spiritual body. There is a natural body, and there is a spiritual body…47 The first man was of the earth, made of dust; the second Man is the Lord from heaven…49 And as we have borne the image of the man of dust, we shall also bear the image of the heavenly Man. Jesus’ resurrected body was imperishable and immortal, not invisible and immaterial. So also us!
50 Now this I say, brethren, that flesh and blood cannot inherit the kingdom of God; nor does corruption inherit incorruption. 51 Behold, I tell you a mystery: We shall not all sleep, but we shall all be changed— 52 in a moment, in the twinkling of an eye, at the last trumpet. For the trumpet will sound, and the dead will be raised incorruptible, and we shall be changed. 53For this corruptible must put on incorruption, and this mortal must put on immortality. 54 So when this corruptible has put on incorruption, and this mortal has put on immortality, then shall be brought to pass the saying that is written: “Death is swallowed up in victory.” 55 “O Death, where is your sting? O Hades, where is your victory?” 56 The sting of death is sin, and the strength of sin is the law. 57 But thanks be to God, who gives us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ.
Invitation: What do you believe about the resurrection of Jesus? Are you saved? Are you sharing this victory with others?