Volume. XXII, No. 39
Sunday, 23 March 2008

From The Pastors Heart: The Resurrection of Jesus Christ

The resurrection of Jesus Christ is in the centre of Biblical Christianity. If we want to know the Christian faith of early Christian churches, we’d better read the Book of Acts. There are testimonies of the apostles themselves, and their messages. There are stories of conversion and evangelistic preaching in the Book. Therefore, this Book teaches us about the apostolic doctrines and Christian life. If we study the apostolic messages and their testimonies, we will easily find that the resurrection of Jesus Christ was in the centre of their faith. For example, after they lost one of the apostles, they wanted to find a man to form a body of the Twelve. Acts 1:22 talks about the qualifications to be an apostle: “Beginning from the baptism of John, unto that same day that he was taken up from us, must one be ordained to be a witness with us of his resurrection.” On the day of Pentecost, Peter preached to the convicted Jewish audience about the resurrection of Jesus Christ. Acts 2:31 says, “He seeing this before spake of the resurrection of Christ, that his soul was not left in hell, neither his flesh did see corruption.”  One of the reasons the priests, and the captain of the temple, and the Sadducees were not happy with the apostles was because they preached to the people about the resurrection of Jesus. Acts 4:2 says, “Being grieved that they taught the people, and preached through Jesus the resurrection from the dead.” Those religious leaders wanted to arrest them in order that people could not hear the message of Jesus’ resurrection. The message of the resurrection of Jesus Christ was like a thorn in their side, even to the extent that they wanted to remove the apostles from the public. The apostles were arrested. The high priest and others were gathered at Jerusalem to deal with this problem with the apostles in Acts 4:6. The leaders put the apostles in the middle of them and asked questions in verse 7, “By what power, or by what name, have you done this?” Then, Peter was filled with the Spirit of God and replied to the rulers of the people and the elders of Israel. Verse 10 is a part of his answer, “Be it known unto you all, and to all the people of Israel, that by the name of Jesus Christ of Nazareth, whom ye crucified, whom God raised from the dead, even by him doth this man stand here before you whole.” The resurrection of Jesus Christ was the answer to the question. The apostles’ testimony is found in Acts 4:33, “And with great power gave the apostles witness of the resurrection of the Lord Jesus: and great grace was upon them all.” 

One remarkable difference between apostolic teachings and the pagans’ was the message of the resurrection of Jesus. Acts 17:18 says, “Then certain philosophers of the Epicureans, and of the Stoicks, encountered him. And some said, What will this babbler say? other some, He seemeth to be a setter forth of strange gods: because he preached unto them Jesus, and the resurrection.” In fact, the response to the message of resurrection determines the attitudes of the hearers toward Christ. Acts 17:32 says, “And when they heard of the resurrection of the dead, some mocked: and others said, We will hear thee again of this matter.” Acts 23:6, But when Paul perceived that the one part were Sadducees, and the other Pharisees, he cried out in the council, Men and brethren, I am a Pharisee, the son of a Pharisee: of the hope and resurrection of the dead I am called in question.” Paul summarized his message for his defense: it was the message of resurrection.  He said the same thing in 24:21, “Except it be for this one voice, that I cried standing among them, Touching the resurrection of the dead I am called in question by you this day.” Apart from the message of resurrection, there was no apostolic message. Acts 26:23, “That Christ should suffer, and that he should be the first that should rise from the dead, and should shew light unto the people, and to the Gentiles.Acts 17:3,Opening and alleging, that Christ must needs have suffered, and risen again from the dead; and that this Jesus, whom I preach unto you, is Christ."

As a person, Jesus is unique. He is one with two natures. It is a mystery in the Bible. He is the Son of God. In Him there is the fullness of Godhead. There is no other person who can share such characteristics. His birth is unique, born through a virgin. His life itself is full of unique features. He was able to answer all the questions from biblical scholars of the day when He was only twelve years old. He is unique in His power.  He performed miracle after miracle. He raised the dead, healed the sick, walked on the water, changed water into wine, made the blind see and the dumb speak, and multiplied five loaves of bread and two fish to feed five thousand people.  He is unique in His love and compassion. However, amongst all of His uniqueness, His resurrection must be on the top of the list, if not the second. If we analyze His resurrection, we find a number of simple but important facts. 

First, His resurrection refutes any modern idea that all religions pursue the same goal.  There are suggestions that all religions are the same for they lead people to the one same place and they are different only in name. However, such claims cannot be justified. Every religion has its founder. Buddha lived and died. His resurrection has not been claimed. Muhammad lived and died, and he has not been known by his resurrection. He died and was buried. There is no religion based on the One who died but rose again from the dead. Therefore, how can we say that all religions are the same and that we believe in the same thing, but with different names? Second, His resurrection provides the way to heaven. If Jesus lived, died, but rose again from the dead, He must be the conqueror of the power of death. It proves that Christianity alone offers the way to God. The resurrection of Jesus Christ vindicates the exclusive claim that only Christianity can offer the way to salvation. If the Savior Himself has not conquered the power of death, in what sense could He be the Savior? All world religions cannot make the same claim as Christianity can. This is the power and message of salvation. Thus, it is a surprise that there are people, even within Christian churches, who do not believe in the resurrection of Jesus. If there is no resurrection, what is a difference between Christianity and other world religions? Third, the resurrection of Jesus Christ gives credibility to the teachings of Jesus. He talked about His own death and resurrection afterwards. He rose again and proved His truthfulness. This also means that if He did not rise again from the dead, the credibility of Christian teachings would crumble. There is a simple way to disprove and discredit Christianity: simply prove that His resurrection is false and fake. 

Let me quote from The Australian paper published on April 13, 2006. There is an article written by a religious affairs writer, Jill Rowbotham: Tom Wright, the Bishop of Durham, said, “I have friends who I am quite sure are Christians who do not believe in the bodily resurrection.”  [By the way, he said of himself as a believer of the bodily resurrection of Jesus Christ.] He said, “Marcus Borg [an American theologian] really does not believe Jesus Christ was bodily raised from the dead. But I know Marcus well: he loves Jesus and believes in him passionately. The philosophical and cultural world he has lived in has made it very, very difficult for him to believe in the bodily resurrection.” “I actually think that\'s a major problem and it affects most of whatever else he does, and I think that it means he has all sorts of flaws as a teacher, but I don\'t want to say he isn\'t a Christian.” “I do think, however, that churches that lose their grip on the bodily resurrection are in deep trouble and that for healthy Christian life individually and corporately, belief in the bodily resurrection is foundational.”  The modern man is not interested in His resurrection. Instead, he is more interested in the Da Vinci Code and looks for the bloodline of Jesus. Listen to Tom Wright: “In other words, people don\'t want what Christianity authentically offers: they want this substitute called gnosticism in one of its many forms; and The Da Vinci Code plays right in.” However, he also said, “I actually think that\'s a major problem and it affects most of whatever else he does, and I think that it means he has all sorts of flaws as a teacher, but I don\'t want to say he isn\'t a Christian.”

Here is the problem. Wright seems to show his faith in the resurrection and he seems to have genuine faith in Him. Then, he feels that non-believers of Jesus Christ are wrong, but they are still Christians. Now, my eyebrows go up and I begin to ponder on the definition of being a Christian. A simple teaching from Romans 10:9 says, “That if thou shalt confess with thy mouth the Lord Jesus, and shalt believe in thine heart that God hath raised him from the dead, thou shalt be saved.” Is it possible that someone can be saved, though he does not believe in His resurrection?  Is it possible to call someone as Christian, though he denies the resurrection of Jesus Christ? The only biblical answer to these questions is an emphatic “NO”. It is my hope and prayer that you will examine your hearts and faith in the light of His resurrection and rejoice with me on this day.  He rose again, and we shall rise again too.  Praise the Lord!


Your Pastor




More Lively Hope




Session wishes all worshippers a Blessed & Joyous Easter.

Sabbatical Leave: Our Pastor, Rev Ki, and his wife, Sis Myung, leave on Wed 26 Mar. Pastor returns in July, & Sis Myung in May.

Please Note: No fellowship lunch next Lord’s Day

Bible Camp forms available on literature table, please return by Sunday, 6 April.

RPGs for Apr - Jun 08 available on literature table. Junior RPGs - please see Sis Purdee Yeo.

Daylight saving ends on 6 April, and not next weekend.


Looking Ahead

Family Bible Camp at Victor Harbor: 24-26 April. Speaker: Bro David Weng.

22nd Anniversary Thanksgiving Service on 25 May. Speaker: Rev Patrick Tan


Praise & Thanksgiving

Journey mercies: Bro Winston & Sis Christabelle Selvanayagam (Adl); Bro Yick Ho Lam (Maitland/Adl); Sisters Agnes Ho (Kuch), Shu Ai Cho, Lydia Fan, Joyce Gong & Charlotte Lin (Grampians/Adl).

Church activities: BBK Class, History (Doctrines) Class, Ladies’ Fellowship Share & Prayer; Wed Prayer Meeting & Bible Study, & YAF Street Evangelism.  

Baptism: Bro Cong Pham. Confirmation: Bro Samuel Ki. Membership T/F: Budiman family & Sis Tabitha Heah.

Job: Bro Daniel Volvricht.

Cool change after a record 15 days of heat wave.


Prayer Items

Health & God’s healing - Rev George & Sis Nan van Buuren, Rev Peter Chua, Rev Peter Clements, Rev Edward Paauwe, Rev Timothy Tow, Dr S H Tow, Preacher Zhang, Dn Yaw Chiew Tan; Bros Tommy Brooks, S Dhamarlingam, Makoto Kobayashi, Raphael Ng’s father, Richard Pearson, Winston Selvanayagam; Grandpa Ki; Sisters Myung Ki, Alice Lee’s father, Margaret, Dianne, & Sarah Pearson, Aranka Rejtoe, Susan Veradi, Sylvia White & Giok Yeo’s sister-in-law; Auntie Oei & others in affliction.

Cambodia Missions - God’s Word be preached faithfully; Rev & Mrs Stephen Choi (Phnom Penh).

Laos Missions - Bro S Dhamarlingam & family.

India/Pakistan Missions - Pastors & Believers.

Kuching Missions - Teo family.

Sketch n’ Tell Ministry - Bro H S Lim.

Journey Mercies - Ps Ki (S’pore/Thailand/Malaysia); Dn Edwin D’Mello (Adl); Bro Yick Ho Lam (medical placement Maitland/Adl).

Jobs - Bro Cong Pham

Sabbatical Leave: Ps & Sis Myung Ki.

Speaker for next Lord’s Day: Rev George van Buuren.    

Climate: Drought to end & for much needed rain.

Provision of a Pastor for our Church.

Session members - wisdom as they take care of our Church.



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