The Apostles Creed: the third day He rose again from the dead
by Mark Grilus
That Jesus rose bodily from the dead is a central doctrine of the Christian church. Everything stands or falls on this event. Paul the Apostle states that if Christ is not risen then your faith is in vain, and they are false witnesses (1Corinthians 15:14, 15). He then states that if we put hope in a Christ who is not risen, then we are to be most pitied amoung men (vs.19).
The testimony of Scripture declares that Jesus is risen. Some have tried to say it was not a physical, but an invisible spiritual resurrection. The Scripture does not teach this. Even church fathers declare this to be false. The early church Epistle of Second Clement says, “Let none of you say that this flesh is not judged and does not rise again. Just think: In what state were you saved, and in what state did you recover your [spiritual] sight, if not in the flesh? In the same manner, as you were called in the flesh, so you shall come in the flesh. If Christ, the Lord who saved us, though he was originally spirit, became flesh and in this state called us, so also shall we receive our reward in the flesh. Let us, therefore, love one another, so that we may all come into the kingdom of God.”
Another Church Father, Justin Martyr states, “Indeed, God calls even the body to resurrection and promises it everlasting life… and if God has called man to life and resurrection, he has called not a part, but the whole, which is the soul and the body.”
Jesus is the “first fruits” (1 Corinthians 15:20), which reveals that He is the first to rise from the dead, never to die again. It can also refer to the first of the planted crop, which first appears after sowing. It is the evidence that the rest of the crop will soon appear.
His resurrection is the evidence and guarantee of our own resurrection.