Saturday, October 9, 2010

The Resurrection is the Greatest Sign

If you want to truly call yourself a student of the Bible I see no way you can get around the fact that the resurrection of Jesus is the greatest sign of the gospel. Even though this is not a sign Jesus does himself it is a sign acted out upon him by the Holy Spirit through the guidance of the Father. We can easily validate this as being the greatest sign that Christ chose to give us, because he tells us so. In chapter two of John’s gospel he has just cleansed the temple and the Jews wanted an explanation. “So the Jews said to him, “What sign do you show us for doing these things?” 19 Jesus answered them, “Destroy this temple, and in three days I will raise it up.” 20 The Jews then said, “It has taken forty-six years to build this temple, and will you raise it up in three days?” 21 But he was speaking about the temple of his body. 22 When therefore he was raised from the dead, his disciples remembered that he had said this, and they believed the Scripture and the word that Jesus had spoken.” [1] He made sure to give them sign that was beyond adequate.

The Jews were always looking for Jesus to provide a sign of some sort for the things he was doing or to prove he was the Messiah (or Christ). Warren Wiersbe sums it up well by saying, “Often, during His ministry, the leaders asked Jesus to give them a sign; and He refused to do so, except for the sign of Jonah (Matt. 12:39ff). The “sign of Jonah” is death, burial, and resurrection.”[2] This sign is even greater than the rest; it shows the culmination of his power. Sadly however some commentators chose not to recognize his resurrection as a great sign. While some struggle with believing Jesus is as powerful as he claimed to be. As believers we can trust that as Leon Morris says, “He is such a great person that even death gives place to him.” (Morris 1989, 118) Meaning that death has no control over Jesus, he told his disciples that even though he will lay down his life he has the power to take it back up again.(Jn 10:17)

One major thing we have to remember, while we may regret the fact that Jesus had to die such a brutal death on our behalf, if he had not died he could not have risen to be by the Father’s side. The great gift we receive by his death and resurrection is His Holy Spirit as Dr. Towns states, “But in the center of hatred, Jesus reminds them that they will be sustained by the Holy Spirit’s presence.” (Towns 2002, 159). His resurrection continues to be a sign, strengthening us today and giving us hope for the future.


Morris, Leon. Jesus is the Christ. Grand Rapids, MI: Wm. B. Eerdmans Publishing, 1989.

Towns, Elmer. John Believe and Live. Chattanooga, TN: AMG Publishers, 2002.

[1] The Holy Bible : English Standard Version. (Wheaton: Standard Bible Society, 2001), Jn 2:18–22.

[2] Warren W. Wiersbe, The Bible Exposition Commentary (Wheaton, Ill.: Victor Books, 1996), Jn 2:12.

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