The Resurrection happened a long time ago so what does it mean for us today?
A good place to start is to look at what it meant for the early church. An Associated Press article on a book by Rev. N.T. Wright April 18th, 2003 stated the answer this way: “Why did Christianity emerge so rapidly, with such power, and why did believers risk everything to teach that Jesus really arose? The best explanation, Wright concludes, is that the earliest Christians held two strong convictions that worked in tandem: First, Jesus’ tomb was discovered empty on Easter morning. Second, Jesus then appeared to his followers alive in bodily form. In other words, the unvarnished New Testament story. Wright said that the best history can do for any ancient event is a "high probability" that it occurred. He argues that the Easter story qualifies as true because all proposed alternatives fail to explain the early power of Christianity.”
The certain belief of Christ’s Resurrection was an important factor in the power and vitality of the early church. In the same way it is an important factor in the vitality of your spiritual life today. It is also important in the vitality of our life as Christians together.
One reason for this is that Christ’s Resurrection gives us a great hope. As the Apostle Peter writes in 1 Peter 1:3, “Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ! In his great mercy he has given us new birth into a living hope through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead,” We have the certain hope that death is not the end and that eternity with God starts now!
Another reason is that the Resurrection is an important validation of Christ’s ministry. In the words of Romans 1:4, “Who through the Spirit of holiness was declared with power to be the Son of God by his resurrection from the dead: Jesus Christ our Lord.” It is a powerful declaration that Jesus Christ is God the Son! Therefore we can confidently trust in and live out his teachings. We also can have total trust in his saving work for us on the cross.
The early church held to their belief in the Resurrection, they lived it out; and so they had power and vitality in their lives. Like them we have the same hope and the same certainty. We have a great time on Easter Sunday celebrating Jesus Christ’s Resurrection. Christians all around the world hold celebrations. Now we all need to live that celebration out every day.
Paul discusses this at length in 1 Corinthians 15. These thoughts from that chapter are good ones to meditate on and live out this week: “if Christ has not been raised, you faith is futile; you are still in your sins. … But Christ has indeed been raised from the dead, the first-fruits of those who have fallen asleep. … But thanks be to God! He gives us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ.” (1 Corinthians 15:17, 20, 57)
I pray that this week you will know the vitality of serving the victorious, risen Lord of lords, Jesus Christ.
Written by Rev. Daniel Baker April 2003 updated April 2014 Scripture quotes from the New International Version