What Jesus’ Resurrection Means For Christians

by Jack Wellman · Print Print · Email Email

When the Lord Jesus Christ was raised from the dead, it had a significant impact on the Christian’s eternity, so here’s what Jesus’ resurrection means for believers.

Of First Importance

When the Lord Jesus Christ was raised from the dead, it had a significant impact on the Christian’s eternal destination (John 3:16), but before we understand what Jesus’ resurrection means to believers, we must understand what the gospel is which Jesus Christ brought to mankind in the first place. It is the gospel of repentance and faith (Mark 1:15, 10:45). The Apostle Paul broadened the definition of the gospel, and it is not simply knowing that Jesus existed as a historical fact. An intellectual knowledge alone cannot save, for even the demons believe in Jesus and tremble (James 2:19), so we know that is not enough to be saved. It is enough to condemn to hell. Paul said, “I would remind you, brothers, of the gospel I preached to you, which you received, in which you stand” (1 Cor 15:1), so what is that gospel Paul wanted to remind them of and whom did he receive it from? Paul writes, “I delivered to you as of first importance what I also received: that Christ died for our sins in accordance with the Scriptures, that he was buried, that he was raised on the third day in accordance with the Scriptures” (1 Cor 15:3-4), so this was a direct revelation to Paul, delivered by Jesus Christ, and it was of first importance to Jesus, and thus, to Paul.

Saint Paul Writing His Epistles by Valentin de Boulogne (public domain).

The Essentials

When the Apostle Paul mentions that these things happened “in accordance with Scriptures,” he is referring to the Old Testament and New Testament letters or books (like the gospels and the Book of Acts). Several books in the Old and New Testament either prophecy about His coming (Isaiah 53), His crucifixion (i.e. Psalm 22) in the future, or they give an account of the actual events that took place (like in the gospels and the Book of Acts). From seeing the whole Word (New and Old Testament), we see that the gospel must include the belief in the bodily resurrection of Jesus, but also the virgin birth, the sinless life, and His death on the cross for sinners. If any of these essentials are missing, then you have another gospel (2 Cor 11:4; Gal 1:8), but it is in fact no gospel at all (Gal 1:7-9) because if these essentials are missing, then it’s clearly satanic in nature. If the origin of the message is not from God, it’s not the gospel of God (Rom 1:2-4).

Delievered by Jesus

Paul is making sure the Corinthians understand the gospel. To him (and to us) it was the highest priority, which is why he said “I delivered to you as of first importance what I also received: that Christ died for our sins in accordance with the Scriptures” (1 Cor 15:3). It wasn’t of second or third importance, but of “first importance.” If we get the gospel wrong, we get the Savior wrong and our salvation is in danger, so Paul strived to make sure they understood it. Jesus’ substitutionary death was foretold by many of the prophets and fulfilled in the life, death and resurrection of Jesus Christ in the first century. There were in fact, hundreds of eye witnesses to Jesus’ resurrection as He was around Judea for 40 days after His resurrection. The Word of God states that Jesus “appeared to more than five hundred brothers at one time, most of whom are still alive, though some have fallen asleep” (1 Cor 15:6). That is strong and conclusive evidence that the resurrection of Jesus Christ was a historical fact, recorded in the Scripture, seen by hundreds, and we know Scripture is inerrant. It cannot be wrong because God cannot be wrong. It is a historical fact. As has been said before, history is really, “His-story.” Even time is marked and measured by His birth and death (AD and BC).

Making Disciples & Discipling Believers

Mark 16:15 “And he said unto them, Go ye into all the world, and preach the gospel to every creature.”

The great commission was given to the disciples (and to all believers) just prior to Jesus ascension back into heaven. The command was to make believers or disciples in all nations (Matt 28:18-20), but we don’t stop there. We must also teach them all things that the disciples were taught by Jesus Christ. Today, we find those teachings in the Bible. This means we share the gospel of Jesus Christ in the hopes of making new disciples, and then we disciple those (and all) believers to go and make yet more disciples. It’s like the veritable rock in the pond; the ripple effects from one action can and often do reach many others. The Body of Christ is like the growth pattern of human cells…it is self-replicating and self-repairing and it is growing. The Body of Christ is not static. It is growing like anything else in nature grows (Eph 2:20). What is not growing is dying, but Jesus promised that He would build His church and nothing or no one could stop it, not even death (His death or the death of the saints: Matt 16:18). There has never been a better reason or time to pray to the Lord of the Harvest that He might send forth more laborers (Matt 9:38). Today it appears there’s a labor shortage…a labor shortage of workers willing to enter into the harvest, but enter we must and make disciples, and then disciple believers.

Past, Present, Future

The Apostle Paul says of Jesus’ resurrection, “if we have been united with him in a death like his, we shall certainly be united with him in a resurrection like his” (Rom 6:5), so Paul speaks in the past tense of our standing before God. Then Paul speaks in the present tense, writing that we have “been buried with him in baptism, in which you were also raised with him through faith in the powerful working of God, who raised him from the dead” (Col 2:12). The promise of God is also presented in the future tense, as if we are already in the Kingdom, saying that God has “raised us up with him and seated us with him in the heavenly places in Christ Jesus” (Eph 2:6). We know that God sees things that are not yet as though they already are, because He is sovereign and can bring them all to pass (Rom 14:7).

Conclusion

If you have not yet been saved, the resurrection of Jesus cannot help you on Judgement Day. It can only serve to condemn you, but today, there is still time. The day of salvation is still here (2 Cor 6:2). The door is still open. But if you tarry, and the Lord doesn’t, you can read how your eternity turns out, and it is one you cannot change (Rev 20:12-15; 21:8), so I pray as I write this that some of you will put your trust in the Lord. Jesus is waiting, but time will not. Fully trust in the Lord Jesus Christ today, right now, and you too will be raised with Him to eternal life and be in His eternal presence with full joy, for we know that “Those who trust in the LORD are like Mount Zion, which cannot be moved, but abides forever” (Psalm 125:1).

Here is some related reading for you: Why the Gospel Includes Jesus’ Life, Death and Resurrection

Resource – Scripture quotations are from The Holy Bible, English Standard Version® (ESV®), Crossway Bibles. (2007). ESV: Study Bible: English standard version. Wheaton, Ill: Crossway Bibles. Used by permission. All rights reserved.



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