The Glorious Resurrection!

Posted on April 8, 2020


By David Ettinger

Gospel Truth
Jesus said: “I am the resurrection and the life. The one who believes in me will live, even though they die; and whoever lives by believing in me will never die. Do you believe this?” (John 11:25-26).

The resurrection is the single greatest event in history, and what Jesus asked is the most important question ever brought forth. It is the most crucial question an individual will ever ponder. Was Jesus who He said He was, or was He a delusional martyr?

I love the simplicity with which the apostle Paul expresses it, yet its stunning truth penetrates heart, soul, and mind. He wrote: “For what I received I passed on to you as of first importance: that Christ died for our sins according to the Scriptures, that he was buried, that he was raised on the third day according to the Scriptures” (1 Corinthians 15:3-4).

Paul describes this simple yet powerful statement of faith as “the gospel I preached to you, which you received and on which you have taken your stand. By this gospel you are saved, if you hold firmly to the word I preached to you. Otherwise, you have believed in vain” (vv. 1-2).

What was it that those who merely profess Christ were – and do – believed in vain? The answer: the Resurrection. The Resurrection of the Lord Jesus Christ is the dividing point of faith. To those whom God has granted the faith to believe in Him, the Resurrection is the crowning moment of human existence. It was Christ rising from death as a warrior, conquering mortality’s greatest foe, death.

The Resurrection of Jesus Christ is Gospel truth at its purest, the foundation upon which we stake the entirety of our hopes, dreams, and aspirations.

How Indeed?
To deny the glorious Resurrection is the greatest tragedy that can be wrought in the human heart. Paul writes: “But if it is preached that Christ has been raised from the dead, how can some of you say that there is no resurrection of the dead?” (1 Corinthians 15:12).

How indeed? How can people attend church, hear the Bible read, know what the Christian faith teaches, and still deny the very crux upon which the faith stands? Obviously the answer is that such tragic souls have never been washed in the blood of the Lamb, have never come to a saving faith in the Lord Jesus Christ.

And what if the deniers are correct, that Jesus never rose from the dead? Paul tells us:

For if the dead are not raised, then Christ has not been raised either. And if Christ has not been raised, your faith is futile; you are still in your sins. Then those also who have fallen asleep in Christ are lost. If only for this life we have hope in Christ, we are of all people most to be pitied (vv. 16-19).

If Jesus Christ did not rise from the dead, then all who believe in the Resurrection are the most spiritually destitute, deceived, and delusional creatures on the face of the Earth! Certainly, those with knowledge of Jesus Christ but deny the Resurrection live daily in that state.

But …
That tiny word “but” is often used mightily in the Bible. It signals the pivotal turn from one point to another, and in this case, the turning point from tragedy to glory. For far from our Lord going to the grave and having His body decay in the ground, Paul tells us: “But Christ has indeed been raised from the dead, the firstfruits of those who have fallen asleep” (v. 20).

Note how Paul doesn’t attempt to prove this point, but simply proclaims it as the greatest truth the world has even known! And for the believer, because Jesus rose from the dead, there is an “end-game” beyond our wildest imagination, as Paul explains: “For we believe that Jesus died and rose again, and so we believe that God will bring with Jesus those who have fallen asleep in him” (1 Thessalonians 4:14).

This speaks of the Rapture of the Church and its truth is beyond wonderful: Whether believers in the Lord Jesus die first or are alive at His return, we will be gathered to Him in the sky and spend eternity with Him. In other words, because Jesus rose from the dead, so will those who love Him.

Oh the glorious Resurrection of the Lord Jesus Christ. May multitudes come to believe in its reality in these tumultuous and challenging end times!