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Don Stewart :: What Is the Meaning of the Resurrection?

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Don Stewart

The resurrection of Jesus Christ means a number of things for our world. They include the following.

1. It Validates Jesus' Claims As The Son Of God

First, the resurrection demonstrates that Jesus is the One whom He claimed to be. Paul wrote to the Romans:

And declared to be the Son of God with power, according to the Spirit of holiness, by the resurrection from the dead (Romans 1:4).

The deity of Christ is proven by the fact that Jesus has risen.

2. It Demonstrates That He Is A Prophet

The resurrection validates Jesus' claims to be a prophet since Jesus predicted His resurrection.

From that time on Jesus began to explain to his disciples that he must go to Jerusalem and suffer many things at the hands of the elders, chief priests and teachers of the law, and that he must be killed and on the third day be raised to life (Matthew 16:21).

3. The Resurrection Shows That He Is The Promised Messiah

Jesus' claim to be the promised Messiah is proved by His resurrection.

Therefore let all Israel be assured of this: God has made this Jesus, whom you crucified, both Lord and Christ (Acts 2:36).

Everything He claimed to be has been validated by the resurrection.

4. It Demonstrates The Truth Of The Christian Faith

The resurrection also proves the truth of the Christian faith as opposed to every other belief system that claims to be true. The resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead settles the matter as to which of these beliefs is true. It is the Christian faith! Therefore, there is only one God who exists, and only one way to reach the one God, through Jesus Christ. The resurrection of Jesus demonstrates this to be true.

5. It Acknowledges The Acceptance Of Christ's Death For Sin

The fact that Jesus came back from the dead is an acknowledgement that His sacrifice for the sins of the world as accepted by God the Father.

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

When Jesus came back from the dead it indicated that His death was satisfactory in God's eyes.

6. It Answers The Big Questions About Life

Therefore, the fact that Jesus rose from the dead, gives humanity the answers to the three basic questions about life, "Who am I? Why am I alive? What will happen to me when I die?"

It Provides An Identity For People

The resurrection of Jesus solves our identity problem. Humans need no longer wonder who they are. We now realize that we are created in the image of God. This means we have the ability to think, love and communicate. We have the chance to know the one true God because He has given us these abilities. We now know that human beings are special.

It Gives Purpose To Life

Along with identity comes a genuine purpose for living. Instead of living life without any real purpose, we can now know the reason we have been created - to love God and enjoy Him forever. Jesus Christ, and His resurrection from the dead, has provided the answer to what our purpose is here upon the earth. We not only know who we are, we know why we are here.

It Shows We Will Have A Destiny

Finally, the truth of the resurrection of Jesus provides us with an answer about our future destiny. We now know that this life is not all there is. We are beings made for eternity, and belief in Jesus allows us to spend eternity in the presence of God. Thus, the grave has no ultimate terror for us because we know there is a better existence beyond this life. Belief in Jesus gives us a destiny to which we can look forward.

7. It Is The Guarantee Of Everlasting Life For The Believer

The resurrection of Jesus is the factual basis for everlasting life for those who believe in Him If a person believes in Jesus Christ, then one of the provisions is eternal life. Jesus said,

Because I live, you will live also (John 14:19).

This everlasting life is based upon His resurrection. Jesus said.

I am the resurrection and the life. He who believes in me, though he may die, he shall live (John 11:25).

Paul wrote.

For if we believe that Jesus died and rose again, even so God will bring with him those who have fallen asleep in Jesus (1 Thessalonians 4:14).

He Is The First Of Many

Christ's resurrection is the first in a long line of resurrections of those who believe upon Him.

But now Christ is risen from the dead, and has become the firstfruits of those who have fallen asleep (1 Corinthians 15:20).

The resurrection body of Jesus serves as the prototype of the resurrection body of believers.

He Is Firstborn, Or Preeminent Among The Dead

Jesus is referred to as the firstborn, or the preeminent one, over those who have died.

He is also head of the body, the church; and he is the beginning, the first-born from the dead; so that he himself might come to have first place in everything (Colossians 1:18).

In the Book of Revelation it says.

Jesus Christ, who is the faithful witness, the firstborn from the dead, and the ruler of the kings of the earth (Revelation 1:5).

This means that He was the first to have an eternal resurrected body.

Our resurrection bodies, like His, will be different from our earthly bodies. Paul says our resurrection bodies will be related to our former ones (1 Corinthians 15:35-41).

In eternity we will be like Him:

Beloved, now we are children of God, and it has not appeared as yet what we shall be. We know that, when he appears, we shall be like him, because we shall see him just as he is (1 John 3:2).

8. It Is A Comfort For Those Who Have Died Or Face Death

The realization that Christ has risen provides comfort to the believer. After writing to the church at Thessalonica on the matter of the resurrection of Christ and the eventual resurrection of the believer, the Apostle Paul exhorted the church to "comfort one another with these words" (1 Thessalonians 5:18). The knowledge that this life is not all that there is brings comfort to the believer.

Because of this, we do not fear death in the same way as unbelievers do. The Apostle Paul wrote to the Corinthian church:

Death is swallowed up in victory. O Death, where is your sting? O Hades, where is your victory? The sting of death is sin, and the strength of sin is the law. But thanks be to God, who gives us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ (1 Corinthians 15:54-57).

9. There Is Genuine Hope For The Future

Because Christ has risen from the dead and granted eternal life to those who put their trust in Him, there is hope for the future.

One of the simplest prayers and earliest creeds of the church was the Aramaic word Maranatha "our Lord come" (1 Corinthians 16:22). The hope of the church is the return of Jesus Christ to the earth.

We All Need Hope

It has been said that a human being can live eight minutes without air, three days without water, and about thirty days without food, but a person cannot live one second without hope. We all need to hope for something better than what this life offers. The resurrection of Christ provides the basis for that hope.

10. It Gives Believers A High Priest

The resurrection of Jesus Christ gives the believer a High Priest who lives forever to make intercession for them with God the Father.

Therefore he is able to save completely those who come to God through him, because he always lives to intercede for them (Hebrews 7:25).

Paul wrote.

Who is he that condemns? Christ Jesus, who died - more than that, who was raised to life - is at the right hand of God and is also interceding for us (Romans 8:34).

John said.

My dear children, I write this to you so that you will not sin. But if anybody does sin, we have one who speaks to the Father in our defense - Jesus Christ, the Righteous One (1 John 2:1).

The believer has continual access to Jesus the Great High Priest who pleads the case before God the Father for each believer.

11. It Provides A Satisfying Life Right Now

Another benefit of the resurrection is that it provides the believer with the basis to live a satisfying life. Paul wrote that believers could now experience:

What is the exceeding greatness of his power toward us who believe, which he worked in Christ when he raised him from the dead and seated him at his right hand in the heavenly places (Ephesians 1:19,20).

Abundant life is available right now because Christ has risen. The power of the resurrected Christ is experienced in the life of the believer.

Summary

The resurrection of Christ is more than a historical event for it does the following things. It validates Jesus' claims as the Son of God. The resurrection also shows Jesus is a true prophet. In addition, it demonstrates that He is the Messiah. The resurrection also proves the truth of the Christian faith - no other religious leader has yet come back from the dead. Furthermore, it acknowledges the acceptance of God the Father of Jesus Christ's sacrifice. The resurrection gives humanity a purpose for living. It also provides the basis for eternal life. The resurrection of Christ gives the believer comfort. The resurrection also offers a genuine hope for the future. The fact that Christ has risen provides the believer with a continual High Priest who can answer their prayers. The knowledge of all these things results in a satisfying life right now for those who have trusted him.

CONTENT DISCLAIMER:

The Blue Letter Bible ministry and the BLB Institute hold to the historical, conservative Christian faith, which includes a firm belief in the inerrancy of Scripture. Since the text and audio content provided by BLB represent a range of evangelical traditions, all of the ideas and principles conveyed in the resource materials are not necessarily affirmed, in total, by this ministry.

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