Foundations of Our Faith Day 9: Hallelujah, He Arose
Over the last few days, we have been looking at the foundations of our faith. Today, we are going to look at the Resurrection. Did it happen? Is it true? And what is the importance of it to us today?
Hundreds of prophecies were made about the Messiah in Scripture, prophecies about His birth, life, death, and resurrection. The most unbelievable was the latter, and yet, it was true. It is true! The resurrection is one of the single most argued points in history. Few people dispute that Jesus Christ was a real person, that He lived and died. His returning to life has been and continues to be a point of contention. Acts 23:8 states, “For the Sadducees say that there is no resurrection, nor angel, nor spirit, but the Pharisees acknowledge them all.” This is the archetype of the dissension that continues to exist among present-day historians and theologians. The argument continues on, but those who truly are in Christ and have the Spirit know the truth. Hallelujah! Christ arose!
Throughout the New Testament, the truth is set forth that it isn’t just the crucifixion that matters, but that the resurrection matters equally so. Romans 8:34 perfectly makes this point: “Christ Jesus is the one who died—more than that, who was raised—who is at the right hand of God, who indeed is interceding for us.” The phrase “more than that” shows the importance of the resurrection. Jesus’ death held a twofold purpose: to pay the punishment for sin, for all people for all time, and to rise again. He had to die in order that He may conquer death. He could not conquer death by merely bringing someone else back (although He displayed His deity via that very action). He had to personally show the world that He is death’s master.
The cross alone does not procure our salvation, but it is the cross in tandem with the resurrection that does. 1 Corinthians 15 is perhaps the most powerful message on the importance of the resurrection to the Christian life: “And if Christ has not been raised, your faith is futile and you are still in your sins” (v.17). The importance of the resurrection in the Christian’s life is stated above. Without it, we would still be in our sins; without it, Christ did not do anything different than what we mortal, sinful men will do at the end of our lives—die. No, He did not simply die for our sins; He overcame sin’s power to separate us from God by returning to life and ascending to the right hand of God (Hebrews 1:3).
Romans 5 and Hebrews 9 are the perfect places to end this devotional. A common theme throughout the New Testament is the word one or once. Romans 5:12 begins this pattern of one: “Therefore, just as sin came into the world through one man, and death through sin, and so death spread to all men because all sinned.” And then in verse 19 we read, “For as by the one man’s disobedience the many were made sinners, so by the one man’s obedience the many will be made righteous.” Now we know how sin entered the world (through one man, Adam) and how it was dealt with (by one Man, Christ). The final note on one in regards to the resurrection of Christ is that it only happened once. Jesus only had to pay the price for sin once. Hebrews 9:27-28 tells us this in no uncertain terms: “And just as it is appointed for man to die once, and after that comes judgment, so Christ, having been offered once to bear the sins of many, will appear a second time, not to deal with sin but to save those who are eagerly waiting for him.” Christ died once, rose once, and will soon return. There is a finality and surety in this truth.
What does this mean for us? We are called to holiness and godliness (2 Peter 3:11), and this is the manner in which we ought to live. The resurrection of Christ changed everything. In His death He suffered for our sin, and in His resurrection He conquered death. Through His Spirit, we are changed, regenerated, reborn, and made completely new—forgiven and made heirs with Christ for eternity. This is what it means to live for God—to be like Christ and choose obedience.
Because, if you confess with your mouth that Jesus is Lord and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved. (Romans 10:9, ESV)