The Resurrection of Jesus - Radical

The Resurrection of Jesus

The truth upon which the gospel stands or falls is the reality of the resurrection of Jesus. Every believer must be prepared to defend and proclaim the resurrection of Jesus Christ. In this message, Pastor David Platt unpacks various theories about the resurrection of Jesus as he points believers back to scriptural truth. If Jesus truly did rise from the dead, it is imperative that believers heed every word he said.

  1. Is the Resurrection of Jesus True?
  2. Different Theories About The Resurrection of Jesus
  3. Jesus Rose From the Grave

This is the truth upon which the gospel stands or falls. The reality is, if there’s no Easter Sunday, if Jesus did not rise from the dead, then we are wasting our time tonight and we are to be pitied among men. The Bible says, first Corinthians 15:7 says, “Pity Christians if Jesus didn’t rise from the dead, because they’ve based their lives for eternity on a lie.”

Is The Resurrection Of Jesus True?

And so we need to know. Is this true? Did Jesus rise from the dead? And throughout history, there have been possible explanations that have been put forward for Jesus’ resurrection. Throughout history, some have proposed that Jesus didn’t die on the cross. Muslims, for example, say that Jesus didn’t even go to the cross. Somebody who looked like Jesus went to the cross. That’s what Muhammad teaches in the Quran.

Never mind the fact that Muhammad teaches this, six centuries later, when those much closer to the historical situation, both Christian and non-Christian like reported that it was indeed Jesus who was on the cross. But then there’s others who say it was just Jesus on the cross, but he didn’t die there. He was just hurt really bad.

Now and because they were rushing, because the Passover, they brought him down before he was dead, and they buried him, put him in the tomb before he was dead. Now that explanation assumes that Jesus went through six trials, no sleep, a brutal scourging, thorns thrust into his head, nails thrust into his hands and feet after hours on a cross, had his spear thrust into his side. Then they wrapped him in grave clothes, put him in a tomb with a stone rolled over the entrance that was guarded by Roman soldiers.

Different Theories About The Resurrection of Jesus

So we’re to believe that Jesus regained consciousness, unraveled himself, hopped out of the tomb, nudged the stone out of the way, hopped past the guard standing nearby, and coolly went about his way. I don’t think that’s the most plausible explanation. Next one, people say Jesus was not…

His tomb was not empty. This is described as the wrong tomb theory basically that the women and the disciples went to the wrong tomb on that day. And ever since then, people have been going to the wrong tomb, if only they checked next door, which obviously if anybody wanted there to be a body and a tomb, it was Roman authorities, Jewish authorities. That’s why they posted guards there. No one would’ve believed Jesus rose from the grave if they would’ve just said, “Well, if you look next door.” So we stand on pretty firm ground that this tomb was empty.

Now that doesn’t, in and of itself, prove the resurrection of Jesus. Some people say the disciples stole the body of Jesus. So there’s a conspiracy theory, theory so to speak, that assumes that these timid scared Galilean disciples who were ashamed to even admit they knew Jesus fled away from Jesus the night before, concocted this plan, outmaneuvered a guard of highly disciplined and skilled Roman soldiers. And in order to do all that the Jewish and Roman authorities were making sure would not happen, likely not the case.

Then, other people say, “Well, the disciples were just delusional when they claimed to see Jesus. After all, they didn’t have all the scientific knowledge that we have today. They were prone to believe more in the supernatural. So, maybe they were just hallucinating.” Again, the reality is this idea of resurrection was unthinkable in their worldview. There was no, there’s no… According to this whole theory, there’d be have to at least be some process and thought to think, okay, this could be believable, but that wasn’t even where to be found in that day.

And then, hallucinations don’t normally eat and drink, and you can’t feel them and touch them like we see in Paul. And that’s why you see in first Corinthians 15, Paul’s saying, “There are hundreds of people, over 500 people who Jesus has appeared to. Go and talk to them and you will see that he is alive. Eyewitness testimony.”

So what if I told you that in preparation for the Masters Golf Tournament in a couple of of weeks, Tiger Woods gave me a call this last week because he wanted some tips. He wanted me to play a practice round with him, help him out a little with his game. And so I did. It was a busy week and ready for Secret Church, but I thought, “Hey, for Tiger, why not? Share the gospel with him.” So I did. We went out and I showed him how to work on his drive, get a little farther on his drive, showed him on his putting. On one par three that we were hitting on, I actually hit a hole in one.

He was pretty impressed, even asked if somehow I could substitute with him in the tournament. And now if that’s the case, you can easily go to Tiger Woods and say, “Do you have any clue who David Platt is? Or how terrible a golfer he is?”

And he’d probably say, “I have no clue who David Platt is. And I can imagine he’s a terrible golfer.” And you could verify that which is the whole picture here. In Paul’s saying, the whole New Testament’s written in the context. If he’s alive and people have seen him, and not only have they seen him, but they’re losing their lives for proclaiming that they’ve seen him. Pascal said, “I believe the witnesses that get their throats cut.”

Jesus Rose From the Grave

So when you put all that together, we’ve only got one possible explanation. Jesus died on the cross and actually rose from the grave. We’re not talking resuscitation or reincarnation. We’re talking resurrection. Dead for three days, came back to life. And if that’s true, there’s some starting implications.

He is Lord over life and death. Absolute authority over life and death. Who determines when they live? Who among us determined one day, “I’d like to come to life”? And you told your parents that. Who among us, when your heart flat-lines for three days has the authority to say, “I’m going to live again.” He has authority over life and death. He’s Lord over sin and Satan, first Corinthians 15:55 through 57. And he’s Lord over you and me.

The reality is, if Jesus didn’t rise from the dead, we don’t have to worry about a thing he said. If Jesus did rise from the dead, then we have to listen to everything he said. And not just listen, but submit to everything he said, to believe in the resurrection of Christ and to surrender to the lordship of Christ. Romans 10:9 and 10, “If you confess with your mouth, “Jesus is Lord”, and believe in your heart that God raised him from dead, you will be saved.”

David Platt

David Platt serves as a pastor in metro Washington, D.C. He is the founder of Radical.

David received his Ph.D. from New Orleans Baptist Theological Seminary and is the author of Don’t Hold Back, Radical, Follow MeCounter CultureSomething Needs to ChangeBefore You Vote, as well as the multiple volumes of the Christ-Centered Exposition Commentary series.

Along with his wife and children, he lives in the Washington, D.C. metro area.


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