Realities of The Resurrection
By Pastor J.D. Link
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I encourage you to read 1Cor 15. The whole chapter speaks of the resurrection of Christ, and our future resurrection. Notice verses 16-17: “For if the dead rise not, then is not Christ raised: And if Christ be not raised, your faith is vain; ye are yet in your sins.” Jesus did not pass out on the cross. He died. As is said in the apostles creed, “He was crucified under Pontius Pilate, He suffered, died and was buried. On the third day he rose again, in fulfillment of the Scriptures.” The entirety of Christianity hinges on the resurrection of Jesus from the dead. People that faint, wake up. People that are dead, must be resurrected. If Jesus didn’t die, then He wasn’t resurrected – and we are lost and without hope.
However, factually and truly, Jesus did rise from the dead; the tomb is empty; and He forever lives! This is essential and fundamental Christianity. If one does not believe Jesus physically died on the cross; was literally buried in the tomb; and bodily resurrected on the third day – then they are no Christian.
Some may say. “Where’s the evidence?!” Look at all the evidence in the Bible, the most accurate and reliable historical document that exists! Look at all the historical evidence! It is overwhelming! Notable Christians have been converted by trying to disprove the resurrection of Jesus! Have you really examined the evidence?
There are lots of proofs for the resurrection, but think on this: if the Disciples had His body, would they have all (except one) gone to horrible martyr’s death’s for a known lie? People often die for a lie – but for a known lie? No, the disciples didn’t steal His body. If Rome had His body, would they have allowed their empire to be turned upside down by these Christians? They could have easily nipped the whole movement in the bud by producing the body. If the Jewish leaders had His body, would they have allowed the message of a “false Messiah” to sweep through their own nation, and risk there own demise? The Jewish leaders would have liked nothing more than to produce the body if they had it. Why is it that no one ever produced His body? It’s real simple: Because Jesus was – and is – truly risen and alive.
The resurrection of the dead is a foundational doctrine (Heb 6:1-2). Everyone who has ever lived will be resurrected – the only question is, which resurrection will you be in? The resurrection of the just, or of the unjust? The first, which is unto eternal life; or the second, which is unto eternal damnation? (Jn 5:28-29, Act 24:14-15, Rev 20) We want to make absolutely sure we get this answer right, because there are no “do-overs” nor second chances (Heb 9:27).
The resurrection is so essential to our faith, that to preach the Gospel is to preach the resurrection (Act 4:1-2, 33; 13:28-31; 17:18, 31-32). Why is the resurrection preached? Why is it so important? Because if Jesus be risen, then He was Who He said He was, which means He will do what He said He would do, which means we would be wise to listen up and obey ALL of what He says. The power of the resurrection declared Him to be the Son of God (Rom 1:3-4).
In fact, Belief in the resurrection of Jesus is so important, you can’t be saved if you don’t believe it (Rom 10:9-10). We must believe and confess, and continue to believe and confess (1Jn 2:18-19). It’s not just a one-time prayer.
Some other resurrection realities are: 1. That God the Father raised Christ Jesus from the dead (Act 2:24, 32; 3:15, 26; 4:10; 5:30; 10:40; Rom 4:24; Eph 1:20; Col 2:12). 2. God will reward us for giving to those who cannot give back (Lk 14:14); 3. We are saved from wrath (1Thess 1:10); 4. We are justified (declared righteous in God’s sight) (Rom 4:25); 5. We have new life (Rom 6:4); 6. We are joined to Christ, to bring forth fruit to God (Rom 7:4); 7. We have an Intercessor (Rom 8:34); 8. We have been given faith and a living hope (1Pt 1:3, 21); 9. We have assurance of our resurrection (Rom 6:5, 1Cor 6:14, 2Cor 4:14, Jn 11:24-25); 10. His Spirit gives life to our mortal bodies (Rom 8:11); 11. We sit in heavenly places (Eph 2:5-6); 12. We are given eternal life, never to die again (Lk 20:34-36); 13. Jesus will come again to judge the earth in righteousness (Act 17:31). 14. We are to have our hearts constantly set on the things of heaven (Col 3:1).
All of these things I have mentioned are realities of the resurrection of Christ Jesus. We know this assuredly as Christians, because His Spirit lives inside of us. We don’t serve a dead God. We don’t pray to an imaginary Friend. We don’t worship a figment of our imagination. We haven’t surrendered our lives to an illusion. Our God is real. Our hope is living. Our Lord, God, Savior and King, Jesus Christ, is the resurrected Lord of glory, who is preparing an eternal home for us in heaven, in anticipation of that great marriage day and feast!
One day soon The Father is going to look over at the Son a say “It’s time, Son.” Jesus isn’t going to have to ask what He’s talking about, because He will already be flying through the heavens at the speed of light in all of His glory, mightily shouting as He goes, a trumpet blasting and the voice of the archangel – and He’s going to split the skies of our atmosphere, and the dead in Christ are going to burst forth from the graves, and those of us who are alive in Christ will with them be instantly snatched off of this earth into the arms of Jesus to forever be with our Lord! Give Him praise! Christ has died, Christ is risen, and Christ will come again! Selah.