During Easter, Christians joyfully celebrate the death and resurrection of Jesus. There is much to be grateful for since Christ’s death and resurrection do so much for our Christian faith. However, from my experience, church preachings tend to focus more on the death of Jesus on the cross but rarely on the resurrection of Jesus and its significance. In the church I grew up in, for example, we rarely talked about the resurrection of Jesus and its importance, except on Easter Sunday. I now think that this was a grave mistake. Even today, we still don’t consider the significance of Jesus rising from the dead enough. In today’s article, we will remind ourselves, through the scriptures, what the resurrection of Jesus Christ does for us.
Validates the Christian Faith
The whole ground for the Christian faith lies in Christ being raised from the dead (1 Corinthians 15:17). Christ’s resurrection sealed our salvation. If not for that, we would still be in sin. Because we have sinned and fallen short of the glory of God (Romans 3:23), we needed to be saved. We were born in sin (Psalms 51:5, Romans 5:12) and actively participate in evil as God’s enemies (Ephesians 2:1-3). Mankind, as a result of sin, was bound to receive the wrath of God (Romans 1:18, 2:5, Psalm 7:11). However, Jesus, through his death on the cross, took on the punishment for his people’s sins (2 Corinthians 5:21). His resurrection on the third day proved that the death he endured was satisfactory for God to forgive his people for their sins (1 Corinthians 15:17) and justify them (Romans 4:25), hence bringing salvation (Romans 10:9). Jesus’ resurrection saves us from God’s wrath (1 Thessalonians 1:10). It keeps us from coming under condemnation (Romans 8:34).
Oh, what wonderful news! We don’t need to ever worry about God’s wrath coming upon us for our sins again because we have a resurrected Saviour who will never die again (Romans 6:9). On top of that, this very Saviour of ours lives to constantly intercede to God on our behalf (Hebrews 7:25, Romans 8:34). Jesus is our living advocate (1 John 2:1) who stands in our defence against the constant accusations of Satan (Job 1:6-12). Nobody else is worthy of being our mediator (1 Timothy 2:5) because no one else is sinless except Jesus (Hebrews 4:15). The intercession, advocacy, and mediation ministry of Jesus on behalf of Christians is made possible because of his resurrection from the dead. We are saved, therefore, not just by Christ’s death on the cross but also through his resurrection (Romans 5:10).
Brings New Life
Another thing that Christ’s resurrection does is bringing us new life (Romans 6:1-4), even empowering us to turn from our wickedness (Acts 3:26). The power that God used to raise Jesus from the grave is at work in us to overcome sin (Romans 6:5-11) and live a life of holiness. Paul referred to the resurrection of Jesus whenever he encouraged believers to live a life of selfless ambition and humility (Philippians 2:1-11). Paul wrote that because he knew that there is real power granted to Christians to live lives that are not based on pride and self-promotion through the resurrection of Jesus. Also, Colossians 3:1-6 shows us that through the resurrection, there is power available to Christians to put to death sexual sins. Therefore, we should never say that any sin is too hard to overcome. What’s more powerful than the resurrective power of God? We can, therefore, be confident to say no to temptation because we have the power of God, through the Holy Spirit, within us.
We see an example of how the resurrection of Jesus brings new life through the disciples. Consider Christ’s words in Matthew 26:31, where he mentions how his disciples would abandon him. However, in the next verse, Jesus then says, “But after I have risen, I will go ahead of you into Galilee” (Matthew 26:32). And indeed, Jesus, after he was resurrected, met with some of his female followers and asked them to tell his disciples that he would meet them in Galilee (Matthew 28:7, 10). While in Galilee, the disciples saw Jesus and worshipped him (Matthew 28:16). This is where Jesus gave them the great commission (Matthew 28:18-20). The resurrected Christ brought a new boldness to the once fearful disciples. Even after Christ’s ascension, these men remained obedient to the great commission, as seen in the book of Acts (Acts 2:14, 40-41, 4:1-4). The risen Jesus brought new life into the disciples. They went from cowardly men to brave warriors of Christ and from doubters to apostles.
There is further hope for us through the resurrection of Jesus. The hope we have is that all injustice and evil will be judged because of the resurrection of Jesus Christ (Acts 17:31). Not only that but “the living one” who was raised from the dead “holds the keys of Death and Hades” (Revelation 1:18). With these keys the devil will be thrown into hell and locked up forever (Revelation 20:1-3). Therefore, the ultimate end to all evil and suffering will come through the risen Savior. We don’t need to feel discouraged that evil doesn’t seem to have immediate justice. We don’t need to wonder if God will do something to bring judgment on evil-doers and evil forces in our world; the resurrected Jesus will eventually bring judgement to all injustice (Acts 17:31).
With this in mind, the resurrection of Jesus should empower us as Christians to not fear whenever we face injustice (Revelation 2:8-11) because we know that judgement is coming (Acts 17:31). Knowing that we have been secured from the wrath of God, which is to be feared most, we should be encouraged to preach the gospel to even the most resistant people. In other words, if our end is secure, we should feel emboldened to preach the gospel even when suffering is imminent (1 Peter 3:18-22, Acts 23:6). Through the suffering, we can trust that, like it was for the apostles, God’s immense grace will be upon us (Acts 4:33). Therefore, as you savour the truth and implications of the resurrection of Jesus, preach it and suffer for it, trusting that he will deliver justice in his perfect time.
The resurrection of Jesus, as taught in the book of Ephesians, enables us to experience the power of God (Ephesians 1:19-20). Paul, in this letter, prays for his readers to know the hope they have through the power of the resurrection of Jesus Christ (Ephesians 1:16-18). He explains that Jesus was granted a seat at the Father’s right hand, became above all powers, everything was placed beneath him, and was made the head of the church (Ephesians 1:20-23). In other words, Jesus was exalted above everything. Also, through the grace of God, we are made alive and raised to sit with Jesus in the heavenly places so that, in the coming ages, God can show us the riches of his grace in kindness toward us in Christ Jesus (Ephesians 2:5-7). Ephesians teaches us that Jesus has taken captive the very powers that bound us in sin through his resurrection and has allowed us to share in the victor’s gifts because we are in him (Ephesians 2:5-7, 4:10). Believers are secure in their salvation because of the power of God in the resurrection of Jesus. Therefore, we can rest assured that no form of evil or demonic power will ever be strong enough to overcome the power of God in us through the resurrected Jesus.
Praise God for raising Jesus from the dead. The next time you take the Holy Communion, remember what Jesus has done for you through, not only his death on the cross, but also his resurrection from the grave (1 Corinthians 11:26).