The Importance of the Resurrection

The Importance of the Resurrection

I want to ask you some mysterious questions: Why is a lemon soda made with artificial flavor, and dishwashing liquid is made with real lemons? Why isn’t there a mouse-flavored cat food? Why do women put on mascara with their mouths open? And more seriously, why is the resurrection of Jesus Christ important?

The Scriptures stress that Jesus actually rose from the dead. It is the greatest miracle Jesus performed. In importance, the Resurrection is the basis of our Christian faith.

Paul writes in 1 Corinthians 15:1-8 Now I would remind you, brothers, of the gospel I preached to you, which you received, in which you stand, and by which you are being saved, if you hold fast to the word I preached to you—unless you believed in vain. For I delivered to you as of first importance what I also received: that Christ died for our sins in accordance with the Scriptures, that he was buried, that he was raised on the third day in accordance with the Scriptures, and that he appeared to Cephas, then to the twelve. Then he appeared to more than five hundred brothers at one time, most of whom are still alive, though some have fallen asleep. Then he appeared to James, then to all the apostles. Last of all, as to one untimely born, he appeared also to me.

Almost anyone can tell you something about the Resurrection. They know certain parts of the story—that Jesus died and rose again—but not enough to apply the effects of the Resurrection to the way they live. So, to most people, the Resurrection is not important.

There was a grandfather who wanted to see how much his four-year-old granddaughter knew about the resurrection of Jesus. He put her on his lap and asked, “Julie, why do we celebrate the Resurrection?” Without hesitating, she said, “Jesus was crucified. After He died, His body was put into a grave. They rolled a big stone in front of the opening. A bunch of soldiers guarded the tomb. On the third day, there was a big earthquake and the stone rolled away!”

Granddad was pleased with how much his granddaughter knew about the Resurrection, but then she continued, “When the earthquake happened, the entire town came out by the grave. And if Jesus came out and saw His shadow, they knew there would be six more weeks of winter!”

Some people want to believe the Resurrection is a myth. Why? Because if it is true, then the Resurrection proves Jesus Christ is God Almighty! He has authority over life, death, and salvation. That means there is someone greater than ourselves who will determine where we spend eternity. However, that is good news to anyone who believes in Jesus’ Resurrection.

John 3:16-17 For God so loved the world, that he gave his only Son, that whoever believes in him should not perish but have eternal life. For God did not send his Son into the world to condemn the world, but in order that the world might be saved through him.

Therefore, Jesus Christ’s resurrection has radical consequences, not just for eternal life, but also for our everyday life. Because of the Resurrection, we can have God’s grace, power, joy, peace, hope, forgiveness, and justification in this world as well as in eternity!

Romans 4:25 He was delivered over to death for our sins and was raised to life for our justification.

Think about the weight that sin carries in our lives. Shame, guilt, and condemnation come with sin. We can’t escape it. However, the Resurrection provided our justification—meaning, we are fully pardoned. We who were dead in sin, are given a new life through faith in Jesus. We were slaves to sinful desires. Now we are children of God, born of His Spirit and slaves to righteousness.

Romans 6:17-18 But thanks be to God, that you who were once slaves of sin have become obedient from the heart to the standard of teaching to which you were committed, and, having been set free from sin, have become slaves of righteousness.

Try as we might, we don’t personally possess the power to renew our lives. No self-help nor 12-step program can renew our lives. Renewal comes from the grace of God alone. It originates from the power of Christ’s resurrection and being born again of the Holy Spirit. Jesus is the Resurrection and the Life, so we must turn to Him for these things.

After His resurrection, Jesus returned to Heaven and sent the Holy Spirit to be in us. It is the Holy Spirit who teaches us, renews our mind, and conforms us to Christ. We must die to self and ask God to fill us with the Holy Spirit every day. If we don’t, we are missing out on one of the most powerful effects of the Resurrection—the Life and Power of Jesus Christ in us.

The Resurrection is important because there are several disastrous consequences that would result if Christ was not resurrected. The first would be that faith in Jesus Christ would be vain, empty, fruitless, and with no purpose. If it had not been for the Resurrection, the ministry of Jesus would have ended, His claims would have been ignored, He would have been merely another religious martyr, and He would have been forgotten long ago.

Without the Resurrection, Jesus would not have conquered death, and death would forever be man’s conqueror. If Christ did not rise, the dead will not rise, and we will not rise. A dead savior cannot give life, so there would be nothing worth preaching. There would be no Gospel to proclaim.

If there is no such thing as the resurrection of the dead, then every person who claimed to have witnessed the risen Christ and every person who preached the risen Christ is a liar, including Paul and the other apostles. If there was no Resurrection, they were fools to sacrifice their life for a lie they could have easily denied, and lived a long quiet life.

If Jesus didn’t rise from the dead, then sin won the victory over Him, and therefore, sin will continue to be victorious over all men. If Jesus remained dead, we too will remain dead when we die.

If Christ was not resurrected, then He didn’t bring forgiveness of sins, nor salvation, nor reconciliation, nor spiritual life, neither for now nor for eternity, because He is dead. If Christ is still dead, then He cannot help us in regard to the life to come and He cannot help us now. If He cannot grant us eternal life, then He cannot improve our earthly life. The Christian faith would be a mockery, a charade, a tragic joke.

Unfortunately, this is what unbelievers think about Christianity. They think the Resurrection is a myth and we are fools to believe it.

But we are not fools, for the fact is: JESUS IS ALIVE! Jesus, who was crucified because of our sin, was raised for our justification. He reigns with the Father and intercedes for us. We know He lives because He lives in us by His Holy Spirit! We walk with Him and He speaks to us!

1 Corinthians 15:20-22 But Christ has indeed been raised from the dead, the first-fruits of those who have fallen asleep. For since death came through a man, the resurrection of the dead comes also through a man. For as in Adam all die, so in Christ all will be made alive.

The fact that Jesus is the first-fruits indicates that the rest of the crop is going to be harvested! His resurrection implies that there is more to follow. Death is not the end! Just as Adam was the forerunner of everyone who dies, Christ is the forerunner of everyone who will be raised to life.

There’s a story about a missionary in Brazil, who discovered a tribe of Indians in a remote part of the jungle. They lived near a river and were in need of medical attention.

A hospital was located in another part of the jungle and the missionary determined that the only hope for this tribe was for them to go to the hospital for treatment and inoculations. In order to reach the hospital, however, the Indians would have to cross the river, something they were unwilling to do. They believed that the river was inhabited by evil spirits. To enter the water meant certain death.

The missionary began by explaining how he had crossed the river and arrived unharmed. No success. So he led the people to the bank and placed his hand in the water. The people still wouldn’t believe him. He walked out into the river and splashed water on his face. The people watched closely, but still, they were hesitant. Finally, the missionary turned and dove into the water. He swam beneath the surface until he emerged on the other side. Having proven that the power of the river was a farce, the missionary raised a triumphant fist in the air. He had entered the water and escaped. The Indians broke into cheers and followed him across. As a result, they were saved.

Jesus came into this world to a people enslaved by their fear of death. He could have explained that the river of death was nothing to fear, but people wouldn’t believe Him. He touched a boy and called him back to life, but people were still unconvinced. He brought life into the dead body of a girl, but the people were still cynical. He even let a dead man spend four days in a grave and then raised him back to life. Was that enough to believe in the Resurrection? Apparently not. It was still necessary for Jesus Christ Himself to enter the river, to submerge Himself in the waters of death only to emerge after three days on the other side. Then and only then could we believe that He had conquered death and possessed eternal life.

Hebrews 2:14-15 Since the children have flesh and blood, he too shared in their humanity so that by his death he might break the power of him who holds the power of death—that is, the devil—and free those who all their lives were held in slavery by their fear of death.

Our Savior, Jesus Christ, came to give us much more than redemption. As important as that is, He also came so that we might have the fullness of resurrection life now, every day. That doesn’t mean we no longer experience pain or sorrow. Every Christian will continue to face temptations and hardships in this world. But in the midst of our trials, we’re able to abound with thanksgiving and be victorious, because of His everlasting grace toward us.

The Resurrection gives us hope and faith in God’s Word. Because the Resurrection is true, we know the rest of the Bible is true. The importance of the Resurrection is that everything Jesus said and did is possible and will come to pass. He has gone to prepare a place for us, and He will come again! So, no matter how dreadful the world is around us, we have hope because of the Resurrection.

It is essential that we come to a decision in our own minds in regard to the Resurrection of Christ. Either Jesus rose from the dead, or He didn’t! The Resurrection is not just an additional event in the life of Jesus, but the culmination of the work of Jesus. No one took Jesus’ life; He gave it. No one raised Jesus from the dead; He conquered death and came out of the grave Himself. Then He gave this Resurrection Life and Power to all who would believe Him and follow Him.

Are you experiencing the Life and Power of the Resurrection in your everyday life?

So many in the Church today live as if they’ve accepted defeat. Their thoughts are ruled by doubt rather than faith. They live with habitual patterns of sin. They keep their faith to themselves, thinking if they struggle so badly, how could they possibly help someone else? That is what the Christian life looks like without resurrection power.

Actually, that’s what the disciples’ lives looked like after the crucifixion. So what was the first thing Jesus did after the Resurrection? He dealt with his followers’ doubt and fear.

John 20:19-22 On the evening of that first day of the week, when the disciples were together, with the doors locked for fear of the Jewish leaders, Jesus came and stood among them and said, “Peace be with you!” After he said this, he showed them his hands and side. The disciples were overjoyed when they saw the Lord. Again Jesus said, “Peace be with you! As the Father has sent me, I am sending you.” And with that he breathed on them and said, “Receive the Holy Spirit. If you forgive anyone’s sins, their sins are forgiven; if you do not forgive them, they are not forgiven.”

The disciples had failed Jesus. They literally locked themselves indoors, afraid of the world outside. They feared mockery, derision, persecution, even the possibility of a death like Jesus experienced. But Christ came straight through those walls to meet them in their doubt and fear. And His first words to them were, “Peace be with you!

Jesus did not scold the disciples for their doubt and fear. He set them free of doubt and fear with His peace. Then He equipped them with Resurrection power, the Holy Spirit, to be His witnesses on the earth. He gave them authority over the devil and authority to represent Him on earth, saying in essence, “You have witnessed my Resurrection. You have experienced my finished work on the cross. You have been given my Spirit. Now, go and make disciples. Preach the forgiveness of sins and the Kingdom of God. Teach them to obey everything I have commanded. Be my ambassador so others can be set free and experience my peace!”

I asked you earlier, “Why is the resurrection of Jesus Christ important?”

The importance of the Resurrection is that Jesus is alive! Therefore, He can give us His peace that frees us from all fear, including the fear of death. Also, He breathes into us His own Spirit, empowering us as His witnesses. Jesus, living in us, is the greatest effect of the resurrection!

Are you experiencing His Life in you? If not, repent of all sin and unbelief that is keeping you from experiencing His Resurrection life, and ask the Father to fill you with the Holy Spirit.

If you haven’t made Jesus your Savior, publicly confess Him as the Son of God, who atoned for your sin and rose from the dead. Begin following Him by repenting of your sin and dying to self in baptism. You will be raised unto a new life, born of the Holy Spirit. Then you will begin experiencing Christ’s resurrection in your own soul.