The Importance of the ResurrectionBro. David Chancellor
4/4/2004 11:00 AM
The movie has come out about the crucifixion of Christ. It's caused a lot of talk. The crucifixion is a picture of God's love and the awfulness of sin. If it had just been a crucifixion we'd not be talking about it. There was also a resurrection. There were many others that were crucified. What makes Christ's stand out is the resurrection that followed.
Acts 26:1-10, 19-23
Then Agrippa said unto Paul, Thou art permitted to speak for thyself. Then Paul stretched forth the hand, and answered for himself: I think myself happy, king Agrippa, because I shall answer for myself this day before thee touching all the things whereof I am accused of the Jews: Especially because I know thee to be expert in all customs and questions which are among the Jews: wherefore I beseech thee to hear me patiently. My manner of life from my youth, which was at the first among mine own nation at Jerusalem, know all the Jews; Which knew me from the beginning, if they would testify, that after the most straitest sect of our religion I lived a Pharisee. And now I stand and am judged for the hope of the promise made of God, unto our fathers: Unto which promise our twelve tribes, instantly serving God day and night, hope to come. For which hope's sake, king Agrippa, I am accused of the Jews. Why should it be thought a thing incredible with you, that God should raise the dead? I verily thought with myself, that I ought to do many things contrary to the name of Jesus of Nazareth. Which thing I also did in Jerusalem: and many of the saints did I shut up in prison, having received authority from the chief priests; and when they were put to death, I gave my voice against them.
Whereupon, O king Agrippa, I was not disobedient unto the heavenly vision: But shewed first unto them of Damascus, and at Jerusalem, and throughout all the coasts of Judaea, and then to the Gentiles, that they should repent and turn to God, and do works meet for repentance. For these causes the Jews caught me in the temple, and went about to kill me. Having therefore obtained help of God, I continue unto this day, witnessing both to small and great, saying none other things than those which the prophets and Moses did say should come: That Christ should suffer, and that he should be the first that should rise from the dead, and should shew light unto the people, and to the Gentiles.
Paul was focused on the resurrection. He had been one who followed the religion of his youth and was a Pharisee. He used his testimony to tell of the change that was made him. "Why should it be thought a thing incredible with you, that God should raise the dead?" People can accept a lot of things that God does, but many people can't accept the resurrection. Paul thought like this until he met Jesus. He knew the ridicule that came from preaching the resurrection, but he also knew that everyone needed to know. He wanted Agrippa to know. He was explaining why he was being accused.
Matthew 27:62-66; 28:11-15
Now the next day, that followed the day of the preparation, the chief priests and Pharisees came together unto Pilate, Saying, Sir, we remember that that deceiver said, while he was yet alive, After three days I will rise again. Command therefore that the sepulchre be made sure until the third day, lest his disciples come by night, and steal him away, and say unto the people, He is risen from the dead: so the last error shall be worse than the first. Pilate said unto them, Ye have a watch: go your way, make it as sure as ye can. So they went, and made the sepulchre sure, sealing the stone, and setting a watch.
Now when they were going, behold, some of the watch came into the city, and shewed unto the chief priests all the things that were done. And when they were assembled with the elders, and had taken counsel, they gave large money unto the soldiers, Saying, Say ye, His disciples came by night, and stole him away while we slept. And if this come to the governor's ears, we will persuade him, and secure you. So they took the money, and did as they were taught: and this saying is commonly reported among the Jews until this day.
Some were quite concerned about the thought of a resurrection. They thought it would mean they failed. They did fail, and in what they did, they verified the resurrection. Instead of saying, "We messed up," they tried to cover it over with money. Both those that followed Christ and those who opposed knew a resurrection happened.
The resurrection makes a point that the crucifixion didn't make: Jesus was the Christ. There's only one Christ. Since there's just one, you want to make sure that you find him. The others could be nailed to a cross, and they would still be dead. Jesus rose from the dead. Mohammed isn't the one that was promised - he died. He didn't rise again. Christ's rising from the dead made him different. He is the Son of God. Put all else aside and focus on Jesus.
Concerning his Son Jesus Christ our Lord, which was made of the seed of David according to the flesh; And declared to be the Son of God with power, according to the spirit of holiness, by the resurrection from the dead: By whom we have received grace and apostleship, for obedience to the faith among all nations, for his name:
Christ had the power to lay down and to take up his life. We don't have this power. He laid down his life. He could have called the angels, but he didn't. They tried to keep him from rising again, but they couldn't. Jesus was the Son of God. He was able to take his life back up again. We're able to live for God because Jesus rose again. He rose again so that our lives could be changed. The resurrection brings us new life.
1 Corinthians 15:12-23
Now if Christ be preached that he rose from the dead, how say some among you that there is no resurrection of the dead? But if there be no resurrection of the dead, then is Christ not risen: And if Christ be not risen, then is our preaching vain, and your faith is also vain. Yea, and we are found false witnesses of God; because we have testified of God that he raised up Christ: whom he raised not up, if so be that the dead rise not. For if the dead rise not, then is not Christ raised: And if Christ be not raised, your faith is vain; ye are yet in your sins. Then they also which are fallen asleep in Christ are perished. If in this life only we have hope in Christ, we are of all men most miserable. But now is Christ risen from the dead, and become the firstfruits of them that slept. For since by man came death, by man came also the resurrection of the dead. For as in Adam all die, even so in Christ shall all be made alive. But every man in his own order: Christ the firstfruits; afterward they that are Christ's at his coming.
If Christ hadn't risen from the dead, we would still be in our sins. I can rise to newness of life because he arose. Much of religion puts the answer for sin after death. Don't put your trust in something that works it out after death. You don't have to stay in your sins. He rose again.
Know ye not, that so many of us as were baptized into Jesus Christ were baptized into his death? Therefore we are buried with him by baptism into death: that like as Christ was raised up from the dead by the glory of the Father, even so we also should walk in newness of life. For if we have been planted together in the likeness of his death, we shall be also in the likeness of his resurrection: Knowing this, that our old man is crucified with him, that the body of sin might be destroyed, that henceforth we should not serve sin. For he that is dead is freed from sin. Now if we be dead with Christ, we believe that we shall also live with him: Knowing that Christ being raised from the dead dieth no more; death hath no more dominion over him. For in that he died, he died unto sin once: but in that he liveth, he liveth unto God. Likewise reckon ye also yourselves to be dead indeed unto sin, but alive unto God through Jesus Christ our Lord.
Paul shows the importance of the resurrection; so we can have new life. It allows us to be changed and have new life. We focus on the death, but there's also new life. We leave sin behind, but new life comes. This is why Jesus died and rose again. We have a message of new life. It's a message of victory, not defeat. "Old things are passed away, and behold all things are become new." Christ brings a message of new life. We can have a part in the first resurrection - the new birth. We've been born twice so that we don't have to die twice. The second death is the lake of fire. There's a spiritual death. The second death is the final separation from God - the eternal separation. If we have the new birth we don't have to have the second death. The world needs to hear the message of the resurrection. It's a message of joy, happiness and holiness.