The question is asked “Did Christ literally arise out of the tomb?”
Yes he did. I Corinthians 15:4-6 says: “He was buried, and he rose again the third day according to the scriptures. He was seen of Cephas, (Peter), then of the 12. He was seen of above 500 brethren at once; of whom the greater part remain unto this present, but some are fallen asleep.”
The most important event since the creation itself was the resurrection of Christ. And it was vital that the witness of His chosen apostles focus especially on this great event. They must believe with confidence in His bodily resurrection. They had been with Him throughout His ministry. They heard His predictions of the resurrection, then saw the infallible proofs of it, especially the empty tomb and His post-resurrection appearance. Both the original 11 and Matthisas, chosen to replace Judas, satisfied these requirements.
Then after the coming of God’s Holy Spirit at Pentecost this is written, “With great power gave the apostles witness of the resurrection … and great grace was upon them all” (Acts 4:33).
The resurrection proved that Christ was the Creator and Savior for only the Creator of life could defeat death.
Paul also saw the risen Christ on the road to Damascus, and thus he also could be rightly called an apostle.
“Am I not an apostle?… have I not seen Jesus Christ our Lord?” He could say those words (I Corinthians9:1).
Only those who had seen the risen Lord and been specifically chosen by Him could be true apostles, for they must be credibly witnesses of His resurrection.
And Peter could say: “We are witnesses of all things which He did . . . whom they slew and hanged on a tree: Him God raised up. . . “ (Acts 10:39-40). And Paul could say: “God raised Him from the dead: And He was seen many days of them. . . ; who are His witnesses” (Act 13:30-31).
Yes, the apostles were true witnesses of Christ’s resurrection, and multitudes have received eternal salvation because they were witnesses. What if some do not believe? The testimony of God stands sure.
If you have a Bible question write to Pastor Lenard Huebscher, Grace Baptist Church 12721 75th St. North, Stillwater, MN, 55082 www.stillwaterbaptist.net