Undeniable Proof of the Resurrection
It’s been said that extraordinary claims demand extraordinary proof. Christianity makes an extraordinary claim—Jesus rose from the dead. It’s the central claim of the Christian faith; everything in Christianity hangs on the reality of that one historical event. The claim that Jesus rose from the dead is an extraordinary claim, and it demands considerable proof.
I mentioned a few weeks ago that the Gospels record at least 10 appearances of Jesus after his crucifixion. The eleven disciples and those with them saw Jesus alive several times. In addition to that, Paul tells us that more than 500 people saw Jesus at one occasion after the resurrection. The Bible gives us the testimony of many people who saw the resurrected Christ.
Last time we were in Luke, we were looking at the account of the two men who talked with Jesus on the road to Emmaus (24:13f). They had a remarkable experience as Jesus “expounded unto them in all the scriptures the things concerning himself” (vs 27). Jesus explained how the whole OT anticipated his coming, and how they should have expected the Messiah to suffer before entering into glory. How amazing it would have been to have heard Jesus himself explain how his ministry fulfilled OT expectations.
In Luke 24:36f, we have the account of Jesus appearing to his disciples. By this time, he had appeared to several women, to Peter, and to the two disciples walking to Emmaus. And now he appears to “the eleven” and to “them that were with them” (vs. 33). And his appearance was such that there could be no remaining doubt that Jesus had indeed risen from the dead. There is adequate proof to see the resurrection of Jesus as a fact of history, not merely a legend and not mere religious language.
Let’s consider this account and see how Jesus proves his physical resurrection from the dead. And notice here the appeal to the senses. This experience was not merely in the minds of the disciples. It was a physical experience that the disciples sensed with their physical faculties. And as readers of this account, we would have to admit that Jesus provided undeniable proof to many people that he had risen from the dead.