"Knowing that Christ being raised from the dead dieth no more;
death hath no more dominion over Him" (Romans 6:9).
The two greatest miracles in all history have been the creation of the world and the resurrection of its Creator from physical death. Without the first, none of us would even exist, and without the second, we would have no hope of life after death. The wonderful fact is, however, that we do have life and, through personal faith in that Creator and His bodily resurrection, we also have assurance of everlasting life with Him in the ages to come.
Modern scientists, on the other hand—at least the leaders of the scientific establishment—believe in neither creation nor resurrection. Their premise is total naturalism, so they must try to explain all events of past, present, or future in terms of present natural laws and processes. Miracles of any kind must be explained away as unscientific—especially miracles that are worldwide in scope or effect. They say that creation would contradict the most basic law of all science—that is, the law of conservation of mass/energy, or the first law of thermodynamics. The conservation principle says, in effect, that nothing can be truly created (though things can be changed in form).
Similarly, the idea that a person could be restored to life after being dead for three days would contradict the second law of thermodynamics, or the law of increasing entropy—that is, the law which describes the tendency of all systems to decrease in organized complexity. Once death overtakes an organism, all its functions cease, and it soon returns to dust—the ultimate disintegration.
Thus, both creation and resurrection are impossible, as far as naturalistic science is concerned. No exception to the two laws of thermodynamics has ever been found. For an exception to either one to occur, an enormous miracle would be required, and these scientists tell us miracles can't happen.
But they are wrong!
Jesus Christ did rise from the dead! This event is a fact of history, capable of being investigated by the same criteria that are used to test other alleged historical events. When this is done—and it has been done by many fully qualified historians and experts on evidence—Christ's resurrection passes all tests of historicity with flying colors.
The many contacts with His followers after His resurrection (at least ten appearances, under many circumstances, and to many different people), the sure testimony of His empty tomb (along with the utter inability of His enemies to produce His body), and the drastic changes in the disciples (from fearful fugitives to bold proclaimers of His resurrection) are among the "many infallible proofs" (Acts 1:3) that assure us that "He is risen, as He said" (Matthew 28:6). It is not too much to say that the bodily resurrection of Jesus Christ, after He died and was buried for three days in a sealed tomb, is the best-proved fact of ancient history.1
That being the case, consider the implications. Principally, it proves that Jesus Christ is God. Only God could conquer death, for the law of death was imposed by God in the first place when the first man brought sin into the dominion entrusted to him by his Creator (Romans 5:12).
It also means that the Lord Jesus Christ was the Creator of heaven and earth. Only the Creator could create new matter, as He did when He multiplied the loaves and fishes, or new energy, as He did when He walked on the water and when He stilled the storm waves with a word. The Bible, of course, clearly confirms the fact that He was Creator "All things were made by Him" and "the world was made by Him" (John 1:3,10). "For by Him were all things created that are in heaven, and that are in earth, . . . all things were created by Him, and for Him" (Colossians 1:16).
This great fact further assures us that whatever He does is right and whatever He says is true. When He said, for example, referring to Genesis 1:27, that "from the beginning of the creation God made them male and female" (Mark 10:6), we know for a certainty that the earth and the universe are not millions or billions of years old, regardless of the uniformitarian misuse of astronomic and geologic data by evolutionists. Christ was there, for He was the creating Word of God, and He has told us that the human race dates from the beginning of the creation, not 15 billion years after the beginning. Would He lie, or perhaps deliberately mislead us? Did He think we could not understand or appreciate the idea of billions of years of a suffering, groaning creation before He got around to creating men and women for fellowship with Himself? The very thought seems—to us, at least—to be absurd and even blasphemous.
Furthermore, whether or not we like the idea of His creating an endless hell for those who reject Him as their Lord and Savior, we must deal with it, for He spoke more often about hell than did anyone else in the Bible (note Matthew 5:30; 25:41; etc.). He also accepted the Bible as inerrant and authoritative (Matthew 5:18; John 10:35). At the very end of His Book, He warned against tampering with its words, saying: "If any man shall take away from the words of the book of this prophecy, God shall take away his part out of the book of life. . ." (Revelation 22:19).
There is, of course, one more glorious consequence of the certain fact of His bodily resurrection. He has defeated death, not only for Himself but also for all those who have trusted Him for their own forgiveness and salvation. He has promised that "because I live, ye shall live also" (John 14:19). "For as in Adam all die, even so in Christ shall all be made alive" (I Corinthians 15:22).
Our resurrection, like that of Christ Himself, will be a physical resurrection, not just spiritual. When God pronounced the judgment of death on Adam and all his dominion, it was physical death, not spiritual only. That is why the Lord Jesus, in dying for our sins, had to die physically—a terrible physical death, not just temporary spiritual separation from God, though that also was part of it.
Similarly, our promised resurrection will be a physical, bodily resurrection, like that of Christ. It will not, however, include the pains and defects that characterize our present physical bodies. Our bodies will be glorified bodies, like that of Christ when He rose from the dead—no longer subject to pain and death but raised to eternal perfection. When John saw Him in his great vision on the Isle of Patmos, Christ said: "Behold, I am alive for evermore" (Revelation 1:18).
And we too shall be alive forever! "It doth not yet appear what we shall be: but we know that, when He shall appear, we shall be like Him" (I John 3:2). "In a moment, in the twinkling of an eye, . . . the trumpet shall sound, and the dead shall be raised incorruptible, and we shall be changed" (I Corinthians 15:52). The Lord Jesus Christ "shall change our vile body, that it may be fashioned like unto His glorious body" (Philippians 3:21).
"For if we believe that Jesus died and rose again, even so them also which sleep in Jesus will God bring with Him. . . . For the Lord Himself shall descend from heaven . . . and the dead in Christ shall rise first: Then we which are alive and remain shall be caught up together with them in the clouds, to meet the Lord in the air: and so shall we ever be with the Lord" (I Thessalonians 4:14,16,17). The law of entropy in our bodies will be forever repealed, and "there shall be no more death" (Revelation 21:4), ". . . neither shall there be any more pain."
But even that is not all that Christ's resurrection will accomplish. God's curse had applied not only to Adam and his descendants but also to his whole dominion—and that shall be made whole again! "There shall be no more curse" (Revelation 22:3). "Because the [creation] itself also shall be delivered from the bondage of corruption into the glorious liberty of the children of God" (Romans 8:21).
Ever since sin entered the world and God pronounced His great curse "on the ground" (Genesis 3:17)—that is, on the basic elements, the dust from which all things had been made—the whole world has been in a state of decay, or increasing entropy, travailing in pain.
". . . the earth shall wax old like a garment" (Isaiah 51:6).
"Heaven and earth [are passing] away" (Matthew 24:35).
". . . as a vesture shalt thou fold them up, and they shall be changed" (Hebrews 1:12). Finally, ". . . the elements shall melt with fervent heat, the earth also and the works that are therein shall be burned up. . . . all these things shall be dissolved" (II Peter 3:10,11).
But when Christ the Creator became the Savior, He not only died "for the sins of the whole world" (I John 2:2), but also became "the Savior of the world [Greek, kosmos]" (I John 4:14). "The world [kosmos] was made by Him" (John 1:10), and He has paid the terrible price to redeem the world from its "bondage of corruption into the glorious liberty of the children of God."
Finally, after the last judgment, and after this present earth—defiled as it is with the age-long scars of suffering and death—has been "burned up," then "we, according to His promise, look for new heavens and a new earth, wherein dwelleth righteousness" (II Peter 3:10,13).
And there we shall live forever. "For as the new heavens and the new earth, which I will make, shall remain before me, saith the Lord, so shall your seed and your name remain" (Isaiah 66:22).
The old law of entropy, along with "the law of sin and death" (Romans 8:2) which accompanied it, will be gone once and for all—all because Christ lives!
1 Many volumes have been written setting forth these evidences, and the case is compelling. For the writer's own summary of the evidence, see the ICR booklet, The Resurrection of Jesus Christ. Available from ICR (one copy free on request).
*Dr. Morris is Founder and President Emeritus of ICR.