“If Jesus rose from the dead, then you have to accept all that he said; if he didn’t rise from the dead, then why worry about any of what he said? The issue on which everything hangs is not whether or not you like his teaching but whether or not he rose from the dead.”Timothy Keller
Does the resurrection matter? What if Jesus just died and never rose from the grave? Would Christianity still be validated? Would our relationship with God change? Historical, factual texts show that there was a man named Jesus who lived and walked this earth around 30 AD. Obviously this man would have died by now… so does his resurrection really mean anything?
Yes, of course it does! Without the resurrection, countless prophecies about Jesus delivering his people would be falsified. Instead, the resurrection fulfills these prophecies, showing God’s plan for reconciliation from the beginning of time. Paul says in 1 Corinthians 15, verses 14 and 15 that without the resurrection of Christ, our faith is dead.
The coming of Christ to Earth is in itself an expression of God’s love for humanity- He sent His ONLY, HOLY Son to take all of our sins, past and present, to the cross. Here on the cross, Jesus died, taking our sin to the grave. So shouldn’t that be enough? If Jesus took our sin to the grave then we are clear right? Absolutely not.
It wasn’t enough to just die with sin. About 151,600 people die each day, and every one of them carries sins that they have committed. So Jesus had to do more, He HAD to do the impossible: He had to conquer sin and death. Jesus did this through the resurrection. After taking the world’s disobedience towards God, all of it, to the grave, Jesus rose three days later. He took it all.
What the resurrection means for us
With the resurrection of Jesus, we are free from the condemnation of sin. Should we choose to put our faith in Jesus, and trust His death and resurrection, we can give all of our guilt and shame to Him. Without the resurrection, we still have to reconcile our sin. Without the resurrection, we still have to DO something to be “good enough.” As we all know by now, being perfectly obedient to all that God calls us to is not possible in the flesh, and there is simply no human action we can make to fix it.
The resurrection of Jesus Christ says “stop, I’ll do it for you, I will pay the price. You don’t have to earn it anymore, its here for you, all you need to do is accept and obey.” All of our sins no longer separate us eternally from God. We get the incredible opportunity to one day spend eternity with the Creator of the universe in heaven- which He created. Wow! I can’t wait until that day!
It is clear that the resurrection is essential to the core beliefs of Christ followers. If Jesus only died, never rising from the dead, we would still be stuck in sin, forever separated from God, and unable to do anything about it. Jesus was the perfect, blameless sacrifice for our wrongdoings. The resurrection gives us eternal life, if we choose. It really is true that “Jesus paid it all.” Jesus gives us freedom from sin so that we can live our lives for Him, making disciples to continue sharing the wonders of the resurrection, and what it means for all sinners.