From that time Jesus began to show to His disciples that He must go to Jerusalem, and suffer many things from the elders and chief priests and scribes, and be killed, and be raised the third day. Matthew 16:21
The death of Jesus Christ on the cross and His bodily resurrection is the event that separates the Christian faith from religions. Many people accept the fact that Jesus was a real person and that He died a horrific death on a Roman cross. However, not everyone willingly accepts His resurrection.
But, without the bodily resurrection of Christ there would be no Christianity. The apostle Paul made this very clear in his letter to the Corinthian church:
First of all if Christ has not been raised, you are still dead in your sins. (15:17) There is no forgiveness.
Secondly, those who have died in Christ have perished. (15:18) They are lost and separated from God.
Thirdly, the apostles are false witnesses of God because they have been teaching a lie. (15:15) And everyone who has been teaching concerning His resurrection is a false witness as well.
Fourthly, everyone who has hoped in Christ is to be pitied because they have believed in vain and have no hope for the future. (15:14,19)
But then the apostle emphatically declares, “… Christ is risen from the dead…”(15:20). Jesus was seen by Mary Magdeline and Mary. He was seen also by Peter, by the twelve, by 500 brethren at one time, by James, and by the apostle Paul. (15:4-8) In fact at a later time in Paul’s ministry he confronted Festus in front of King Agrippa with the truth of Christ’s sufferings and His resurrection saying, “For the king, before whom I also speak freely, knows these things; for I am convinced that none of these things escapes his attention, since this thing was not done in a corner.” (Acts 26:26)
The prophets foretold the resurrection of Christ. (Ps 16:10; Ps 2:7; Is 53:10) It was necessary to fulfill the Scriptures. (Luke 24:45, 46) It was proof that God accepted the sacrifice of His Son. (Rom 4:25) And it is His life that saves those who believe. “Hence, also He is able to save forever those who draw near to God through Him, since He always lives to make intercession for them.” (Heb 7:25) And one day every believer has this hope of bodily resurrection. (I Cor 15:35-38) “For the Scripture says, “Whoever believes in Him will not be disappointed.” (Rom 10:11) He is risen. He is risen indeed!