the monumental significance of jesus’ resurrection the monumental significance of jesus’...
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• The Monumental Significance of Jesus’ Resurrection– Everything that Jesus taught, lived, and died for
depended upon one thing—an empty tomb and His resurrection and His appearance to His followers.
– Dr. Paul Maier, professor of ancient history at Western Michigan University, made this observation: “If all the evidence is weighed carefully and fairly, it is indeed justifiable according to the canons of historical research to conclude that the tomb in which Jesus was buried was actually empty on the morning of the third day. And no thread of evidence has yet been discovered in literary sources, epigraphy or archaeology that would disprove this statement.”
• “Security Precautions” to Keep the Body in the Tomb– Solid Rock Tomb• The body of Jesus was placed in a new tomb, hewn out of a
solid rock, in a private burial area, that had only one entrance (Matt. 27:60; Mk. 15:46; Lk. 23:53; Jn. 19:41).
• “Security Precautions” to Keep the Body in the Tomb– Very Large Stone• A “large stone” (Matt. 27:60); “very large” (Mark 16:4)• Estimated to be about 5 feet tall and 2 feet thick• Estimated minimum weight of 1 ½ - 2 tons• With a sloped groove/trough in front of the tomb, the
heavy circular stone would roll into position and seal itself shut (Matt. 27:60.)
• “Security Precautions” to Keep the Body in the Tomb– Roman Security Guard• Advantageous to both Romans and Jews to make sure that
Jesus’ body was put away for good. • A dispatch of Roman Guards was placed at the tomb.
– “…command that the tomb be made secure…”– Pilate: “You have a guard…make it as secure as you know how.” – “They…made the tomb secure…setting the guard” (Mt. 27:62-66).
• Flavius Vegitius Renatus, a military historian of the Roman empire, wrote a military manual– Roman guard unit was a 4-to-16-man security force– Customary for 4 to guard while 12 slept & rotate every 4 hours– Guards knew the severe penalty for failure
• “Security Precautions” to Keep the Body in the Tomb– Roman Seal• “They set a seal on the stone” (Mt. 27:66).• The seal was made up of two parts:
– A rawhide cord/strap stretched across the stone– Sealing clay to fasten each end of the cord to the rock wall
• A large pack of clay was placed at the center of the stone. • Each pack of clay was stamped with the Roman insignia.• The seal had two purposes:
– It was an authenticating device» Authenticating the contents of the tomb
– The seal was a security symbol» Represented the power and might of the Roman Empire
• Incontrovertible Facts to Be Reckoned With– Broken Roman Seal• The Roman seal, which symbolized the power and
authority of the Roman empire, was broken.• The consequences of breaking that seal were severe and
feared.• The disciples would never have had the courage to think
about going up against the Roman guard and breaking the Roman seal.
• Incontrovertible Facts to Be Reckoned With– Large Stone Moved• The stone had been moved “up an incline”
– Kulio is Greek word for “roll.” Mark added the preposition ana, “up or upward.” Anakulio = “to roll up a slope or an incline.”
• The stone had been moved “away from”– Luke & Mark add the preposition, apo, “separation from” or “a
distance from.” The women saw the stone “rolled away from,” in the sense of “distance from the entire massive sepulcher.”
• The stone had been “picked up and carried”– John used a different Greek verb to describe it—airo. Airo means
“to pick something up and carry it away.” Used for the “stone” & for Jesus’ body (John 20:1-2).
• Incontrovertible Facts to Be Reckoned With– Chief Priests Lied• The chief priests “assembled together with the elders and
consulted together” (Matt. 28:11-12).– They devised a lie and told others to spread the lie (Matt. 28:13-15).
• Notice that the Jewish Leaders never refuted the claim that the body was gone. – Jesus’ enemies inadvertently admitted the tomb was empty.– Rather than pointing to an occupied tomb, early critics accused
Jesus’ disciples of stealing the body (Matt. 28:12-13; Justin Martyr, Trypho 108; Tertullian, De Spectaculis 30).
• Incontrovertible Facts to Be Reckoned With– Roman Guard Went AWOL• “Some of the guard came into the city” (Matt. 28:11).
– They abandoned their post of responsibility. – Dr. George Currie, expert in the military discipline of the Romans,
wrote that fear of punishment “produced flawless attention to duty, especially in the night watches.”
• History of Roman discipline/security shows that if the tomb was not empty the soldiers wouldn’t have left their position.• The chief priests bribed them with “a large sum of money”
to lie that the body was stolen by the disciples (Mt. 28:14).
• Incontrovertible Facts to Be Reckoned With– Graveclothes Tell a Tale• Peter ran to the tomb and “saw the linen cloths lying by
themselves” (Luke 24:12).• He also saw “the handkerchief that had been around His
head, not lying with the linen cloths, but folded together in a place by itself” (John 20:7).
• Incontrovertible Facts to Be Reckoned With– His Many Post-Mortem Appearances Confirmed• Christ appeared on several occasions (not just a few)• Christ appeared to a variety of people (not just a few)• Christ appeared to hostile viewers (not just friends)
• The empty tomb is well evidenced historically!– William Wand, Oxford University church historian:• “All the strictly historical evidence we have is in favor of
[the empty tomb], and those scholars who reject it ought to recognize that they do so on some other ground than that of scientific history” (Christianity: A Historical Religion?, 1972, pp. 93-94).
– The Monumental Significance of Jesus’ Resurrection• Everything that Jesus taught, lived, and died for depended
upon one thing—an empty tomb and His resurrection and His appearance to His followers.
Ensure Your Own Resurrection Unto Life– Believe Jesus is God’s Son – Acts 16:31– Repent of your sins – Acts 2:38– Confess your faith in Jesus – Acts 8:36-38– Be immersed into Christ & raised with Him – Rom. 6:3-4• God will wash away your sins – Acts 22:16• God will add you to His church – Acts 2:47• God will enroll you in Heaven – Hebrews 12:23
– Live faithfully until death to be raised unto life – Rev. 2:10