Jesus is risen – Part 2
Text: Mathew 28:1-10; 1 Corinthians 15:1-26; Luke 24; 2 Timothy 2:8.
Key Verse: Acts 17:31, “For
he has set a day when he will judge the world with justice
by the man he has appointed. He has given proof of this to
all men by raising him from
the dead.” (KJV)
The resurrection of Jesus Christ is the central truth of the Christian faith. Without it, there is no such thing as the Christian faith. The importance of the resurrection of Jesus Christ cannot be over-emphasised. Without the resurrection, there is no Christianity. The resurrection was central to the teaching and preaching of the Apostles. It was the subject of every sermon we find in the Book of Acts. Without the resurrection, there is no meaningful Christianity.
Significance of Jesus Resurrection Continued
• It authenticates Jesus Identity, True Character and Ministry. The resurrection is crucial to confirming the identity of Jesus (Romans 1:4). It is also important to His True Character. If Christ did not rise, then He was a liar, for He predicted He would come back from the dead (Matthew 20:18,19). The resurrection authenticates Him as a true prophet. Without His resurrection, everything that Jesus said would be subject to doubt. If Jesus did not rise, then His ministry would have ended in defeat. Believers would not have a High Priest to intercede for them to God the Father. There would be no one to head the church and no one to indwell believers and give them power to live godly lives.
• Jesus resurrection proves that physical death is not the termination of human existence. God, Who is the giver of life (1 Timothy 6:13), has the power to reanimate the human body. Christ’s triumph over the grave is Heaven’s pledge to us that we too shall be raised. This is why Jesus is referred to as the “first fruits of them that are asleep” (1 Corinthians 15:20,23).
• The Lord’s resurrection previewed the ultimate victory of Christianity over all its enemies. In the book of Revelation, Jesus is depicted as a lamb that had been slain, but was standing again (5:6). This same Lord was “the lion of the tribe of Judah” that had overcome his foes (5:5). Christians, too, will overcome as a result of the Lamb’s sacrifice and victory over death (cf. Revelation 12:11).
• Hope of Resurrection for those who died in Christ – if Christ is not risen, those who slept in the Lord have perished. But because Christ is Risen, there is hope of resurrection for those who died in Christ on the last day (1 Corinthians 15).
• Death Was Defeated – Imagine the struggle that ensued early that morning, as death had to give up the Prince of Life! No more would death be able to claim the victory and sting the human race with its bitter curse. Jesus entered into death’s domain and rendered it helpless. 2 Cor. 5:8; 1 Cor. 15:54-57
• Hell Was Defeated – When Jesus entered death for mankind, He descended into a place called Hell. He went to the Paradise portion of that land of the dead, Luke 16:19-31. This was the same place the redeemed thief on the cross went to when he died, Luke 23:43. Jesus went there and proclaimed liberty to those who had died looking forward to His coming in faith, 1 Pet. 3:18-19. When He arose from the dead and ascended to His Father in Heaven, the Bible tells us that He took those souls with Him to the Father in Heaven, Eph. 4:8-10. Now, all those who believe in Jesus go directly to the Father, when they leave this world. Hell has forever been removed for the child of God!
• Sin – Another enemy that died that day was sin. A dead Saviour saves no one! But One Who is alive can save all who come to Him by faith, Heb. 7:25. Sin does not have to defeat you! Jesus won the victory over sin on the cross and nailed its coffin lid shut, when He arose from the dead.
Today’s Nugget: The resurrection of Jesus Christ is the central truth of the Christian faith.
Prayer: Lord, help me to be a beneficiary of the resurrection of our Saviour Jesus Christ in Jesus Name, Amen.
Prayer lines: 09078154261.
Dr. Chidi Okoroafor, General Superintendent Assemblies of God Nigeria.
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