The Resurrection of Jesus

       Around the world today millions will celebrate the resurrection of Jesus Christ.  One of the most basic and important Christian beliefs is that Jesus predicted his own death, died on a cross and rose from the dead.  We believe the evidence for this conviction is strong:  the fact of the empty tomb, the eyewitness testimony of hundreds of people and the transformation of the discouraged, depressed disciples into unstoppable ambassadors for the Risen Christ.  We believe that the resurrection is fact, not merely “my truth” in an age of relativistic thinking.  If the resurrection is true, what are some of the implications? 
      First, the resurrection is the ultimate credential of Jesus Christ. Author Peter Larson once said, “The life of Jesus is bracketed by two impossibilities:  a virgin’s womb and an empty tomb.”  Jesus entered our world through a door marked “No Entrance” and left through a door marked “No Exit.” (It’s All About Jesus, Randy Alcorn, 149).  His life, death and resurrection fulfilled prophecies written hundreds of years before His birth.  He made radical claims to be God and then did miracles to back up those claims.  The resurrection is that final credential that Jesus is who He said He was, the Jewish Messiah, Savior of the World and fully God.  When I look at other leaders that have a following such as Buddha or Mohammed to name a few, there is nothing that compares as a credential to the resurrection.  Therefore, when Jesus says, “I am the way, the truth and the life and no one comes to the Father except through me” (John 14:6), I do not view that as arrogance or intolerance but simply true. 
     Second, the resurrection gives us hope in the here and now.  The apostles placed their hope in Jesus; they left everything to follow Him.  Even though Jesus had warned them about the cross ahead of time, when they saw Him die they lost all hope.   Yet on the third day Jesus steps into their darkness and says, “I’m back.”  When your marriage is hanging on by a thread or when the cancer diagnosis is terrifying or your finances are crashing, there is still hope because if Jesus can walk out of His own grave He can certainly handle our issues.  Now this reality is not a guarantee that He will always give us the results we want in life, but it is encouraging that Jesus stands head and shoulders above anything that we face.  No problem is too big; no obstacle is too great, even the obstacle of our own brokenness.  Because of the power of the resurrection that is offered to us, there is no struggle too big or addiction whose grip is too powerful.  There is always hope.
      Third, the resurrection gives us hope in the hereafter.  The resurrection is the most “fantastic fact of history” (Resurrection, Hank Hanegraaff, 11).  Throughout mankind’s story almost everyone has longed for there to be life beyond the grave.  The resurrection is proof that there is eternal life.  Heaven is not a pipe dream but a promised destination.  Jesus tells us that He went to “prepare a place for us” (John 14:3).  I lost my Christian father a while back; I look forward to seeing him again.  In addition, Christians believe we receive new resurrection bodies.  I fell and hurt my back almost two years ago; I experience pain every day.  I long for a new resurrection body that is pain free and hopefully more handsome!  Joni Eareckson Tada, who has spent 50 years paralyzed in a wheelchair, says “Someday in the not-too-distant future, I’m gonna pole-vault the pearly gates” (Resurrection, Hank Hanegraaff, 134).  The resurrection of Jesus is truly good news!  Today celebrate with me for CHRIST IS RISEN!
Pastor Derek Dickinson
Journey Christian Church