Resurrection and New Life Day 10 – The Need for His Resurrection
“For if the dead are not raised, not even Christ has been raised. And if Christ has not been raised, your faith is futile and you are still in your sins. Then those also who have fallen asleep in Christ have perished. If in Christ we have hope in this life only, we are of all people most to be pitied. But in fact Christ has been raised from the dead, the firstfruits of those who have fallen asleep.” (1 Corinthians 15:16-20, ESV)
“Behold! I tell you a mystery. We shall not all sleep, but we shall all be changed, in a moment, in the twinkling of an eye, at the last trumpet. For the trumpet will sound, and the dead will be raised imperishable, and we shall be changed.” (1 Corinthians 15:51-52, ESV)
“Jesus said to her, ‘I am the resurrection and the life. Whoever believes in me, though he die, yet shall he live, and everyone who lives and believes in me shall never die. Do you believe this’”? (John 11:25-26, ESV)
In our study of resurrection, today we’re going to discuss the need for Jesus’ resurrection. His resurrection fills us with a great hope, a hope unlike anything in this world. The other day, I was reading an article about actor William Shatner and his expedition into space. He thought that going to space would be cathartic and give him an ability to see the connection between all living things. Instead, he was profoundly grieved by the experience. “It was among the strongest feelings of grief I have ever encountered. The contrast between the vicious coldness of space and the warm nurturing of Earth below filled me with overwhelming sadness. Every day, we are confronted with the knowledge of further destruction of Earth at our hands … things that took five billion years to evolve, and suddenly we will never see them again because of the interference of mankind. It filled me with dread. My trip to space was supposed to be a celebration; instead, it felt like a funeral.”
These words express such hopelessness, a hopelessness we would all feel if Christ had not been raised from the dead. Paul even says that if Christ was not raised, we only have hope in this life and we are to be pitied. Why? If Christ was not raised, Paul writes, “your faith is futile and you are still in your sins.” If Christ was not raised, then He wouldn’t be who He claimed to be: the Son of God. The resurrection of Jesus Christ, after He laid down His life for our sins at Calvary, is essential to our salvation. Because of this glorious resurrection, we have hope not only for this life but for eternity as well. Paul writes in Romans 6:4 that because “Christ was raised from the dead by the glory of the Father, we too might walk in newness of life.” At salvation, we are given new life now and the promise of eternal life in the future.
Since Christ is the “firstfruits of those who have fallen asleep,” we know that one day believers will all be raised too. If the Lord does not return before we pass away, we have the promise that at His return “the dead will be raised imperishable, and we shall all be changed.” In our resurrected bodies, we will see Him and will be like Him, and we will be with our Savior forever. None of this would be possible if Christ had not been raised. The resurrection of Jesus Christ provides us with hope for this life and for the next one too.
It would be my prayer that if you are not saved, you would put your trust in Christ. For those of us who are saved, it would be my prayer that we would take great joy in the hope that we have in Christ, and that this would encourage each of us to live lives that honor Him and the great sacrifice He made for us at Calvary.