So sorry, I forgot I hadn't posted yet!!
Accompanying Mark Driscoll sermon: Jesus' Burial and Resurrection
Accompanying John MacArthur sermons: An Empty Town With an Angelic Explanation and Witnessing Women and Doubting Disciples
The resurrection of Jesus Christ is likely the single most important fact of Christianity. If there was no resurrection, then the death of Jesus accomplished nothing, and Christmas isn't worth celebrating. If there was no resurrection then death won the victory and we are hopeless.
The resurrection is true. There are multiple evidences of it, including circumstantial ones (as outlined by Driscoll in his sermon on this passage).
Women were the first witnesses. If this were a lie, they would have made men the liars because women's testimony was inadmissible in court.
The disciples change from cowards into bold proclaimers of the gospel, willing to die for the sake of this truth. Men do not die for what they know to be a lie.
People have remained loyal to Jesus for thousands of years. If Jesus was died, the disciples would've scattered and mourned, and Jesus would have been forgotten. Instead, Jesus becomes the most famous person in history.
Worship changed. Jews worshiped on the Sabbath which was Saturday. After the resurrection, the church began to worship on Sunday as a celebration of the resurrection.
Jesus' own family worshiped Him as God - including His mother and His half-brothers.
Jesus' enemies worship Him - including Saul who became Paul.
No body was ever produced.
No grave was ever enshrined.
And, quite frankly, the fact that the New Testament was even written is pretty compelling evidence to the resurrection. Someone who proclaims to be Messiah only to die a criminal's death does not inspire one to write a book celebrating and worshiping such a failure.
The facts of the resurrection are all well and good. But MacArthur sums it up well.....
Tomorrow's scripture focus: Luke 24:13-32