We’re going to study the distinctiveness, the need, and the urgency of the resurrection. First, let’s check out a few Scripture verses on the topic:
“For He has appointed a day on which He will judge the world in righteousness by a Man whom He has appointed, having given assurance of this to all men by raising Him from the dead.” (Ac 17:31 MEV)
And if Christ has not been raised, then our preaching is in vain and your faith is in vain. (1 Cor 15:14 ESV)
. . . and if Christ has not been raised, your faith is worthless; you are still in your sins. (1 Cor 15:17 NASB)
The resurrection of the Lord Jesus was unparalleled because of His divinity. Because Jesus claimed to be the Son of God (Joh 10:36), the high priests sought to put Him to death. Therefore, His resurrection from the dead proved His declaration that He was God’s Son to be true.
In Acts 2, Peter reasons that since the Lord Jesus was God’s Son, it would be impossible for Him to remain dead and to decompose in a tomb—like a mere mortal. (Ac 2:24-32) We can’t value this truth too highly.
Jesus’ resurrection was exceptional because of the death that led to it and demanded it. Jesus’ death was extraordinary because it was the death of One who lived a holy, sinless, righteous life that brought honor to God on behalf of sinful humanity. Jesus’ death was unique because it was God’s eternal plan that His Son should die as a blameless sacrificial lamb, as a surrogate recompense for the sins of humanity.
The next day John saw Jesus coming toward him, and said, “Behold! The Lamb of God who takes away the sin of the world!” (Joh 1:29 NKJV, emphasis added)
Clean out the old leaven so that you may be a new lump, just as you are in fact unleavened. For Christ our Passover also has been sacrificed. (1 Cor 5:17 NASB)
For all eternity, Christ has been designated as the perfect sacrifice, without spot or blemish, whose death could atone for the sins of others. (Isa 53; 1 Pet 1:18-20; 1 Pet 2:21-25)
But when the Messiah came as a high priest of the good things that have come, he went through the greater and more perfect tent that was not made by human hands and that is not a part of this creation. 12 Not with the blood of goats and calves, but with his own blood he went into the Most Holy Place once for all and secured our eternal redemption. 13 For if the blood of goats and bulls and the ashes of a heifer sprinkled on those who are unclean purifies them physically, 14 how much more will the blood of the Messiah, who through the eternal Spirit offered himself unblemished to God, cleanse our consciences from dead actions so that we may serve the living God! (Heb 9:11-14 ISV)
The resurrection of the Lord Jesus Christ had no precedent. Never before had anyone been raised from the dead in such a unique way; because when Jesus was resurrected, He was so altered that He was eternally beyond death. He would never again experience death.
This is why Jesus’ resurrection was described as the ‘firstfruits’ in 1 Corinthians 15:23, because there will be many who will follow Him (in being resurrected).
The resurrection of Jesus Christ is a matter of life or death. Our response to this truth will decide our eternal destiny.
An indication of how thoroughly Jesus had been changed by the resurrection becomes clear when we notice a couple of facts. After His resurrection, Jesus could appear and disappear as He chose (Lk 24:31); and He could also enter a place with a locked door (Joh 20:26). Praise God! The resurrection of Jesus Christ was crucial because it’s an essential element in saving faith. In both the Old and New Testaments, a redeeming faith was faith in a God who could and would raise people from the grave. An in-depth study of the 11th chapter of Hebrews will reveal that the faith of Old Testament saints is a resurrection faith. Glory to God!