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Bible Study: The resurrection

Date posted: 29/11/16

Jesus Christ did not stay dead but God miraculously raised him to new life and he appeared in his resurrection body to many eye witnesses. This means that what he achieved on the cross really worked, that there is life beyond the grave.

 

Discuss

Many people think that it’s good to believe something if it helps you or improves your life in some way: The view seems to be ‘believe it because it helps you’, not ‘believe it because it is true’. What do the friends you are trying to witness to think about this?

 

Read

1 Corinthians 15:3-8 and 12-19

 

In 1 Corinthians there is no sense in which Paul is saying he believes in the resurrection just because it improves his life (though it does, as we shall see!), instead notice he claims that it is true.

Look at v3-8: what evidence does Paul provide that the resurrection really happened?

The letter of 1 Corinthians is one of the earliest letters in the New Testament, often dated to between AD 53-55. This means (as he says) that his claim of v6 could be checked because the eye witnesses were still alive. So the claim of the resurrection is that it happened, it’s true, and you can investigate the eye witness testimonies to find out for yourself (which is why the gospel accounts are so important - they provide eye witness testimonies).

 

In v19 why does Paul say that, if Christ has not been raised from the dead, then Christians are to be pitied more than all people?

Paul says that, if Christ’s resurrection did not happen, then:

1. There is no basis to our faith. This means that faith is a response to truth and reality - it must have evidence for it. We may want to believe all kinds of things, but the Bible asks - is it true?

2. We are still in our sins. Christ’s death was nothing special - it was just a man dying on a cross.

3. Those who die in Christ ‘perish’. There is no life beyond the grave - it is just a delusion.

But wonderfully Christ has been raised from the dead, and so Christians have the most amazing good news - and it is true!

 

Discuss

1. What do your friends and teammates think about the claims of Christianity?

2. Do they think it is just wishful thinking or do they think there is any substance to it?

3. How could you point them to the resurrection to persuade them that Christianity is true?

 

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res

Fourth of a series of six talks looking at the outrageous claims of Jesus Christ.