Even though the Easter celebration is over it is still important to reflect on the great implications of that singular event. We read in the Luke’s account of the events of that first resurrection Sunday, the following story.
As they were talking about these things, Jesus himself stood among them, and said to them, “Peace to you!” But they were startled and frightened and thought they saw a spirit. And he said to them, “Why are you troubled, and why do doubts arise in your hearts? See my hands and my feet, that it is I myself. Touch me, and see. For a spirit does not have flesh and bones as you see that I have.” And when he had said this, he showed them his hands and his feet. And while they still disbelieved for joy and were marveling, he said to them, “Have you anything here to eat?” They gave him a piece of broiled fish, and he took it and ate before them. (Luke 24:36-43 ESV)
In this story Jesus goes to great lengths to present himself as a real, flesh and blood person. He proves his existence. It important that the disciples know he is truly and physically alive. It is also important for us to recognize that Jesus is truly and physically alive. Jesus is not a myth or legend, a good idea or concept, a philosophy of living or worldview or lifestyle. He is a person, once dead and is now alive!
The Church has been great about preaching the death of Christ, but misses the point that without the resurrection, his death doesn’t accomplish anything. Consider the following Scriptures.
1 Corinthians 15:13-19 – But if there is no resurrection of the dead, then not even Christ has been raised. 14 And if Christ has not been raised, then our preaching is in vain and your faith is in vain. …17 And if Christ has not been raised, your faith is futile and you are still in your sins… 19 If in this life only we have hoped in Christ, we are of all people most to be pitied.
It’s because he was raised that his death became effective in forgiving our sin. So Paul is saying that without the resurrection, we would not be saved.
Acts 13:29-33 – [Paul preaching in the synagogue in Antioch in Pisidia] …And when they had carried out all that was written of him, they took him down from the tree and laid him in a tomb. 30 But God raised him from the dead, 31 and for many days he appeared to those who had come up with him from Galilee to Jerusalem, who are now his witnesses to the people. 32 And we bring you the good news that what God promised to the fathers, 33 this he has fulfilled to us their children by raising Jesus…
It because Jesus was raised from the dead that all the promises the Father made could be fulfilled. The promises were not fulfilled by his death.
Romans 10:9 –because, if you confess with your mouth that Jesus is Lord and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved.
This is a favorite verse used in evangelism, but note that our salvation is not based on believing that Jesus died but in believing that he was raised from the dead.
I think it’s important, vital even, that every Christian understand and appreciate the power of the resurrection. Because my Redeemer lives I can pray for healing; I can overcome the attacks of the enemy; I can face the difficulties of this live; I can say to the mountains of depression, of fear, of broken relationships, of poverty, of sickness – MOVE and they move! Because my Redeemer lives I am empowered by the Holy Spirit and I become a witness to all he has said and done in my life. But it all depends on knowing Him – the risen Jesus. Because he lives, I live!
AGAIN, it is important to understand and know that Jesus is a real, live person. It is as we know him and interact with him as a real person that we experience the life changing power of the resurrection with all the promises and possibilities that come with it.