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Would post-resurrection visits from Jesus directly vindicate Jesus and the Gospel?
Jesus was a 1st century Jew who carried out a ministry of miracles, testifying that he was God's unique revelation to mankind, and specifically preached that God's judgment was coming upon sinners, and yet that through faith in Christ, believers could be cleansed and thereby avert God's judgment, delivered from death, and be transformed into eternal beings. Would raising Jesus from the dead and having him visit core evangelists be a way for God to directly vindicate Jesus and this Gospel that he preached?
Jesus: “death won’t hold the sinless, just sinners”
Jesus proclaimed to humanity that ultimate death is just for sinners (the sinless won’t stay dead).
This page analyzes four evidences and their relevance:
This is relevant for two reasons: Jesus’s eschatological resurrection would simultaneously vindicate both the message of Jesus, and Jesus’s own sinlessness. (God certainly wouldn’t want it to seem like sinless Jesus wasn’t going to be raised after the ostensibly humiliating crucifixion which Jews thought was a lot for sinners; absent a resurrection, that could powerfully undermine the view of Jesus’s sinlessness and the Gospel. In fact, it did!)
Bible: “God gives all/only the sinless eternal life”
Biblically, God communicated to humanity that ultimate death is just for sinners (the sinless won’t stay dead).
This is relevant because the Bible is reliable on this point.
Jesus's raised body would signify what ours will be
Believers in Jesus would anticipate that their eschatologically resurrected bodies will resemble whatever Jesus's resurrected body was like.
- This is a natural extrapolation from the Jewish-Christian belief that Jesus's body was an eschatologically resurrected body.
- E.g. Paul takes it for granted that Christians all knew this.1
This is relevant because not everyone would have been sure that a physical resurrection was a good thing.2 Pre-empting this, Jesus's resurrection body—with all its healthy and interesting power on display—would be overtly glorious visual proof that having a resurrection body is a desirable afterlife state to be in. The good news (Gospel) really is good.
- • Rom 6:5 — For if we have become united with Him in the likeness of His death, certainly we shall also be in the likeness of His resurrection,
• 2 Cor 4:14 — knowing that He who raised the Lord Jesus will raise us also with Jesus....
- For example, many Greeks seemed naturally worried about whether the prospect of being physical in the afterlife was a good thing; Paul consequently spilled a lot of ink in 1 Corinthians 15 defending it's desirability by pointing to Jesus's resurrection
God’s raising Jesus is a highest-level Divine mark of favor
While many of Jesus's miracles suggested that God was on Jesus's side, the physical resurrection of Jesus directly by God (without mediation) is a particularly flashy firework as far as miracles go. This is relevant because the resurrection therefore would be a particularly persuasive way to establish once and for all to Jesus's apostles (etc.) that Jesus was truly from God.
- God (Biblically) raised other people from the dead.1
- The idea behind this objection is this: if God raised other people who were not particularly special (i.e. wherein their being raised was not a vindication of them), then God's raising Jesus likewise does not imply they are special in any ways. By way of response, however, resurrection reported in the Bible were miracles performed through, and by request of, prophets of God. This is relevant because God is certainly inclined to answer the prayers of his prophets. In none of these cases, however, did God proactively just raise the individual. In Jesus's case, however, God did.