Why Did Jesus Rise from the Dead Instead of Going Straight to Heaven?

From Issue: Discovery 10/1/2004

Dear reader,    

Jesus proved that He was the Son of God by performing miracles, signs, and wonders during His earthly ministry (John 20:31), but the greatest miracle of all was His resurrection from the dead. For the forty days He remainedon the Earth before ascending into heaven, He presented Himself alive “by many unmistakable proofs” (Acts 1:3). Even though Jesus had told His disciples that He would rise again, they really did not understand what He was saying. Had He died and gone straight to heaven, the disciples would not have known that He was the Son of God. To them, He would just seem like an ordinary man who died and was buried.

Jesus, by living a perfect life, defeated death once and for all (1 Corinthians 15:56-57). He proved this by returning to the Earth, by showing His disciples the nail prints in His hands and feet, and by ascending into heaven before their very eyes. In some ways, the time after Jesus’ death was the most important of all His time on Earth because it gives ushope for a resurrection, too. Before Jesus, other men had been raised from the dead (like Lazarus), but all of them died again.  Jesus was resurrected, never to die again, and because of that, Christians know that they, too, will one day rise from the dead to live forever with God.


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