Witnesses of the Resurrection of Christ
What are not witnesses of the resurrection of Christ?
Most of what is associated with the Easter Holiday does not witness of the resurrection:
-It is unbiblical and manmade. It is totally secularized and witnesses nothing of the truth of Christ. (Relate my own experience of growing up in a non-religious home. We celebrated Easter faithfully, but never was Christ's resurrection ever mentioned.)
-It belittles & makes a farce of the resurrection a with its phony supernatural bunny that lays colored resurrection eggs; none of which have their foundation in the Bible or truth.
-It associates the glorious truths of Christ with the pagan idol worship of the "goddess of the dawn", from which it was derived. This was the meaning of the word Easter, the only time it is used in the Bible (Acts 12:4).
-It was born in paganism and was espoused and "Christianized" by Roman Catholism. The early church knew nothing of the celebration, and its was not instituted in the Word of God by either Christ or the apostles.
-It is propagated and practiced by protestants who always despise God's Word & God's will for true worship. They make up their own unscriptural methods for worshipping God, and are rebellious to the plain revealed will of God. This is just another instance of protestants retaining Catholic pagan heresies.
-As a Baptist I have no use whatsoever for the Holiday, and I believe Jesus doesn't either.
This morning we want to notice seven true witnesses of the resurrection of Christ. There no doubt are more, but we will just notice these seven powerful witnesses of His resurrection.
1. The Bible or the Written Word of God is a witness:
Psalms 119:160 Thy word is true from the beginning: and every one of thy righteous judgments endureth for ever.
John 17:17 Sanctify them through thy truth: thy word is truth.
Preserved without corruption;
Matthew 24:35 Heaven and earth shall pass away, but my words shall not pass away.
Peter 1:23 Being born again, not of corruptible seed, but of incorruptible, by the word of God, which liveth and abideth for ever.
The Bible Witnesses of the resurrection;
The Bible's witness of the resurrection is unquestionable and without controversy, though there are men (such as Martin Luther King) who tried to say that the Bible doesn't teach an actual, literal resurrection.
2. The First Day of the Week (or the Lord's day) is a witness:
John 20:1 The first day of the week cometh Mary Magdalene early, when it was yet dark, unto the sepulchre, and seeth the stone taken away from the sepulchre.
Acts 20:7 And upon the first day of the week, when the disciples came together to break bread, Paul preached unto them, ready to depart on the morrow; and continued his speech until midnight.
1 Corinthians 16:2 Upon the first day of the week let every one of you lay by him in store, as God hath prospered him, that there be no gatherings when I come.
It is apparent from these and other Scriptures that the Old Testament Sabbath, the weekly Sabbath of rest and worship, was done away (Col. 2:16), and was replaced with the first day of the week, the resurrection day, as the day sanctified for New Testament worship. The reason is that the resurrection of Christ speaks of a better rest, that is a spiritual rest that we receive when we trust Him as our Savior (Heb. Chapters 3-4).
As the saints of old, we celebrate the resurrection of Jesus Christ every first day of the week; or every Lord's day as it is also called (Rev 1:10). It is the resurrection day of our Savior. Those who sanction a one day (or week) a year man-made holiday, distract and detract people from the true and regular celebration of Jesus' resurrection every Lord's day! We preach about and rejoice in the resurrection our Savior every first day of the week as we meet together in the Lord's house.
3. The Lord's Church is a witness:
Acts 1:22 Beginning from the baptism of John, unto that same day that he was taken up from us, must one be ordained to be a witness with us of his resurrection.
-The charter members of the Lord's church must have all witnessed the resurrection of Christ.
Acts 4:33 And with great power gave the apostles witness of the resurrection of the Lord Jesus: and great grace was upon them all.
-The apostles, represented the church in their witnessing of the resurrection of Christ.
1 Thess. 1:6-10 (Don't read for time)
-Here we see a churches testimony of the resurrection. May we sound abroad the Word of God, and testify of Jesus' resurrection- not one day a year, not even just one day a week, but every day of our lives! And not just the local church collectively, but also individually.
4. Baptism is a witness:
Romans 6:4 Therefore we are buried with him by baptism into death: that like as Christ was raised up from the dead by the glory of the Father, even so we also should walk in newness of life.
Colossians 2:12 Buried with him in baptism, wherein also ye are risen with him through the faith of the operation of God, who hath raised him from the dead.
1 Peter 3:21 The like figure whereunto even baptism doth also now save us (not the putting away of the filth of the flesh, but the answer of a good conscience toward God,) by the resurrection of Jesus Christ:
When a new convert is immersed in the waters of baptism, he is saying that he died with Christ; and when he comes up out of the water, he is saying that he is risen again with Christ. Thus Baptism is a testimony of the resurrection; both of Christ from the grave, and also of the dead sinner to newness of life in Christ!
5. The Lord's Supper is a witness:
1 Corinthians 11:26 For as often as ye eat this bread, and drink this cup, ye do shew the Lord's death till he come.
Jesus can not come again if He is still in the grave! He can only come again if He is resurrected from the dead and ascended back to the Father on high.
6. The Tithe is a witness:
Hebrews 7:8 And here men that die receive tithes; but there he receiveth them, of whom it is witnessed that he liveth.
Every time we put our tithes and offerings in the offering box, we are testifying that Jesus lives. There is no reason to give tithes and offerings, to pay the preacher, or to send out missionaries all over the world, if Christ is still in the grave!
7. God is His own witness:
Finally, God is His own witness to the resurrection of Christ.
Acts 5:30 The God of our fathers raised up Jesus, whom ye slew and hanged on a tree.
Romans 8:11 But if the Spirit of him that raised up Jesus from the dead dwell in you, he that raised up Christ from the dead shall also quicken your mortal bodies by his Spirit that dwelleth in you.
John 10:17 Therefore doth my Father love me, because I lay down my life, that I might take it again. 18 No man taketh it from me, but I lay it down of myself. I have power to lay it down, and I have power to take it again. This commandment have I received of my Father.
So the Father, the Holy Spirit, and the Son are all witness to the resurrection of Jesus; all three persons of the Godhead having part in the resurrection of Christ.
God is the greatest witness of all to the resurrection of Jesus from the dead. And when the witness of God is manifested in the heart of the lost sinner by the Holy Spirit, the lost sinner will believe and be saved.
Some of the other witnesses are the empty tomb and the angels at the tomb? The Pharisees and the Roman soldiers, who conspired to lie about the body of Jesus being stolen by a band of fearful disciples while the entire guard of soldiers slept by the tomb. These all knew that Jesus had risen. Jesus was seen of above 500 hundred brethren at one time (1 Cor. 15:6); later by the disciples on several occasions, then by Paul, and finally by John on the Isle of Patmos.
Have you witnessed the resurrection of Jesus Christ this morning? Has He revealed Himself to you? Has the witness of God been manifested in your heart and soul by the Holy Spirit? May the Lord reveal to you that Jesus died for your sins according to the Scriptures, was buried in the tomb according to the Scriptures, and was risen again the third day according to the Scriptures.