A Sign for Unbelievers
Well over three hundred verses are concerned with the subject of Jesus resurrection in the New Testament. We are told that this event is a sign for unbelievers (Matt. 12:38-40); cf. John 20:24-29) as well as the answer for the believers doubt (Luke 24:38-43). It serves as the guarantee that Jesus teachings are true (Acts 2:22-24; 1 Cor. 15:12-20) and is the center of the gospel itself (Rom. 4:24-25, 10:9; 1 Cor. 15:1-4). Further, the resurrection is the impetus for evangelism (Matt. 28:18-20; Acts 10:39-43), the key indication of the believers daily power to live the Christian life (Rom. 6:4-14, 8:9-11; Phil. 3:10) and the reason for the total commitment of our lives (Rom. 7:4; 1 Cor. 15:57-58). The resurrection even addresses the fear of death (John 11:25; 1 Cor. 15:54-58; cf. Heb. 2:14-15) and is related to the second coming of Jesus (Acts 1:11; Rev. 1:7). Lastly, this event is a model of the Christians resurrection from the dead (Acts 4:2; 1 Cor. 6:14; 1 Thess. 4:13-18) and provides a foretaste of heaven for the believer (Phil. 3:20-21; 1 Peter 1:3-5). For a popular treatment that addresses these and other aspects, see Gary R. Habermas, The Centrality of the Resurrection, forthcoming.