Jesus rising from the dead is at the centre of the Easter story but why is the resurrection important to Christianity?
The Resurrection Means Our Sins Have Been Forgiven
Jesus died so that our sins would be forgiven and we could have a relationship with God. In Ephesians 2:3-5 it says, “We were by nature deserving of wrath. But because of His great love for us, God who is rich in mercy, made us alive with Christ”.
The wrath of God towards sin has been satisfied and and we’re now in right standing with God because Jesus “was raised to life for our justification” as it says in Romans 4:25. You see, God is holy, and His justice is perfect. We know from Romans 3:23-24 that “all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God” but now “all are justified freely by His grace through the redemption that came by Christ Jesus.”
There are other signs and wonders recorded in the Gospels, but without the miracle of His resurrection we would still be held captive to sin’s power. Paul says as much in his first letter to the Corinthians (1 Corinthians 15:17), “if Christ has not been raised, your faith is futile; you are still in your sins.”
Jesus resurrection shows He was God
Christians don’t just believe Jesus was a great teacher or an inspirational religious leader. We believe He is the Son of God.
Jesus said and did many things that are foundational to our faith. But if He had not risen again, we could reasonably question whether He was the Son of God, since resurrection was one of the main claims of His ministry on earth. He predicted His resurrection on multiple occasions, including in Luke 9:22, although it appears in all the other Gospels too. He also claimed to be the Son of God, at great personal cost. One of the most famous examples of this is His claim to be “the way, the truth and the life”. In John 14:6 He goes on to say, “no one comes to the Father except through me.” This bold claim, along with others, can only be confirmed by His resurrection.
C.S. Lewis famously tackled this in his book Mere Christianity, saying “a man who was merely a man and said the sort of things Jesus said would not be a great moral teacher… Either this man was, and is, the Son of God, or else a madman or something worse… let us not come with any patronizing nonsense about His being a great human teacher. He has not left that open to us.”
This is the start of a new life and a new creation
The good news of the gospel doesn’t end with the forgiveness of sins. We also have new life. John 3:16 says that “whoever believes in Him shall not perish but have eternal life.”
This is our inheritance, which is prophesied in Daniel 12:13. This new life is not simply a repeat of what has come before but something greater. Ephesians 1:18-21 calls this our “glorious inheritance”. And this eternal life starts now. Rather than beginning when we die, our victory is a life in the spirit that starts today. After all, as Jesus says in Matthew 22:32, God “is not the God of the dead but of the living.”
Romans 8:11 says “He who raised Christ from the dead will also give life to your mortal bodies because of His Spirit who lives in you.” Through the Spirit of the risen Christ we can experience life to the fullest.
The resurrection of Jesus kickstarted the new creation. Paul says in Romans 8:22 that “the whole creation has been groaning as in the pains of childbirth right up to the present time.”
We experience this tension in our everyday lives. Life is full of beauty and pain. God gives us so many blessings and yet we still experience suffering. The project isn’t finished but we know that the kingdom is coming because we have the “first fruits of the spirit” living in us and impacting the world around us.
Jesus Body Was Resurrected And Ours Will Be Too
We know from the apostles’ testimony that Jesus resurrection was literal. He wasn’t an apparition but was physically there in human form, even if it was a little different (a foretaste of our heavenly bodies).
We know this because of the physical wounds that Jesus showed to His disciples in John 20:24-29. His body also wasn’t in the tomb. When the women head there on Easter morning in Luke 24:5-6, the angels say “why do you look for the living among the dead? He is not here; He has risen!”
This physical bodily resurrection is good news for us. 2 Corinthians 4:14 says, “the One who raised the Lord Jesus from the dead will also raise us with Jesus”. We know from the other resurrections that occur in the Gospels – Lazarus in John 11 and those who come out of the tombs in Matthew 27:53 – that God can and will resurrect our physical bodies.
Our current bodies will die. Death is a reality. But a new world is coming, where everything will be restored. Inwardly, this restoration has already begun. Christ brought about that change and gave us a sneak preview into what resurrection life looks like. Our bodies, which have experienced weakness, dishonour, pain and suffering are perishable, but they will be raised imperishable, as it says in 1 Corinthians 15:42.
Why The Resurrection Of Jesus Is Good News
The resurrection really does change everything.
The revelation that Jesus was God in human form shows how amazing God’s grace is. He was willing to lower Himself to this level and make the ultimate atoning sacrifice for us.
And now, when we say yes to Jesus, we say yes to new life. New minds, new hearts and one day, new bodies. The old things will pass away and life as it is meant to be lived will be available, freely given by the grace of God.
If you want to soak in the wonder of God’s grace, you might find our audio devotionals helpful. There is a lot on the Glorify app to help you focus on God and what He has done for us, as you spend time with Him.