Tuesday, April 6

What The Resurrection Means

I've been spending a little time this week looking at scripture passages dealing with the resurrection, focusing particularly on passages that describe what the resurrection means to us. These passages seem to naturally divide themselves into two categories: the message that the resurrection has for everyone, believer and unbeliever alike; and the meaning it has for those who are joined to Christ through faith. Today I want to look at some verses that tell us what the resurrection shows to everyone--what it proves to the world about Christ.

Paul, a servant of Christ Jesus, called to be an apostle, set apart for the gospel of God, which he promised beforehand through his prophets in the holy Scriptures, concerning his Son, who was descended from David according to the flesh and was declared to be the Son of God in power according to the Spirit of holiness by his resurrection from the dead, Jesus Christ our Lord... (Romans 1:1-4 ESV)

During Jesus's earthly ministry, people had seen His humility, his weakness; but now, with the resurrection, a new age of Christ's human existence had dawned. The suffering servant, through the resurrection, is declared to all to be the Lord of All.

Look too, at Peter's message in the second chapter of Acts:

Brothers, I may say to you with confidence about the patriarch David that he both died and was buried, and his tomb is with us to this day. Being therefore a prophet, and knowing that God had sworn with an oath to him that he would set one of his descendants on his throne, he foresaw and spoke about the resurrection of the Christ, that he was not abandoned to Hades, nor did his flesh see corruption. This Jesus God raised up, and of that we all are witnesses. Being therefore exalted at the right hand of God, and having received from the Father the promise of the Holy Spirit, he has poured out this that you yourselves are seeing and hearing. For David did not ascend into the heavens, but he himself says,
"The Lord said to my Lord, Sit at my right hand, until I make your enemies your footstool."

Let all the house of Israel therefore know for certain that God has made him both Lord and Christ, this Jesus whom you crucified.
(Acts 2: 29-36 ESV)

The resurrection is evidence that Jesus is the fulfillment of David's prophesy of the resurrection of the Messiah. It is because of the resurrection that people can "know for certain that God has made him both Lord and Christ". The resurrection is proof that Jesus is the promised Messiah and the one who rules as Lord.

In another message found in Acts, Paul says to the people of Athens:

The times of ignorance God overlooked, but now he commands all people everywhere to repent, because he has fixed a day on which he will judge the world in righteousness by a man whom he has appointed; and of this he has given assurance to all by raising him from the dead. (Acts 17:30,31 ESV)

Christ's resurrection is evidence to all people everywhere that He is the one God has appointed to judge them, and the proper response to the surety of this promise of judgment is repentance. We know He will judge us because He is raised.

The Christ we take to the world is not just another prophet or teacher, and not just a humble servant, but the One God has shown to be the very Lord of All by His resurrection from the dead. He can stand in judgment over every single person because He has a right to judge--a right given Him by the Father who proved to all the rightness of Christ's judgment by raising Him from the dead.

The resurrection calls all people to respond by turning from rebellion against Christ to confession of the truth of the resurrection: that He has been made Ruler of All and is declared before all as worthy of worship. It is confirmation to all people that "God has highly exalted him and bestowed on him the name that is above every name, so that at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, in heaven and on earth and under the earth, and every tongue confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father." (Philippians 2:9-11 ESV)

He is risen!
He is risen indeed!