The message from the angels to the women who went to the tomb of Jesus early on the first day of the week was, “He is not here: for he is risen. . .” (Matt. 28:6). Jesus had taught His disciples that He must be killed, but would rise again (Mark 8:31). Because men were complicit in His death by crucifixion, He is said to have been killed, yet in actuality, He laid down His life that He might take it up again in the resurrection (John 10:17, 18). Jesus' disciples could not grasp the meaning of these words. Peter even rebuked Him for this teaching (Matt. 16:22).
That the Messiah or Christ would be resurrected was not a novel doctrine first taught by Jesus. The Old Testament Prophets had taught the same in plain words and by type. The typical teaching was the deliverance of Jonah from the belly of the whale (Matt. 12:39, 40). The prophecy of Psalm 16:10 clearly teaches that the Christ would be raised from the dead. “For thou wilt not leave my soul in hell; neither wilt thou suffer thine Holy One to see corruption.” On Pentecost Peter taught that this Psalm referred to the resurrection of Christ (Acts 2:31, 32).
The resurrection declared Jesus to be the Son of God (Rom. 1:4). Others have been resurrected, but they were not declared thereby to be the Son of God. He who had power to raise others from the dead is at once said to have raised Himself (John 2:19-22) and to have been raised by God (Acts 13:29, 30). Since Jesus is God (John 1:1, 14), both statements are true. Thus, the resurrection of Jesus Christ, together with His substitutionary death, were the focal points of the Apostles' preaching. Paul wrote of Him, “Who was delivered for our offences, and was raised again for our justification” (Rom. 4:25). These facts constitute the gospel message. Without either truth, there is no good news for sinners.
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