Deity of Christ: Divine Life and Doctrine
Jesus' Resurrection and the Life of a Christian
Is the fact that Jesus rose from the grave about 2,000 years ago really all that important to a Christian’s faith? What if Jesus had never risen from the tomb in which He was buried? What if He were in the grave today? Could we still be Christians if Jesus had never arisen?
Consider what the apostle Paul told the Christians at Corinth about the resurrection of Christ. In a passage where he was writing about the reality of the resurrection of the dead at the end of time, he also mentioned Christ’s resurrection, saying, “If Christ is not risen, then our preaching is empty and your faith is also empty” (1 Corinthians 15:14). Then, three verses later, he made a similar statement, saying, “If Christ is not risen, your faith is futile; you are still in your sins” (15:17). In other words, without Jesus’ resurrection, no one would have any hope of going to heaven. The resurrection of Jesus is the foundation of our faith (cf. Romans 1:4).
The early church multiplied quickly in just a few short years. They grew by “leaps and bounds.” People were obeying the Gospel by the thousands, and one central message laid at the heart of their decision—the death, burial, and resurrection of Christ (1 Corinthians 15:1-4). Had Jesus never been raised from the grave, the Gospel never could have been preached. The Gospel is not about a “lifeless lord,” but a “risen Redeemer.”
Jesus resurrection’ gives meaning to a Christian’s faith.
Every Sunday when Christians partake of the Lord’s Supper, we remember the Lord’s death “until He comes” (1 Corinthians 11:26). If Jesus were not risen, however, we would have no hope of His coming again, and Paul’s statement here regarding the Lord’s Supper would be meaningless.
Every time Christians pray “in Jesus name,” we are relying on a risen Savior—Jesus—to mediate on our behalf (1 Timothy 2:5; cf. John 14:6; 1 John 2:1). But, if Jesus were not risen, our prayers would not be heard, and our petitions to have our sins forgiven could not be granted.
The only reason that preaching and baptizing (Matthew 28:19-20; Mark 16:15-16) are of any importance at all is because Jesus is not dead, but alive. When a person is baptized “for the remission of sins” (Acts 2:38), he is raised from a world of sin, “just as Christ was raised from the dead by the glory of the Father” (Romans 6:4).
Christians always need to keep in mind how important Jesus’ resurrection is to our faith. We must not let the fact that Jesus’ resurrection occurred nearly 2,000 years ago lessen the importance of His victory over death.