Why is the resurrection of Jesus Christ so crucial? What do we lose if Christ did not rise from the dead? Here are 5 things that we would not have if Christ had not been raised.
Easter Sunday…the day we celebrate the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead. When you attend church on Easter morning there is always excitement in the air. Why? Because the resurrection of Jesus Christ means everything to the Christian. Indeed, in 1 Corinthians 15:14, the Apostle Paul said, “And if Christ has not been raised, then our preaching is in vain and your faith is in vain.” If Christ wasn’t raised, again in verse 19 Paul says, “we are of all people most to be pitied.”
WHY IS THE RESURRECTION OF JESUS CHRIST SO CRUCIAL?
What do we lose if Christ did not rise from the dead? Here are 5 things that we would not have if Christ had not been raised.
If Jesus did not really rise from the dead, then all is lost. He would not have been God if he was not resurrected. But Easter shows that the Son of God was who he said he was (Romans 1:4) and that he had the power to not only conquer death but to forgive sins (which only God can do). If Jesus isn’t God with us (Matthew 1:23), then everything else we know about him becomes a lie as well. How then could we believe in his virgin birth or be assured any of his teachings are true?
Reconciliation to God
Jesus came to reconcile God and man. All men are born dead in their trespasses and sins and deserving God’s wrath on us (Ephesians 2:1-2), but God is rich in mercy (vs. 4). God sent his own Son to save us from his wrath. We can be reconciled to him through faith because of Christ’s blood and his glorious work on the cross (Romans 5:10-11). But if Christ did not rise from the dead, then there would be no payment for sins and thus we are left dead spiritually and unable to reach God (Romans 3:23). Christ came to bring peace between God and man and if Easter is lost, then reconciliation is lost as well.
Christians have a special kind of hope. This Biblical hope is not like hoping the pizza arrives on time for the party or hoping that our favorite team wins. The hope we have is the assurance that something is going to happen because God said it would. We have the hope that Christ will one day return (Acts 1:11). We have the glorious hope of forgiveness of sins (1 John 1:9) and peace with God (Philippians 4:7). And the list could go on of all the things we have hope in because of resurrection. If the resurrection of Jesus Christ is lost, there is no hope, there is no guarantee of anything beyond this life and our faith is futile.
What a wonderful truth to know that my sin, O the bliss of this glorious thought, my sin not in part, but the whole, is nailed to the cross and I bear it no more! Why does the believer in Christ no longer bear sin? Because Christ was our substitute! He took our sin upon himself on the tree, so that we would not have to pay the penalty for our sin (Mark 10:45, Romans 5:6, 1 Timothy 2:6). If Christ has not been raised, then we still are in our sin (1 Corinthians 15:17) and thus the punishment of that sin is still upon our shoulders.
If Jesus did not rise on Easter Sunday morning, then everything we know to be true in the Bible is a lie. And if none of it is true, then God has no glory. We could only question whether he is good and faithful and full of steadfast love for his people. There would be no reason to rejoice in who he is and what he has done. We would have no reason to gather as the church and worship him. But praise the Lord that Christ is Risen! He proved that he is God, the Creator of all and the Lord of Heaven and Earth by rising from the grave. He brought reconciliation between God and man and offers sins forgiven and life abundant in Christ. We have hope in this world that even when things are hard, we can look to him, knowing that he paid our debt and will bring us to heaven when we die. Our sufferings on this earth do not compare with the eternal weight of glory (2 Corinthians 4:17). The resurrection of Jesus Christ assures us of a glorious God who is worthy of all our praise. God makes forgiveness of sin and hope of heaven available to us through faith in Christ. All we must do is repent (or turn from pursuing our sin to pursue God and be sorry for the sins we have committed) and trust in Christ for salvation from sin and not ourselves (Acts 3:18-19, 2 Corinthians 7:10, Ephesians 2:8-9). In doing so, we receive the gift of eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord (Romans 6:23).
"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." 1 Peter 1:3 (ESV)