THE resurrection of our divine Lord from the dead is the cornerstone of Christian doctrine. Perhaps I might more accurately call it the keystone of the arch of Christianity, for if that fact could be disproved the whole fabric of the gospel would fall to the ground. If Jesus Christ be not risen then is our preaching vain, and your faith is also vain; ye are yet in your sins. If Christ be not risen, then they which have fallen asleep in Christ have perished, and we ourselves, in missing so glorious a hope as that of resurrection, are of all men the most miserable.
Because of the great importance of his resurrection, our Lord was pleased to give many infallible proofs of it, by appearing again and again m the midst of his followers. It would be interesting to search out how many times he appeared; I think we have mention of some sixteen manifestations. He showed himself openly before his disciples, and did eat and drink with them. They touched his hands and his side, and heard his voice, and knew that it was the same Jesus that was crucified. He was not content with giving evidence to the ears and to the eyes, but even to the sense of touch he proved the reality of his resurrection. These appearances were very varied. Sometimes he gave an interview to one alone, either to a man, as to Cephas, or to a woman, as to Magdalen. He conversed with two of his followers as they went to Emmaus, and with the company of the apostles by the sea. We find him at one moment amongst the eleven when the doors were shut for fear of the Jews, and at another time in the midst of an assembly of more than five hundred brethren, who years after were most of them living witnesses to the fact. They could not all have been deceived. It is not possible that any historical fact could have been placed upon a better basis of credibility than the resurrection of our Lord from the dead. This is put beyond all dispute and question, and of purpose is it so done, because it is essential to the whole Christian system.
“Following the Risen Christ,” MTP 26 (1880)