Next Sunday we will celebrate the bodily resurrection of Jesus Christ. As a church we believe that Jesus died for our sins, but His death wasn’t enough; He also needed to rise again. There are many reasons why we believe that the resurrection was necessary. Let me share three with you.
First, the resurrection was necessary to prove that Jesus was who He claimed to be. He had clearly claimed to be the Son of God, which was the reason why the religious leaders conspired to kill Him (John 19:7). The resurrection was God’s proof that Jesus was Who He claimed to be: the Son of God. Paul wrote as much in Romans 1:3-4. “The Good News is about his Son, Jesus. In his earthly life he was born into King David’s family line, and he was shown to be the Son of God when he was raised from the dead by the power of the Holy Spirit. He is Jesus Christ our Lord.” The resurrection was necessary to prove that Jesus was who He claimed to be.
Second, Christ’s resurrection was necessary to prove that He had accomplished what He’d promised. His death alone wouldn’t have been enough, since it is by our identification with Him in His death, burial, and resurrection that we are saved. In I Corinthians 15:12-14, 16-17 Paul writes that without Christ’s resurrection, we would have no hope: “For if there is no resurrection of the dead, then Christ has not been raised either. And if Christ has not been raised, then all our preaching is useless, and your faith is useless. And if there is no resurrection of the dead, then Christ has not been raised. And if Christ has not been raised, then your faith is useless and you are still guilty of your sins.” In his message at Pentecost, Peter taught that God vindicated His Son by raising Him from the dead. Acts 2:23-24 says, “Men of Israel, listen to these words: This Jesus the Nazarene was a man pointed out to you by God with miracles, wonders, and signs that God did among you through Him, just as you yourselves know. Though He was delivered up according to God’s determined plan and foreknowledge, you used lawless people to nail Him to a cross and kill Him. God raised Him up, ending the pains of death, because it was not possible for Him to be held by it.” Christ’s resurrection was necessary to prove that He had accomplished what He’d promised.
Third, the resurrection of Christ is necessary because it is a vital aspect of saving faith. Let me explain. Throughout the Bible, both the Old and New Testaments, saving faith was faith in a God who could and would raise men from the dead. Jesus said, “I am the resurrection and the life; he who believes in Me shall live even if he dies, and everyone who lives and believes in Me shall never die. Do you believe this?” (John 11:25-26) Furthermore, the apostle Paul wrote: “…if you confess with your mouth Jesus as Lord, and believe in your heart that God raised Him from the dead, you shall be saved.” (Romans 10:9) Personal faith in the resurrection of Christ is therefore necessary because it is a vital part in a faith that leads to salvation. The resurrection of Christ is necessary because it is a vital aspect of saving faith.
This Friday we remember that Jesus Christ died for our sins, but most importantly, on Sunday we celebrate the fact that He rose bodily from the dead. He is alive forevermore and through faith in Him we can be too.
Think about that!