“And if Christ has not been raised, our preaching is useless and so is your faith.” (1 Corinthians 15:14)

Jesus’ resurrection is fundamental to the Christian faith. 

If Jesus Christ didn’t resurrect from the dead, He didn’t conquer death.

If Jesus didn’t resurrect from the dead, He wouldn’t have been the Saviour who died on the cross for our sins, and we would still be destined for condemnation. 

If Jesus didn’t resurrect, the Christian faith would be redundant since we would have no hope in this life or the one to come. 

What is Jesus’ resurrection?

Jesus Christ’s resurrection is the literal and physical raising of Jesus’ body from the dead, three days after He died on the cross for mankind. Some quick facts:

  • Jesus was betrayed, arrested, tried and hung on the cross, where He died
  • After His death, His body was wrapped in linen cloth and placed in a tomb which had a large stone across its opening and was guarded to prevent anyone from stealing the body
  • On the third day, Mary Magdalene and the other Mary went to the tomb
  • The stone covering the tomb was rolled away by an angel of the Lord, revealing that it was empty
  • Jesus had risen from the dead, and appeared to His disciples and many others before ascending to heaven

The resurrection wasn’t a hallucination or illusion. It wasn’t a myth or a hoax. It really happened, and it is the very truth upon which the Christian faith is founded. 

The fact that Jesus rose from the dead is the very core of the Gospel.

If Jesus did not resurrect from the dead, He did not defeat death. If He did not defeat and conquer death, then sinful man could not be saved. 

So without the resurrection, the whole message falls apart. 

What is the significance of Jesus’ resurrection?

1. The resurrection validates Jesus as the Son of God

Only Jesus Christ had the power, in all of human history, to rise from the dead (He also raised the dead!). 

If Jesus didn’t rise from the dead, He would just have been a crazy person claiming to be the Son of God who ultimately failed.

So, Jesus’ resurrection was one of the greatest signs that proved His identity as the Son of God.

His resurrection is also proof that Jesus is the Saviour of the world, the Promised Messiah, as His nail-pierced body was seen by hundreds of eyewitnesses (1 Corinthians 15:3-8).

Jesus died a physical death, was buried in a tomb and was resurrected by the power of God.

To prove this point, He invited His disciples to touch and feel His resurrected body when He appeared to them (Luke 24:36-39, John 20:27). He even ate with them (Luke 24:41-43). 

Jesus’ resurrection authenticated His own claims that He would rise from the dead on the third day (Mark 8:31, Mark 9:31, Mark 10:34, Matthew 12:40, John 2:19), proving that He truly is the Son of God. 

Jesus’ birth, death and resurrection also fulfilled the many Old Testament prophecies of salvation coming through the Son of God.

2. Jesus’ resurrection is the reason we have hope and can be saved

After Adam and Eve’s folly in sinning against God, mankind was separated from God.

But God had set a plan in motion to redeem humankind and to restore our relationship with Him. 

God gave His word that He would save us, and He fulfilled His promise through Jesus’s death on the cross.

Jesus’ resurrection is the “receipt” which guarantees believers life after death, an eternal life in which we will live completely reconciled with God. 

Because Jesus conquered death, we have hope (1 Peter 1:3) and proof that God keeps His word and every promise.

“The New Testament writers speak as if Christ’s achievement in rising from the dead was the first event of its kind in the whole history of the universe. He is the ‘first fruits,’ the ‘pioneer of life.’ He has forced open a door that has been locked since the death of the first man. He has met, fought, and beaten the King of Death. Everything is different because He has done so. This is the beginning of the New Creation: a new chapter in cosmic history has been opened.” (C.S. Lewis, Miracles)

If Christ didn’t resurrect, we would still be lost in our sins (1 Corinthians 15:17).

Christ’s resurrection is proof that we are no longer slaves to sin and death because He bore our sins on the cross and atoned for our sin (Romans 4:25).

So, the resurrection is the very reason we can have hope in this life: The empty tomb assures us that sickness and suffering, death and disease will not have the final word, but that we are saved by grace through faith. 

Death has no power over He who defeated it once and for all (Acts 2:24), and so it has no power over the people of God.

3. Jesus’ resurrecting power lives in us

Jesus’ resurrection demonstrates that He has the power to overcome sin and even the grave. That means nothing is impossible for Him; He is all-powerful.

Jesus’ power over sin breaks the chains that hold us back, and He gives us new life that we could never attain on our own.

God demonstrates His power when Jesus overcame the grave. And that same power lives in us, for Jesus is alive!

And so, everything that would ruin us, condemn us, destroy us — Jesus has defeated all of it. When Jesus is Lord over our lives, we live on the winning side and we live with an eternal future in mind. 

Thank God, that Jesus’ resurrecting power lives in the children of God.

We have God’s promise that because we are in Christ, we also will be resurrected to receive a body like Jesus (1 John 3:2).

Until then, on this side of eternity, let us live and serve the Kingdom knowing that God’s resurrecting power is working within us (Ephesians 1:19-20).

We can have faith, hope and assurance that as long as we believe in Jesus and accept Him as Saviour and Lord of our lives, we will have eternal life (John 3:16, John 11:25-26).

It took place some 2,000 years ago, but Jesus’ resurrection still matters and will continue to matter for all of time. 

Death has no power over He who defeated it once and for all (Acts 2:24), and so it has no power over the people of God.

Jesus’ resurrection is the reason for our hope and knowledge that we will someday be resurrected and reunited with our Father in Heaven. 

In what time we have, we must make it known to the world that Jesus is Lord.

So let us live lives of holy anticipation, and ready ourselves for His coming.

  1. What does Jesus’ resurrection mean to you?
  2. How has that definition or perception been challenged by this article?
  3. Think practically: What is one thing you must change about your life, since you know that Jesus is the Son of God who will be coming again?