The resurrection changed everything
Perhaps the most puzzling thing about the resurrection of Jesus Christ is why Christians tend to only speak about it at Easter. This was not the case when the Apostle Paul was preaching;
Acts 17:16 Now while Paul waited for them at Athens, his spirit was provoked within him when he saw that the city was given over to idols. 17 Therefore he reasoned in the synagogue with the Jews and with the Gentile worshipers, and in the marketplace daily with those who happened to be there. 18 Then [b] certain Epicurean and Stoic philosophers encountered him. And some said, “What does this babbler want to say?”
Others said, “He seems to be a proclaimer of foreign gods,” because he preached to them Jesus and the resurrection. Paul mentioned the resurrection and Jesus so much that these pagans thought he was talking about two Gods, one called ‘Jesus’ and the other ‘Resurrection’!
The American pastor Rick Warren has rightly said ‘the resurrection changed everything’!
After the resurrection Jesus’ ramshackle band of disciples began to ‘turn the world upside down’.
There are perhaps different approaches we can take when we consider the resurrection.
Today I want to focus in on a few scriptures that give insight into its meaning and purpose.
Death the last enemy has been destroyed by the resurrection of Jesus Christ
1 Corinthians 15:20 But now Christ is risen from the dead, and has become the first fruits of those who have fallen asleep. 21 For since by man came death, by Man also came the resurrection of the dead. 22 For as in Adam all die, even so in Christ all shall be made alive. 23 But each one in his own order: Christ the first fruits, afterward those who are Christ’s at His coming. 24 Then comes the end, when He delivers the kingdom to God the Father, when He puts an end to all rule and all authority and power. 25 For He must reign till He has put all enemies under His feet. 26 The last enemy that will be destroyed is death. 27 For “He has put all things under His feet.”[a] But when He says “all things are put under Him,” it is evident that He who put all things under Him is excepted. 28 Now when all things are made subject to Him, then the Son Himself will also be subject to Him who put all things under Him, that God may be all in all.
Effects of Denying the Resurrection
1 Cor 15:29 Otherwise, what will they do who are baptized for the dead, if the dead do not rise at all? Why then are they baptized for the dead? 30 And why do we stand in jeopardy every hour? 31 I affirm, by the boasting in you which I have in Christ Jesus our Lord, I die daily. 32 If, in the manner of men, I have fought with beasts at Ephesus, what advantage is it to me? If the dead do not rise, “Let us eat and drink, for tomorrow we die!”
Paul is saying if there was no resurrection then we are simply wasting our time and we would be as well simply leading natural lives the same as the unbelievers.
The Father God has declared that Jesus Christ is His Son by resurrecting Him from the dead.
Romans 1:1 1 Paul, a bondservant of Jesus Christ, called to be an apostle, separated to the gospel of God 2 which He promised before through His prophets in the Holy Scriptures, 3 concerning His Son Jesus Christ our Lord, who was born of the seed of David according to the flesh, 4 and declared to be the Son of God with power according to the Spirit of holiness, by the resurrection from the dead.
Jesus Christ naturally speaking was the son of David or the son of Man but after the resurrection the Father calls him the Son of God. God sent his son Jesus Christ into the world born of a woman with a natural family tree of the seed of David and was born under the Law. This Jesus Christ was obedient to Father God through all his short life even unto his sacrificial death on the cross but when God raised him from the dead, he was declared to be the Son of God. At the moment of resurrection God the Father and God the Holy Spirit fully endorsed him as the only begotten Son of the Father giving Jesus Christ a truly unique status and hence power.
That I may know Him and the power of His resurrection
Philippians 3:4 though I also might have confidence in the flesh. If anyone else thinks he may have confidence in the flesh, I more so: 5 circumcised the eighth day, of the stock of Israel, of the tribe of Benjamin, a Hebrew of the Hebrews; concerning the law, a Pharisee; 6 concerning zeal, persecuting the church; concerning the righteousness which is in the law, blameless.
7 But what things were gain to me, these I have counted loss for Christ. 8 Yet indeed I also count all things loss for the excellence of the knowledge of Christ Jesus my Lord, for whom I have suffered the loss of all things, and count them as rubbish, that I may gain Christ 9 and be found in Him, not having my own righteousness, which is from the law, but that which is through faith in Christ, the righteousness which is from God by faith; 10 that I may know Him and the power of His resurrection, and the fellowship of His sufferings, being conformed to His death, 11 if, by any means, I may attain to the resurrection from the dead.
Please note that Lazarus was resuscitated i.e. he came back to a natural life and eventually died.
Jesus Christ was resurrected into a new type of life which would never see death again and conferred various supernatural powers such as being able to appear in locked rooms.
v10 that I may know Him and the power of His resurrection, Paul longed to progressively and intimately come to know Jesus Christ (the Greek word for know is ginosko and was used to describe the relationship between a husband and wife) and the power of his resurrection. This power was much more than needed to simply resuscitate someone like Lazarus i.e. simply recombining his spirit and body to form a living soul but the power to raise Jesus Christ from the dead into an indestructible and everlasting life.
If the resurrection power of God is still available to God’s people then just think what this level of power might be able to achieve in other areas of our lives such as in failed relationships, healing of the body and mind, and to bring all sorts of dead situations back to life!
What do you think?