As they stood there puzzled, two men suddenly appeared to them, clothed in dazzling robes. The women were terrified and bowed with their faces to the ground. Then the men asked, “Why are you looking among the dead for someone who is alive? He isn’t here! He is risen from the dead! Remember what he told you back in Galilee, that the Son of Man must be betrayed into the hands of sinful men and be crucified, and that he would rise again on the third day.”
Christians can look very different from one another and hold widely varying beliefs about politics, lifestyle, and even theology. But one central belief unites and inspires all true Christians—Jesus Christ rose from the dead! On this fact, the church is built; without it, there would be no Christian church today. Jesus’ resurrection is unique. Other religions have strong ethical systems, concepts about paradise and afterlife, and scriptures. Only Christianity has a God who became human, died for his people, and was raised again in power and glory to rule his church forever.
Why is the Resurrection so important? (1) Because Jesus was raised from the dead, the Kingdom of Heaven has broken into earth’s history. Our world is now headed for redemption, not disaster. God’s mighty power is at work destroying sin, creating new lives, and preparing us for Jesus’ second coming. (2) Because of the Resurrection, we know that death has been conquered, and we too will be raised from the dead to live forever with Jesus. (3) The Resurrection gives authority to the church’s witness in the world. Look at the early evangelistic sermons in the book of Acts: The apostles’ most important message was the proclamation that Jesus had been raised from the dead! (4) The Resurrection gives meaning to the church’s regular feast, the Lord’s Supper. Like the disciples on the Emmaus Road, we break bread with our risen Lord, who comes in power to save us. (5) The Resurrection assures us that Christ is alive and ruling his Kingdom. He is not legend; he is alive and real. (6) The Resurrection helps us find meaning even in great tragedy. No matter what happens to us as we walk with the Lord, the Resurrection gives us hope for the future. (7) God’s power that brought Jesus back from the dead is available to us so that we can live for him in an evil world.
What do you believe about Jesus’ Resurrection? How has God’s provision of hope affected the way you think about the future?