Christ's Resurrection: Prophecy or Hoax? (Part 1)
The Resurrection of Jesus Christ is the foundational truth for Bible Christianity. Without it, every other doctrine crumbles. If Jesus did not rise again, His preaching on sin, heaven, hell, salvation, and Christian victory would be worthless sayings and just good moral truths. The Apostle Paul puts it this way:
1 Corinthians 15:13-15a
But if there be no resurrection of the dead, then is Christ not risen: And if Christ be not risen, then is our preaching vain, and your faith is also vain. Yea, and we are found false witnesses of God;
Skepticism has arisen for millennia over this crucial event, and with it has come several theories suggesting that the Resurrection did not happen. But before we analyze each theory, let us look at Old Testament evidence that proves Jesus rose again.
The First Mention of Good News
The best place to start on any topic is at the beginning. The third chapter of Genesis (the first book of the Bible) records the start of sin and the resulting curse upon the entire human race. After Adam and Eve disobeyed God by eating of the Tree of Knowledge of Good and Evil, God lays out the consequences for the first couple and the Serpent. But before He speaks to them, He speaks to the Serpent, the Devil. Not only would he be the cursed of all the creatures, he will one day be crushed.
And I will put enmity between thee and the woman, and between thy seed and her seed; it shall bruise thy head, and thou shalt bruise his heel.
In short, this is prophecy of what Christ would do to Satan at the Cross. Satan would be defeated, while Christ, the Seed of the Woman by virgin birth would only experience death. Christ didn’t receive such a blow as Satan did, but how did He conquer death? Keep reading.
The book of Job recounts the life of a man who lost everything – his wealth, his family, and the respect of his wife and friends. But in chapter 19, Job’s faith in his God is unwavering, as he declares of a “redeemer” whom he will one day see.
For I know that my redeemer liveth, and that he shall stand at the latter day upon the earth: And though after my skin worms destroy this body, yet in my flesh shall I see God: Whom I shall see for myself, and mine eyes shall behold, and not another; though my reins be consumed within me.
Who is this “redeemer” who lived in Job’s day? If you read the context of this passage, this man is separate from God, yet Job equates him to God (“yet in my flesh shall I see God”). If you’re not convinced, how can a mere man “stand at the latter day upon the earth”? With the little revelation that he had, Job was convinced in a life after death – in a bodily resurrection - and even more so, seeing His redeemer Who lives, and Who will be alive at the last days.