What is Resurrection?
The resurrection of the dead, both of the just and unjust, is a fundamental doctrine of the Christian faith, and is most fully set forth by St. Paul. 1 Cor 15. It is inseparable from the doctrine of the immortality of the soul, and gives it its necessary completion. If the dead rise not, then is not Christ raised; and if Christ is not raised, then is our faith vain: we are yet in our sins. No truth is more clearly and forcibly presented in the Scriptures, and no fact is better and more decisively proved in history, than is the resurrection of Jesus Christ. 1. It was prophesied. Ps 16:10-11; Acts 2:25-32. 2. Christ himself repeatedly and distinctly foretold it. Matt 16:21; Matt 20:19. 3. The precautions of his enemies to prevent it, the failure of all these precautions, and the measures taken to disprove the event, prove it. 4. The abundant, decided, and consistent testimony of witnesses who could not be deceived, and who had no inducement to deceive others, and all this in the face of every danger. 5. The change which took place in the minds and conduct of the apostles between the crucifixion and the first Pentecost, and which would be wholly inexplicable if the resurrection had not taken place. 6. The supernatural evidences arising from the fulfilment of the promise that the Holy Spirit should be poured out on them all attest the same truth. 7. The Christian Church could never have been founded without the fact of Christ's resurrection, and is a constant living proof of it. Thus the resurrection of Christ from the dead is clearly proved; and, being proved, it ratifies and confirms in the fullest manner the truth and divinity of his character and mission, shows the efficacy of his atonement, is an evidence, earnest, and example of the resurrection of his people, John 14:19, and imports that all judgment is committed into his hand. Acts 17:30-31. Among the Jews, at the time of our Lord, the Sadducees altogether rejected the doctrine of the immortality of the soul and the resurrection of the dead, but the Pharisees and the great mass of the people had accepted it; and traces of this doctrine, more or less vague, we find not only among the people of the covenant, but also among the heathen, and from the very earliest times. Indeed, so deep-rooted is the natural conviction of the human mind on this point that no nation, people, or tribe have ever yet been found who do not, in some form, recognize the doctrine of a state of existence after the death of the body; and this conviction is satisfactorily met only by the simple and sublime doctrine of our holy religion, which brings life and immortality to light.
Bibliography Information Schaff, Philip, Dr. "Biblical Definition for 'Resurrection' in Schaffs Bible Dictionary". bible-history.com - Schaff's