Paul, by inspiration of the Holy Spirit, taught that Jesus’ resurrection is certain because it was “according to the Scriptures” (1 Cor. 15:4). In other words, we can know Jesus has been raised from the dead because we can trust the Scriptures.
Scriptures are as Perfect as God Who Gave It
The trustworthiness of Scripture is grounded in the trustworthiness of God. The Scriptures are as perfect as the God who gave them. Peter wrote, “no prophecy of Scripture is of private interpretation. For no prophecy ever came by the will of man: but men spake from God, being moved by the Holy Spirit” (2 Pet. 1:20-21). It is impossible for God to lie (Num. 23:19; Titus 1:2; Heb. 6:18), therefore we can trust everything God has said.
The God who cannot lie has given us the Bible, therefore we can trust it as perfect. David said, “The law of Jehovah is perfect” (Ps. 19:7). Psalm 12:6 says, “The words of Jehovah are pure words; as silver tried in a furnace on the earth, purified seven times.” David said, “All thy commandments are faithful” (Ps. 119:86). Jesus said, “Heaven and earth shall pass away, but my words shall not pass away” (Matt. 24:35). Jesus said, “Thy Word is truth” (Jn. 17:17).
Scriptures Prophecy and Record the Resurrection
The New Testament and the Christian religion is built upon the reality of Jesus’ resurrection. Paul said, “If Christ hath not been raised then our preaching is vain, your faith also is vain” (1 Cor. 15:14). That sad possibility is removed because “Christ as been raised from the dead” (1 Cor. 15:20). The Gospels record the resurrection (Matt. 28:1-20; Mark 16:1-8; Lk. 24:1-53; John 20-21).
But when was the resurrection promised in the Old Testament? This is a more difficult question because the resurrection of Jesus is never laid out plainly like Jesus’ suffering and death in Ps. 22 and Isaiah 53. In fact, some have said the early Christians twisted the OT texts to make them seem to appear to speak of Christ’s resurrection. This most certainly is not the case.
The first apostolic sermon preached depended on an OT Scripture which guaranteed Jesus’ resurrection. Peter’s description of the resurrection was this: “God raised up, having loosed the pangs of death: because it was not possible that he should be holden of it” (Acts 2:24). Why? Because David had prophesied the resurrection in Psalm 16:8-11. David wrote of his own hope, promised Jesus’ resurrection, and described the hope of every Christian when he said, “For thou wilt not leave my soul to Sheol; neither wilt thou suffer thy holy one to see corruption” (Ps. 16:10).
Peter preached that same message. Christ has been raised, David will be raised, and you can be raised to because of what God has done in Christ. We can be certain of Jesus’ resurrection and we can be certain of our resurrection too.
D. L. D.