Why should it be thought a thing incredible with you, that God should raise the dead?
If it be an incredible doctrine, it must be so because to raise men from the dead is physically impossible or morally unlikely in a very high degree. But -
I. IT IS NOT PHYSICALLY IMPOSSIBLE.
1. The continuance of the spirit in existence after death is certainly not impossible; indeed, it is the discontinuance which has seemed so impossible that to many thinkers its permanency appears to be a necessity. The difficulty, to many minds, is to understand how a spirit can be dissolved and destroyed.
2. Its reassociation with a human body of some kind is also possible, and to almighty power and wisdom easy of execution. The same Divine strength and skill which created and fashioned man as he is can surely continue his existence and his powers under similar conditions to the present ones. He who has made us what we are can make us again, more or less closely associated with the bodily frame which is our present home and organ.
II. To RAISE HIS OWN SON FROM THE DEAD IN ORDER TO ASSURE THE WORLD OF HIS DIVINITY, and of the heavenly origin of the faith he taught, is credible enough. Granted that Jesus Christ was the Son of God and Savior of the world, the resurrection of Jesus Christ, so far from being incredible or even improbable, is positively demanded.
III. To RAISE FROM THE DEAD THE FOLLOWERS OF A RISEN AND ASCENDED SAVIOR is perfectly credible. Granted what we have assumed, and that, therefore, Jesus Christ is Savior, Lord, and Friend of believing, loving, and faithful disciples, it follows that he would exert his Divine power and raise them to his heavenly kingdom, that they might share his honor and his blessedness. The real difficulty is not in the resurrection of Jesus Christ or in that of his disciples; it is in the assumption which lies behind - the assumption that Jesus Christ was one who came down from heaven to redeem a fallen race. That granted, everything else follows necessarily. We maintain that -
IV. A DIVINE REDEMPTION IS A CREDIBLE AND NOT AN INCREDIBLE IDEA. There is much within us and around us that points to the presence of a holy and living Father of spirits. If we make our appeal to our own hearts - and there is nothing higher than a living human heart from which to argue to the Divine - we shall conclude that to restore his fallen children by the sacrifice of himself was just that very thing which the infinite Father would do. There is nothing more probable, more credible than that.
1. Redeeming love is a well-attested fact.
2. The resurrection of Christ is involved in that fact.
3. The resurrection of man is an inference from that.
(1) Regard it as a certainty.
(2) Prepare for it as an event in which we have all the deepest personal interest. - C.
Parallel VersesKJV: Why should it be thought a thing incredible with you, that God should raise the dead?