For some reason, the resurrection is one of those things that often gets relegated to the sideline in our thinking. This is quite contrary to the amount of ink spilled over it in the New Testament.
A quick scan through the New Testament on the subject of hope will find you immersed in “resurrection talk”.
Many Christians think that the resurrection is something that has to be proven. It is challenged by unbelievers and so we assemble our arguments to show that Jesus did too rise from the dead. Though these arguments may be appropriate in a very limited way, we should never forget that the New Testament treats the resurrection, not as something demanding proof but rather as something that is proof.
Who is Jesus? (Rom 1:4) He was declared with power to be the Son of God by His resurrection from the dead. The resurrection is not waiting around in order to be established – it establishes. When we preach Christ and Him Crucified, we are preaching the hope and glory of the world – resurrection from the dead.
So, the crucifixion is powerful, but only because the resurrection enables us to talk about it. Jesus Christ was crucified, died and on the third day he rose from the dead. This we confess and we confess it gladly. But it was not enough for the New Testament to declare the resurrection. History also declares the ramifications of this extraordinary fact. And we must declare the ramifications of the resurrection also.
The resurrection is the hope of the world. It establishes everything else.
Paul says that because the world was excluded from the promises of God, it was without hope (Eph 2:12). He also says that we have been called to a living hope – one hope – and we are to walk in a way befitting that call. (Eph 4:1-6).
What is this call? It is the resurrection and we are commanded to set our hope fully on this promise. “When all is done and said we will wake up from the dead… and roll away the stone.”
Without the resurrection, nothing else – inside or out of Christianity – matters. On account of the resurrection, everything we do matters (1 Pet 1:13, 21-25).
Lessons For little Saints…
- What does the resurrection prove?
- What does the resurrection promise?
- Why will Jesus return to earth at the end of time?
- What will God’s people inherit when He returns?