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The statements of the Article with reference to the Resurrection of Christ require the consideration of what Holy Scripture teaches concerning this event, and in order that we may more fully realise its spiritual meaning and practical use it is essential to look at the position it occupies in the record of the New Testament.
1. It was predicted by Christ Himself. At first He used only vague terms (John 2:19). Later on He spoke plainly, and whenever He mentioned His death He added a reference to the Resurrection (Matt. 16:21). These statements are numerous and form an integral part of the teaching of Christ concerning Himself (Matt. 12:38-40; 16:21; 17:23; 20:19; 27:63; Mark 8:31; 9:31; 10:34; 14:58; Luke 9:22; 18:33; John 2:19-21).
2. The record of the appearances after the Resurrection. In all four Gospels the appearances of Christ are clear and prominent. There were two sets of appearances, one in Jerusalem and the other in Galilee. The detailed accounts of these appearances, especially when contrasted with the comparative fragmentariness of the story of Christ’s earthly life up to Palm Sunday are undoubtedly significant.
3. The Resurrection was prominent in the preaching of the Apostles. On every occasion when they were faced with unbelievers, both Jews and Gentiles, the main theme of their testimony was “Jesus and the Resurrection” (Acts 4:2). The choice of the new Apostle was associated with testimony to the Resurrection (Acts 1:22); the sermons of St. Peter made the Resurrection prominent (Acts 2:32; 4:10; 10:40). In the same way, St. Paul was first of all convinced of the Resurrection (Acts 9:5), and then proclaimed it everywhere (Acts 13:30; 17:31; 26:8, 23; 1 Cor. 15:1-4). It is impossible to ignore the prominence of this subject in Apostolic preaching.
4. The Resurrection is shown to be a spiritual force in the life of Christians (Rom. 1:4; 4:25; 6:9-11; Eph. 1:19, 20; 1 Pet. 1:21).
5. It is also set forth as the guarantee of hope in a future life (1 Cor. 15: 20-23; 1 Thess. 4:14; 1 Pet. 1:3, 4).
>> Part 3 The Proofs Of The Resurrection