Why is it so essential?
“Our old history ends with the cross; our new history begins with the resurrection.”
During the easter week, many believers’ Facebook pages and Instagram accounts are full of quotes and statements proclaiming how Jesus is not dead, but alive (and of course this is very true). During the week, I was reading through Luke 22, and it occurred to me that contemporary Christian culture has somewhat missed how central the resurrection is to the Christian faith. It is not simply another Christian holiday, and it is not simply another eucharistic event. It is in the center of Christianity. The resurrection of Jesus has, in some measure, been taken-for-granted in western Christian culture.
“…[E]ven when we were dead in our trespasses, made us alive together with Christ—by grace you have been saved and raised us up with him and seated us with him in the heavenly places in Christ Jesus,”
The resurrection is primary. It is essential. Here’s why.
1) Anything that Jesus said before the resurrection, would have not had meaning or be justified without the resurrection. Matthew 16:21 says, “From that time Jesus began to show his disciples that he must go to Jerusalem and suffer many things from the elders and chief priests and scribes, and be killed, and on the third day be raised.” So Jesus actually said he was going to die and then resurrect from the dead? Yep! Because of that, if he didn’t resurrect then he would have lied. If Christ had lied, then all of his words could be under scrutiny. Even if Christ died and didn’t resurrect, then his death would have been meaningless! The cleansing of sins had to be paid for by a perfect sacrifice, and if Christ lied, then he wouldn’t have been perfect. Without that perfect sacrifice, sins are not paid for.
2) Without the resurrection, the Christian Church would not exist. The resurrection provided the full-fulfillment of the Jewish law. There is a difference between old testament Judaism and Christianity, right? Yes. (If you don’t know why then hit me up!) The creation of the Christian Church was to occur at some point. That point couldn’t have been during Christ’s life simply because Christ adhered to Jewish Law. Christ says, “Do not think that I have come to abolish the Law or the Prophets; I have not come to abolish them but to fulfill them.”(Matthew 5:17). Old testament Judaism is founded on the law and the prescribed sacrifices- these being the most essential aspects of the Jewish religion. The law, before Christ, allowed for the redemption of sin. This payment was only achieved through sacrifice. Christ was the ultimate sacrifice; He payed for the sins of the whole world. If he paid for the sins, then the sacrifices and the law were no longer the foundations for salvation. His resurrection marks the point in time at which the Christian Church (God’s Kingdom-announcers) would begin – he was the fulfillment of the law and the prophecies.
3) The resurrection showed both the love of the Father and the deity of the Son. What was the major result of the fall? Death. God conquered that death through the resurrection of His Son. He owned death’s face. This is God saying, “Hold up, let me take back what is mine.” He beat death, and because of that, he beat sin. This is the love of God. He saw the death and knew that death had to beaten through life. And He did it. In addition, Christ’s resurrection shows his deity. An imperfect human could not defeat death because death has a grip on the imperfect human, due to the sin in the heart of the human. Only a perfect person, God (Jesus), could defeat death, because it has no hold on that perfect person. Jesus’ resurrection shows he was the perfect lamb who came to take away the sins of the world and defeat death.
4) The resurrection allowed for the justification and the sanctification of the believer. His resurrection was our resurrection. 1 Peter 1:3 says, “Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ! According to his great mercy, he has caused us to be born again to a living hope through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead.” Christ took upon himself the payment of sin. He paid for our sin. Through Christ, our sin is removed, making us righteous. We are justified in Christ. Through Him, we become holy, because He is holy. “But now that you have been set free from sin and have become slaves of God, the fruit you get leads to sanctification and its end, eternal life.”(Romans 6:22). John 5:24 says, “Truly, truly, I say to you, whoever hears my word and believes him who sent me has eternal life. He does not come into judgment, but has passed from death to life.” Christ beat our sin, then rose again. Because of that we are no longer under judgement and death, but are given new life.
Though these all may be “no-brainers”, it’s important to remember and realize how essential the Resurrection of Christ is.
Some awesome verses I found along the way:
Jesus saith unto him, I am the way, the truth, and the life: no man cometh unto the Father, but by me. (John 14:6)
If the Spirit of him who raised Jesus from the dead dwells in you, he who raised Christ Jesus from the dead will also give life to your mortal bodies through his Spirit who dwells in you. (Romans 8:11)
Now if Christ is proclaimed as raised from the dead, how can some of you say that there is no resurrection of the dead? But if there is no resurrection of the dead, then not even Christ has been raised. And if Christ has not been raised, then our preaching is in vain and your faith is in vain. We are even found to be misrepresenting God, because we testified about God that he raised Christ, whom he did not raise if it is true that the dead are not raised. For if the dead are not raised, not even Christ has been raised. (1 Corinthians 15:12-32)
If then you have been raised with Christ, seek the things that are above, where Christ is, seated at the right hand of God. (Colossians 3:1)
Check out this epic quote by Charles Spurgeon-
“Immanuel, God with us in our nature, in our sorrow, in our lifework, in our punishment, in our grave, and now with us, or rather we with Him, in resurrection, ascension, triumph, and Second Advent splendor.”