The Implications of the Resurrection
Do you really have to throw your brains in the trashcan to be a Christian? Do the claims of Christianity hold up under intense, critical scrutiny? The resurrection of Jesus, for example, seems far-fetched to say the least. The thought of a man dying and coming back to life after being in a tomb for three days, well, let’s be honest, it sounds both preposterous and cockamamie all rolled up into one. Still, a story that sounds unbelievable can still be true. In this Easter message, we take a look at why we believe in the resurrection and the implications a risen Savior has on our lives.
Something To Talk About:
Everything about Jesus was unique: the Messianic prophecies fulfilled by Jesus Christ. His birth. His life. His teachings. His miracles. His death. And certainly His resurrection. The validity of Jesus’ claims about Himself rests on the Resurrection. Many skeptics say that to believe in a risen Christ is nothing more than a blind leap of faith with little or no basis in truth. Numerous myth and explanations have surfaced over the years. When confronted with the facts, however, those who are intellectually honest have been forced to admit that the Resurrection is an historical event based on irrefutable proof. And if the resurrection is true, it has implications on our lives.
- The witnesses: Jesus made numerous appearances to His followers. He comforted the mourners outside His tomb on Sunday morning. On the road to Emmaus, He explained things about Himself from the Old Testament. Later, He ate in their presence and invited them to touch Him. Scripture records that Jesus was seen by more than 500 at one time. If people were seeking some sort of deception, how can one explain the collaboration of 500 people?
- The disciples: Jesus had died. The disciples did not expect Jesus to rise from the dead. They were grieving, they were mourning. The Bible does not say this, but I would expect they were probably afraid to put any more hope in Jesus, since their past hope and faith died with Him on the cross. All hope of Him as Messiah was gone as well. The only people thinking and talking about Jesus rising from the dead were His enemies. (Matthew 27:62-66) Yet, those disciples who were once so afraid that they deserted their Lord now courageously proclaimed this news, risking their lives to preach. Their bold and courageous behavior does not make sense unless they knew with absolute certainty that Jesus had been raised from the dead. The original disciples came to believe so strongly that God had raised Jesus from the dead that they were willing to die for the truth of that belief. Would you die a horrible death to perpetuate a lie, or a deception?
- The implications for us today: The resurrection of Jesus has many implications on my life. Let’s look at one of them. Matthew 28:20 Jesus promised, “…I am with you always.…” Because Jesus is alive, His followers are not alone. We have the Son of God as our partner in life, every step of the way. We can go through life with Jesus Christ, the Son of God, as our companion, our mentor, our daily instructor in how to live, our Savior. If Jesus were dead, I could still have His written instructions. That would be helpful. But since He is with me, I have a joy that nothing can ever take away. Jesus is alive to teach me, guide me, listen to me, cheer for me, discipline me, explore with me, and love me. And best of all, those who are saved will spend an eternity with the risen Savior. “I am with you always, even to the end of the age.” And John 16:22 says, “So you have sorrow now, but I will see you again; then you will rejoice, and no one can rob you of that joy.”
- What do you think is the most significant event in the entire Bible? How did you pick that one? How has it changed your life?
- Why do you think some people have a problem with the concept of Jesus’ physical resurrection? Do you ever think that your Christianity is grounded in “blind faith?”
- What kind of evidence is there for the resurrection? Do you have confidence that your faith is ground in verifiable facts? Why or why not? What type of proof is offered for the resurrection of Jesus in 1 Corinthians 15?
- How did the resurrection change Jesus’ first followers?
- If Christ’s resurrection is the foundation of our hope, how should our lives change? How should it change how we view our circumstances? How does it affect our day-to-day life?
- How should we live in light of the resurrection? How do we allow God to change us?
Take One Thing Home with You:
I am a Christian because I believe in the resurrection. I am convinced that after dying on a Roman cross on a Friday afternoon, Jesus Christ came back to life and emerged from the tomb on Sunday morning.
This is not easy to believe. But if it is true, it is the most pivotal event in human history. That pivotal event has implications for us as followers of Jesus. Those implications include:
- You can pray knowing God hears your prayers.
- God is with you even when you don’t feel like it.
- You can have fun and enjoy a full meaningful life.
- You can know you are loved even when things don’t make sense.
- You can live knowing there is life beyond this life.