Saturday, July 28, 2012
Why is The Resurrection A Big Deal?
One of the lessons I had the privilege to bring to our 7th graders during Vacation Bible School (VBS) this week was on the Resurrection. I asked a very important question that all Christians need to ask: Why is the Resurrection a big deal? Not many Christian stop to think about because it is something only mentioned during Easter.
The Scriptures are clear at to why the Resurrection is a big deal. First, it is a big deal because our faith would be worthless if Christ did not rise from the dead. Paul said,
Now if Christ is proclaimed as raised from the dead, how can some of you say that there is no resurrection of the dead? But if there is no resurrection of the dead, then not even Christ has been raised. And if Christ has not been raised, then our preaching is in vain and your faith is in vain...And if Christ has not been raised, your faith is futile and you are still in your sins. Then those also who have fallen asleep in Christ have perished. If in Christ we have hope in this life only, we are of all people most to be pitied (1 Corinthians 15:12-14, 17-19)
Strong words from Paul that we would still be in our sins and we would be, and should be, the most pitied people on the planet. Think about it. We proclaim the founder and perfecter of our faith did die on the cross and was raised from the dead. If Jesus did not rise from the dead as we claim, all Christians would be measured for some funny white jackets and locked up in padded room. We would be pitied because we are saying a dead man is alive.
Second, the Resurrection is a big deal because it seals our justification. The Apostle Paul told the Roman church:
It will be counted to us who believe in him who raised from the dead Jesus our Lord, who was delivered up for our trespasses and raised for our justification (Romans 4:24-25)
When Christ was raised from the dead, "it was a demonstration that (God) accepted Christ's suffering and death as full payment for sin, and that the Father's favor, no longer his wrath against sin, was directed toward Christ, and through Christ toward those who believe...God's approval of Christ at the resurrection results in God's approval also all of all who are united to Christ, and in this way results in their 'justification'" (ESV Study Bible).
Finally, the Resurrection gives us a living hope. 1 Peter 1:3 says, "Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ! According to his great mercy, he has caused us to be born again to a living hope through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead." We do not place our hope in a dead guy who claimed to be God. We place our hope in a living Savior who was God in the flesh and sits at the right hand of God in heaven interceding on our behalf as our advocate saving those who call upon his name and will one day return to fix this broken world.
If Jesus did not rise from the dead, then, to paraphrase something Joe Thorn said, we would be nothing but fanboys of a dead celebrity.