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The Resurrection: Reason to Rejoice


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Each Easter we celebrate the fact that Jesus rose from the dead.  This celebration is central to Christianity’s message and our salvation.


The Apostle Paul puts it bluntly in 1 Corinthians 15:17. The verse reads, “and if Christ has not been raised, your faith is futile and you are still in your sins.”  Jesus predicted that he would come back from the grave and he did.  If he didn’t, his message was invalid.

 

If there is no resurrection, there is no forgiveness of sins and no eternal life.  Christianity becomes little more than a self-help religion that focuses solely on this life.  But who wants a religion that does nothing but give us a good life now?  The main reason most people put faith in Christ is to be forgiven of their sins, and to have eternal life.  Paul later says, “If in Christ we have hope in this life only, we are of all people most to be pitied.” (1Corinthians 15:19)


The resurrection is God’s stamp of approval on Jesus’ work on the cross.  Through the resurrection the Father is essentially saying, “I’m satisfied with what you, Jesus, did on the cross.”  As Jesus was about ready to die on the cross he uttered these powerful words, “It is finished.”  (John 19:30) Easter morning then finds God the Father proclaiming – through the resurrection – “Yes, it is finished indeed.  Your perfect sacrifice has purchased the salvation of my people.”


The resurrection forms the basis for our new life in Christ.  Peter clearly teaches this at the beginning of his first epistle. “Praise to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ! In his great mercy he has given us new birth into a living hope through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead...  (1Peter 1:3-4)  Paul teaches much the same in his letter to the Ephesians:  God, “made us alive with Christ even when we were dead in transgressions—and God raised us up with Christ and seated us with him in the heavenly realms in Christ Jesus . . .”


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The resurrection is also linked to the qualitatively different life that we’re all called to live.  Because the believer is united to Christ in his death, burial and resurrection – Christ’s resurrection means that the Christian can and must start living a Godly life now – in this life.  Romans 6:3-4 asks, “Or don’t you know that all of us who were baptized into Christ Jesus were baptized into his death?  We were therefore buried with him through baptism into death in order that, just as Christ was raised from the dead through the glory of the Father, we too may live a new life.” 


The power that raised Jesus from the dead is available to – and at work in – each believer today.  In Ephesians 1:19-20 Paul prays that the believers might know God’s “incomparably great power for us who believe. That power is the same as the mighty strength he exerted when he raised Christ from the dead and seated him at his right hand in the heavenly realms . . .”  What a blessing!  The same power that brought Jesus back from the dead, is now available to the believer each day!


The resurrection – along with our union with Christ – changes everything for us.  It gives us a whole new outlook on life.  It reorients our life from this life to the next.  It gives us meaning, purpose and direction.  Christ becomes the center of all that we are and do!


Paul put it this way in Colossians 3:1-4, “Since, then, you have been raised with Christ, set your hearts on things above, where Christ is, seated at the right hand of God.  Set your minds on things above, not on earthly things.  For you died, and your life is now hidden with Christ in God.  When Christ, who is your life, appears, then you also will appear with him in glory.”


Amen to that!

 

 

 

 

 

 

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