Resurrection of Jesus Christ

If the greeting card displays, candy and marketing of most stores would reflect the hearts of most people, we would have to agree that the resurrection of Christ is not considered very important. Easter bunnies and eggs have won “hands down” over Christ, the cross, and the empty tomb.

The significance of Resurrection Sunday is often overlooked or distorted by churches in America. All too often, Easter Sunday is more of a once a year religious ritual, a celebration of the beginning of Spring, a glorified egg hunt and pictures with a bunny with a little Jesus sprinkled on top than it is an observance and celebration of the resurrection of our Lord Jesus Christ.

The significance in the event of the resurrection is intertwined with the significance of the person who was raised. It was not a mere mortal that rose from the dead on that morning, it was the Son of God.

For anyone to have been raised from the dead would have been significant; for the Son of God to have been raised is all the more significant. We therefore cannot take the resurrection of our Lord seriously enough, the problem is most people take it very lightly.

The death of Christ was the death of one who was sinless, on behalf of those who were sinners. Yes, Jesus paid for our sins in the sense that He took our sins upon Himself and died with them. He took our place and made a legal payment according to the Law. Payments are made to legal debts. We incur a legal debt to God when we sin because sin is breaking the Law of God.

1 John 3:4(HCSB)4 Everyone who commits sin also breaks the law; sin is the breaking of law.

Note that it is the LAW that we break, laws like the 10 Commandments. Laws have punishments. Laws are legal requirements and boundaries. Therefore, we sin by breaking God’s law when we lie, cheat,steal, have pride,idols,etc. When we sin, we become subject to a legal debt to God, and we deserve to be punished.
John 1:14(HCSB)The Word became flesh and took up residence among us. We observed His glory, the glory as the One and Only Son from the Father, full of grace and truth. But Jesus, who was God in flesh took our sins upon Himself and bore them in His body on the cross 1 Peter 2:24(HCSB)He Himself bore our sins in His body on the tree, so that, having died to sins, we might live for righteousness; you have been healed by His wounds.

Over the years there have been some who have sought to show that the death of Christ was less noble than it is. A few have thought that it was our Lord’s own foolishness that brought about His death. After all, they might say, He made ridiculous claims to be God Himself, and He persistently offended the religious leaders by publicly attacking and ridiculing them. No wonder He died, some would say, because this “man” did not have the sense to recognize his own humanity or the diplomacy to pacify the power structure of that day.

Most men would not dare to go so far, but would rather look upon the death of Christ as a great tragedy. It was not our Lord’s foolishness, but the “fickle hand of fate” or the “evil plots of a few threatened men” which brought about the premature death of Jesus, before He could establish His ideal kingdom on earth.

The death of Christ was unique, however, because it was a part of God’s eternal plan that Christ would die as an innocent sacrificial lamb, as a substitute payment for the sins of men.

Never before had anyone been raised from the grave in such a way as to be completely transformed and beyond the icy fingers of death. Our Lord’s resurrection was the first genuine resurrection in the history of man.

If there was no resurrection, Christianity is a hoax, and we are wasting our time. Both Christians and atheists agree that the resurrection is the central issue to Christianity. That’s because if the resurrection isn’t true then we’re still in our sins, and following Christ is meaningless! Both believers and non-believers agree that if Jesus rose from the dead then we have an intellectually feasible argument that the claims of Christianity are true. If he didn’t, then all of Christianity crumbles and falls. 1 Corinthians 15:17(HCSB)17 And if Christ has not been raised, your faith is worthless; you are still in your sins.

God created earth and man perfect. But when Adam and Eve disobeyed God’s commands, He had to punish them.People say How can a loving God send people to Hell, I say how can a righteous God let sinners into heaven? A judge who pardons law-breakers isn’t a righteous judge. Likewise, overlooking sin would make the holy God unjust. Death is God’s just consequence for sin. Romans 6:23(HCSB)23 For the wages of sin is death, but the gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord. Even good works cannot make up for wrongs against the holy God. Compared to His goodness, “All our righteousnesses are as filthy rags” (Isaiah 64:6(HCSB). Ever since Adam’s sin, every human has been guilty of disobeying God’s righteous laws. Romans 3:23(HCSB)“For all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God”. Sin is not just big things like murder, adultery or blasphemy, but also includes love of money, hatred of enemies, and deceit of tongue and pride. Because of sin, everyone has deserved death and the eternal separation from God in hell.

Although God banished Adam and Eve from the garden, He didn’t leave them without hope of heaven. He promised He would send a sacrifice to take the punishment they deserved. Until then, men would sacrifice innocent lambs, showing their repentance from sin and faith in the future Sacrifice from God who would bear their penalty. God reaffirmed His promise of the Sacrifice with men such as Abraham and Moses. This is where the beauty of God’s perfect plan comes together: God Himself provided the only sacrifice (Jesus) who could atone for the sins of His people. God’s perfect Son fulfilled God’s perfect requirement of God’s perfect law. It is perfectly brilliant in its simplicity.

2 Corinthians 5:21(HCSB)21 He made the One who did not know sin to be sin for us, so that we might become the righteousness of God in Him.

Remember, our holy God cannot let sin go unpunished. To bear our own sins would be to suffer God’s judgment in the flames of hell. Praise God, He kept His promise to send and sacrifice the perfect Lamb to bear the sins of those who trust in Him. Jesus had to die because He is the only one who can pay the penalty for our sins.

The resurrection of Jesus is important for several reasons. First, it witnesses to the immense power of God Himself. To believe in the resurrection is to believe in God. If God exists, and if He created the universe and has power over it, He has power to raise the dead. If He does not have such power, He is not a God worthy of our faith and worship. Only He who created life can resurrect it after death, only He can reverse the hideousness that is death itself, and only He can remove the sting that is death and the victory that is the grave’s
1 Corinthians 15:54-55(HCSB)When this corruptible is clothed with incorruptibility, and this mortal is clothed with immortality, then the saying that is written will take place: Death has been swallowed up in victory. 55 Death, where is your victory? Death, where is your sting? In resurrecting Jesus from the grave, God reminds us of His absolute sovereignty over life and death.

Second, the resurrection of Jesus is a testimony to the resurrection of human beings, which is a basic belief of the Christian faith. Unlike all other religions, Christianity alone possesses a founder who transcends death and who promises that His followers will do the same. All other religions were founded by men and prophets whose end was the grave. As Christians, we take comfort in the fact that our God came to Earth as a man, died for our sins, and was resurrected on the third day. The grave could not hold Him. He lives, and He sits today at the right hand of God the Father in heaven.

In 1 Corinthians 15:13-20(HCSB)13 But if there is no resurrection of the dead, then Christ has not been raised; 14 and if Christ has not been raised, then our proclamation is without foundation, and so is your faith. 15 In addition, we are found to be false witnesses about God, because we have testified about God that He raised up Christ—whom He did not raise up if in fact the dead are not raised. 16 For if the dead are not raised, Christ has not been raised. 17 And if Christ has not been raised, your faith is worthless; you are still in your sins. 18 Therefore, those who have fallen asleep in Christ have also perished. 19 If we have put our hope in Christ for this life only, we should be pitied more than anyone.20 But now Christ has been raised from the dead, the firstfruits of those who have fallen asleep.

Paul explains in detail the importance of the resurrection of Christ. Some in Corinth did not believe in the resurrection of the dead, and in this chapter Paul gives six disastrous consequences if there were no resurrection: 1) preaching Christ would be senseless (v. 14); 2) faith in Christ would be useless (v. 14); 3) all the witnesses and preachers of the resurrection would be liars (v. 15); 4) no one would be redeemed from sin (v. 17); 5) all former believers would have perished (v.18); and 6) Christians would be the most pitiable people on the earth (v. 19). But Christ indeed has risen from the dead and “has become the first-fruits of those who have fallen asleep” (v. 20), assuring that we will follow Him in resurrection.

The inspired Word of God guarantees the believer’s resurrection at the coming of Jesus Christ for His Body (the Church) at the Second Coming. Such hope and assurance results in a great song of triumph as Paul writes in 1 Corinthians 15:55(HCSB) “Where, O death, is your victory? Where, O death, is your sting?

How do these concluding verses relate to the importance of the resurrection? Paul answers, “…you know that your labor in the Lord is not in vain” (v. 58). He reminds us that because we know we will be resurrected to new life, we can suffer persecution and danger for Christ’s sake (vv. 29-31), just as He did. We can follow the example of the thousands of martyrs through history who gladly traded their earthly lives for everlasting life via the resurrection.

The resurrection is the triumphant and glorious victory for every believer. Jesus Christ died, was buried, and rose the third day according to the Scripture. And, He is coming again! The dead in Christ will be raised up, and those who remain and are alive at His coming will be changed and receive new, glorified bodies 1 Thessalonians 4:13-18(HCSB)13 We do not want you to be uninformed, brothers, concerning those who are asleep, so that you will not grieve like the rest, who have no hope. 14 Since we believe that Jesus died and rose again, in the same way God will bring with Him those who have fallen asleep through Jesus. 15 For we say this to you by a revelation from the Lord: We who are still alive at the Lord’s coming will certainly have no advantage over those who have fallen asleep. 16 For the Lord Himself will descend from heaven with a shout, with the archangel’s voice, and with the trumpet of God, and the dead in Christ will rise first. 17 Then we who are still alive will be caught up together with them in the clouds to meet the Lord in the air and so we will always be with the Lord. 18 Therefore encourage one another with these words. Why is the resurrection of Jesus Christ important to salvation? It demonstrated that God accepted Jesus’ sacrifice on our behalf. It proves that God has the power to raise us from the dead. It guarantees that those who believe in Christ will not remain dead, but will be resurrected unto eternal life. That is our blessed hope!
So, we can say that Jesus paid for our sins. All who trust in Christ by faith will be saved from God the Father’s righteous judgment. All we need to do is trust in what Christ has done on the cross and be justified (made legally righteous before God) by faith alone in Christ alone. Romans 5:1-2(HCSB)Therefore, since we have been declared righteous by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ. 2 We have also obtained access through Him by faith into this grace in which we stand, and we rejoice in the hope of the glory of God.

We couldn’t do anything to be worthy enough to receive grace. Ephesians 2:4-5(HCSB)4 But God, who is rich in mercy, because of His great love that He had for us, 5 made us alive with the Messiah even though we were dead in trespasses. You are saved by grace!
A dead person cannot save himself, if a dead body is floating in the bayou and you throw him a life raft he can not grab it to save himself.
Ephesian 2:8-9(HCSB)8 For you are saved by grace through faith, and this is not from yourselves; it is God’s gift— 9 not from works, so that no one can boast.
We had absolutely nothing to do with our physical birth what makes us think we have something to do with our spiritual one?

Romans 5:6-10(HCSB)6 For while we were still helpless, at the appointed moment, Christ died for the ungodly. 7 For rarely will someone die for a just person—though for a good person perhaps someone might even dare to die. 8 But God proves His own love for us in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us! 9 Much more then, since we have now been declared righteous by His blood, we will be saved through Him from wrath. 10 For if, while we were enemies, we were reconciled to God through the death of His Son, then how much more, having been reconciled, will we be saved by His life! 

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