Without the resurrection of Jesus Christ, we would not have the ability to experience eternal life. It is an important part of history. Jesus taught it and gave reference to it, and it was a prelude to the beginning of today’s church. At the time he was teaching it, the words were not completely understood.
The disciples only understood the present as it existed–they did not know that the death had to occur in order to bring life.
Then He began to teach them that the Son of Man must suffer many things and be rejected by the elders, the chief priests, and the scribes, be killed, and rise after three days.
31 For He was teaching His disciples and telling them, “The Son of Man is being betrayed[a] into the hands of men. They will kill Him, and after He is killed, He will rise three days later.” 32 But they did not understand this statement, and they were afraid to ask Him.
They did not understand because the Spirit of God was not dwelling within them to compel and provide understanding. There are many people today who come to church but do not understand what is being taught. The Holy Spirit must be present to provide guidance and understanding to the gospel message.
18 So the Jews replied to Him, “What sign of authority will You show us for doing these things?”
19 Jesus answered, “Destroy this sanctuary, and I will raise it up in three days.”
20 Therefore the Jews said, “This sanctuary took 46 years to build, and will You raise it up in three days?”
21 But He was speaking about the sanctuary of His body. 22 So when He was raised from the dead, His disciples remembered that He had said this. And they believed the Scripture and the statement Jesus had made.
Even those who did not believe Jesus remembered His teachings, and that is important in that His words were acknowledged.
and said, “Sir, we remember that while this deceiver was still alive He said, ‘After three days I will rise again.’
The most important thing for a believer to do is to learn and absorb God’s Word, for Satan will provide opposition and confusion in the process:
18 Some Sadducees, who say there is no resurrection, came to Him and questioned Him: 19 “Teacher, Moses wrote for us that if a man’s brother dies, leaves his wife behind, and leaves no child, his brother should take the wife and produce offspring for his brother. 20 There were seven brothers. The first took a wife, and dying, left no offspring. 21 The second also took her, and he died, leaving no offspring. And the third likewise. 22 So the seven left no offspring. Last of all, the woman died too. 23 In the resurrection, when they rise, whose wife will she be, since the seven had married her?”
24 Jesus told them, “Are you not deceived because you don’t know the Scriptures or the power of God? 25 For when they rise from the dead, they neither marry nor are given in marriage but are like angels in heaven. 26 Now concerning the dead being raised—haven’t you read in the book of Moses, in the passage about the burning bush, how God spoke to him: I am the God of Abraham and the God of Isaac and the God of Jacob? 27 He is not God of the dead but of the living. You are badly deceived.”
God has a place for all believers and also for those who do not believe. The resurrection allows for fellowship with Him because we have been made righteous. Note the addition instruction of who Jesus proclaimed to be before many witnesses:
17 When Jesus arrived, He found that Lazarus had already been in the tomb four days. 18 Bethany was near Jerusalem (about two miles away). 19 Many of the Jews had come to Martha and Mary to comfort them about their brother. 20 As soon as Martha heard that Jesus was coming, she went to meet Him. But Mary remained seated in the house.
21 Then Martha said to Jesus, “Lord, if You had been here, my brother wouldn’t have died. 22 Yet even now I know that whatever You ask from God, God will give You.”
23 “Your brother will rise again,” Jesus told her.
24 Martha said, “I know that he will rise again in the resurrection at the last day.”
25 Jesus said to her, “I am the resurrection and the life. The one who believes in Me, even if he dies, will live. 26 Everyone who lives and believes in Me will never die—ever. Do you believe this?”
27 “Yes, Lord,” she told Him, “I believe You are the Messiah, the Son of God, who comes into the world.”
38 Then Jesus, angry in Himself again, came to the tomb. It was a cave, and a stone was lying against it. 39 “Remove the stone,” Jesus said.
Martha, the dead man’s sister, told Him, “Lord, he’s already decaying. It’s been four days.”
40 Jesus said to her, “Didn’t I tell you that if you believed you would see the glory of God?”
41 So they removed the stone. Then Jesus raised His eyes and said, “Father, I thank You that You heard Me. 42 I know that You always hear Me, but because of the crowd standing here I said this, so they may believe You sent Me.” 43 After He said this, He shouted with a loud voice, “Lazarus, come out!” 44 The dead man came out bound hand and foot with linen strips and with his face wrapped in a cloth. Jesus said to them, “Loose him and let him go.”
45 Therefore, many of the Jews who came to Mary and saw what He did believed in Him. 46 But some of them went to the Pharisees and told them what Jesus had done.
The purpose of the resurrection:
3 concerning His Son, Jesus Christ our Lord, who was a descendant of David according to the flesh 4 and who has been declared to be the powerful Son of God by the resurrection from the dead according to the Spirit of holiness.
Paul declares, as a witness of Christ’s teaching and His miracles, that Jesus Christ is the true Son of God. If we seek Him in all fervor, He will reveal Himself to you and what you are to do in service for Him.
21 Jesus said to them again, “Peace to you! As the Father has sent Me, I also send you.” 22 After saying this, He breathed on them and said, “Receive the Holy Spirit. 23 If you forgive the sins of any, they are forgiven them; if you retain the sins of any, they are retained.”
Jesus had commissioned the disciples to go forth and proclaim the gospel. While the disciples were still learning from Jesus at that very moment, He gave each of them the authority to proclaim the gospel on His behalf.
The resurrection was proof that Jesus did return from the dead and that He is alive! We are to remember that all of Scripture, beginning with the Old Testament, proclaims that Christ is the One to follow–and in believing Him, you will have eternal life.
27 Then He said to Thomas, “Put your finger here and observe My hands. Reach out your hand and put it into My side. Don’t be an unbeliever, but a believer.”
28 Thomas responded to Him, “My Lord and my God!”
29 Jesus said, “Because you have seen Me, you have believed. Those who believe without seeing are blessed.”
13 Now that same day two of them were on their way to a village called Emmaus, which was about seven miles from Jerusalem. 14 Together they were discussing everything that had taken place. 15 And while they were discussing and arguing, Jesus Himself came near and began to walk along with them. 16 But they were prevented from recognizing Him. 17 Then He asked them, “What is this dispute that you’re having with each other as you are walking?” And they stopped walking and looked discouraged.
18 The one named Cleopas answered Him, “Are You the only visitor in Jerusalem who doesn’t know the things that happened there in these days?”
19 “What things?” He asked them.
So they said to Him, “The things concerning Jesus the Nazarene, who was a Prophet powerful in action and speech before God and all the people, 20 and how our chief priests and leaders handed Him over to be sentenced to death, and they crucified Him. 21 But we were hoping that He was the One who was about to redeem Israel. Besides all this, it’s the third day since these things happened. 22 Moreover, some women from our group astounded us. They arrived early at the tomb, 23 and when they didn’t find His body, they came and reported that they had seen a vision of angels who said He was alive. 24 Some of those who were with us went to the tomb and found it just as the women had said, but they didn’t see Him.”
25 He said to them, “How unwise and slow you are to believe in your hearts all that the prophets have spoken! 26 Didn’t the Messiah have to suffer these things and enter into His glory?” 27 Then beginning with Moses and all the Prophets, He interpreted for them the things concerning Himself in all the Scriptures.
28 They came near the village where they were going, and He gave the impression that He was going farther. 29 But they urged Him: “Stay with us, because it’s almost evening, and now the day is almost over.” So He went in to stay with them.
30 It was as He reclined at the table with them that He took the bread, blessed and broke it, and gave it to them. 31 Then their eyes were opened, and they recognized Him, but He disappeared from their sight. 32 So they said to each other, “Weren’t our hearts ablaze within us while He was talking with us on the road and explaining the Scriptures to us?” 33 That very hour they got up and returned to Jerusalem. They found the Eleven and those with them gathered together, 34 who said, “The Lord has certainly been raised, and has appeared to Simon!” 35 Then they began to describe what had happened on the road and how He was made known to them in the breaking of the bread.
23 Now it was credited to him was not written for Abraham alone, 24 but also for us. It will be credited to us who believe in Him who raised Jesus our Lord from the dead. 25 He was delivered up for our trespasses and raised for our justification.
The purpose of the resurrection is for believers to experience in the newness of life and to live in Christ today. It requires dying to self and living for Jesus.
My goal is to know Him and the power of His resurrection and the fellowship of His sufferings, being conformed to His death.
How does this apply to us today? How does a believer demonstrate this association with Jesus Christ visibly to others?
1 What should we say then? Should we continue in sin so that grace may multiply? 2 Absolutely not! How can we who died to sin still live in it? 3 Or are you unaware that all of us who were baptized into Christ Jesus were baptized into His death? 4 Therefore we were buried with Him by baptism into death, in order that, just as Christ was raised from the dead by the glory of the Father, so we too may walk in a new way of life. 5 For if we have been joined with Him in the likeness of His death, we will certainly also be in the likeness of His resurrection. 6 For we know that our old self was crucified with Him in order that sin’s dominion over the body may be abolished, so that we may no longer be enslaved to sin, 7 since a person who has died is freed from sin’s claims. 8 Now if we died with Christ, we believe that we will also live with Him, 9 because we know that Christ, having been raised from the dead, will not die again. Death no longer rules over Him. 10 For in light of the fact that He died, He died to sin once for all; but in light of the fact that He lives, He lives to God. 11 So, you too consider yourselves dead to sin but alive to God in Christ Jesus.
The power of the resurrection is seen each time we have communion that there are people who recognize that Jesus Christ died for our sins and proclaims that He is the Son of God. The acknowledgment of Jesus in asking forgiveness of sin expresses that Christ is the authority that will return for His people.
Therefore, my brothers, you also were put to death in relation to the law through the crucified body of the Messiah, so that you may belong to another—to Him who was raised from the dead—that we may bear fruit for God.
The resurrection is for the saints who love God and do His work to be fully equipped and empowered to demonstrate the love of Christ to everyone who sees them. Jesus Christ is indeed alive, and He lives with a burning fire in every believer for the glory of God. Amen.