Infallible Proofs – Acts 1:3

It has been noted that the book of Acts is an apologetic work. It provides evidence for the Christian faith. Luke’s focal point of his apologetic is the resurrection of Jesus. In Acts 1:3, it mentions that there are many infallible proofs pertaining to the resurrection of Jesus. The evidence for the resurrection sets the stage for the birth of the church and its expansion around the globe. Jesus was seen by the apostles and others for a period of forty days after His resurrection. The New American Commentary says, “The appearances lasted “over a period of forty days”. The picture is that of a continual coming and going of the risen Lord rather than of one extended stay. In all the New Testament, this is the only reference that explicitly delimits the period of appearances to forty days. It is a time frame with rich biblical associations—the period in the wilderness, the time Moses spent on Sinai receiving the law, the period of Elijah’s sojourn on Mt. Horeb. Most of all it evokes the period of Jesus’ temptation in the wilderness (Luke 4:2). Just as it was a time when Jesus prepared for his ministry, so for forty days the risen Jesus prepared his followers for theirs. From the viewpoint of chronology, it should also be noted that the forty days fit the dating of Pentecost: resurrection on the third day, appearances for forty days, approximately a week in the upper room (1:12–14), and then Pentecost, fifty days from the crucifixion (2:1).”[1] There are many infallible proofs for the resurrection of Jesus. Let us look at just a few of those proofs.

The Empty Tomb. When it comes to the empty tomb there have been several explanations given by scoffers. Some say that someone stole the body of Jesus. Others say that perhaps the women and the disciples went to the wrong tomb. Both of these ideas can be easily refuted. After the crucifixion, the disciples were afraid. They would certainly have been too afraid to try and get around Roman guards in order to steal the body of Jesus. The disciples hid themselves behind locked doors. They would not have had the courage to steal the body of Jesus. The women saw Jesus being buried. They knew exactly where He was buried. There is no way that they could have gone to the wrong tomb.

The appearance of the angels. The angels that appeared at the tomb were seen by the women who came to the tomb and were also seen by the Roman guards. The guards were so afraid by what they saw that they appeared as if they were dead. It affected them greatly. The angels spoke to the women explaining to them that Jesus had risen. This is not something that could have been just made up. Both believers in Jesus and unbelievers witnessed the empty tomb. It was so real that the Romans had to pay the guards to keep their mouths shut about the incident.

The eyewitness of the women. The Gospels tell us that the disciples, at first, did not believe what the women told them concerning the resurrection. This would have been an embarrassing thing for them to admit. However, they still accurately wrote it down. Why? Because it’s true. The women saw the empty tomb. They saw the risen Lord. They saw Jesus after His resurrection with their own physical eyes.

Hundreds of eyewitnesses. Look at 1 Corinthians 15:1-8. Paul tells the church at Corinth that Jesus was seen by over 500 at one time. This does not include the many other appearances of Jesus after His resurrection. These eyewitness accounts provide proof for the resurrection of Christ and for the centrality of the Gospel.

The boldness of the Apostles. The apostles and others were very bold when it came to preaching the resurrection of Jesus. They really believed it. They were passionate about it. Why? Because they themselves had seen Jesus after His resurrection. Nothing was going to stop them from preaching Jesus. Acts 4:13 said that it was evident that Peter and John had been with Jesus. You see, you cannot be with Jesus and it not affect you. When you have been with Jesus it will change your whole life.

The Martyrs. Down through the years, thousands of people have given their life for their belief in Jesus. Why would someone die for something that was not true? Why would the apostles die for something they just made up? The fact that people have given their lives for what they believe concerning Jesus is proof that Jesus is alive and well.

Changed lives. The greatest evidence for the resurrection of Jesus is a changed life. Even our lives today provide evidence for the resurrected Christ. No one can argue with your story. No one can argue with a life that has been gloriously changed by the Gospel of Jesus Christ.

Years ago, a famous a legal scholar and Harvard law professor, Dr. Simon Greenleaf put the resurrection of Jesus on trial. You cannot question the integrity of this man, for even to this day the United States judicial system uses Greenleaf’s strict guidelines for examining evidence. He, in fact, is the one that put Harvard law school on the map. As he gathered and examined evidence for the resurrection of Jesus, Greenleaf came to the following conclusion: no unbiased person who honestly examines the evidence as in a court of law, could ever possibly deny the fact that Jesus Christ indeed rose from the grave. If someone does not believe, the problem is not with the evidence. The fact is clear: Jesus rose from the grave! The problem is not with the evidence or with Jesus Himself, it is with the heart of the one who refuses to believe. So, what are the implications for all of this? Since Jesus really rose from the grave just as the Bible says, then, don’t you think that everything else the Bible says is true? Since we know that Jesus rose from the grave, then we must believe that what He taught was also true. My friend, Jesus is alive. Heaven and Hell are real. Your eternal destination depends on what you believe concerning Jesus. What will you do with the evidence? Will you believe? If you are a believer, then, boldly share your faith. For what you have learned concerning Jesus is 100% true. There are many infallible proofs, but, the greatest proof is your testimony. Go, and tell the world that Jesus is alive!

[1] Polhill, J. B. (1992). Acts (Vol. 26, pp. 81–82). Nashville: Broadman & Holman Publishers.

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