The bodily resurrection of Christ is foundational to our Christian faith. I believe the Bible teaches that one cannot be saved without believing in the resurrection of the Lord Jesus Christ. Romans 10:9 tells us, That if thou shalt confess with thy mouth the Lord Jesus, and shalt believe in thine heart that God hath raised him from the dead, thou shalt be saved.” It’s not a conspiracy. Jesus wasn’t stolen, moved, and buried somewhere else. He didn’t swoon and later woke up to walk out of the tomb. Up from the grave our Saviour arose! Hallelujah!
But what does the resurrection mean to you? What does it mean to me?
A Sunday school teacher asked each member of her class to write one sentence on “What Easter Means to Me.” One pupil wrote: “Egg salad sandwiches for the next two weeks!”
As funny as that may seem, the resurrection of Jesus is quickly becoming a forgotten fact in our country.
The Houston Chronicle published an article on March 18, 2010 which states:
The resurrection of Jesus is central to the celebration of Easter, but less than half of adult Americans link the two. The Barna Group found that only 42% of adults tied Easter to the Resurrection. Adults between the ages of 18 and 25 did the worst. David Kinnaman, president of the Barna Group, said, “The Easter holiday in particular still has a distinctly religious connection for people, but the specifics of it are really fading in a lot of people’s minds.”
Whether Americans or any other human being for that matter accepts the fact of the resurrection of Christ, this biblical and historical event has affected everyone. Notice with me the Resurrection Effect.
A Promise is Fulfilled
The resurrection is not a New Testament concept. It was foretold in the Old Testament and predicted by Jesus Himself (see Psalm 16:10, 22:21; Isaiah 53:10, Matthew 16:21; Mark 9; John 10:17-18, etc.). This promise is essential for the Gospel to be fulfilled. Did not Paul write in 1 Corinthians 15 that Christ died for our sins and rose again from the dead, according to the Scriptures?
We serve a promise-keeping God! And the promise to rise again from the dead has been fulfilled.
A Path is Forged
When Christ rose again from the dead, He gave some very important lessons and commands before ascending into Heaven. These lessons give us a path to follow when living our lives for Him.
The Path of Second Chances
When the angel told the women to get the disciples, I love the fact that he said, “And Peter.” (Mark 16:7) The one who openly denied Christ was singled out when the message was given. There was no mistaking – Jesus was giving Peter a second chance.
Likewise, today Jesus is saying “And _________.” Go ahead. Place your name in that blank. Jesus wants you to come home and ask for His forgiveness.
By the way, if Jesus can give others a second chance, do you suppose we should, too?
The Path of Soul Winning
Jesus last command before going back to Heaven was to be a witness. (see Matthew 28:18-20; Mark 16:15; Acts 1:7-8) Why do Christians minimize evangelism? Why isn’t it as important to us as it was to Christ?
Jesus’ resurrection gave us a pattern for living. We need not be in the dark but simply follow Him all the way.
A Person is Freed
It goes without saying, because Christ rose again from the dead, you and I have been given the privilege to say along with Paul, “O death, where is thy sting? O grave, where is thy victory? The sting of death is sin; and strength of sin is the law. But thanks be to God, which giveth us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ.”
If you have accepted Christ as your Saviour because you believe in His death, burial, and resurrection, you are free. Don’t be tangled by the web of this sinful world. Don’t surrender to the seduction of sin. Christ has freed you. If the Son therefore shall make you free, ye shall be free indeed. Thank God for that resurrection effect!
This Sunday is more than Easter egg hunts and a baked ham on the table. It’s more than new dresses and the official change of the season. Celebrating the resurrection of Christ, any Sunday, is the recognition of the central event of history that has fully changed the course of all our lives, both now and after death.