This is the time of year that everyone is talking about the resurrection. Earlier in the week I wrote two posts on the resurrection. In the first one, I outlined some biblical arguments for the physical, bodily resurrection. In the second, I presented a historical argument for the bodily resurrection of Jesus. But a question still remains.
Why is the bodily resurrection of Jesus such a big deal?
1. The Bible clearly teaches that Jesus physically rose from the grave.
The integrity of the Scriptures is at stake. The Bible affirms the bodily resurrection of Jesus in all four Gospels and many other NT books as well. If Jesus was not physically raised from the grave, the Bible is a book of lies that should be ignored. However, if Jesus was raised from the grave, we are given good reason for trusting the other claims of Scripture as well.
2. The deity of Jesus is at stake.
Jesus promised that He would die and be raised three days later (Luke 18:33). Jesus also claimed to be God (John 10:30). If Jesus was raised from the grave, this serves to validate His claim to deity. If He was not raised from the grave, we must conclude that He is either a lunatic or a liar. God cannot lie. The deity of Jesus is dependent on His resurrection.
3. If Christ has not been raised, we are still in our sins.
Paul is very clear on this point in 1 Corinthians 15:17. The resurrection served to demonstrate that God had accepted the sacrifice of His Son for the sin of the world. If Jesus has not been raised, there has been no atonement for sin. If there has been no atonement for sin, we are still in our sin and will one day experience the wrath of God toward our sin. The power that raised Christ from the grave is also the same power that we depend upon as we fight against sin in our lives (Romans 6:4). If this power was unable to raise Christ from the grave, it is unable to enable us to successfully fight against sin.
4. If Jesus is dead, Christians across the centuries have wasted their lives.
Of course this implies, as the famous philosopher Lecrae said in one of his songs, that our lives are built around Jesus being alive. Paul said in 1 Corinthians 15:17 that our faith is futile if Jesus is not alive. He goes on to say, “If in Christ we have hope in this life only, we are of all people most to be pitied” (1 Corinthians 15:19). Christians have suffered for the gospel of Christ. Christians have died for this gospel. Many have forsaken fame and fortune in favor of a life committed to serving Christ among the nations. If Jesus is not alive, it is all one colossal waste.
5. The resurrected Jesus is the firstfruits of our future resurrection.
Jesus, in His resurrection, demonstrated His power over death. As Christians, we have the hope of a future bodily resurrection ourselves. We will be raised to sin no more. We will be raised to live with God forever in a new heaven and new earth. This is our hope. This hope is based in the resurrection of Jesus Christ, “the firstfruits of those who have fallen asleep” (1 Corinthians 15:20). We will one day receive glorified bodies like that of the Lord Jesus Christ.
I trust that this list will serve as a reminder to you this Easter of the importance of the resurrection. There undoubtedly many more reasons that the resurrection is such a big deal. What do you think about this list? What others can you come up with?