Bible Reading: 1 Corinthians 15:1-58
We have read in John’s Gospel about the resurrected Christ, but we need also to understand just why this is so important to us today.
Firstly, the fact that Jesus rose again validated all His claims. Jesus had clearly spoken of His resurrection, and promised that He would rise again [Mark 8:31]. Because He rose as He promised, we know that what He said is true – He is God! If he had not risen again, then all the claims he made about Himself would have to have been rejected as untrustworthy! Incidentally, there is more evidence of the resurrection of Jesus Christ than there is for many other events in history!
Secondly, without the resurrection there would have been no gospel, and our faith would have been in vain [1 Corinthians 15:14,17]; we would be false witnesses [1 Corinthians15:15]; those who died in faith are lost [1 Corinthians 15:18]; we would still be lost in our sins [1 Corinthians15:17]; we would be of all people most pitiful [1 Corinthians15:19] and life would be totally futile and without purpose [1 Corinthians 15:32]. We are saved from our sins by the death of Christ and through the resurrection we have His life!
Thirdly, the resurrection defeated the power of death. Death is an enemy! It was the direct result of sin and man’s fall, and the Bible says that, “the wages of sin is death [Romans 6:23]. Wayne Grudem has said, “The last aspect of the fallen world to be removed will be death” [Wayne Grudem]. The last
enemy to be destroyed is death” [1 Corinthians 15:26]. When Jesus died He destroyed the power of death, that is the devil, and set free people who were in slavery by their fear of death [see Hebrews 2:14-15].
As he approached death, the great Methodist preacher, W. E. Sangster wrote to Dr. Billy Graham and said, “All my life I have preached that Christ is able. Tell the world that as I approach death, Jesus Christ is still able.”
Fourthly, the resurrection is the basis of our hope for our own resurrection. We too can look forward to the resurrection. Jesus is the first fruits of those who rise from the dead [1 Corinthians 15:20,23]. We too will have a new body like Christ’s body [1 Corinthians 15:50-54]. Our present bodies are perishable, limited and prone to decay. They will be transformed and we will be changed in a moment [1 Corinthians 15:51-52]; Our new bodies will not be limited by the laws of nature; They will be Imperishable, and not subject to decay, weakness, will never get sick and will never die [1 Corinthians 15:4].
“Because He lives, I can face tomorrow,
Because He lives, all fear is gone,
Because I know He holds the future,
And life is worth the living,
Just because He lives!”
[Written by Bill Gaither in 1971]
Would you take just five minutes now to read through this devotional again, and give thanks to Jesus for all that His resurrection means in your life?