The Proof of the Resurrection

Josh Buice

Have you talked with someone who doubted the resurrection of Christ?  Many people don’t believe that God exists.  In spite of all of the knowledge surrounding us in this world, they refuse to believe.  We could start with a long list of proofs to validate the existence of God as we seek to reason with the heart of man.  Perhaps creation would be a great place to begin.  The bright sun in the sky screams of God’s existence.  The small hummingbird or the intricate details of the human anatomy point to an intelligent designer.  However, these wonderful points do reveal that God exists, but we can’t know Him intimately through the blazing sun or the darting speed of a hummingbird.  How then must we come to know God and how will we answer the question of Jesus’ resurrection?

In 1 Corinthians 15:3-4, the apostle Paul was writing to the church at Corinth.  In those two verses, Paul made a point that we must not overlook.  Paul spoke of the death and resurrection of Jesus Christ and he did not tell the church at Corinth that he was delivering that message based on his apostolic authority.  Paul was reminding the church about these core truths of the gospel, but his foundational authority was the Word of God.  Notice the way Paul crafted the statement:

For I delivered to you as of first importance what I also received: that Christ died for our sins in accordance with the Scriptures, [4] that he was buried, that he was raised on the third day in accordance with the Scriptures (1 Cor. 15:3-4).

The Scriptures were Paul’s authority and that’s where he pointed the church at Corinth.  Paul understood that long after he was gone, the skeptics would need something more than a dead apostle’s word to stand upon.  They would need substance.  So, Paul gave them substance by pointing to the authority of holy Scripture.  Often skeptics will not be satisfied with the Bible as the validating proof of Jesus’ resurrection or the mere existence of God, but it remains the foundational proof and we must begin with the Word of God.

Psalm 22 was a clear Messianic prophecy dedicated to the death of Jesus.  As Jesus was dying on the cross, He called out to the Father by quoting Psalm 22:1 in Matthew 27:46.  Likewise in Psalm 16, we see a clear prophecy of Jesus’ resurrection.  Peter quoted from Psalm 16:8-11 in his sermon at Pentecost (Acts 2:24) to prove Jesus was raised from the dead.  Psalm 16 was not speaking about David, because David’s body did see corruption, but that was not the case with Jesus.  In his commentary on 1 Corinthians 15, John Calvin writes, “Now there are many passages of Scripture in which Christ’s death and resurrection are predicted, but nowhere more plainly than in Isaiah 53, in Daniel 9:26, and in Psalm 22.” [1]

Although Paul went on to discuss the eyewitnesses and other logical proofs of Jesus’ resurrection, He didn’t start there.  His starting point is where we must always start – the Bible.  The Word of God is sufficient, authoritative, and reliable.  It was written over a period of 1,500 years by 40 different authors and the central story of the entire Bible is the drama of redemption secured by the Son of God.  The validating truth that our hope is secure in Christ is the fact that He rose from the dead.  Where is Buddha?  Where is Muhammad?  All of the other religious leaders of history have died and it was proven that they had no power over death.  That was not the case with Jesus.  After being put to death on a Roman cross (a historically validated event), Jesus was buried in a tomb and on the third day, He was raised from the dead.  Charles Hodge writes:

It is true that Christ was buried and that he rose again on the third day. These facts were included in the revelation made to Paul, and he proceeds to confirm their truth by abundant additional testimony. John 20:9 and Acts 26:22–23 teach that these facts were predicted in the Old Testament. [2]

Have confidence in the Scriptures as you point people to the resurrection of Jesus Christ.

  1. John Calvin and John Pringle, Commentaries on the Epistles of Paul the Apostle to the Corinthians, vol. 2 (Bellingham, WA: Logos Bible Software, 2010), 10.
  2. Charles Hodge, 1 Corinthians, Crossway Classic Commentaries (Wheaton, IL: Crossway Books, 1995), 273.


Print Friendly, PDF & Email
Author The Proof of the Resurrection

Josh Buice

Pastor Pray's Mill Baptist Church

Josh Buice is the founder and president of G3 Ministries and serves as the pastor of Pray's Mill Baptist Church on the westside of Atlanta. He is married to Kari and they have four children, Karis, John Mark, Kalli, and Judson. Additionally, he serves as Assistant Professor of Preaching at Grace Bible Theological Seminary. He enjoys theology, preaching, church history, and has a firm commitment to the local church. He also enjoys many sports and the outdoors, including long distance running and high country hunting. He has been writing on Delivered by Grace since he was in seminary and it has expanded with a large readership through the years.