As they neared the shores of this life in their front porch rocking chairs, a grandfather said to his wife, “Mother, read the words to me again.” She knowingly and with the same conviction and hope read, “I am the resurrection and the life. He who believes in Me, though he may die, he shall live again” (John 11:25).
The resurrection of the Christ the dead can be forgotten in the routine of daily living. Jesus’ victory over the grave can be hidden by grief and tears. Yet, it is the resurrection of my Jesus that give hope and purpose to my life.
THE RESURRECTION IS CHIEF AMONG THE MOST POWERFUL EVENTS OF TIME–1 CORINTHIANS 15:12-13
We are familiar with the ability of events to shape history and lives. Look at the difference just made by 9/11, the bombing of Hiroshima and Nagasaki, the day you met your wife, your children’s birthday, the day you lost your parents.
After supplying the evidence of the resurrection, Paul asked how do some of you say there is no resurrection since Christ has been raised from the dead? The resurrection changed everything.
It changed time–the first day of the week was now the Lord’s Day (Revelation 1:10). It turned the burial ritual into a living message of hope (Mark 16:1-8). It turned a skeptic into an apologist (John 20:24-29). It turned a persecutor into a preacher (Acts 22:15-16). It ended a great Law and replaced it with a perfect one (Hebrews 8:8-13). It took a people who were no people but made them the people of God (Acts 20:28; Romans 9:24-26). It took a creation condemned by sin and freed them for a future home (Galatians 1:13).
THE RESURRECTION IS THE HEART OF ALL SPIRITUAL TRUTH PREACHED–1 CORINTHIANS 15:14-16.
We can read the label on our medicine and cleaning supplies and you will often see that one ingredient in the product is the active ingredient. Jesus’ resurrection is the active ingredient in all the Bible–the resurrection gives it power and authority.
Paul tells us that “if Christ is not risen our preaching is empty and your faith is empty.” The word translated preaching is a word that actually refers to the things preached rather than the act of preaching itself. Paul also may be using the word “faith” in this verse to refer to what is believed rather than to belief itself.
Sometimes people will ask, “Does doctrine matter?”. If it is a doctrine of God it matters because it finds its power and authority in the resurrection of Jesus Christ. Hebrews 6:1 speaks of the “doctrine of Christ” and 2 John 9 warns us “whoever transgresses and does not abide in the doctrine of Christ does not have God.” Biblical doctrine matters because the resurrection of Christ is at the heart of Biblical doctrine.
THE RESURRECTION IS THE POWER OF LIVING FAITH–1 CORINTHIANS 15:17-19.
Paul acknowledged that “if Christ is not risen, your faith is futile, you are still in your sins….If in this life only we have hope in Christ, we are of all men the most pitiable.” With those doubts in mind we also say with Pau, “But in fact, Christ has been raised from the dead” (1 Cor. 15:20).
Because of our living faith we count all things as loss so that we may know him and the power of his resurrection (Philippians 3:7-11). Because of our living faith we have a life worth living (John 10:10). Because of our living faith we rejoice in serving the living God (Matthew 22:31-32).
I love to sing, “Jesus Keep Me Near the Cross,” but I live every day because of that empty tomb that stands as proof of God’s great power and love for me.