Ressurection Assurances

February 14, 2024
Keith Keyser

The resurrection of Jesus Christ is Christianity’s essential doctrine, establishing and elucidating the rest of the Bible’s teaching regarding God, man, salvation, and the future.

1 Its indispensable value is noted by a Scottish teacher: “Far too often we have been inclined to regard the Resurrection as an epilogue to the Gospel, an addendum to the scheme of salvation, a codicil to the divine last will and testament . . . This is no appendix to the faith. This is the faith. He is risen. The Lord is risen indeed. To preach this is your lifework: and there is no Gospel without it.”

2 Christ’s resurrection roots the faith in history and gives tangible assurance in a world where relativity is asserted, and truth is constantly attacked. Because He has risen, believers face this uncertain scene with confidence, knowing that He is “the way, the truth, and the life” (John 14:6).

The Assurance of Deity

The Lord Jesus used divine titles, possessed divine attributes, performed divine actions, and received divine, human, and angelic approbation. Despite these unmistakeable evidences of deity, many denied His claims. The resurrection proves Christ’s deity, saying that He was “. . . declared to be the Son of God with power according to the Spirit of holiness, by the resurrection from the dead” (Rom. 1:4). The eternal God has provided eternal life through His Son’s saving work. One of infinite worth paid the ultimate price to become the propitiation for our sins (Rom. 3:23-26). Only One who was God and man could accomplish this salvation, and the resurrection affirms it.

The Assurance of Veracity

It was not enough that the Lord should die on the Cross – many others were crucified. He must be raised to authenticate His person and work.

One writer points out: “While the first-century pagan might remain unimpressed by the announcement that Jesus had died on a Roman cross (had not thousands done so in addition to Christ?), he could not remain neutral regarding the announcement that God had raised Jesus from the dead. Either God had or he had not done so – there was no room for neutrality here! This aspect of the primitive gospel proclamation demanded the pagan’s attention and response.”

3 If He remained entombed, His claims would be rejected as spurious. But the empty tomb verifies that everything He said about Himself and His mission was true (John 10:17-18). His bodily resurrection also fulfilled Old Testament prophecy, demonstrating their perfect accuracy (1 Cor. 15:3-11).

The Assurance of Redemption

Prior to the resurrection, Peter bitterly wept, recalling his bravado and the ensuing denial. But on the Day of Pentecost, his fellow-apostles and he were filled with the Holy Spirit so that they could boldly bear witness to Christ’s physical resurrection. Referring to the prophetic Psalm 16:9-11, he said: “. . . His soul was not left in Hades, nor did His flesh see corruption” (Acts 2:31). Unbelieving mankind’s verdict was rejected, and Jesus was irrefutability displayed to be “Lord and Christ” (Acts 2:36). Coupled with His crucifixion, this historical occurrence assured them that the Lord’s propitiatory sacrifice was accomplished, giving them a gospel to preach.

Gooding explains: “It was not ethics or a message of being good that sent the apostles through the Roman world inflamed with zeal to convert their fellow human beings . . . They had found solid reasons for knowing that their sins were forgiven, and they had a story to tell their fellow men and women which would bring personal forgiveness and certainty of eternal life that could be known on earth here and now. It was not primarily a message of being good; they had found an answer to sin because Jesus had died and risen. The missionary movement didn’t start before; it didn’t even start in the days when Jesus was alive on earth. There was no gospel to preach then. It wasn’t until he had both died and risen that there was any message to preach.”

4 The risen Christ sent the church with glad tidings for Israel and the nations – a work that continues to this day (Matt. 28:18-20).

The Assurance of Victory

The two on the road to Emmaus’ downcast attitudes demonstrate the depressed mood just after Calvary. It seemed that Jesus was defeated. But He soon dispelled their doubts by pointing to the Old Testament’s prophetic declaration of Christ’s sufferings and subsequent glory (Luke 24:27). He triumphed over sin, Satan, and the grave. Further, the resurrection points to God’s ultimate removal of evil from the world, as Acts 17:31 declares: “. . . He has appointed a day on which He will judge the world in righteousness by the Man whom He has ordained. He has given assurance of this to all by raising Him from the dead” (Acts 17:31). The Lord Jesus shall reign until He has put all enemies under His feet, and His Father is exalted as all in all (1 Cor. 15:24-28).

The Assurance of Sustenance

Finally, the Lord’s resurrection provides believers with “the power of His resurrection” (Phil. 3:10). Positionally, the same power that raised Him from the dead, has raised them up to be seated in the heavenlies in Christ (Eph. 1:19; 2:6). Practically, they now live on earth in His power mediated through the Spirit and His Word. By this assurance, they walk and war in the valley of the shadow of death, sustained by His resurrection power.

A missionary observes: “Even though we must walk in the land of fear, there is no need to fear. The power of his resurrection comes before the fellowship of his sufferings.”

6 Another agrees in these words: “What kept Paul going? What has strengthened the endurance of countless martyrs? What still sustains in days of disappointment and discouragement? . . . the glorious hope of the future resurrection is that which spurs us on to great things.”7 Because Christ lives, believers shall live also (John 14:19; 1 Cor. 15:20), and as the song says: “Because He lives, I can face tomorrow.”8

1 “The resurrection of our divine Lord from the dead is the cornerstone of Christian doctrine. Perhaps I might more accurately call it the keystone of the arch of Christianity, for if that fact could be disproved the whole fabric of the gospel would fall to the ground.” C. H. Spurgeon, Metropolitan Tabernacle 26:193.
2 James S. Stewart, Heralds of God (New York: Scribner’s Sons, 1946), 88. [Italics original.]
3Robert Reymond, Paul, Missionary Theologian (Scotland: Christian Focus, 2000), 44.
4 D. W. Gooding, The Bible’s Answers To Four Vital Questions About Christianity. (Coleraine: Myrtlefield House, 2016), 22.
5 R. C. Chapman.
6 Amy Carmichael, Gold By Moonlight. (Pickle Publ., 2016), electronic ed.
7 Alan Gamble, Day by Day: Bible Promises. (W. Glamorgan: PSP, 2004), 278.
8 Bill and Gloria Gaither.