For thousands of years to the present, the resurrection of the dead has been a controversial subject. Even in Jesus’ day the Pharisees and the Sadducees greatly debated the resurrection of the dead. Jesus Himself testified to His disciples that He would rise again. In fact, He said, “destroy this temple, and in three days I will raise it up.” Jesus knew the importance of His resurrection and the role it would play in the establishment of our faith. In the book of Acts, the Apostles and the Believers of that day had to defend the resurrection of Christ, oftentimes at their own peril.
As you look at world religions, you will discover the preaching of the cross and the resurrection of Jesus Christ is the very thing that separates what we believe as “Born Again Christians” from all the other religions of the world. Why is that? At the cross, Jesus bore the sin of the world and paid the penalty of sin with His own blood. It has been said in many a service, “We owed a debt we could not pay. He paid a debt He did not owe.” While works have their role in every religion, the bloodstained banner of the cross reminds us that we cannot save ourselves and we cannot deliver ourselves from sin. It reminds us that our works will not save us. It is through faith in His blood, faith in His resurrection and His Lordship that brings us into the “Born Again” experience. The bloodstained banner of the cross reminds us that Jesus was our eternal substitute. Jesus took our place on the cross and bore the penalty of our sin. The bloodstained banner of the cross reminds us that “God loved us so much that He sent His only begotten son to die on the cross, and whosoever believes in Him should not perish but have everlasting life” (John 3:16). It is the understanding of the bloodstained banner of the cross, and the resurrection of Jesus Christ that makes every “Born Again Believer” unique from disciples of other religions.
In 1 Cor 15:13-14 Paul the Apostle wrote, “But if there be no resurrection of the dead, then is Christ not risen: And if Christ be not risen, then is our preaching vain, and your faith is also vain.” The Apostle Paul also said in 1 Cor 15:21-22, “For since by man came death, by man came also the resurrection of the dead. For as in Adam all die, even so in Christ shall all be made alive.” Jesus died for your salvation, but he was raised from the dead for your justification before God. What that means is, as you have believed, God views you as though you have never sinned. It means that Jesus’ blood and His resurrection gives value to your life. How is that, you might say? It means God looked at humanity, whom He loved so much, that He knew in Himself mankind is worth saving. He thought “you” were worth saving! Since the Father realized that man could not save Himself due to his sin; God valued you so much, and loved you so much, that He sent Jesus Christ His only begotten son so you could receive eternal life if you will just believe in him. If Jesus did not raise from the dead then it is useless to believe the Preaching of the gospel. Why? If Jesus did not raise from the dead, there is no hope after death for you and I. It would mean there is no hope of eternal life for humanity. Jesus’ resurrection gives us a lively hope whereby we look forward to spending eternity with Him.
Through the resurrection, Jesus was victorious over death, hell, and the grave. The grave could not hold Him, and death could not keep Him bound. Jesus said of himself in John 11:25-26, “I am the resurrection, and the life: he that believeth in me, though he were dead, yet shall he live: And whosoever liveth and believeth in me shall never die. Believest thou this?” Because He lives, as a born-again believer who has obtained eternal life through faith, we live too. This is why we can boldly declare and sing, “Because He lives, I can face tomorrow. Because He lives all fear is gone. Because I know, I know He holds my future, and life is worth the living just because He lives.”
Jesus resurrected from the dead for you because He valued your eternal soul, and to Him, you are definitely worth it! Joyfully celebrate His resurrection!