Resurrection of Jesus

The Resurrection of Jesus is the miraculous act of God the Father,^[1]^ raising Jesus from the dead, confirming all that Jesus said and did, demonstrating his power over life and death. He raised Jesus Christ from the dead on Sunday morning,^[2]^ the third day (Luke 24:46) after pouring out his wrath on him upon the cross. The resurrection is central to the gospel (1 Cor. 15:4), because if Christ has not been raised, then Christian preaching and faith are useless (1 Cor. 15:14) and Christians are still in their sins (1 Cor. 15:17). Paul also teaches that Christ's resurrection was effective in the justification of believers (Rom. 4:25).


Defense of the resurrection

"And if Christ has not been raised, then our preaching is in vain and your faith is in vain." (1 Corinthians 15:14)

Paul's defense in 1 Corinthians 15

The apostle Paul puts forward several arguments why the Corinthians should believe the resurrection.

Objective historical evidence

  • The Scriptures predicted it (1 Cor. 15:4)
  • Jesus appeared bodily to a number of different people [others could verify] (1 Cor. 15:5-7)
  • Jesus appeared to Paul himself [he himself could verify] (1 Cor. 15:8-11)

Logical inconsistencies in the teaching of the Corinthians

  • You teach that people do not raise from the dead. Christ rose. Therefore your teaching is wrong. (1 Cor. 15:12-13)
    • Practically speaking, this means that there is no reason to preach Christ, and no reason to have faith in Christ because he cannot save. (1 Cor. 15:14)
    • Theologically speaking, we sin against God by misrepresenting him, and we remain under the wrath of God. (1 Cor. 15:15-19)

Bodily resurrection

Historic Protestant belief has been that Jesus Christ was resurrected physically, "with the same body in which He suffered" (Westminster Confession 8:4). This belief is vindicated by Christ's own words: "See my hands and my feet, that it is I myself. Touch me, and see. For a spirit does not have flesh and bones as you see that I have." (Luke 24:39)


  • Stewart, Robert B. and Wright, N. T. The Resurrection of Jesus: John Dominic Crossan and N.T. Wright in Dialogue. Fortress Press, 2006. ISBN 978-0800637859
  • Craig, William L. and Ludemann, Gerd. Jesus' Resurrection: Fact or Figment?: A Debate Between William Lane Craig and Gerd Ludemann InterVarsity Press, 2000. ISBN 978-0830815692
  • Habermas, Gary R. and Licona, Michael R. The Case for the Resurrection of Jesus. Kregel Publications, 2004. ISBN 978-0825427886
  • Wright, N. T. The Resurrection of the Son of God. Fortress, 2003.
  • Torrance, T. F. Space, Time and Resurrection. Continuum, 1998. ISBN 978-0567086099
  • Davis, Stephen T.; Kendall, Daniel; and O'Collins, Gerald. The Resurrection. Oxford University Press, USA, 1999. ISBN 978-0198269854


  1. Acts 2:24, 32, 3:15, 3:26, 4:10, 5:30, 10:40, 13:30-37; Rom 10:9; 1 Cor. 6:14, 15:15; Gal 1:1 (most explicit); Col. 2:12; 1 Pet. 1:21
  2. Matt 28:1; Mark 16:2, 9; Luke 24:1; John 20:1

See also