Torrey - Christ -6.2- The Importance of the Resurrection


First Proposition: The resurrection of Jesus Christ is mentioned directly 104 or more times in the New Testament. ("Raised," 37; "risen," 21; "resurrection," 11; "rise," 10; "liveth," 6; "rose," 6; "quickened," 3; "alive," 2; "rising," 1; "life," 1; "brought again," 1; "begotten," 1; "raise," 1.) Acts 1:21-22 — "Wherefore of these men which have companied with us all the time that the Lord Jesus went in and out among us, beginning from the baptism of John, unto the same day that he was taken up from us, must one be ordained to be a witness with us of his resurrection.'' Acts 2:24, 29-32 — "Whom God hath raised up, having loosed the pains of death: because it was not possible that he should be holden of it.

Men and brethren, let me freely speak unto you of the Patriarch David, that he is both dead and buried, and his sepulchre is with us unto this day.

Therefore being a prophet, and knowing that God had sworn with an oath to him, that of the fruit of his loins, according to the flesh, he would raise up Christ to sit on his throne: He seeing this before, spake of the resurrection of Christ, that his soul was not left in hell, neither his flesh did see corruption. This Jesus hath God raised up, whereof we all are witnesses." 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." Acts 17:18 — "Then certain philosophers of the Epicureans, and of the Stoics, encountered him. And some said, What will this babbler say? other some, He seemeth to be a setter forth of strange gods: because he preached unto them Jesus, and the resurrection." Acts 23:6 — -"But when Paul perceived that the one part were Sadducees, and the other Pharisees, he cried out in the council, Men and brethren, I am a Pharisee, the son of a Pharisee: of the hope and resurrection of the dead I am called in question." 1 Corinthians 15:15 — "Yea, and we are found false witnesses of God; because we have testified of God that he raised up Christ: whom he raised not up, if so be that the dead rise not."

Second Proposition: The resurrection of Jesus Christ was the most prominent and cardinal point in the apostolic testimony.

The resurrection of Jesus Christ had a prominence in the apostolic teaching that it has not in modern preaching. 1 Corinthians 15:1, 3-4 "Moreover, brethren, I declare unto you the gospel which I preached unto you, which also ye have received, and wherein ye stand: For I delivered unto you first of all that which I also received, how that Christ died for our sins according to the scriptures; and that he was buried, and that he rose again the third day according to the scriptures."

Third Proposition: The resurrection of Jesus Christ is one of the two fundamental truths of the gospel.

Gospel preachers today preach the gospel of the crucifixion, the apostles preached the gospel of the resurrection as well. ( 2 Timothy 2:8 — "Remember that Jesus Christ of the seed of David was raised from the dead, according to my gospel.") The crucifixion loses its meaning without the resurrection. Without the resurrection the death of Christ was only the heroic death of a noble martyr; with the resurrection it is the atoning death of the Son of God. It shows that death to be of sufficient value to cover all our sins, for it was the sacrifice of the Son of God. In it we have an allsufficient ground for knowing that the blackest sin is atoned for. 1 Corinthians 15:14,17 — "And if Christ be not risen, then is our preaching vain, and your faith is also vain. And if Christ be not raised, your faith is vain; ye are yet in your sins."

Fourth Proposition: Disprove the resurrection of Jesus Christ and Christian faith is vain. (The two Greek words used in passages quoted above mean "empty" and "forceless.") On the other hand, if Jesus Christ did rise, Christian preaching and Christian faith rest upon a solid and unassailable foundation of fact. Romans 10:9-10 — "That if thou shalt confess with thy mouth the Lord Jesus, and shalt believe in thine heart that God hath raised him from the dead, thou shalt be saved. For with the heart man believeth unto righteousness; and with the mouth confession is made unto salvation."

Fifth Proposition: The doctrine of the resurrection of Jesus Christ has power to save anyone who believes it. Philippians 3:8-10 — "Yea doubtless, and I count all things but loss for the excellency of the knowledge of Christ Jesus my Lord: for whom I have suffered the loss of all things, and do count them but dung, that I may win Christ, and be found in him not having mine own righteousness, which is of the law, but that which is through the faith of Christ, the righteousness which is of God by faith: That I may know him, and the power of his resurrection, and the fellowship of his sufferings, being made conformable unto his death."

Sixth Proposition: To know the power of Christ's resurrection is one of the highest ambitions of the intelligent believer.

The importance of the resurrection of Jesus Christ will come out still further when we come to study the "Results of His Resurrection."