Resurrecting Jesus Christ from the dead is the most powerful thing God’s ever done. Look at what it accomplished:
It vindicated who Jesus is.
“Who was declared the Son of God with power by the resurrection from the dead, according to the Spirit of holiness, Jesus Christ our Lord.” – Romans 1:4 (NASB)
It proved that sin doesn’t win.
“And if Christ has not been raised, your faith is futile; you are still in your sins . . . 20But Christ has indeed been raised from the dead, the firstfruits of those who have fallen asleep.” – 1 Corinthians 15:17, 20
It defeated death.
“But God raised Him up again, putting an end to the agony of death, since it was impossible for Him to be held in its power.” – Acts 2:24 (NASB)
It ushered the future into the present.
“Dear friends, now we are children of God, and what we will be has not yet been made known. But we know that when Christ appears, we shall be like Him, for we shall see Him as He is. 3All who have this hope in Him purify themselves, just as He is pure.” – 1 John 3:2-3
I would think that such an astonishing event would impress everyone, but not so. In fact, quite the opposite.
The religious leaders who railroaded Jesus to death, along with a few Roman soldiers, rebelled against the report of His resurrection.
“When the chief priests had met with the elders and devised a plan, they gave the soldiers a large sum of money, 13telling them, ‘You are to say, “His disciples came during the night and stole Him away while we were asleep.”’” – Matthew 28:12-13
The soldiers and the Sanhedrin knew something special had happened, but they tried to suppress it.
The ignorant mocked the idea of a resurrection.
“A group of Epicurean and Stoic philosophers began to debate with him. Some of them asked, ‘What is this babbler trying to say?’ Others remarked, ‘He seems to be advocating foreign gods.’ They said this because Paul was preaching the good news about Jesus and the resurrection . . . 32When they heard about the resurrection of the dead, some of them sneered, but others said, ‘We want to hear you again on this subject.’” – Acts 17:18, 32
God raising people from the dead didn’t fit in the Greek philosophical worldview. Some were curious, but most scoffed.
Even Jesus’ disciples vacillated.
“When they saw Him, they worshiped Him; but some doubted.” – Matthew 28:17
Should the resurrection’s lack of convicting power surprise us? No, Jesus predicted it.
In a parable, Christ described how an unnamed wealthy person ignored a beggar named Lazarus. One feasted while the other starved. When they both died, the tables were turned; Lazarus enjoyed comfort in the company of the patriarch Abraham while the rich man suffered the flames of Hades. Unable to get any relief, the desperate soul implored Abraham to send Lazarus to warn his family. Abraham dismissed this request; the Scriptures ought to suffice. The rich man disagreed–the spectacle of a man risen from the grave would put the fear of God in his brothers. But Abraham stood his ground.
“If they do not listen to Moses and the Prophets, they will not be convinced even if someone rises from the dead” (Luke 16:31).
I want the resurrection of Jesus to be decisive, convincing, and determinative. But by itself, it isn’t. Not without Scripture.
That’s why Jesus rehearsed to two disciples the many passages in the Bible that foretold His death, burial, and resurrection.
That’s why later that day, He reviewed with the 11 apostles how His suffering and triumph had fulfilled the Scriptures.
That’s why Paul and Barnabas quoted the Bible to explain how God promised to raise the Messiah from the dead.
That’s why Paul stressed how the death, burial, and resurrection of Christ formed the heart of the gospel in keeping with God’s Word.
What competes with your faith in the resurrection of the Lord Jesus? Whatever it is, the Bible is your remedy. As you study it, you will hear the Spirit bearing witness to the risen Savior. And any doubts you have about the power of His resurrection will fade in the light of His Word.