For a long time in my Christian walk, I honestly didn’t get the resurrection of Christ. I confess that I am still not quite sure that I truly grasp it . What I mean is that I didn’t get what the “big deal” was regarding the resurrection, and why it must be included in our Gospel confession. I “got” why Jesus had to come to earth as a human being, I “got” why he was born of a virgin, why he lived a sinless life and died on the Cross.
But that’s where the story ended for me.
The resurrection just didn’t square with my understanding of the Gospel. It was like an awkward, almost unnecessary addition to the essentials of the Gospel. To me, the resurrection of Jesus was no more significant than the resurrection of Lazarus. It was just one more miracle. The big deal was the death of Christ, not His resurrection.
I doubt that I am alone in this boat. I am sure that many of us are (or have been) “conformists” when it comes to incorporating the place of resurrection in our Gospel messages. For many of us, we have noticed that the Bible includes the resurrection as part of the “essentials” package of what one must believe to be saved. We have noticed great Bible teachers emphasizing it in their sermons about the Gospel.
But we don’t quite get it.
The point of Jesus’ coming was to die for our sins. Isn’t that what atonement means? Isn’t that what John 3:16 is all about? I admit, that for a long time, I prayed that God will reveal to me the significance of the resurrection of Christ to my salvation. I had read the books, bookmarked the blogs and blogged the ideas, but I really didn’t “get” them.
Until the day I realized that the story of Christ is not a story that ends, but an everlasting story. There’s no THE END on the last page of the Bible. The story of God is an eternal story. It is a story about life. It begins with life and
ends continues in life. The story of God redeems the story of man. It is not the story of man that defines God’s story. In man’s story, death is the end. In man’s story, the hero dies at the end and the people are left worshiping his memory.
In the story of man, death triumphs.
But in God’s story, God triumphs. In the story of God, death is an enemy. In the story of God, death is defeated. In the story of God, the death of Jesus is not the death of the story. In the story of God, death dies, and Jesus lives. That’s why the resurrection was both necessary and inevitable.
In the story of God, God wins.
And because God wins. We win too. If Jesus only died for our sins, we would be saved in vain. We would be believers who still live in the fearful expectation of death. If Jesus never rose from the grave, there would be no reason to celebrate our salvation. Our salvation would only be a formality, but never a reality. You see, the memory of Jesus alone cannot keep us. The memory of Jesus alone can comfort us and inspire us, but it can never ultimately sustain us. It is the reality of Jesus that we need.
The reality of Jesus is what gives us hope.
The resurrection of Jesus means that we have not only been saved through His death, but we are safe through His life. The resurrection of Jesus gives us assurance that the one who saved us will keep us till the end. The resurrection means that Easter is not a mere commemoration of Christ’s death, it is ultimately the celebration of Christ’s life – His victory over death.
The resurrection of Jesus assures us that our own death is only a means, not an end. Without the resurrection, we will dreadfully approach death. But because of the resurrection, we can confidently march to the grave. Because of the resurrection, the grave is a passageway to eternal life!
May this truth be a reality in your heart, as you “realize” the resurrection of Christ.
Because the tomb is empty, your hope is not.