Many people have at least a vague notion that the Bible teaches about a resurrection. But what is the resurrection all about? And how does it fit into God's overall plan for salvation?
While defending his teaching as a prisoner bound for Rome, the apostle Paul asked King Herod Agrippa II, "Why should it be thought incredible by you that God raises the dead?" (Acts 26:8).
We could well ask the same question of the intelligentsia in our modern, secular age. Disbelief in the Bible is rife among our intellectual and media establishment. Few either know or understand what God's plan is for humanity and how the resurrection fits into His overall purpose.
When talking to Agrippa, it's clear from the context that Paul had the resurrection of Jesus Christ foremost in mind. Especially during the Church's early period, preaching Christ's resurrection was a crucial part of the apostles' message. One of the reasons another apostle had to be chosen to replace Judas Iscariot was that "one of these must become a witness with us of His resurrection" (Acts 1:22, emphasis added throughout). Notice that "with great power the apostles gave witness to the resurrection of the Lord Jesus" (Acts 4:33).
Having personally seen and talked with the resurrected Christ (1 Corinthians 9:1; 15:8; Acts 22:6-10 ), Paul carried on, enthusiastically confirming the fact of Jesus' resurrection. He further told Agrippa, "To this day I stand, witnessing both to small and great . . . that the Christ [the Messiah] would suffer, that He would be the first to rise from the dead" (Acts 26:22-23 ).
Note that the unmistakable implication from this passage is that others would follow.