The Essential Truth
Theologians have recognized the importance of Jesus’ resurrection. Bornkamm: “There would be no gospel, not one account, no epistle in the New Testament, no faith, no Church, no worship, no prayer in Christendom to this day without the message of the resurrection of Christ.” Whale: “Belief in the resurrection is not an appendage to the Christian faith; it is the Christian faith.”
The most important element in the Christian faith is the bodily resurrection of Jesus Christ (1 Cor. 15:14, 17).
We need to understand that Christ’s resurrection was actually a bodily resurrection, not a spiritual one (Lk. 24:39, 43; Jn. 20:27).
The Resurrection and the Doctrine of God
God is the One who raised Jesus from the dead (Gal. 1:1; Eph. 1:19-20; Col. 2:12). What does the resurrection say about God? He is all powerful, powerful enough to raise the dead. He is eternal. He cares enough about man to give man hope.
The Resurrection and the Doctrine of Scripture
The resurrection was a fulfillment of the Old Testament (1 Cor. 15:3-5; Acts 26:22-23). What the resurrection says about Scripture is that every word is true. The Old Testament prophesied the resurrection, and the event occurred just as promised!
The Resurrection and the Doctrine of Christ
- The resurrection established Jesus to be the Son of God (Rom. 1:4).
- The resurrection vindicated the humiliation Jesus suffered in his death (Acts 5:30-31; Phil. 2:8-9).
- The resurrection is essential to redemption (Rom. 4:25; 1 Cor. 15:17).
- The resurrection also makes redemption relevant to today, for Jesus always lived to intercede on our behalf (Rom. 8:34; Heb. 7:25).
The Resurrection and the Doctrine of the Church
Jesus’ headship of the church is dependent upon his resurrection (Col. 1:18; Eph. 1:19-23). Even death would not prevent Jesus from establishing his church (Mt. 16:18).
The Resurrection and the Doctrine of Worship
New Testament worship is grounded in the resurrection of Jesus. We, as did the early church, gather on the first day of the week (Acts 20:7; 1 Cor. 16:2). Why was worship changed from the Sabbath to Sunday? Luke 24:1.
The resurrection also impacts our taking of the Lord’s Supper. You recall that as Jesus instituted the Lord’s Supper, he instructed the disciples to take the Supper “in remembrance of me.” As we take the Supper, it becomes a memorial to a living Lord, not a dead One.
The Resurrection and the Life of the Christian
The Christian’s life is deeply impacted by the resurrection.
- The Christian must believe the resurrection in order to be saved (Rom. 10:9).
- In order to become a Christian, one must reenact Jesus’ resurrection (Rom. 6:4; Col. 2:12).
- Baptism only has any power to save if Jesus has been raised from the dead (1 Pet. 3:21).
Not only does one become a Christian through the reenactment of Jesus’ resurrection, but the resurrection affects how Christians live. Just as Jesus was raised, the Christian was raised from baptism that he “may live a new life” (Rom. 6:4). Just as Jesus was raised to new life, the Christian is to live a new life (Rom. 6:9-14).
The Resurrection and the End of the World
- Jesus is the firstborn of the dead (Col. 1:18; Rev. 1:5).
- Because Jesus was raised from the dead, others will also live (Jn. 14:19; Rom. 8:11).
- Through Jesus, we can obtain the resurrection of the dead (Phil. 3:10-22).
- Our resurrected bodies will be like Jesus’ body (1 Jn. 3:2).
We have great hope because of Jesus’ resurrection. Do you have that hope? Do you need to come this morning and reenact Jesus’ resurrection through your baptism?