From the sermon titled “He Is Not Here: The Significance of the Empty Tomb” by Pastor Alistair Begg
Please visit this link (He Is Not Here: The Significance of the Empty Tomb) to watch the full video of this sermon which was delivered during the Ligonier Ministries: 2009 West Coast Conference with theme: “Is There Life After Death?”
The following are extracts of sermon notes by Alex Chediak which was posted here: 2009 West Coast Conference – Session 1 – Alistair Begg :
‘1. . The resurrection is historical.
Christianity is a historical faith. It is based on actual events. There was a tactile element; the disciples saw and touched the risen Lord. When Peter preached in Acts 2, he did not hold back. He said “as you yourself knows” (vs. 22-23). Later, when Paul spoke of the resurrection (I Cor. 15), he noted that many of the witnesses were still living. It was as if Paul were saying, “Go ahead and check this out — verify it for yourself.” It would be as if I wrote a book about The Beatles making up some fantastical story about who they were and where they came from. It would never fly. There are plenty of people around who remember the Beatles. They know that there were only four of them, and that now just two are left.
The Bible is either true or it is the most amazing falsehood ever spun. And to believe the latter is to build one’s lives on despair.
[Aside: The resurrection of Christ, and the believer’s union with Him, is why believers do not perish upon their death. Their resurrection and eternal life are secured by their union with Christ, who conquered death.]
2. The resurrection is rationale.
The Dawkins’ book, The God Delusion, does not interact at all with the resurrection of Jesus. Dawkins writes, “Jesus probably existed, but the idea that he rose from the dead is absurd.” On what basis? He gives none.
The resurrection is the center of Christianity, because it confirms:
A) The reality of the fall and the decay which is pervasive in this world. “The whole creation is groaning.”
B) The reality of the immortality (life beyond the grave).
C) The demonstration of the truth of all of Christ’s claims and the trustworthiness of all of Christ’s promises.
D) The inevitability of our own resurrection.
3. The resurrection is empirical.
It stands up to the test. It truly fulfills man’s longing. Men like Hemingway and Shakespeare wrote that life was a journey from “nothing to nothing.” But the resurrection answers the cry for meaning. For forgiveness, love, hope, God.
And this is the story that we are called upon to take to the world. Take Sartre: “Here we are, all of us. Eating and drinking for preserving our existence, and yet there is no reason for our existence.”
But C.S. Lewis wrote, “I believe in Christianity as I believe in the sun, not because I can see it, but because by it I see everything else.”
The symbol of Christianity is the triumphant Christ, risen and reigning. And men and women can call out to Him and find Him to be a Savior and Friend. ‘