The Deity is in the Details

  Romans 1:4 tells us that Jesus Christ was “declared to be the Son of God with power according to the Spirit of holiness, by the resurrection from the dead.”  The resurrection of Jesus, more than perhaps any other single event, demonstrates to mankind the Deity of Jesus of Nazareth.

  People being raised from the dead, while not an everyday occurrence in Bible times, certainly happened occasionally.  Jesus raised Lazarus, the widow’s son at Nain, the daughter of Jairus, and perhaps others (John 11; Luke 7:11-15, 22; 8:49-56).  None of these individuals are thought to be “gods” because they were raised from the dead.

  The case of Jesus is plainly different.  As Jesus lies in the tomb, there is no human standing outside calling him to come forth, no one taking Him by the hand and commanding Him to arise.  His body lies alone in Joseph’s new tomb and the tomb is sealed and closely guarded.  No human even witnesses His actual resurrection — when the angel rolled away the stone the guards “became like dead men” (Matthew 28:4).  Jesus’ resurrection was accomplished directly by the power of God.  The fact that “God raised up” Jesus is declared many times in the Book of Acts (2:24, 32; 3:13; 4:10; 10:40; 13:30, 37).  And it is this fact that identifies Jesus as the Divine Son of God.

  The resurrection of Jesus Christ occurred in such a way as to leave men with physical and testimonial evidence of it.  The details of this evidence give us striking proof of the authenticity of the resurrection, and thus of the Deity of Christ.  Consider the following details:

  • The tomb was new and no one had been laid to rest there before (Matthew 27:57; Mark 15:43; Luke 23:51).  There was no possibility of getting Jesus’ body confused with the remains of another, or failing to remember where it had been placed in a tomb that housed many corpses.

  • The tomb was sealed with a large stone and guarded. (Matthew 27:60-66).  Grave robbers or others could not have taken the body.

  • The grave clothes were left neatly in the tomb. When Peter and John went into the tomb after the resurrection, they “saw the linen cloths lying there, and the handkerchief that had been around His head, not lying with the linen cloths, but folded together in a place by itself.” (John 20:6-8).  Who would steal a body and take the time to unwrap it and neatly fold up the clothes?  Who would not take the expensive grave wrappings if they had been raised from the dead? (Perhaps Someone who knew that He would never need them again!)

  • The scars in Jesus’ resurrected body were examined.  On the very evening of the day He was raised, Jesus appeared to His disciples and “showed them His hands and His side” (John 20:20).  While wounds in the hands could be observed on anyone who had been crucified, Jesus’ wound in His side was somewhat unique.  It offers gruesome evidence not only of His identity, but also of what His now living body had once endured.

  • Many saw Him alive.  The number of witnesses to Jesus’ resurrection makes it all the more credible.  In a court of law, facts can be demonstrated on the basis of two or three reliable witnesses.  Many, many more than that saw the resurrected Christ, including the apostles, Mary Magdalene, Cleopas, James, 500 brethren at once, and finally the apostle Paul.

  The detailed and reliable evidence we have been given for the resurrection of Jesus should make it all the easier to believe that it occurred.  And believing in the resurrection of Jesus is the key to our salvation and the cause for our commitment to Him. “Knowing that He who raised up the Lord Jesus will also raise us up with Jesus” (2 Corinthians 4:14).

— Steve Klein

My Nightlight

  Are you afraid of the dark?  Like a lot of children, when I was a child I did not like trying to go to sleep in a totally dark room.  Long I would lie awake imagining the vicious monsters and cruel ghosts that were lurking unseen (or worse yet, barely seen) in the dark of my bedroom.  Unidentified sounds added to the sinister nature of the dark.  I would tell myself that it was just the wind, the refrigerator, the water pipes or the heating system.  But was it?  When you cannot see the source of the sound, or at least see enough to rule out some of the possible sources, it could be ANYTHING!

  In those tender years, my terror could be alleviated with a four-watt light bulb.  Plugged into an electrical socket in my room, my nightlight was instant security.  I felt safe.  Of course the reality was that there was nothing more and nothing less in my room with the light on than there had been when it was dark.  Nothing, that is, except light itself.  I suppose that had there been a goblin there in the dark to begin with, the feeble illumination of my night-light would not have prevented him from getting me and doing all of the dastardly unspeakable things to me that goblins delight to do.  But none of that mattered.  At least if the monster was there I could see him. The light made that possible. 

  The dark is not really what we fear.  We don’t really even fear what is in the dark.  We fear the unknown. 

  This is the reason people fear death.  

   Jesus illuminates that darkened room.  Not so that we can see everything, but just so we can see enough and feel safe.  “In Him was life, and the life was the light of men.” (John 1:4).  Think carefully about that statement.  The LIFE  was the LIGHT!  Jesus claimed, “I am the resurrection and the life. He who believes in Me, though he may die, he shall live” (John 11:25).  He backed up that claim not only by raising others like Lazarus from the dead, but also by conquering death Himself.  His empty tomb and the testimony of many witnesses declare that there is life beyond this life.  He lives!  We will live also!  The room is not dark.

  Thank God for “the appearing of our Savior Jesus Christ, who has abolished death and brought life and immortality to light through the gospel.” (2 Timothy 1:10).  Thank God for the light.

 — Steve Klein