Shelby G. Floyd

It is good to see all of you today. We are thankful for our visitors. It is wonderful to worship God. On a first day of the week Jesus rose from the dead, appeared to his apostles, and now reigns at the right hand of God in heaven.

Today is the Lord’s Day, the first day of the week. The apostle John from the Isle of Patmos wrote, “I was in the Spirit on the Lord’s Day” (Revelation 1:10). I think we all are “in the spirit” by the way we sung those beautiful hymns.


Have you ever thought about the days in the week? Today is the first day of the week and Saturday was the seventh day of the week. And one of the first arguments that I present to you today is the seven-day week.

The children of Israel came out of Egypt and in about 50 days they came to Mount Sinai. God gave them his law and that law said, “Remember the Sabbath day, to keep it holy. For in six days the Lord made the heavens and the earth, the sea, and all that is in them, and rested the seventh day. Therefore the Lord blessed the Sabbath day and hallowed it” (Exodus 20:8,11). That is the day they came out of Egypt, out of slavery, and were marching to the promised land. And that is what we all are doing now. We are marching to the heavenly promised land! But we do not worship on Saturday, the seventh day of the week. We worship on Sunday, the first day of the week.

Where did the week come from? Why not a week of eight, or 10 days? It all goes back to the creation week. God created the heavens and the earth in six days and he rested on the seventh day. And so everywhere we have a seven-day week. And that makes me believe that the world was created in six regular 24-hour days. And that gave us the week as we know it. For 1500 years the Jewish people worshiped on Saturday – the Sabbath – the seventh day of the week.

In Acts two the church was established, and Christians worshipped on the first day of the week. Why was that the case? The first Christians were Jewish people, because 3000 worshipers in Jerusalem were converted on the day of Pentecost which is always on Sunday.

And so we believe one of the strongest arguments for the resurrection of Christ is the fact that 3000 people started worshiping on the first day of the week instead of the seventh day of the week. Why? Now if Christ had not been raised from the dead on the first in the week, we believe it would have been impossible to change the worship day from the seventh day to the first day of the week. The Sabbath day worship was deeply embedded in the history of Israel and the Jewish people. They would not have changed the day of worship unless there was a powerful reason for doing so. And that powerful reason was and is the resurrection of our Lord Jesus Christ!


I use the American holiday of the fourth day of July as an example. The politicians have changed many of our holidays to Friday or Monday, so we can have a long weekend off work! But I don’t think any of them would ever dare to change the fourth day of July! They would not get away with that! All Americans love July 4, because that is the day our forefathers declared our independence as a country.

So I use that as an argument for the resurrection of Christ. There is no way they could have changed the seventh day to the first day of the week unless Jesus had been raised on Sunday, the first day of the week.


Now, look at the statements in first Corinthians 15 from the apostle Paul. “Moreover, brethren, I declare to you the gospel which I preached to you, which also you received and in which you stand, by which also you are saved, if you hold fast that word which I preached to you—unless you believed in vain” (1 Corinthians 15:1-2). Notice what he said. 1. He preached the gospel unto them – the death, burial, and resurrection of Christ. That is the good news! 2. They received the gospel. They received the fact of the death, burial, and resurrection of Christ. 3. They took their stand in and on that gospel message. 4. They were saved by the gospel, if they would hold fast that word which had been preached unto them unless they had believed in vain. And here we are over 2000 years later, and we are still holding on to that gospel message by which we all have been saved.

Next, Paul delivered unto them what he had received. So he said, “I delivered to you first of all what I have received” (1 Corinthians 15:3-4). Well Paul, what did you receive? 1. That Christ died for our sins according to the Scriptures; 2. And that he was buried; 3. And that he rose the third day according to the Scriptures. There we have it. Isaiah 53 graphically described the death of Jesus Christ.


Now Paul described that many witnesses saw Jesus after his resurrection. These saw the resurrected Lord. And that was necessary in order for people to believe. And next he specifies the people who saw Jesus after his death, burial, and resurrection: “and that He was seen by Cephas, then by the twelve. After that He was seen by over five hundred brethren at once, of whom the greater part remain to the present, but some have [b]fallen asleep. After that He was seen by James, then by all the apostles. Then last of all He was seen by me also, as by one born out of due time” (1 Corinthians 15:5-8).

Notice that he was seen by over 500 members at one time, of whom at that time the greater part were still living. However, some of had fallen asleep or died. “Falling asleep” is a figurative expression of death because a person looks asleep. After that James saw him. All the apostles saw him. Last of all Paul saw him. We summarize these eyewitness appearances:
1. He was seen by Cephas or Peter
2. Then he was seen by the 12.
3. Next, by 500 people at one time,
4. And then the James,
5. Then he was seen by all the apostles,
6 the last of all he was seen by the apostle Paul.

Eyewitness testimony in a court of law is always the highest rated testimony. How do we know if Christ was raised or not? We must rely on the same evidence that we would use in any other trial to discover the facts of what has taken place.

How do we know that George Washington is the father of our country. We know because of evidence. The proof of any eyewitness testimony is what kind of people were they? Were the people of good moral character? Could they do what they claimed? Were they men and women of honesty? What is the moral character of such people? Were they reliable? Were they mature and experienced people? Could they have been deceived or mistaken? Were they competent? Did they have the opportunity to observe that in fact Jesus was raised from the dead? Did they have something they would benefit from by testifying as they did? What advantage did they have by affirming that Jesus was raised from the dead? No, all that they had to look forward to was persecution, suffering, and death. As early as Acts of apostles we read, “Therefore those who were scattered went everywhere preaching the word” (Acts 8:1-4). Why were they being persecuted? Because they claimed that Jesus Christ the Son of God died, was buried, and that he was raised the third day.

And then there are four accounts of the gospel – Matthew, Mark, Luke, and John. All four accounts say that Jesus was raised from the dead on the first day of the week. In order to be brief, I will only read the account of John, since he seems to have been the closest to the Lord Jesus:

Now the first day of the week Mary Magdalene went to the tomb early, while it was still dark, and saw that the stone had been taken away from the tomb. 2 Then she ran and came to Simon Peter, and to the other disciple, whom Jesus loved, and said to them, “They have taken away the Lord out of the tomb, and we do not know where they have laid Him.”
3 Peter therefore went out, and the other disciple, and were going to the tomb. 4 So they both ran together, and the other disciple outran Peter and came to the tomb first. 5 And he, stooping down and looking in, saw the linen cloths lying there; yet he did not go in. 6 Then Simon Peter came, following him, and went into the tomb; and he saw the linen cloths lying there, 7 and the [a]handkerchief that had been around His head, not lying with the linen cloths, but folded together in a place by itself. 8 Then the other disciple, who came to the tomb first, went in also; and he saw and believed. 9 For as yet they did not [b]know the Scripture, that He must rise again from the dead. (John 20:1-9 NKJV).

Simon Peter was a good man, but he was not a good runner. John the apostle outran him to the tomb. But Peter was not afraid to go into that tomb first. And that seems to be according to the impulsive nature of Peter. There we have the testimony of the apostle John that has been preserved and handed down to us for over 2000 years.


Another form of evidence for the resurrection of Jesus Christ is the proof of prophecy. Prophetic statements when uttered are no evidence at all. But when the prophecy is fulfilled, it is as good as the demonstration itself! There are several prophecies that Jesus Christ the Son of God would be raised from the dead.

Psalm 16:10

First, the prophecy of David in Psalm 16:9-11 will be considered:

Therefore my heart is glad, and my glory rejoices;
My flesh also will rest in hope.
10 For You will not leave my soul in Sheol,
Nor will You allow Your Holy One to [c]see corruption.
11 You will show me the path of life;
In Your presence is fullness of joy;
At Your right hand are pleasures forevermore.

“Sheol” is equivalent to “Hades” in the New Testament. This is the place where all departed spirits go after death. Therefore the prophecy is that the Lord God would not leave the Spirit of the Lord Jesus Christ in Sheol or Hades, nor would he allow his body to see corruption! His body would not decay and dissolve. Then Jesus would be seated at the right hand of the Father where there are pleasures for evermore. This prophecy was uttered about 600 years before Jesus came into this world.

Let us now notice how that prophecy was fulfilled in the resurrection of Jesus Christ. The 12 apostles were all together in the temple area on the day of Pentecost, which occurred 50 days after the Passover and always on a Sunday, the first day of the week. There appeared unto them divided tongues and they all spoke as the Spirit gave them utterance.

The apostle Peter stood up and delivered the first gospel sermon or message. Near the close of his lesson Peter brings up David and this is what he said,

“…‘I foresaw the Lord always before my face,
For He is at my right hand, that I may not be shaken.
26 Therefore my heart rejoiced, and my tongue was glad;
Moreover my flesh also will rest in hope.
27 For You will not leave my soul in Hades,
Nor will You allow Your Holy One to see corruption.
28 You have made known to me the ways of life;
You will make me full of joy in Your presence.’
29 “Men and brethren, let me speak freely to you of the patriarch David, that he is both dead and buried, and his tomb is with us to this day. 30 Therefore, being a prophet, and knowing that God had sworn with an oath to him that of the fruit of his body, [a]according to the flesh, He would raise up the Christ to sit on his throne, 31 he, foreseeing this, spoke concerning the resurrection of the Christ, that His soul was not left in Hades, nor did His flesh see corruption. 32 This Jesus God has raised up, of which we are all witnesses. (Acts 2:25-32 NKJV).

So about 600 years after David prophesied, Peter said it was fulfilled in the resurrection of our Lord Jesus Christ.


Next, I briefly mention that Paul made the same argument at Antioch in the Pisidia, where he applied the prophecy in Psalms 2 and 16 to the resurrection of Jesus Christ.

But God raised Him from the dead. 31 He was seen for many days by those who came up with Him from Galilee to Jerusalem, who are His witnesses to the people. 32 And we declare to you glad tidings—that promise which was made to the fathers. 33 God has fulfilled this for us their children, in that He has raised up Jesus. As it is also written in the second Psalm:

‘You are My Son,
Today I have begotten You.’
34 And that He raised Him from the dead, no more to return to [a]corruption, He has spoken thus:
‘I will give you the sure mercies of David.’
35 Therefore He also says in another Psalm:
‘You will not allow Your Holy One to see corruption.’
36 “For David, after he had served [c]his own generation by the will of God, fell asleep, was buried with his fathers, and saw corruption” (Acts 13:30-36).

The fulfillment of these two prophecies is powerful evidence of the resurrection of our Lord Jesus Christ.


We now present evidence from a Roman historian, Tacitus about the great fire in Rome under the Emperor Nero:

But neither human help, nor imperial munificence, nor all the modes of placating Heaven, could stifle scandal or dispel the belief that the fire had taken place by order. Therefore, to scotch the rumour, Nero substituted as culprits, and punished with the utmost refinements of cruelty, a class of men, loathed for their vices,27 whom the crowd styled Christians.28 Christus, the founder of the name, had undergone the death penalty in the reign of Tiberius, by sentence of the procurator Pontius Pilatus,29 and the pernicious superstition was checked for a moment, only to break out once more, not merely in Judaea, the home of the disease, but in the capital itself, where all things horrible or shameful in the world collect and find a vogue. (*.html).


“At this time, there was a wise man who was called Jesus. And his conduct was good, and he was known to be virtuous. And many people from among the Jews and other nations became his disciples. Pilate condemned him to be crucified and to die. And those who had become his disciples did not abandon his discipleship. They reported that he had appeared to them after his crucifixion and that he was alive; accordingly, he was perhaps the Messiah concerning whom the prophets have recounted wonders.”


Pliny the Younger, the Roman governor of Bithynia in Pontus, wrote a letter to Emperor Trajan around 112 AD. Pliny to the Emperor Trajan:

Trials of Christians

It is my practice, my lord, to refer to you all matters concerning which I am in doubt. For who can better give guidance to my hesitation or inform my ignorance? I have never participated in trials of Christians. I therefore do not know what offenses it is the practice to punish or investigate, and to what extent. And I have been not a little hesitant as to whether there should be any distinction on account of age or no difference between the very young and the more mature; whether pardon is to be granted for repentance, or, if a man has once been a Christian, it does him no good to have ceased to be one; whether the name itself, even without offenses, or only the offenses associated with the name are to be punished.

Denounced as Christians

Meanwhile, in the case of those who were denounced to me as Christians, I have observed the following procedure: I interrogated these as to whether they were Christians; those who confessed I interrogated a second and a third time, threatening them with punishment; those who persisted I ordered executed. For I had no doubt that, whatever the nature of their creed, stubbornness and inflexible obstinacy surely deserve to be punished. There were others possessed of the same folly; but because they were Roman citizens, I signed an order for them to be transferred to Rome.

An Anonymous Document

Soon accusations spread, as usually happens, because of the proceedings going on, and several incidents occurred. An anonymous document was published containing the names of many persons. Those who denied that they were or had been Christians, when they invoked the gods in words dictated by me, offered prayer with incense and wine to your image, which I had ordered to be brought for this purpose together with statues of the gods, and moreover cursed Christ—none of which those who are really Christians, it is said, can be forced to do—these I thought should be discharged. Others named by the informer declared that they were Christians, but then denied it, asserting that they had been but had ceased to be, some three years before, others many years, some as much as twenty-five years. They all worshipped your image and the statues of the gods, and cursed Christ.

Worshipped On Fixed Day

They asserted, however, that the sum and substance of their fault or error had been that they were accustomed to meet on a fixed day before dawn and sing responsively a hymn to Christ as to a god, and to bind themselves by oath, not to some crime, but not to commit fraud, theft, or adultery, not falsify their trust, nor to refuse to return a trust when called upon to do so. When this was over, it was their custom to depart and to assemble again to partake of food—but ordinary and innocent food. Even this, they affirmed, they had ceased to do after my edict by which, in accordance with your instructions, I had forbidden political associations. Accordingly, I judged it all the more necessary to find out what the truth was by torturing two female slaves who were called deaconesses. But I discovered nothing else but depraved, excessive superstition.

Pliny Consults Emperor Trajan

I therefore postponed the investigation and hastened to consult you. For the matter seemed to me to warrant consulting you, especially because of the number involved. For many persons of every age, every rank, and also of both sexes are and will be endangered. For the contagion of this superstition has spread not only to the cities but also to the villages and farms. But it seems possible to check and cure it. It is certainly quite clear that the temples, which had been almost deserted, have begun to be frequented, that the established religious rites, long neglected, are being resumed, and that from everywhere sacrificial animals are coming, for which until now very few purchasers could be found. Hence it is easy to imagine what a multitude of people can be reformed if an opportunity for repentance is afforded. (Epistulae X.96).*


That the biblical Jesus rose from the dead and now lives forevermore is supported by more internal and external evidence than any other ancient historical figure!

Copyright © 2023 Shelby G. Floyd, All Rights Reserved


Shelby G. Floyd minister, Heartland Church of Christ, 1693 West Main Street, Greenwood, Indiana 46142

Email: shelby@the

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