Easter was a couple of weeks ago. Many of us intentionally leaned into the beauty and truth of the resurrection on Resurrection Sunday. We worshipped at the glorious truth that HE IS RISEN! But I'm wondering: how many of us are living in light of the resurrection today? Because the truth remains: He is risen indeed! The blessing we have on this side of the cross is that we get to live in light of this truth!
But what does it even mean to "live in light of the resurrection"? It's a phrase that can easily roll off our tongues. If we're not careful, it can become a worn saying that loses its wonder. If we're not careful, we can miss the implications of the resurrection for our lives today! How do we stay in a place of wonder over the resurrection? How do we keep our hearts tender and receptive to the resurrection and its paradigm-shifts that inform how we live day to day?
First, we have to have a proper understanding of the resurrection of Jesus Christ.
The resurrection had to happen. Have you ever thought of that? If the resurrection didn't happen–if Jesus failed to rise again–then our faith would be essentially worthless. Does that sound extreme? It's true though! The resurrection is foundational to the Christian faith. If Jesus didn't come and die and rise again, then we would have no hope of redemption. The wrath of God would still rightfully be ours because of our sins. Remember: "the wages of sin is death" (Romans 6:23). Apart from Christ, we have no power to atone for our sins. Spiritual death and eternal separation from God would be our rightful future. What bad news!
But this is why the gospel of Jesus Christ is such good news.
Jesus came and conquered the grave, just as He said He would. Our triune God is faithful; He upholds and unfolds His plan of redemption. As the Apostle Paul noted in 1 Corinthians 13:4-5, the cross and the resurrection were fulfilling Scripture. "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" (italics mine). God's plan of redemption, which is revealed to us in His Word, is a plan that is (and will continue to be) perfectly executed! His plan unfolded and was accomplished just as He said it would be. It was accomplished by the triune God in the person and work of Christ.
Jesus wasn't just a great teacher in history that lived a morally superior life that we should model today. No, He is the Messiah! He is our Lord and Savior! Though He was fully God, He "did not count equality with God a thing to be grasped, but emptied Himself, taking the form of a servant, being born in the likeness of men" (Philippians 2:6-7). He loved the Father, and He accomplished His will. Jesus was on mission. This is why He showed His disciples how "He must go to Jerusalem and suffer many things from the elders and chief priests and scribes, and be killed, and on the third day be raised" (Matthew 16:21, italics mine).
The cross and the resurrection had to happen because God is faithful! Before the foundations of the world, our triune God set forth a covenant of redemption. And guess what? Our covenant-making God is also a covenant-keeping God! He is faithful to keep His promises! And we see His promise to send a Redeemer moments after sin entered the world. Genesis 3:15 is known as the "protoevangelium"; it is the first mention of the good news of salvation. God told us the plan right away, and He has sovereignly orchestrated the course of history to fulfill it. Two thousand years ago, Jesus came and crushed the head of the Serpent as He rose from the grave. If Jesus didn't resurrect, then God's promise would have fallen flat. He wouldn't be the covenant-keeping God we know He is. Praise God that the cross and the resurrection happened. Our God is faithful, and He keeps His Word!
Because of the resurrection, we have a living hope!
Jesus is now sitting at the right hand of God! And the story isn't over. Scripture tells us that He will come again, but when He returns, He will come in unveiled glory as the King of Kings. He will dwell with His people in the new heavens and the new earth. We have a future glory awaiting us, and we can trust that our covenant-keeping God will bring it to fruition, just as He said He would.
But what do we do until He returns? How are we to navigate our current season of waiting? How do we really live in light of these truths? Be sure to check back on Wednesday to read two implications of the resurrection on our lives today!