The resurrection of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ from the dead is the foundation of our faith as Christians.
As Christians if God did not raise Jesus from the dead then we are just wasting our time in a dead faith.
I have however always been fascinated by Peter’s gospel message to Cornelius and his household. Peter begins his gospel message by acknowledging that God is impartial. The good news is not for a certain group of people. The good news transcends race, colour or class. The good news is for everyone.
34 Then Peter began to speak to them: “I truly understand that God shows no partiality, 35 but in every nation anyone who fears him and does what is right is acceptable to him. 36 You know the message he sent to the people of Israel, preaching peace by Jesus Christ—he is Lord of all. 37 That message spread throughout Judea, beginning in Galilee after the baptism that John announced: 38 how God anointed Jesus of Nazareth with the Holy Spirit and with power; how he went about doing good and healing all who were oppressed by the devil, for God was with him. 39 We are witnesses to all that he did both in Judea and in Jerusalem. They put him to death by hanging him on a tree; 40 but God raised him on the third day and allowed him to appear, 41 not to all the people but to us who were chosen by God as witnesses, and who ate and drank with him after he rose from the dead. 42 He commanded us to preach to the people and to testify that he is the one ordained by God as judge of the living and the dead. 43 All the prophets testify about him that everyone who believes in him receives forgiveness of sins through his name.”
Peter in his sharing of the gospel message highlights three important things that everyone should know and that is -
- CHRIST WALKED ON THIS EARTH - We are witnesses to all that he did both in Judea and in Jerusalem.
- JESUS DIED - They put him to death by hanging him on a tree
- HE ROSE FROM THE DEAD - but God raised him on the third day
We can see clearly from this message that Jesus walked on this earth, He was crucified and hung on tree and was raised on the third day.
It is the raising from the dead that we refer to as resurrection. Our saviour was raised from the dead as per the promise of God.
In the Psalms David the King speaking by the Holy Spirit prophesies
10For You will not abandon my soul to Sheol, nor will You let Your Holy One see decay.
that he should live on forever and not see decay.
But God will redeem my life from Sheol, for He will surely take me to Himself. Selah
For great is Your loving devotion to me; You have delivered me from the depths of Sheol.
Jesus Himself refers His disciples to these scriptures on His resurrection.
Jesus said to them, "These are the words I spoke to you while I was still with you: Everything must be fulfilled that is written about Me in the Law of Moses, the Prophets, and the Psalms."
The resurrection of our saviour is what differentiates Christianity from other religions of the world. Scripture gives us the prove that our founder lives forever. Every other religion has founders who died. Yet many have visited Jesus’ grave attested to it been empty.
In 1 Corinthians 15:3-8
3 For I handed on to you as of first importance what I in turn had received: that Christ died for our sins in accordance with the scriptures, 4 and that he was buried, and that he was raised on the third day in accordance with the scriptures, 5 and that he appeared to Cephas, then to the twelve. 6 Then he appeared to more than five hundred brothers and sisters at one time, most of whom are still alive, though some have died. 7 Then he appeared to James, then to all the apostles. 8 Last of all, as to one untimely born, he appeared also to me.
There are many people who have denied the reality of the resurrection. They believe that His resurrection was spiritual and some believe it was a myth but from the account of Paul we can see that Christ was physically raised from the dead and was seen by many, appeared to 500 brothers and sisters.
In recent times we have heard of the testimonies of many people who have experienced the risen Lord in dreams and other forms.
In 1 Corinthians 15:12-19 Paul gives an amazing conclusion on the resurrection.
12 Now if Christ is proclaimed as raised from the dead, how can some of you say there is no resurrection of the dead? 13 If there is no resurrection of the dead, then Christ has not been raised; 14 and if Christ has not been raised, then our proclamation has been in vain and your faith has been in vain. 15 We are even found to be misrepresenting God, because we testified of God that he raised Christ—whom he did not raise if it is true that the dead are not raised. 16 For if the dead are not raised, then Christ has not been raised. 17 If Christ has not been raised, your faith is futile and you are still in your sins. 18 Then those also who have died in Christ have perished. 19 If for this life only we have hoped in Christ, we are of all people most to be pitied.
If Christ was not raised then our faith is futile, our sins have not been forgiven. If our sins have not been forgiven then our message of resurrection is false and we are still in our sin.
But we know that Christ was raised from the dead and because Christ has been raised from the dead, it guarantees Our Future Resurrection, we are no longer in our sins, our sins have been forgiven, we will also rise with Him, we will live with Him forever, we have confidence to face tomorrow and the same power that raised Him from the dead dwells in us.
Jesus our saviour and founder lives forever and ever.