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Service Archives > 20/20: Seeing Truth Clearly > He’s Alive! Proofs of the Resurrection

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He’s Alive! Proofs of the Resurrection
1 Corinthians 15:3-8
Skip Heitzig

1 Corinthians 15 (NKJV™)
3 For I delivered to you first of all that which I also received: that Christ died for our sins according to the Scriptures,
4 and that He was buried, and that He rose again the third day according to the Scriptures,
5 and that He was seen by Cephas, then by the twelve.
6 After that He was seen by over five hundred brethren at once, of whom the greater part remain to the present, but some have fallen asleep.
7 After that He was seen by James, then by all the apostles.
8 Then last of all He was seen by me also, as by one born out of due time.

New King James Version®, Copyright © 1982, Thomas Nelson, Inc. All rights reserved.

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20/20: Seeing Truth Clearly

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.

Over 175 million people in the United States need some sort of vision correction. From glasses to contacts and corneal reshaping to corrective surgery, there's no question that seeing clearly improves people's quality of life. But what about our spiritual vision? With so many religious, philosophical, and ideological lenses to look through, how do we find the right lens? In this series, Skip Heitzig brings the core doctrines of Christian faith into clear focus. These are the truths that define who God is, who we are, and the choices that every person has to make.

Outline

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  1. It Was Anticipated in Scripture (v. 3)

  2. It Was after His Death (vv. 3-4)

  3. It Was Affirmed by Others (vv. 5-8)

    1. He Appeared to Peter

    2. He Appeared to the Twelve

    3. He Appeared to the Five Hundred

    4. He Appeared to James

    5. He Appeared to Paul

Study Guide

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Connect Group Recap Notes: September 13, 2020
Speaker: Skip Heitzig
Teaching: "He's Alive! Proofs of the Resurrection"
Text: 1 Corinthians 15:3-8

Path

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.

  1. It Was Anticipated in Scripture (v. 3)
  2. It Was after His Death (vv. 3-4)
  3. It Was Affirmed by Others (vv. 5-8)
Points

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)
  • 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.
Practice

Connect 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:
  • Psalm 16:8-11
  • Psalm 22
  • Isaiah 53
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.

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?

Additional Messages in this Series

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Date Title   Watch Listen Notes Share Save Buy
6/14/2020
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Seeing Truth Clearly
2 Timothy 4:1-8
Skip Heitzig
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Message Summary
Hiram Johnson said, "The first casualty in war is truth." God’s people have been in a cosmic battle since the fall. Satan’s first allegation against truth was in Genesis 3:1: "Has God indeed said...?" Deception regarding truth is Satan's primary occupation. We now live in what might be dubbed a post-truth culture wherein the very idea of absolute truth is considered archaic and even offensive. In this series, we will look to the "Scripture of Truth" (Daniel 10:21) to reinforce our foundation and engender biblical literacy. Here at the end of Paul's life, he could foresee the abandonment of truth, and he gave Timothy this antidote: "Preach the Word!"
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6/21/2020
completed
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Seeing God as Father
Luke 11:2
Skip Heitzig
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God is presented in Scripture by a variety of images. He is called our Rock, our Refuge, our Warrior, our Shepherd, our Shield, our Hiding Place, our Redeemer, our Fountain, our Husband, and our Vinedresser. But no motif is as powerful and personal as seeing God as our Father. With this title, the invisible God becomes the intimate God. Today, on Father’s Day, we consider the singular phrase "Our Father in heaven" as an introduction to the doctrine of God. Let’s turn over each word and mine the depths of the riches contained in this great verse.
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6/28/2020
completed
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How Can I Relate to God?
Exodus 32-34
Skip Heitzig
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The subject of God is the loftiest of all themes and the pinnacle of all pursuits. For some people, the idea of God is absurd because He is not readily perceived by the senses, like a flower or another person. But as we learn who God is and how perceptible He is to us, I think we’ll be both lifted up and humbled all at the same time. Today we trace the journey that every person must take who wants to relate to the God of the universe. Let’s examine five stages of this relationship.
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7/5/2020
completed
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Biblical History: Fact or Fancy?
Dr. Steven Collins
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Dr. Steven Collins serves as the dean of the College of Archaeology at Veritas International University and a consulting research professor at Trinity Southwest University. He is also the director of the Tall el-Hammam Excavation Project in Jordan, which is believed to be the location of Sodom.
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7/12/2020
completed
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Hello, I’m God!
Exodus 34:5-9
Skip Heitzig
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People have written and spoken about God for millennia. It’s what I have done for nearly four decades. But today we get to hear from God Himself as He gives to Moses His own autobiography. Here He introduces Himself by stating His name and His occupation as God. He states His primary character traits, thus framing what our relationship with Him is going to be like. This is a primary passage of Scripture, meaning other biblical authors make reference to it later on in their writings. Let’s find out what God says about Himself.
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7/19/2020
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Knowing the God Who Knows You
Psalm 139:1-6, 23-24
Skip Heitzig
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A person with knowledge can be intimidating. They spew facts and figures and can dizzy us with information and understanding. But rightly seen, a study of God’s comprehensive knowledge can be a source of great comfort to us. In this series, 20/20: Seeing Truth Clearly, we come to grips with the fact that God sees everything most clearly. His knowledge is vast, infinite, comprehensive, specific, and personal. But let’s observe how God’s omniscience can become inspiring rather than intimidating.
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7/26/2020
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Here, There, and Everywhere
Psalm 139:7-12
Skip Heitzig
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One of the Beatles’ most melodic hits expressed a couple’s romantic desire to be together at all times and in all places and was simply titled, “Here, There and Everywhere.” This title also expresses a unique attribute of God (what theologians call an incommunicable attribute). He is everywhere present in the totality of His being! This may be one of the hardest-to-understand characteristics of God, but one that brings great comfort to us.
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8/2/2020
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The Unrivaled Power of God
Psalm 139:13-18
Skip Heitzig
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God is called Almighty fifty-seven times in Scripture. It means that the resources of His power are boundless. He is unlimited in His ability and unconstrained in His capacity. God’s attribute of omnipotence is helpful for us to remember when we are feeling overwhelmed with threatening circumstances. Just as we feel confident when our mobile devices have plenty of battery power to spare, we can live confidently knowing that our great God has power for any of our problems.
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8/9/2020
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Holy, Holy, Holy!
Isaiah 6:1-8
Skip Heitzig
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Holiness sounds scary. Thoughts of dusty, cloistered halls of a monastery fill our minds when we hear the word. We might think of chants and long prayers rather than anthems and short prayers. It hardly seems like an appropriate word for the twenty-first century! But according to one theologian, God’s holiness is the one attribute that binds all His other attributes together. This is the characteristic that most uniquely describes God. Let’s consider it today.
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8/16/2020
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One Plus One Plus One Equals One?
John 14:1-18
Skip Heitzig
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One of the most fundamental yet challenging truths in Scripture is the doctrine of the Trinity. The Father is God, the Son is God, and the Holy Spirit is God. Try to explain it and you might lose your mind, but try to explain it away and you might lose your soul. The Bible openly teaches the plurality within the Godhead—three persons who are distinct from one another yet perfectly One in essence. How are we to think about this? And how should it affect us personally?
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8/23/2020
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Pain: God’s Biggest Problem
John 9:1-7
Skip Heitzig
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Perhaps the biggest impediment to believing in God (as stated by those who don’t) is the presence of pain and suffering in the world. How can there be a God who is benevolent and omnipotent with the sheer volume of grief, misery, travail, and torment at any given moment? Today we explore the theme of a loving God in a universe pockmarked by pain. As Jesus was in Jerusalem with His disciples, they came across a blind man. I’d like to show you four features of this most common and universal of human experiences.
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8/30/2020
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Christ Jesus Our Lord
Philippians 2:5-11
Skip Heitzig
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At the very center of history’s stage stands Jesus Christ. He has no peers. The Father in heaven sent Him on the mission of redemption and He humbly surrendered. When it was accomplished, He conquered death itself by resurrection and returned to glory. In what is considered by many to be the greatest single statement about Jesus Christ in the New Testament, Paul succinctly framed His humiliation, His exaltation, and His example to us.
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9/6/2020
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The Atonement: His Death, Our Life
John 12:20-33
Skip Heitzig
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Wasn’t there any other way for God to save human beings than by sending His Son to die? The very idea of a bloody crucifixion sounds brutal and barbarous to some, yet it is the centerpiece of our faith. What is the big deal about the atonement? Why the cross? Why had it been the plan of God through the ages? Today we examine the death of Christ for us and, in His own words, His own estimation of its necessity and consequence.
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9/20/2020
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The Holy Spirit in the World
John 16:5-11
Skip Heitzig
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We are not alone in the universe! That’s the premise of most sci-fi documentaries, but I’m not referring to alien life from another galaxy, rather to the living God Himself. In particular, I am referring to the Holy Spirit. He has a particular role when it comes to working in this world, and that is to awaken people to their great need for Christ. In our series 20/20: Seeing Truth Clearly, we will turn in the next few weeks to the doctrine of the Holy Spirit. What is His role in the life of the unbeliever and the life of the believer?
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There are 14 additional messages in this series.