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Many Witnesses Testify of the Resurrection of Christ

A Video Supplement for
Come, Follow Me Lesson 25:
“He Is Risen”

 

 

Transcript

Few events are as well attested as the Resurrection of Jesus Christ. I will go through a few of the scriptural highlights and take the opportunity to highlight the added witnesses of the Restoration to the Resurrection of Christ. To begin with, angels testified of his resurrection. We read in Matthew 28:5,

Matthew 28:5 And the angel answered and said unto the women, Fear not ye: for I know that ye seek Jesus, which was crucified.
6 He is not here: for he is risen, as he said. Come, see the place where the Lord lay.

We know because Mary Magadalene testified of his resurrection in Mark 16:9-14,

Mark 16:9 ¶ Now when Jesus was risen early the first day of the week, he appeared first to Mary Magdalene, out of whom he had cast seven devils.
10 And she went and told them that had been with him, as they mourned and wept.
11 And they, when they had heard that he was alive, and had been seen of her, believed not.

Jesus, visited his apostles as a group, so that they witnessed him together in Luke 24:36-39 and calming their fears that they were seeing a ghost, explained to them that he really did have a physical body,

Luke 24:36 ¶ And as they thus spake, Jesus himself stood in the midst of them, and saith unto them, Peace be unto you.
37 But they were terrified and affrighted, and supposed that they had seen a spirit.
38 And he said unto them, Why are ye troubled? and why do thoughts arise in your hearts?
39 Behold my hands and my feet, that it is I myself: handle me, and see; for a spirit hath not flesh and bones, as ye see me have.

Luke 24:13-35 also tells the story of the two disciples who walked with Jesus on the road to Emmaus.

Paul summed up the testimony of the Palestinian witnesses, and added his own,

1 Corinthians 15:3 For I delivered unto you first of all that which I also received, how that Christ died for our sins according to the scriptures;
4 And that he was buried, and that he rose again the third day according to the scriptures:
5 And that he was seen of Cephas, then of the twelve:
6 After that, he was seen of above five hundred brethren at once; of whom the greater part remain unto this present, but some are fallen asleep.
7 After that, he was seen of James; then of all the apostles.
8 And last of all he was seen of me also, as of one born out of due time.

Paul, when he said that Christ was seen last of all by him, he is of course saying that he has seen him most recently of the then available witnesses, because John later testifies of his vision of the risen Lord, Revelation 1:13-18

13 And in the midst of the seven candlesticks one like unto the Son of man, clothed with a garment down to the foot, and girt about the paps with a golden girdle.
14 His head and his hairs were white like wool, as white as snow; and his eyes were as a flame of fire;
15 And his feet like unto fine brass, as if they burned in a furnace; and his voice as the sound of many waters.
16 And he had in his right hand seven stars: and out of his mouth went a sharp twoedged sword: and his countenance was as the sun shineth in his strength.
17 And when I saw him, I fell at his feet as dead. And he laid his right hand upon me, saying unto me, Fear not; I am the first and the last:
18 I am he that liveth, and was dead; and, behold, I am alive for evermore, Amen; and have the keys of hell and of death.

With the Restoration of the Church of Jesus Christ in our day has come the continuing testimony of the Resurrection of Jesus Christ. Joseph Smith, for example, testified regarding his experience when he went called upon God to obtain a remission of his sins and learn which church he should join,

JS-H 1:16 (partial) …I saw a pillar of light exactly over my head, above the brightness of the sun, which descended gradually until it fell upon me.
17 (partial) … When the light rested upon me I saw two Personages, whose brightness and glory defy all description, standing above me in the air. One of them spake unto me, calling me by name and said, pointing to the other—This is My Beloved Son. Hear Him!

Now this was a personal appearance only witnessed by Joseph, but two others were not. They were in fact experiences meeting the threshold for the law of witnesses in which at least two witnesses testified who were eye witness to the same event (For law of witnesses, see Deuteronomy 19:15, 2 Corinthians 13:1).

While pondering upon John 5:29 as part of a project of inspired translation, a vision opened, and Joseph Smith and Sidney Rigdon jointly testified:

Doctrine and Covenants 76:22 And now, after the many testimonies which have been given of him, this is the testimony, last of all, which we give of him: That he lives!
23 For we saw him, even on the right hand of God; and we heard the voice bearing record that he is the Only Begotten of the Father—
24 That by him, and through him, and of him, the worlds are and were created, and the inhabitants thereof are begotten sons and daughters unto God.

Later, after the building and dedication of the Kirtland Temple, the Lord appeared to Joseph Smith and Oliver Cowdery to accept that house. As recorded in Doctrine and Covenants 110:1-10 (I will read 1-4).

Doctrine and Covenants 110:1 The veil was taken from our minds, and the eyes of our understanding were opened.
2 We saw the Lord standing upon the breastwork of the pulpit, before us; and under his feet was a paved work of pure gold, in color like amber.
3 His eyes were as a flame of fire; the hair of his head was white like the pure snow; his countenance shone above the brightness of the sun; and his voice was as the sound of the rushing of great waters, even the voice of Jehovah, saying:
4 I am the first and the last; I am he who liveth, I am he who was slain; I am your advocate with the Father.

Finally, with the Restoration, we have the testimonies of other who have witnessed the Resurrected Lord, including the Nephites to whom he ministered in 3 Nephi 11:14-15,

3 Nephi 11:14 Arise and come forth unto me, that ye may thrust your hands into my side, and also that ye may feel the prints of the nails in my hands and in my feet, that ye may know that I am the God of Israel, and the God of the whole earth, and have been slain for the sins of the world.
15 And it came to pass that the multitude went forth, and thrust their hands into his side, and did feel the prints of the nails in his hands and in his feet; and this they did do, going forth one by one until they had all gone forth, and did see with their eyes and did feel with their hands, and did know of a surety and did bear record, that it was he, of whom it was written by the prophets, that should come.

Last I will highlight Moroni’s testimony born in Ether 12:39 concerning the time when we will be invited to confront his witness at the judgement bar of Christ,

Ether 12:39 And then shall ye know that I have seen Jesus, and that he hath talked with me face to face, and that he told me in plain humility, even as a man telleth another in mine own language, concerning these things;

This confrontation brings the significance of Jesus’s Resurrection into focus. Because Jesus was resurrected, we will be also, and we will all be brought face to face with the Lord to account for what we have done in response to the witnesses which he has sent to testify of these things. May the testimony of the Resurrection burn in each of our hearts that we may likewise be witnesses to it through the testimony of the Holy Spirit is my prayer in the name of Jesus Christ,

Amen.

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