Now if Christ is preached, that He has been raised from the dead, how do some among you say that there is no resurrection of the dead? But if there is no resurrection of the dead, not even Christ has been raised; and if Christ has not been raised, then our preaching is vain, your faith also is vain. (1 Corinthians 15:12-14)
This Sunday we celebrate the resurrection of our Lord Jesus Christ, the most momentous event of all time. And yet, for most, it has little or no significance. Why does the resurrection of Jesus Christ matter? Here are three reasons:
1. The resurrection of Jesus Christ assures the justification of believers; But for our sake also, to whom it will be credited, as those who believe in Him who raised Jesus our Lord from the dead, He who was delivered over because of our transgressions, and was raised because of our justification. (Romans 4:24,25)
The penalty for sin is death (Romans 6:23). Not just physical death, but eternal death... Condemnation to a literal, eternal hell and separated from God forever. However, those who have believed in Christ are completely justified and the penalty for sin has been paid-in-full! Jesus Christ's resurrection is the assurance of the justification of believers.
2. The resurrection of Jesus Christ assures the future resurrection of believers; But now Christ has been raised from the dead, the first fruits of those who are asleep (Christians who have died). For as in Adam all died, so also in CChrist all will be made alive. But each in his own order: Christ the first fruits, after that those who are Christ's (believers) at His coming. (1 Corinthians 15:21-23).
Adam's sin brought death, but those who have believed in the gospel of our Lord Jesus Christ will be made alive. The required "first fruits" offerings gave assurance that there was a crop to be harvested. In the same way, His bodily resurrection assures that all believers will also someday be bodily resurrected.
3. The resurrection of Jesus Christ assures a coming day of judgment; Therefore having overlooked the times of ignorance, God is now declaring to men that all people everywhere should repent, because He will judge the world in righteousness through a Man who He has appointed, having furnished proof to all men by raising Him from the dead. (Acts 17:30,31)
The resurrection of Jesus Christ assures a coming judgment. This is why most people either deny or ignore the reality of His resurrection. But denying or ignoring the resurrection of Jesus Christ will not change the truth that He is alive and that He will someday judge each of us.
When the Apostle Paul preached the reality of the resurrection to the men at Athens (Acts 17:16-34), there were three different responses. Some began to sneer, totally rejecting the reality of the resurrection. Others were intrigued and somewhat interested in hearing more, but not yet ready to believe the truth about Jesus Christ and His resurrection. But God opened the spiritual ears of a few who heard and believed. What is your response today to the resurrection of Jesus Christ? Maranatha!