WHAT THE BIBLE TEACHES ABOUT JESUS CHRIST By Pastor Steve Carr (NKJV)
By Pastor Steve Carr
1. The Person of Jesus Christ
1.1 The humanity of Christ
1.2 The deity of Christ
1.2.1 Divine names given to Jesus
1.2.2 Divine worship is ascribed to Jesus
1.2.3 Divine qualities, offices, and attributes ascribed to Jesus
1.2.4 Why is this teaching important
2. The Work of Jesus Christ
2.1 The revelation of the Father
2.2 The death of Christ
2.2.1 The purpose of His death
2.2.2 For whom did Christ die?
2.2.3 The results of His death
2.3 The resurrection of Christ
2.3.1 The nature of His resurrection
2.3.2 Evidence for His resurrection
2.3.3 The results of His resurrection
2.4 The ascension and exaltation of Christ.
2.4.1 The purpose of His ascension and exaltation
2.4.2 The results of His ascension and exaltation
WHAT THE BIBLE TEACHES ABOUT JESUS CHRIST
By Pastor Steve Carr
1. The Person of Jesus Christ
1.1. The humanity of Christ
The Bible teaches very clearly that Jesus was fully human. That He was a man in every sense of the word. That He possessed all the qualities of human nature, yet apart from sin. Thus He fully submitted Himself to the conditions of human life and a human body.
a. He was born to the virgin Mary. ”Now the birth of Jesus Christ was as follows: After His mother Mary was betrothed to Joseph, before they came together, she was found with child of the Holy Spirit.” (Matthew 1:18)
b. He had a body of flesh and blood. ”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,” (Heb. 2:14).
c. He had a soul. “Then He said to them, ‘My soul is exceedingly sorrowful, even to death. Stay here and watch with Me.’” (Matt. 26:38)
d. He had a spirit. “And when Jesus had cried out with a loud voice, He said, “Father, ‘into Your hands I commit My spirit.’ ” Having said this, He breathed His last.” (Luke 23:46)
e. He was subject to the ordinary laws of human development of body and soul. “And the Child grew and became strong in spirit, filled with wisdom; and the grace of God was upon Him. His parents went to Jerusalem every year at the Feast of the Passover. And when He was twelve years old, they went up to Jerusalem according to the custom of the feast. When they had finished the days, as they returned, the Boy Jesus lingered behind in Jerusalem. And Joseph and His mother did not know it; but supposing Him to have been in the company, they went a day’s journey, and sought Him among their relatives and acquaintances. So when they did not find Him, they returned to Jerusalem, seeking Him. Now so it was that after three days they found Him in the temple, sitting in the midst of the teachers, both listening to them and asking them questions. And all who heard Him were astonished at His understanding and answers. So when they saw Him, they were amazed; and His mother said to Him, ‘Son, why have You done this to us? Look, Your father and I have sought You anxiously.’ And He said to them, ‘Why did you seek Me? Did you not know that I must be about My Father’s business?’ But they did not understand the statement which He spoke to them. Then He went down with them and came to Nazareth, and was subject to them, but His mother kept all these things in her heart. And Jesus increased in wisdom and stature, and in favor with God and men.” (Luke 2:40-52)
f. He was subject to hunger. “And when He had fasted forty days and forty nights, afterward He was hungry.”(Matt. 4:2); thirst, “After this, Jesus, knowing that all things were now accomplished, that the Scripture might be fulfilled, said, ‘I thirst!’” (John 19:28); being tired, “ Now Jacob’s well was there. Jesus therefore, being wearied from His journey, sat thus by the well. It was about the sixth hour.” (John 4:6); felt sorrow, “O Jerusalem, Jerusalem, the one who kills the prophets and stones those who are sent to her! How often I wanted to gather your children together, as a hen gathers her chicks under her wings, but you were not willing!” (Matt. 23:37); and tempted in all points yet without sin, ”For we do not have a High Priest who cannot sympathize with our weaknesses, but was in all points tempted as we are, yet without sin.” (Hebrew 4:15)
g. Why is this teaching important? Knowing He was really human gives you great encouragement that He knows what you’re going through in your everyday life. He not only knows but can help, “For in that He Himself has suffered, being tempted, He is able to aid those who are tempted.” (Hebrew 2:18) Second, it is a revelation of His great humility that He would come and be made in the likeness of men, be a servant, and suffer and die. “Let this mind be in you which was also in Christ Jesus, who, being in the form of God, did not consider it robbery to be equal with God, but made Himself of no reputation, taking the form of a bondservant, and coming in the likeness of men. And being found in appearance as a man, He humbled Himself and became obedient to the point of death, even the death of the cross.”(Phil. 2:5-8) Third, to see His humanity clarifies all those verses of Scripture that seem to deny His deity. These refer to His humanity and His position as subject to the Father’s will. “You have heard Me say to you, ‘I am going away and coming back to you.’ If you loved Me, you would rejoice because I said, ‘I am going to the Father,’ for My Father is greater than I.’” (John 14:28) “But I want you to know that the head of every man is Christ, the head of woman is man, and the head of Christ is God.” (1 Corinthians 11:3)
1.2. The deity of Christ
The Bible also teaches that Jesus was not only fully human but fully Divine. Jesus declared that belief in his deity was absolutely essential for salvation. He said, “unless you believe that I Am, you will die in your sins” (John 8:24). This is God’s divine name “throughout all generations” (Ex. 3:14,15). So, where do we see this?
1.2.1. Divine names given to Jesus
a. Called God. “But to the Son He says: ‘Your throne, O God, is forever and ever; A scepter of righteousness is the scepter of Your Kingdom.” “ You have loved righteousness and hated lawlessness; Therefore God, Your God, has anointed You With the oil of gladness more than Your companions.”(Heb. 1:8-9) “In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God.”(John 1:1) “And Thomas answered and said to Him, ‘My Lord and my God!’”(John 20:28) “of whom are the fathers and from whom, according to the flesh, Christ came, who is over all, the eternally blessed God.”(Rom. 9:5) “looking for the blessed hope and glorious appearing of our great God and Savior Jesus Christ,”(Titus 2:13). “And we know that the Son of God has come and has given us an understanding, that we may know Him who is true; and we are in Him who is true, in His Son Jesus Christ. This is the true God and eternal life.”(1 John 5:20) “For in Him dwells all the fullness of the Godhead bodily;”(Col. 2:9).
b. Called the First and Last. Compare: “Who has performed and done it, Calling the generations from the beginning? ‘I, the LORD, am the first; And with the last I am He.'” (Isaiah 41:4) “Thus says the LORD, the King of Israel, And his Redeemer, the LORD of hosts: ‘I am the First and I am the Last; Besides Me there is no God.(Is. 44:6) with “ For unto us a Child is born, Unto us a Son is given; And the government will be upon His shoulder. And His name will be called Wonderful, Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace. .. I, Jesus, have sent My angel to testify to you these things in the churches. I am the Root and the Offspring of David, the Bright and Morning Star.” (Rev. 22:12-13,16) “And to the angel of the church in Smyrna write, ‘These things says the First and the Last, who was dead, and came to life:’” (Rev. 2:8).
c. Called Lord of all. “The word which God sent to the children of Israel, preaching peace through Jesus Christ; He is Lord of all;” (Acts 10:36).
d. Called the mighty God. Compare: “How he swore to the LORD, And vowed to the Mighty One of Jacob:”(Psalms 132:2) “The Mighty One, God the LORD, Has spoken and called the earth From the rising of the sun to its going down.”(Ps. 50:1) ) with“For unto us a Child is born, Unto us a Son is given; And the government will be upon His shoulder. And His name will be called Wonderful, Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace.” (Is. 9:6)
1.2.2. Divine worship is ascribed to Jesus
a. In Exodus 34:14, “(for you shall worship no other god, for the LORD, whose name is Jealous, is a jealous God),” we are told not to worship any other god but the Lord. Yet, Jesus accepted worship. “And Thomas answered and said to Him, ‘My Lord and my God!’”(John 20:28) “Then those who were in the boat came and worshiped Him, saying, “Truly You are the Son of God.”(Matt. 14:33) Jesus taught that you should honor Him even as you honor the Father, “that all should honor the Son just as they honor the Father. He who does not honor the Son does not honor the Father who sent Him.” “Most assuredly, I say to you, he who hears My word and believes in Him who sent Me has everlasting life, and shall not come into judgment, but has passed from death into life.”(John 5:23,24). The New Testament writers also taught this. “But when He again brings the firstborn into the world, He says: ‘Let all the angels of God worship Him’”(Heb. 1:6); “that at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, of those in heaven, and of those on earth, and of those under the earth”,(Phil. 2:10).
1.2.3. Divine qualities, offices, and attributes ascribed to Jesus
a. Pre-existence, “In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God.”(John 1:1) “Jesus said to them, ‘Most assuredly, I say to you, before Abraham was, I AM.’”(John 8:58) “But you, Bethlehem Ephrathah, Though you are little among the thousands of Judah, Yet out of you shall come forth to Me The One to be Ruler in Israel, Whose goings forth are from of old, From everlasting.” (Micah 5:2)
b. The authority to raise men from the dead and give them life. “For as the Father raises the dead and gives life to them, even so the Son gives life to whom He will. . . Do not marvel at this; for the hour is coming in which all who are in the graves will hear His voice and come forth; those who have done good, to the resurrection of life, and those who have done evil, to the resurrection of condemnation.”(John 5:21,28-29)
c. The authority to judge all men. “For the Father judges no one, but has committed all judgment to the Son . . and has given Him authority to execute judgment also, because He is the Son of Man.”(John 5:22,27) “I charge you therefore before God and the Lord Jesus Christ, who will judge the living and the dead at His appearing and His kingdom:”(2 Tim. 4:1)
d. Omnipotent over disease, “And it happened when He was in a certain city, that behold, a man who was full of leprosy saw Jesus; and he fell on his face and implored Him, saying, ‘Lord, if You are willing, You can make me clean.’ Then He put out His hand and touched him, saying, ‘I am willing; be cleansed.’ Immediately the leprosy left him.” (Luke 5:12-13); over death “But He put them all outside, took her by the hand and called, saying, ‘Little girl, arise.’ Then her spirit returned, and she arose immediately. And He commanded that she be given something to eat.”(Luke 8:54-55); over nature “But He said to them, ‘Why are you fearful, O you of little faith?’ Then He arose and rebuked the winds and the sea, and there was a great calm. So the men marveled, saying, ‘Who can this be, that even the winds and the sea obey Him?’”(Matt. 8:26-27); and over demons “But Jesus rebuked him, saying, ‘Be quiet, and come out of him!’ And when the demon had thrown him in their midst, it came out of him and did not hurt him. Then they were all amazed and spoke among themselves, saying, ‘What a word this is! For with authority and power He commands the unclean spirits, and they come out.’ . . .And demons also came out of many, crying out and saying, ‘You are the Christ, the Son of God!’ And He, rebuking them, did not allow them to speak, for they knew that He was the Christ.” (Luke 4:35-36,41).
e. Omniscience over the secrets of men’s past lives. “Jesus said to her, ‘Go, call your husband, and come here.’ The woman answered and said, ‘I have no husband.’ Jesus said to her, ‘You have well said, ‘I have no husband,’ for you have had five husbands, and the one whom you now have is not your husband; in that you spoke truly.’ The woman said to Him, ‘Sir, I perceive that You are a prophet.’” (John 4:16-19); over men’s thoughts “But when Jesus perceived their thoughts, He answered and said to them, ‘Why are you reasoning in your hearts?’” (Luke 5:22); and over the future choices of men, “But there are some of you who do not believe.” For Jesus knew from the beginning who they were who did not believe, and who would betray Him.”(John 6:64) Notice, only God knows the hearts of men, “then hear from heaven Your dwelling place, and forgive, and give to everyone according to all his ways, whose heart You know (for You alone know the hearts of the sons of men),”(2 Chronicles 6:30).
f. Omnipresence wherever two or three gather in His name. “For where two or three are gathered together in My name, I am there in the midst of them.”(Matt. 18:20); or wherever you are, “teaching them to observe all things that I have commanded you; and lo, I am with you always, even to the end of the age.”(Matt. 28:20) He also declares He is in every believer. “At that day you will know that I am in My Father, and you in Me, and I in you.”(John 14:20)
g. He is eternal. “And He is before all things, and in Him all things consist.”(Col. 1:17) “But to the Son He says: ‘Your throne, O God, is forever and ever; A scepter of righteousness is the scepter of Your Kingdom.’”(Heb. 1:8) “But you, Bethlehem Ephrathah, Though you are little among the thousands of Judah, Yet out of you shall come forth to Me The One to be Ruler in Israel, Whose goings forth are from of old, From everlasting.”(Micah 5:2).
h. He is immutable. “Jesus Christ is the same yesterday, today, and forever.”(Heb. 13:8) “Like a cloak You will fold them up, And they will be changed. But You are the same, And Your years will not fail.”(Heb. 1:12)
i. He is the creator. “For by Him all things were created that are in heaven and that are on earth, visible and invisible, whether thrones or dominions or principalities or powers. All things were created through Him and for Him.”(Col.1:16) “All things were made through Him, and without Him nothing was made that was made.”(John 1:3)
j. He holds all things together. “And He is before all things, and in Him all things consist.”(Col. 1:17) “who being the brightness of His glory and the express image of His person, and upholding all things by the word of His power, when He had by Himself purged our sins, sat down at the right hand of the Majesty on high,”(Heb. 1:3).
k. He has the authority to forgive sins. “When Jesus saw their faith, He said to the paralytic, ‘Son, your sins are forgiven you.’ . . . But that you may know that the Son of Man has power on earth to forgive sins”; He said to the paralytic,” (Mark 2:5,10).
l. He bestows eternal life. “And I give them eternal life, and they shall never perish; neither shall anyone snatch them out of My hand”(John 10:28).
1.2.4. Why is this teaching important
a. Without faith in His deity, you can’t be saved. “And I give them eternal life, and they shall never perish; neither shall anyone snatch them out of My hand.”(John 8:24)
b. To reject this teaching from Scripture is to reject the authority of the Word of God, and the divine inspiration of its writers.
c. If Jesus was just a “man”, or just a “great teacher”, then it is easy to applaud His teaching and philosophy, yet never bow before Him as Lord and Savior.
d. If Jesus was just a “man”, He couldn’t have died for my sin, because He would have been a sinner too. A sinful man can’t die for other sinful men. “None of them can by any means redeem his brother, Nor give to God a ransom for him; For the redemption of their souls is costly, And it shall cease forever; That he should continue to live eternally, And not see the Pit.”(Ps. 49:7-9) Only the holy Spotless Lamb of God, “knowing that you were not redeemed with corruptible things, like silver or gold, from your aimless conduct received by tradition from your fathers, but with the precious blood of Christ, as of a lamb without blemish and without spot.” (1 Peter 1:18-19)
2. The Work of Christ
Now what was the purpose of God coming in the flesh of a man? What work did He come to fulfill? Jesus said, “My food is to do the will of Him that sent me, and to finish His work.” (John 4:34) So, what did Jesus say was His work?
2.1. The revelation of the Father
a. Jesus said, “no one know the Father except the Son, and he to whom the Son wills to reveal Him” (Matt. 11:27). “All things have been delivered to Me by My Father, and no one knows who the Son is except the Father, and who the Father is except the Son, and the one to whom the Son wills to reveal Him.”(Luke 10:22)
b. Jesus said, “Have I been with you so long, and yet you have not known Me, Philip? He who has seen Me has seen the Father; so how can you say, ‘Show us the Father’?” (John 14:9).
c. Jesus is called, “The true and faithful witness”, because He gave a perfect revelation of the Father, ”and from Jesus Christ, the faithful witness, the firstborn from the dead, and the ruler over the kings of the earth. To Him who loved us and washed us from our sins in His own blood.” (Rev. 1:5)
2.2. The death of Christ
The death of Christ is an essential theme of both the Old and New Testaments. In the Old Testament, God speaks prophetically of His death, “And beginning at Moses and all the Prophets, He expounded to them in all the Scriptures the things concerning Himself. . . Then He said to them, ‘These are the words which I spoke to you while I was still with you, that all things must be fulfilled which were written in the Law of Moses and the Prophets and the Psalms concerning Me.’” Luke 24:27,44) “searching what, or what manner of time, the Spirit of Christ who was in them was indicating when He testified beforehand the sufferings of Christ and the glories that would follow. To them it was revealed that, not to themselves, but to us they were ministering the things which now have been reported to you through those who have preached the gospel to you by the Holy Spirit sent from heaven; things which angels desire to look into.”(1 Peter 1:11-12) The New Testament declares the fact of His death and the purpose of it. “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,” (Heb. 2:14) “And you know that He was manifested to take away our sins, and in Him there is no sin.”(1 John 3:5); “just as the Son of Man did not come to be served, but to serve, and to give His life a ransom for many.”(Matt. 20:28) This is one of the fundamental aspects of the Gospel message. “But if there is no resurrection of the dead, then Christ is not risen.” (1 Cor. 15:3) It is the theme of the song of the redeemed in heaven. “Now when He had taken the scroll, the four living creatures and the twenty-four elders fell down before the Lamb, each having a harp, and golden bowls full of incense, which are the prayers of the saints. And they sang a new song, saying: ‘You are worthy to take the scroll, And to open its seals; For You were slain, And have redeemed us to God by Your blood Out of every tribe and tongue and people and nation, And have made us kings and priests to our God; And we shall reign on the earth.’ Then I looked, and I heard the voice of many angels around the throne, the living creatures, and the elders; and the number of them was ten thousand times ten thousand, and thousands of thousands, saying with a loud voice: ‘Worthy is the Lamb who was slain To receive power and riches and wisdom, And strength and honor and glory and blessing!’” (Rev. 5:8-12).
2.2.1. The purpose of His death
a. He died for our sins. “For I delivered to you first of all that which I also received: that Christ died for our sins according to the Scriptures,” (1 Cor. 15:3). “All we like sheep have gone astray; We have turned, every one, to his own way; And the LORD has laid on Him the iniquity of us all.”(Is. 53:6)
b. He died that He might bring us to God. “For Christ also suffered once for sins, the just for the unjust, that He might bring us to God, being put to death in the flesh but made alive by the Spirit”(1 Peter 3:18).
c. He died that we might be enabled to live unto righteousness, “who Himself bore our sins in His own body on the tree, that we, having died to sins, might live for righteousness; by whose stripes you were healed.”(1 Peter 2:24)
d. He died to redeem us from the curse of the Law. “For as many as are of the works of the law are under the curse; for it is written, ‘Cursed is everyone who does not continue in all things which are written in the book of the law, to do them.’ . . . Christ has redeemed us from the curse of the law, having become a curse for us (for it is written, ‘Cursed is everyone who hangs on a tree’),”(Gal. 3:10,13).
e. He died to enable us to be adopted as sons. “But when the fullness of the time had come, God sent forth His Son, born of a woman, born under the law, to redeem those who were under the law, that we might receive the adoption as sons.”(Gal. 4:4,5)
f. He died to deliver us from this present evil world, “who gave Himself for our sins, that He might deliver us from this present evil age, according to the will of our God and Father,”(Gal. 1:4).
2.2.2. For whom did Christ die?
a. For us all. “He who did not spare His own Son, but delivered Him up for us all, how shall He not with Him also freely give us all things?”(Rom. 8:32).
b. For the sins of the world. “The next day John saw Jesus coming toward him, and said, ‘Behold! The Lamb of God who takes away the sin of the world!’”(John 1:29) “that is, that God was in Christ reconciling the world to Himself, not imputing their trespasses to them, and has committed to us the word of reconciliation.”(2 Cor. 5:19) “And He Himself is the propitiation for our sins, and not for ours only but also for the whole world.”(1 John 2:2) “But we see Jesus, who was made a little lower than the angels, for the suffering of death crowned with glory and honor, that He, by the grace of God, might taste death for everyone.” (Heb. 2:9)
c. For you personally. “I have been crucified with Christ; it is no longer I who live, but Christ lives in me; and the life which I now live in the flesh I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave Himself for me.” (Galatians 2:20)
2.2.3. The results of His death
a. This message draws all men unto Him, “And I, if I am lifted up from the earth, will draw all peoples to Myself. This He said, signifying by what death He would die.” (John 12:32-33)
b. His death nullifies sin’s penalty, “having wiped out the handwriting of requirements that was against us, which was contrary to us. And He has taken it out of the way, having nailed it to the cross.”(Col. 2:14)
c. His death nullifies the power of sin in you, “knowing this, that our old man was crucified with Him, that the body of sin might be done away with, that we should no longer be slaves of sin. . . . For sin shall not have dominion over you, for you are not under law but under grace. . . And having been set free from sin, you became slaves of righteousness.” (Romans 6:6,14,18)
d. His death reconciles you to God. “For if when we were enemies we were reconciled to God through the death of His Son, much more, having been reconciled, we shall be saved by His life.” (Rom. 5:10)
e. You are justified (righteous before God) freely by His grace, through the redemption in Christ Jesus (Rom. 3:24) “Much more then, having now been justified by His blood, we shall be saved from wrath through Him.”(Rom. 5:9)
f. His blood cleanses your conscience and causes you to become His servant, “how much more shall the blood of Christ, who through the eternal Spirit offered Himself without spot to God, cleanse your conscience from dead works to serve the living God?”(Hebrew 9:14)
g. Through His death you are delivered from the fear of death. ”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, and release those who through fear of death were all their lifetime subject to bondage.” (Heb. 2:14,15)
h. Through His death you are delivered from Satan’s authority and power. (Heb. 2:14) “He has delivered us from the power of darkness and conveyed us into the kingdom of the Son of His love, in whom we have redemption through His blood, the forgiveness of sins.” (Col. 1:13,14)
2.3. The resurrection of Christ
Christianity is the only religion which is based on the resurrection of its founder. Remove the resurrection, and the glory of His message is gone. Remove the resurrection, and all of His promises and claims have no proof. Remove the resurrection, and our faith is in vain and we are yet dead in our sins. “Now if Christ is preached that He has been raised from the dead, how do some among you say that there is no resurrection of the dead? But if there is no resurrection of the dead, then Christ is not risen. And if Christ is not risen, then our preaching is empty and your faith is also empty. Yes, and we are found false witnesses of God, because we have testified of God that He raised up Christ, whom He did not raise up; if in fact the dead do not rise. For if the dead do not rise, then Christ is not risen. And if Christ is not risen, your faith is futile; you are still in your sins! Then also those who have fallen asleep in Christ have perished. If in this life only we have hope in Christ, we are of all men the most pitiable.”(1 Cor. 15:12-19)
2.3.1. The nature of His resurrection
a. It was a bodily resurrection. They didn’t see a spirit or have a vision. “Now as they said these things, Jesus Himself stood in the midst of them, and said to them, ‘Peace to you.’ But they were terrified and frightened, and supposed they had seen a spirit. And He said to them, ‘Why are you troubled? And why do doubts arise in your hearts? 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.’ When He had said this, He showed them His hands and His feet. But while they still did not believe for joy, and marveled, He said to them, ‘Have you any food here?’ So they gave Him a piece of a broiled fish and some honeycomb. And He took it and ate in their presence.”(Luke 24:36-43) “Jesus answered and said to them, ‘Destroy this temple, and in three days I will raise it up.’ Then the Jews said, ‘It has taken forty-six years to build this temple, and will You raise it up in three days?’ But He was speaking of the temple of His body.” (John 2:19-21) His body could be touched. “When He had said this, He showed them His hands and His side. Then the disciples were glad when they saw the Lord.”(John 20:20)
b. It was more than a natural body. It was only flesh and bone. No blood was present because His wounds did not bleed. “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. When He had said this, He showed them His hands and His feet.”(Luke 24:39-40) He also could appear instantly in the Disciple’s presence. “Then, the same day at evening, being the first day of the week, when the doors were shut where the disciples were assembled, for fear of the Jews, Jesus came and stood in the midst, and said to them, “Peace be with you.”(John 20:19) “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!’” (John 20:26).
2.3.2. Evidence for His resurrection
a. The Old Testament prophets predicted His death and resurrection. “Men of Israel, hear these words: Jesus of Nazareth, a Man attested by God to you by miracles, wonders, and signs which God did through Him in your midst, as you yourselves also know; Him, being delivered by the determined purpose and foreknowledge of God, you have taken by lawless hands, have crucified, and put to death; whom God raised up, having loosed the pains of death, because it was not possible that He should be held by it. For David says concerning Him: ‘I foresaw the LORD always before my face, For He is at my right hand, that I may not be shaken. Therefore my heart rejoiced, and my tongue was glad; Moreover my flesh also will rest in hope. For You will not leave my soul in Hades, Nor will You allow Your Holy One to see corruption. You have made known to me the ways of life; You will make me full of joy in Your presence.’ Men and brethren, let me speak freely to you of the patriarch David, that he is both dead and buried, and his tomb is with us to this day. Therefore, being a prophet, and knowing that God had sworn with an oath to him that of the fruit of his body, according to the flesh, He would raise up the Christ to sit on his throne, he, foreseeing this, spoke concerning the resurrection of the Christ, that His soul was not left in Hades, nor did His flesh see corruption. This Jesus God has raised up, of which we are all witnesses.”(Acts 2:22-32). The resurrection wasn’t someone’s idea to keep the movement going. It was God’s eternal plan!
b. Jesus predicted His own death and resurrection. “For He taught His disciples and said to them, ‘The Son of Man is being betrayed into the hands of men, and they will kill Him. And after He is killed, He will rise the third day.’” (Mark 9:31)
c. The eyewitness account of over 500. “For I delivered to you first of all that which I also received: 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, and that He was seen by Cephas, then by the twelve. 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. After that He was seen by James, then by all the apostles. Then last of all He was seen by me also, as by one born out of due time.”(1 Cor. 15:3-8) Today you only need one eyewitnesses account to convict of a crime in a court of law.
d. The changed lives of the disciples. They went from fear and unbelief to boldness and faith in their proclamation of the Gospel, “But Peter, standing up with the eleven, raised his voice and said to them, ‘Men of Judea and all who dwell in Jerusalem, let this be known to you, and heed my words. . . This Jesus God has raised up, of which we are all witnesses.’”(Acts 2:14,32) also each gave their life for the message they preached.
e. The changed life of Paul the Apostle. Paul was changed from one who hated Jesus to His most zealous follower. Why? Because he met the risen Christ on the road to Damascus. “Then Saul, still breathing threats and murder against the disciples of the Lord, went to the high priest and asked letters from him to the synagogues of Damascus, so that if he found any who were of the Way, whether men or women, he might bring them bound to Jerusalem. As he journeyed he came near Damascus, and suddenly a light shone around him from heaven. Then he fell to the ground, and heard a voice saying to him, ‘Saul, Saul, why are you persecuting Me?’ And he said, ‘Who are You, Lord?’ Then the Lord said, ‘I am Jesus, whom you are persecuting. It is hard for you to kick against the goads.’ So he, trembling and astonished, said, ‘Lord, what do You want me to do?’ Then the Lord said to him, ‘Arise and go into the city, and you will be told what you must do.’ And the men who journeyed with him stood speechless, hearing a voice but seeing no one. Then Saul arose from the ground, and when his eyes were opened he saw no one. But they led him by the hand and brought him into Damascus. And he was three days without sight, and neither ate nor drank. Now there was a certain disciple at Damascus named Ananias; and to him the Lord said in a vision, ‘Ananias’ And he said, ‘Here I am, Lord.’ So the Lord said to him, “Arise and go to the street called Straight, and inquire at the house of Judas for one called Saul of Tarsus, for behold, he is praying. And in a vision he has seen a man named Ananias coming in and putting his hand on him, so that he might receive his sight. Then Ananias answered, ‘Lord, I have heard from many about this man, how much harm he has done to Your saints in Jerusalem. And here he has authority from the chief priests to bind all who call on Your name.’ But the Lord said to him, ‘Go, for he is a chosen vessel of Mine to bear My name before Gentiles, kings, and the children of Israel. For I will show him how many things he must suffer for My name’s sake.’ And Ananias went his way and entered the house; and laying his hands on him he said, ‘Brother Saul, the Lord Jesus, who appeared to you on the road as you came, has sent me that you may receive your sight and be filled with the Holy Spirit.’ Immediately there fell from his eyes something like scales, and he received his sight at once; and he arose and was baptized. So when he had received food, he was strengthened. Then Saul spent some days with the disciples at Damascus. Immediately he preached the Christ in the synagogues, that He is the Son of God. Then all who heard were amazed, and said, ‘Is this not he who destroyed those who called on this name in Jerusalem, and has come here for that purpose, so that he might bring them bound to the chief priests?’ But Saul increased all the more in strength, and confounded the Jews who dwelt in Damascus, proving that this Jesus is the Christ.”(Acts 9:1-22) He also gave his life for the message he preached
f. Your changed life. “If anyone wants to do His will, he shall know concerning the doctrine, whether it is from God or whether I speak on My own authority.”(John7:17)
g. An empty tomb. “Now on the first day of the week Mary Magdalene went to the tomb early, while it was still dark, and saw that the stone had been taken away from the tomb. Then she ran and came to Simon Peter, and to the other disciple, whom Jesus loved, and said to them, ‘They have taken away the Lord out of the tomb, and we do not know where they have laid Him.’ Peter therefore went out, and the other disciple, and were going to the tomb.”(John 20:1,2)
2.2.3 The results of His resurrection
a. He is declared, without any doubt, to be the Son of God, “and declared to be the Son of God with power according to the Spirit of holiness, by the resurrection from the dead.” (Rom. 1:4)
b. You are assured that one day you will live again with Him, “who was delivered up because of our offenses, and was raised because of our justification.”(John 14:19) “For if we believe that Jesus died and rose again, even so God will bring with Him those who sleep in Jesus.”(1 Thess. 4:14)
c. You are assured of an eternal inheritance. “Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who according to His abundant mercy has begotten us again to a living hope through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead, to an inheritance incorruptible and undefiled and that does not fade away, reserved in heaven for you,”(1 Pet. 1:3,4).
d. You are assured of justification, “who was delivered up because of our offenses, and was raised because of our justification.” (Rom. 4:25)
e. You are assured He has the power to do anything that’s needed for life or service to Him, “and what is the exceeding greatness of His power toward us who believe, according to the working of His mighty power which He worked in Christ when He raised Him from the dead and seated Him at His right hand in the heavenly places, far above all principality and power and might and dominion, and every name that is named, not only in this age but also in that which is to come. And He put all things under His feet, and gave Him to be head over all things to the church,”(Eph. 1:19-22).
f. Assurance of a judgment day, “because He has appointed a day on which He will judge the world in righteousness by the Man whom He has ordained. He has given assurance of this to all by raising Him from the dead.” (Acts 17:31)
2.4. The ascension and exaltation of Christ.
The ascension of Christ refers to the event in which Jesus departed visibly from His disciples into heaven. “Now when He had spoken these things, while they watched, He was taken up, and a cloud received Him out of their sight. And while they looked steadfastly toward heaven as He went up, behold, two men stood by them in white apparel, who also said, ‘Men of Galilee, why do you stand gazing up into heaven? This same Jesus, who was taken up from you into heaven, will so come in like manner as you saw Him go into heaven.’”(Acts 1:9-11) The exaltation of Christ refers to the position and place given Him at the right hand of the Father. “Therefore God also has highly exalted Him and given Him the name which is above every name, that at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, of those in heaven, and of those on earth, and of those under the earth, and that every tongue should confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father.”(Phil. 2:9-11)
2.4.1. The purpose of His ascension and exaltation
a. He has gone to heaven to prepare a place for you. “In My Father’s house are many mansions; if it were not so, I would have told you. I go to prepare a place for you.” (John 14:2)
b. He has gone to heaven, once and for all to offer Himself as a sacrifice for sin. “But this Man, after He had offered one sacrifice for sins forever, sat down at the right hand of God,”(Heb. 10:12). “For Christ has not entered the holy places made with hands, which are copies of the true, but into heaven itself, now to appear in the presence of God for us; not that He should offer Himself often, as the high priest enters the Most Holy Place every year with blood of another; He then would have had to suffer often since the foundation of the world; but now, once at the end of the ages, He has appeared to put away sin by the sacrifice of Himself.”(Heb. 9:24-26)
c. He has gone into heaven to continually make intercession for us before the Father. “Therefore He is also able to save to the uttermost those who come to God through Him, since He always lives to make intercession for them.” (Hebrew 7:25)
d. He has gone into heaven to wait until all His enemies are made His footstool. “But this Man, after He had offered one sacrifice for sins forever, sat down at the right hand of God, from that time waiting till His enemies are made His footstool.”(Heb. 10:12-13) “For David did not ascend into the heavens, but he says himself: ‘The LORD said to my Lord, “Sit at My right hand, Till I make Your enemies Your footstool.” ‘(Acts 2:34,35)
e. He has gone into heaven to be a Prince and a Savior that He might grant repentance and forgiveness. “Him God has exalted to His right hand to be Prince and Savior, to give repentance to Israel and forgiveness of sins.”(Acts 5:31)
2.4.2.The results of His ascension and exaltation
a. You see the exceeding greatness of God’s power, “the eyes of your understanding being enlightened; that you may know what is the hope of His calling, what are the riches of the glory of His inheritance in the saints, and what is the exceeding greatness of His power toward us who believe, according to the working of His mighty power which He worked in Christ when He raised Him from the dead and seated Him at His right hand in the heavenly places”(Eph. 1:18-20).
b. You can come with boldness and confidence in prayer knowing God knows your needs and problems, because Jesus is also there at His right hand. “Seeing then that we have a great High Priest who has passed through the heavens, Jesus the Son of God, let us hold fast our confession. For we do not have a High Priest who cannot sympathize with our weaknesses, but was in all points tempted as we are, yet without sin. Let us therefore come boldly to the throne of grace, that we may obtain mercy and find grace to help in time of need.”(Hebrew 4:14-16)
c. You can receive the power of the Holy Spirit in your life. “Nevertheless I tell you the truth. It is to your advantage that I go away; for if I do not go away, the Helper will not come to you; but if I depart, I will send Him to you.” (John 16:7) “Therefore being exalted to the right hand of God, and having received from the Father the promise of the Holy Spirit, He poured out this which you now see and hear.” (Acts 2:33)
d. You can do the works Jesus did, and greater works will you do. “Most assuredly, I say to you, he who believes in Me, the works that I do he will do also; and greater works than these he will do, because I go to My Father.”(John 14:12)
e. Jesus has been given a name which is above every name, that every knee should bow and every tongue confess that Jesus Christ is Lord. “Therefore God also has highly exalted Him and given Him the name which is above every name, that at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, of those in heaven, and of those on earth, and of those under the earth, and that every tongue should confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father.” (Phillipians 2:9-11) Have you bowed the knee?