The Historicity Of The Resurrection Of Jesus Christ, Part Two -- By: Gary R. Gromacki

Journal: Bible and Spade (Second Run)
Volume: BSPADE 029:2 (Spring 2016)
Article: The Historicity Of The Resurrection Of Jesus Christ, Part Two
Author: Gary R. Gromacki

The Historicity Of The Resurrection Of Jesus Christ, Part Two

Gary R. Gromacki

“And if Christ is not risen, then our preaching is empty, and your faith is also empty” (1 Cor 15:14). For Christians the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead is the foundation of our faith. Apart from the resurrection, there is no gospel, no good news for a despairing world. One of the strongest arguments for the historicity of the resurrection is the resurrection appearances of Jesus to his disciples and to unbelievers who then became believers.1 The empty tomb by itself did not lead to faith in the resurrection of Jesus (cf. Lk 24:21–24; Jn 20:13).2 It was primarily the witness of the risen Jesus that led to the first disciples’ faith in their risen Lord.

The Resurrection Appearances Of Jesus

The first resurrection appearances of Jesus were made to women.3 The risen Jesus first appeared to Mary Magdalene (Mk 16:9). Mary Magdalene came with the other women to the tomb on that first Resurrection Sunday (Mt 28:1–8). An angel told her and the other women not to be afraid because Jesus was risen from the dead. An angel also told them to go quickly and tell the disciples of Jesus that he had risen from the dead. When the women saw that the stone had been rolled away and heard the announcement of the angel that Jesus was not there, Mary Magdalene ran ahead to tell the apostles while the other women returned slowly (Mt 28:8; Mk 16:8; Lk 24:8–10; Jn 20:2). Peter and John then ran to see the empty tomb. Mary Magdalene then apparently came back to the empty tomb after Peter and John had visited the tomb and had left. Here she saw the risen Christ and mistook him for the gardener, but she immediately recognized him when he spoke to her (Jn 20:11–17; cf. Mk 16:9–11). After she had seen the risen Jesus, Mary Magdalene returned to the disciples and told them that she had seen the Lord (Jn 20:18; Mk 16:10–11).

The second resurrection appearance of Jesus was probably to the othe...

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