He is Risen! He is Merciful and He is Sovereign

Here is an excellent sermon on the Resurrection of Jesus Christ by John Piper.

See also my article last year on the Empty Tomb. 

In his sermon, Pastor Piper introduces his sermon with five lines of Evidence that Jesus rose from the dead.  I would have put the “Empty Tomb” as the no. 1 evidence.  The resurrection appearances are part of each of the gospels and Acts and other passages such as 1 Corinthians chapter 15.  The early church is another evidence and the first three centuries of persecuation and martyrdom and the writings of such men as Ignatius, Justin Martyr, Polycarp, Irenaeus, Tertullian, Cyprian, Origen, Athanasius, and Augustine.

“Five Lines of Evidence That Jesus Rose From the Dead

  1. The testimony of the apostle Paul. We have 13 letters from his pen. He was a contemporary of Jesus. He claimed to see the risen Christ. He spoke of others that he knew who saw him alive after his crucifixion, even 500 at once, many of whom were still alive when Paul was writing (1 Corinthians 15:5). This gives to Paul’s writings what is called “historical control,” which means that there is good reason to take seriously what he says because there were so many people around who could easily falsify his claims if they were not true.
  2. The empty tomb in Jerusalem where Jesus had been buried. This is relevant because the claim that Jesus was raised from the dead spread in a city that was hostile to that claim and would have done anything it could to squelch it if they could. The one thing they could have done was to produce the dead body of Jesus, but they could not (Acts 5:30-33).
  3. The courage of the disciples of Jesus and their willingness to lay down their lives to preach that Jesus was raised from the dead just weeks after they abandoned him out of fear and thought that they had been badly mistaken about his Messiahship (Luke 24:21). What had changed them from fearful to courageous so suddenly? And do men really risk their lives for what they know to be a fraud?
  4. The diverse testimony of Matthew, Mark, Luke, John, Peter, James, and the writer to the Hebrews. Here you need to get to know these men as witnesses, and see if they are credible. Give them a hearing and see if they do not win you over, and prove themselves to be more worthy of your confidence than the skeptics of our day.
  5. The ring of truth in the biblical vision of the world. Does not this whole story of God and creation and sin and Christ and salvation help make more sense out of more things in this world from beginning to end than any other vision of reality?

Five lines of evidence. I hope that you will pursue them. Your eternal life hangs on what you conclude from these.”

John Piper, from the sermon:  “When I am raised up, I go before you in Galilee”

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About Ken Temple

I am a follower of Jesus Christ. I am a sinner who has been saved by the grace of God alone (Ephesians 2:8-9), through faith alone (Galatians 2:16; Romans 3:28; 4:1-16), in Christ alone (John 14:6). But a true faith does not stay alone, it should result in change, fruit, good works, and deeper levels of repentance and hatred of my own sins of selfishness and pride. I am not better than you! I still make mistakes and sin, but the Lord is working on me, conforming me to His character. (Romans 8:28-29; 2 Corinthians 3:16-18) When I do sin, I hate the sin as it is an affront to God, and seek His forgiveness in repentance. (Mark 1:15; 2 Corinthians 7:7-10; Colossians 3:5-16 ) Praise God for His love for sinners (Romans 5:8), shown by the voluntary coming of Christ and His freely laying down His life for us (John 10:18), becoming flesh/human (John 1:1-5; 1:14; Philippians 2:5-8), dying for sins of people from all nations, tribes, and cultures (Revelation 5:9), on the cross, in history, rising from the dead (Romans 10:9-10; Matthew 28, Mark 16:1-8; Luke 24; John 20-21; 1 Corinthians chapter 15). His resurrection from the dead proved that Jesus is the Messiah, the eternal Son of God, the word of God from eternity past; and that He was all the gospels say He was and that He is truth and the life and the way to salvation. (John 14:6)
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5 Responses to He is Risen! He is Merciful and He is Sovereign

  1. θ says:

    Resurrection of Jesus lost its importance after he failed to fulfill the Comforter’s promise of defeating the Devil following his ascension. Jesus can’t do anything to heal Paul of his demonic sickness.Devil prevailed over Saul, it is one of Qur’anic proof how Paul was not the true believer Q.3, v.55.

    Some untold miracles of Prophet Muhammad in Hadith are equally similar to the well-known miracles of Moses and Jesus:
    (i) Resurrection of dead Prophets.
    Narrated: Anas bin Malik, that the Messenger of Allah said: Then I entered Bait Al-Maqdis (Jerusalem) where the Prophets were assembled for me, and Jibrail brought me forward to lead them in prayer. Then I was taken up to the first heaven (An-Nasai, Ch 5 Hadith 451).

    I also saw myself among the group of apostles. I saw Moses saying prayer and found him to be a well-built man as if he was a man of the tribe of Shanu’a. I saw Jesus son of Mary offering prayer, of all of men he had the closest resemblance with ‘Urwa b. Masu’d al-Thaqafi. I saw Ibrahim offering prayer; he had the closest resemblance with your companion (the Prophet himself) amongst people. When the time of prayer came I led them. When I completed the prayer, someone said: Here is Malik, the keeper of the Hell; pay him salutations. I turned to him, but he preceded me in salutation. (Muslim, Book 1, Hadith 328)

    Anas reported Allah’s Messenger as saying: I happened to pass by Moses as he was busy in saying prayer in his grave (Muslim, Book 30, Hadith 5859)

    (2) Gathering the sea animal.
    Then the people made a complaint to Allah’s Messenger about hunger and he said: May Allah provide you food! We came to the bank of the ocean and the ocean was tossing and it threw out a big animal and we lit fire and cooked it and took it until we had eaten to our heart’s content. (Muslim, Book 42, Hadith 7149)

    (3) Having a shining face.
    And then no one as or dear to me than the Messenger of Allah and none was more sublime in my eyes than he, Never could I, pluck courage to catch a full glimpse of his face due to its splendour. So if I am asked to describe his features, I cannot do that for I have not eyed him fully. (Muslim, Book 1, Hadith 220)

    (4) Commanding the winds and clouds with his hands.
    So Allah’s Apostle raised both his hands and said, “O Allah! Around us and not on us.” Whichever side the Prophet directed his hand, the clouds dispersed from there till a hole (in the clouds) was formed over Medina. The valley of Qanat remained flowing (with water) for one month and none, came from outside who didn’t talk about the abundant rain. (Bukhari, Book 17, Hadith 143)

    (5) Communicating with a thundering voice.
    Abu Dharr said: I heard a sound and I heard a noise. I said (to myself): The Messenger of Allah might have met (mishap or an enemy). I wished to follow him but I remembered his command for not departing till he would come back. So I waited for him, and when he came I made a mention of what I heard. He said: it was Gabriel, who came to me and said:” He who dies among your Ummah without associating Anything with Allah would enter Paradise. I said: Even if he committed fornication or theft? He said: Even if he committed fornication or theft. (Muslim, Book 5, Hadith 2174)

    (6) Having the fountain of water coming from his fingers.
    Thereupon Allah’s Messenger placed his hands in the tub like this: with his fingers stretched out, and then he placed his fingers at the bottom of the tub and said: Jabir, take it (that waters-skin) and pour water over me, by reciting Bismillah, and I poured water and I said: Bismillah, and found water sprouting out between the fingers of Allah’s Messenger. Then that tub gushed forth until it was filled up and the Messenger said: Jabir, make an announcement to the effect: He who needs water should take that. (Muslim, Book 4, Hadith 1451)

    (7) Having a talking meat, talking wolf and talking tree.
    He placed his hand in it and said, “Come to the blessed water, and the Blessing is from Allah.” I saw the water flowing from among the fingers of Allah’s Apostle , and no doubt, we heard the meal glorifying Allah, when it was being eaten (by him). (Bukhari, Book 56, Hadith 779)

    Ma’n reported I heard it from my father who said: I asked Masruq who informed the Messenger of Allah about the night when they heard the Qur’an. He said: Your father, Ibn Mas’ud, narrated it to me that a tree informed him about that. (Muslim, Book 4, Hadith 907)

    On that the wolf said, ‘There is something (more curious) and wonderful than this; that is, Allah’s Apostle in those palm trees, inviting people to Allah (i.e. Islam).’ “Unais bin ‘Amr further said, “Then Ahban went to Allah’s Apostle and informed him what happened and embraced Islam.)” palm trees or other trees and share the fruits with me.” (Bukhari, Book 39, Hadith 517)

    (8) Having two lights.
    Narrated Anas bin Malik: Two of the companions of the Prophet departed from him on a dark night and were led by two lights like lamps (going in front of them from Allah as a miracle) lighting the way in front of them, and when they parted, each of them was accompanied by one of these lights till he reached their (respective) houses. (Bukhari, Book 8, Hadith 454)

    (9) Defeating the Jinn or demon.
    When the Messenger of Allah was taken on the Night Journey, he saw an evil jinn seeking him with a torch of fire. Whenever the Messenger of Allah turned, he saw him. Jibril said to him, ‘Shall I teach you some words to say? When you say them, his torch will be put out and will fall from him.’ (Al-Muwatta, Book 51, Hadith 51.4.10)

  2. Ken Temple says:

    Resurrection of Jesus lost its importance after he failed to fulfill the Comforter’s promise of defeating the Devil following his ascension.

    You don’t understand Christian theology. The Devil was defeated / judged at the cross (Hebrews 2:14; Colossians 2:15, 1 John 3:8, John 12:31-33; 16:11), but he was not destroyed, he still exists and causes problems all over the world today. There is coming a day when the devil will be thrown into the lake of fire – Revelation 20:10-15, along with unbelievers. Since you put Qur’an 3:55 up, don’t forget verse 54 – the devil’s character of being a deceiver is more like the Allah of Qur’an 3:54 – “Allah is the best of deceivers/schemers”.

    ومكروا ومكر الله والله خير الماكرين

    For true believers in Jesus Christ, we cannot be deceived by the devil. 1 John 5:18-19

    Jesus can’t do anything to heal Paul of his demonic sickness.Devil prevailed over Saul, it is one of Qur’anic proof how Paul was not the true believer Q.3, v.55.

    God allows sickness and illnesses and sufferings. We are called to be pious and patient and faithful, even if God does not heal us. He can always heal, but in His sovereignty and wisdom, God does not do for us whatever we want Him to do. We must submit and surrender to Him and His will. Jesus modeled true submission for us as an example.
    Luke 22:42 – “not My will, but Your Will be done”

    The grace of God was sufficient for the apostle Paul to persevere in faith and piety and patience, even in his suffering of the thorn in the flesh. 2 Cor. 12:7-10

    Some untold miracles of Prophet Muhammad in Hadith are equally similar to the well-known miracles of Moses and Jesus:

    Those are all from Hadiths. Maybe they were forged by humans who thought it was not good for Jesus (and Moses) to have so many miracles but Muhammad did not have any in the Qur’an.

    What about those verses in the Qur’an that say that the only miracle Muhammad brought was the Qur’an itself?

  3. Ken Temple says:

    More discussion of the verses in the Qur’an that say Allah is the best deceiver.

    http://www.answeringmuslims.com/2014/03/is-allah-best-of-deceivers.html

  4. θ says:

    “Ken Temple says: God allows sickness and illnesses and sufferings. ”

    It is difference between Islam (Qur’an and Tanach) and Christianity (the New Testament). How can we ensure that Satan and demons didn’t possess or mislead Paul?
    In Islam Allah defeats the power of Satan and magicians on His Prophets. Job’s body was inflicted by Devil’s sickness, Moses was exposed to magics of magicians, Jesus was exposed to Devil’s illusion on the mountain, and Prophet Muhammad was disturbed by a nonsensical nightmare once, but Allah eventually defeats all Satan’s powers upon them all in light of Q.22, v.52.

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