By: Gary L. Hutchens
A lot of preaching, teaching and writing focuses on the cross, the crucifixion of Jesus Christ, our Lord and Savior. Rightly so. Jesus’ death on the cross was central to God’s plan for man’s redemption from sin (Jn. 3:16; Rom. 5:8; Heb. 7:27; 9:26-28). Without the resurrection, however, Jesus’ death on the cross would be meaningless.
An imposter could have died on the cross, claiming to be the savior of mankind. But in raising Jesus from the grave God demonstrated with power that His truth and authority were in everything that Jesus taught, did and claimed to be: “concerning His Son Jesus Christ our Lord, who was born of the seed of David according to the flesh, and declared to be the Son of God with power according to the Spirit of holiness, by the resurrection from the dead (Rom. 1:3-4). The resurrection demonstrated beyond any question that Jesus Christ truly is the Son of God and our Savior and Lord.
Without the resurrection, mankind would be without a Prince and Savior and would have no hope of forgiveness. “The God of our fathers raised up Jesus whom you murdered by hanging on a tree. Him God has exalted to His right hand to be Prince and Savior, to give repentance to Israel and forgiveness of sins” (Acts 5:30-31).
Salvation is only “in Christ Jesus” (Rom. 8:1). There is no other Savior (Acts 4:12). There is no way to God except through Jesus (Jn. 14:6). But without the resurrection, He could not save us, nor would He be available to make intercession for us with God. “But He, because He continues forever, has an unchangeable priesthood. Therefore He is also able to save to the uttermost those who come to God through Him, since He always lives to make intercession for them” (Heb. 7:24-25).
On the night of His betrayal Jesus told the apostles that He was going to Heaven to prepare a place for them. He promised to come back and bring them to be with Him in Heaven (Jn. 14:2-3). Jesus will come again, at judgment, to bring the saved to eternal life in Heaven (Heb. 9:28). But if He had not arisen from the grave, He could not be able to come back to fulfill those promises.: “because He has appointed a day on which He will judge the world in righteousness by the Man whom He has ordained. He has given assurance of this to all by raising Him from the dead” (Acts 17:31).
The saved in Christ look forward to a resurrection of their own and ultimate victory through Jesus Christ (1 Cor. 15:52-57). Our resurrection, our victory is assured because Jesus Himself arose from the grave. Without His resurrection, our faith would be meaningless, we would still be in our sins, we would have no hope. “But if there is no resurrection of the dead, then Christ is not risen. And if Christ is not risen, then our preaching is empty and your faith is also empty…And if Christ is not risen, your faith is futile; you are still in your sins!” (1 Cor. 15:13-14, 17).
Thanks be to God that He sent Christ to this earth to be our Savior. Thanks be to God that He loved us enough to send His Own Son to die on the cross on our behalf. Thanks be to God that He raised Jesus from the dead in vivid demonstration that His power and authority are in Christ as our Savior. Because of the Jesus’ resurrection we can live this life assured of our own Heavenly home for all eternity. Praise be to God!!!
Gary L. Hutchens