Connect Group Recap Notes: September 13, 2020
Speaker: Skip Heitzig
Teaching: "He's Alive!
Proofs of the Resurrection"
Text: 1 Corinthians 15:3-8Path
Just as your own heart is the pump that brings life-giving blood to your entire body, so is the resurrection of Jesus that gives life to the gospel message. Without it, our faith would be totally useless; our message would be utterly powerless. The resurrection is also what separates Jesus Christ from every other spiritual leader and would-be messiah. It validates His teaching. It authenticates His claims. It substantiates His promises. And it corroborates our confidence in Him as our Savior and Lord.
- It Was Anticipated in Scripture (v. 3)
- It Was after His Death (vv. 3-4)
- It Was Affirmed by Others (vv. 5-8)
It Was Anticipated in Scripture (v. 3)
- The best news the world ever heard came from a graveyard 2,000 years ago.
- The resurrection of Jesus is the core of Christianity, the guts of the gospel, the pinnacle of preaching.
- First Corinthians 15 is often called the resurrection chapter. In it, Paul went back to the historical record.
- The same type of historical research used to study the resurrection is used in law: eyewitnesses are questioned, motives are examined, and physical evidence (like fingerprints and writings) is scrutinized.
- The Old Testament foretold the death, burial, and resurrection of Jesus (for examples, see Psalm 16:10; Isaiah 53:5).
- The apostles also referenced the Old Testament to explain Jesus' death and resurrection (see Acts 2:22-28; 26:22-23).
- Jesus Himself predicted His resurrection based on Old Testament texts (see Mark 8:31).
- There are three credentials of Jesus Christ:
- His impact on history
- The historical record
- Fulfilled prophecy
- God is so sure of the future that He announces it in advance.
- One-quarter of the Bible is prophecy, giving specific details about people, places, and events. And Jesus is the pinnacle of all that prophecy.
It Was after His Death (vv. 3-4)
- Jesus physically died, but many have attempted to devise theories to undercut that historical reality. All those theories have proven faulty.
- For example, the swoon theory posits that Jesus didn't actually die, so there was no resurrection, just a resuscitation.
- But think of the biblical record:
- Jesus sweated drops of blood in Gethsemane.
- He had six trials; He was under extreme stress.
- He was beaten with a Roman flagrum, bone and lead woven into strips of leather.
- A crown of thorns was placed on His head, resulting in loss of blood.
- He had to carry the upper part of the cross, which weighed 70-90 pounds.
- Crucifixion was one of the most heinous and painful ways to die.
It Was Affirmed by Others (vv. 5-8)
PracticeConnect Up:Pastor Skip mentioned a few Old Testament verses that foreshadow and prophesy about the death and resurrection of Jesus. Look up each of these references and discuss the details of how it refers to Jesus:
- The eyewitness account is one of the most reliable means of demonstrating the veracity of a historical event.
- In our passage, Paul gave five eyewitness accounts:
- Jesus appeared to Peter. Peter went from a hopeless fisherman to a hopeful fisher of men, from hopeless living to a living hope.
- Jesus appeared to the twelve. After the twelve (minus Judas) saw Jesus, they turned from cowards into martyrs and fueled the fires of gospel expansion.
- Jesus appeared to the 500. We don't know who or where the 500 were, but it demonstrates that many people saw Jesus after His resurrection. And remember, the resurrection happened in a huge metropolitan city where many witnesses verified it.
- Jesus appeared to James (probably His younger half-brother). James had previously doubted Jesus, but now he was so convinced that he became a leader in the early church (Acts 15:13 mentions him).
- Jesus appeared to Paul. Paul himself had an encounter with the living Christ. This was no hallucination but a historical event.
- In the end, we have a living Redeemer because we have a resurrected Redeemer.
- Jesus said, "I am the resurrection and the life" (John 11:25), and then He proved it.
- Christians don't follow a dead man, but a living Lord.
Connect In:Why is the resurrection the pinnacle point for the Christian church? How is Jesus more than just a good moral teacher? Discuss C.S. Lewis' trilemma: Jesus was either a liar, a lunatic, or the Lord. Why is the last example the only viable option, historically speaking? For more insight, visit https://www.josh.org/jesus-liar-lunatic-lord.
- Psalm 16:8-11
- Psalm 22
- Isaiah 53
Connect Out: How would you frame the importance of the eyewitness accounts of the resurrection to an unbeliever? Discuss these quotes Pastor Skip shared:
- "Without the belief in the resurrection the Christian faith could not have come into being. The disciples would have remained crushed and defeated men. Even had they continued to remember Jesus as their beloved teacher, His crucifixion would have forever silenced any hopes of His being the Messiah. The cross would have remained the sad and shameful end to His career." —William Lane Craig
- "If we were holding a trial to determine the facts concerning the resurrection, and if we were to call to the witness stand every witness who personally encountered the resurrected Jesus and we cross-examined them for only fifteen minutes, and if we went around the clock without a break…we'd be listening to first-hand testimony for more than 128 hours: that's over five days' worth of testimony; who could possibly walk away unconvinced?" —Lee Strobel
- How can the eyewitness accounts be one of the greatest evangelism tools in reaching non-Christians?