“If only for this life we have hope in Christ, we are to be pitied more than all men.”
– 1 Corinthians 15:19
A young boy ran into his pastor at the grocery store. Since Easter had just recently passed, the pastor asked the preschooler, “Billy, do you know why we celebrate Easter each year?” The little boy’s face lit up as he said, “I sure do! Jesus went to Jerusalem, rode a donkey and they waved palm branches at him.” He continued, “But then he got in trouble. He was beat up, yelled at, and then they nailed him to a cross.” The pastor liked what he heard. “What else, Billy?” The little boy became more serious as he said, “They put Jesus in a tomb and put a big rock in front of it. But three days later he got raised and got out of there.” The pastor was delighted that his church’s Sunday School program had taught Billy so well. But he was taken aback when Billy added enthusiastically, “Jesus walked out of the tomb, looks around, and if he sees his shadow there’s six more weeks of winter.”
Sadly, Billy is not alone in his confusion. Our nation is filled with millions of men and women who attended an Easter church service a week ago but missed out on its meaning to their lives. The honest truth is: Many people believe that Jesus rose from the dead on Easter morning, but they don’t understand its relevance. They recognize that the evidence for Jesus’ resurrection is overwhelming; they don’t discount that it happened. Rather, they discount that it has any bearing on their day-to-day lives. But allow me share with you five convincing reasons why Jesus’ resurrection matters to you.
#1: Jesus’ resurrection proves that he is the Son of God. In John 10:18 Jesus told his followers, “No one takes [my life] from me, but I lay it down of my own accord. I have authority to lay it down and authority to take it up again.” Consider this: Any martyr could claim to have the authority to lay down his/her life for a cause. But none of us—not even an angel in heaven—has the authority or power to raise ourselves from the dead. Only God can do that. Therefore, Jesus’ resurrection proves that He is—in fact—God in the flesh.
#2: Jesus’ resurrection confirms that the Bible is true. There are several Old Testament prophesies claiming that the promised Messiah (Christ) would rise from the dead. For example, King David wrote in Psalm 16:10, “You will not abandon me to the grave, nor will you let your Holy One see decay.” The prophesies in the Bible are 100% accurate, 100% of the time. And Jesus’ resurrection offers further proof that even the prophesies in Scripture that seem impossible to fulfill are proven to be accurate time and again.
#3: Jesus’ resurrection paves the way for our own future resurrection, giving us great hope. The Apostle Paul writes in 1 Corinthians 15:19-22, “If only for this life we have hope in Christ, we are to be pitied more than all men. But Christ has indeed been raised from the dead…. For since death came through a man, the resurrection of the dead comes also through a man. For as in Adam all die, so in Christ all will be made alive.” Bottom line: Jesus’ resurrection from the dead blazed the trail for you and me to live forever. Because Christ conquered death on Easter morning, we have this unshakable hope: This life is not all there is. The best is yet to come.
#4: Jesus’ resurrection proves that Judgment Day is coming. While speaking to a group of Greek philosophers, Paul said in Acts 17:30-31, “God commands all people everywhere to repent. For He has set a day when He will judge the world with justice by the man He has appointed. He has given proof of this to all men by raising him from the dead.” Sadly, Jesus’ resurrection isn’t good news to everyone. You see, because Jesus is alive, he will hold us accountable for our sin. That’s the purpose of Judgment Day—to declare our innocence or guilt before our holy God. For those of us who are found guilty of rejecting Jesus Christ on earth, God will reject us in eternity. Sadly, there will be hell to pay.
#5: Jesus’ resurrection empowers us to live lives that please God. Let me ask you: What do you think the chances are of you, on your own, living a life that pleases God? Slim to none? How about just plain—None! The Bible proclaims that on our own, our good deeds are like filthy rags compared to God’s holiness. On our own you and I cannot live lives that are good and righteous. It can’t be done. It’s impossible. But with Christ, the impossible becomes possible. Only the risen Christ can help us live lives that truly please God.
Unlike the little boy in the grocery store, I don’t think you’ve ever confused Jesus with a groundhog. But perhaps you’ve unknowingly lumped the resurrection into the same category as a marshmallow Peep: fine for the holiday but irrelevant to your day-to-day life. Now that we've passed the one-week anniversary of Easter 2017, I hope that you are continuing to be impacted and transformed by the power of our risen Savior. He is the death-conquering Son of God. He is the culmination of Biblical prophecy. He is the hope-giving trail blazer for eternal life. He is the guarantor that Judgment Day is coming, and he is the only one who can help us be God-pleasers. So, does the resurrection of Jesus Christ matter? You bet it matters—much, much more than you may have ever realized.
Dane Davis is the Lead Pastor of First Christian Church in Victorville. For more information,
visit www.fccvv.com and join us for worship Sundays at 10 am.