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The New Testament Commentary Vol Iii John by B.W. Johnson

Proofs of the Resurrection.

I have been used for many years to study the history of other times, and to examine and weigh the evidences of those who have written about them; and I know of no one fact in the history of mankind which is proved by better and fuller evidence of every sort, to the mind of a fair inquirer, than that Christ died, and rose again from the dead. -- Dr. Arnold.

I. Proved by the enemies of Christ. (1) It was impossible for these enemies to deny that Christ had by some means left the grave. (2) It was impossible for them to give any other explanation than that which they now invented -- that his disciples stole the body. (3) It was impossible for this, the only explanation they could give, to be credited; for the disciples could not have stolen him if they would.

II. Proved by the friends of Christ. (1) The apostles had the most powerful faith in the fact. They were unanimous in their declaration of it a few days after, on the very spot on which it occurred, and that to men who were prepared to do anything to conceal the fact. (2) This faith came in direct opposition to their previous beliefs and worldly interests. They had no expectation and no hope of such resurrection. (3) They had every opportunity for thoroughly satisfying themselves on the point. (4) By their declaration of the fact they induced thousands of the enemies of Christ to believe in it, and that close to the time and near the spot on which it occurred. The early Church universally believed in it; and it is incredible that a myth, a false story, should have So grown up without substantial foundation. -- From Thomas' Genius of the Gospel. (5) They attested this fact, not only by their lives, but by their death. (6) Only the fact of the resurrection can account for the marvelous change in the spirit and character of the apostles. The resurrection completely transformed them; inspired them with a new conception of Christ's, kingdom as for all people, with a new courage to suffer for the sake of their risen Lord and his kingdom, and with a new purpose to preach Christ and him crucified everywhere as a spiritual redemption for sin (Acts 2:39; 5:41; 10:43). Neither fraud nor fiction is competent to account for the moral contrast. (7) A singular and significant testimony to the truth of the resurrection is afforded by the change in the Sabbath day. It was changed, not by any express command in the New Testament, but by the almost universal consent of the Church, which could not endure to observe as a day of joy and gladness that on which Christ lay in the tomb, nor forbear to mark as a weekly festival that on which he arose. -- Abbott.

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