Reading John's Gospel - ch. 2-3

The apostles openly proclaimed evidences of Jesus as the resurrected Christ to thousands (Acts 2; 13; 1 Cor 15). Both Peter and Paul preached the same three points demonstrating that Jesus rose from the dead as their central plea for repentance and faith in Christ.

1. On separate occasions, Peter and Paul noted Psalm 16:10 predicting Jesus’s resurrection (Acts 2:27, 31; cf. 13:34–35). Whether someone believes the Jewish Scriptures or not, these ancient writings still contain predictions of the Messiah. The Dead Sea Scrolls and the Greek translation of the Jewish Scriptures affirm the existence of these predictions centuries before Jesus. The predictions include Jesus’s resurrection (Ps 16:10). Those predictions include prophecies of the Messiah dying, being buried, and his days prolonged (Isa 53).

2. Both Peter and Paul preached that Jesus’s body did not decay (Acts 2:29; 13:28–31, 36–37). As the apostles noted, everyone knew the place of David’s burial place. They knew that David’s body decayed. However, Jesus’s tomb was empty and His body was gone. How does one explain the empty tomb? Did Jesus’s friends take his body and die for a lie without any advantage to them? Did Jesus’s enemies take Jesus’s body and not reveal it when various people proclaimed Jesus risen from the dead (cf. Matt 28:11–15)?

3. The apostles stood among various people as witnesses of Jesus’s resurrection (Acts 2; 13:30–31; 1 Cor 15:3–8). The apostles were witnesses for people to cross examine their testimonies as the people and courts did examine their teachings (Acts 4–5). Various witnesses experienced Jesus risen from the dead. The apostles proclaimed Jesus written from the dead. Such witnesses included converted opponents like Jesus’s brothers including James and Jude and later the apostle Paul who persecuted the church. These various witnesses included five hundred people at one time (1 Cor 15:5–11). Today, four written records called the Gospels bear witness to Jesus’s life, death, burial, resurrection. Critical and evangelical scholars agree that Jesus’s death, burial, and resurrection is the Gospel and the earliest teaching of the first disciples that established the church (1 Cor 15:1–4; Gal 1:11–2:10).

Jesus’s resurrection remains the best explanation for the predictions, the empty tomb, and various witnesses of Jesus rising from the dead.