“The bodily resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead is the crowning proof of Christianity!” –Henry Morris
From an old clipping, here is the way author Robert J. Morgan recalls the news of how the victory at Waterloo arrived in England. There were no telegrams or telephones in those days, of course, but everyone knew that Wellington was facing Napoleon in a great battle, and that the future of England was in great uncertainty. A sailing ship semaphored (signaled with coded flags) the news to the signalman on top of Winchester Cathedral. He signaled to another man on a hill, and thus news of the battle was relayed by semaphore from station to station to London and all across the land. When the ship came in, the signalman on board semaphored the first word: Wellington. The next word was Defeated, and then the fog came down and the ship could not be seen. “Wellington Defeated” was sent across England, and there was great gloom all over the country side. After two or three hours, the fog lifted, and the signal came again: “Wellington Defeated the Enemy!” Then all England rejoiced!
Oh, how this reminds me, that on what has been designated as Good Friday, they tenderly placed the body of the Lord Jesus in the garden tomb, near Golgotha, where He was crucified. The message to all in that day no doubt clearly signaled “Christ Defeated” but praise the Lord, three days later the fog lifted and the message was clear, “Christ Defeated the Enemy!” It was inevitable that Christ be crucified and it was also inevitable that He should rise again! Thomas Adams was right when he said, “When Christ died, Satan danced on His grave with joy; when he had Him there once, he thought Him sure enough; but He rose again and trampled on the devil’s throne with triumph!”
Yes, as Henry Morris stated, “The bodily resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead is the crowning proof of Christianity.” As most of us know, Thomas Jefferson was a great American Statesman and a religious rationalist. He edited a Bible of his own choosing entitled, “The Life and Morals of Jesus of Nazareth.” He recorded the words and deeds of our Lord but he eliminated all references to the supernatural. He disregarded the bodily resurrection of Jesus and so ended his Bible with these words: “There laid they Jesus, and rolled a great stone to the door of the sepulcher, and departed.”
How can you have a Bible without an empty tomb? How can you ignore the resurrection and believe in the Bible? Matthew Henry said that, “It is only fitting that Jesus, who was born from a virgin womb, must rise from a virgin tomb!” Many years ago a lawyer by the name of Frank Morrison wrote a book entitled, “Who Moved The Stone?” He set out with the purpose of disproving the resurrection, but the book turned out entirely different, and in a lawyer-like way, it has become a classic, proving from historical fact that the resurrection was a reality. The Bible is filled with references to the resurrection of Christ as attested by a little booklet written by Wilbur Smith called, “You Can Know The Future!” Therein he mentions that in the four gospels there are 57 different references to the resurrection and the resurrection of Christ, embracing 172 verses. In Acts there are 21 separate passages totaling 43 verses. In the Epistles there are 36 references totaling 54 verses. And in the remaining books of the New Testament there are 12 passages totaling 13 verses. Thus, we find 126 different passages in the New Testament referring to the resurrection of Christ and our resurrection, totaling 282 verses!
I love what someone once said, “The biggest fact about Joseph’s tomb was that it wasn’t a tomb at all – it was a room for a transient. Jesus just stopped there for a couple nights on His way back to glory!” Thomas Watson declared, “We are more sure to arise out of our graves than out of our beds.” Adoniram Judson shouted, “I go with the gladness of a boy bounding away to heaven.” Isaac Newton cried out on his deathbed, “I am going to glory! Farewell death – praise the Lord.!” Oh, dear friend, what hope we have in the resurrection of Jesus Christ. Yes, His bodily resurrection from the dead is the crowning proof of Christianity!
–Maynard H. Belt