The Importance of the Christ’s Resurrection

<strong>The Importance of the Christ’s Resurrection</strong>

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!

Jesus, the Good Shepherd

Jesus, the Good Shepherd

Jesus spoke about Himself as the Good Shepherd in John 10:11-18.

The Lord is my shepherd. I lack nothing. He causes me to lie down in green pastures.
He leads me beside quiet waters.
  (Ps 23:1-2 EHV)

I am the good shepherd. The good shepherd gives His life for the sheep.  (Joh 10:11 NKJV)

But seek first his kingdom and his righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well.  (Mt 6:33 NIV)

 And my God will supply all your needs according to His riches in glory in Christ Jesus.  (Phil 4:19 NASB)

And when the chief Shepherd appears, you will receive the unfading crown of glory.  (1 Pet 5:4 ESV)

A shepherd is an overseer of his flock.  By identifying Himself as the Good Shepherd, Jesus was claiming to be the Messiah foretold in the Scriptures.

In Ezekiel 34:1-10, the Lord outlines what constitutes a bad shepherd.  Through Ezekiel 34:11-31, Jesus establishes Himself as the Savior and Messiah, and the new leader of the Israelites.  He is the Good Shepherd who protects, provides for and cares for His sheep. We are the sheep of His pasture!

Jesus calls out to all people to (obey) His voice.  Glory to God!

The Abundance of Peace

The Abundance of Peace

In His days the righteous shall flourish, and abundance of peace, until the moon is no more.  (Ps 72:7)

This Psalm is discussing (in a highly poetic style used by the author) the future reign of Christ.  It is saying that in that day, righteousness itself shall spring forth, thrive, and increase.  Glory to God!

The phrase abundance of peace means that ALL needs are met for as long as the moon remains.  Peace and prosperity are prominent characteristics of Christ’s reign.  Imagine what a different world it will be when each and every person in it is satisfied and have their every single need met!  It’s a beautiful hope.

In that day, anyone helpless or needy will be protected by the King, and oppressors who may want to ruin or injure the peace of others will be rendered powerless to harm anyone.  

And it’s all thanks to our Savior, King Jesus.  He is the fulfillment of all of the Old Testament prophetic scriptures about the Messiah.  Because that is true, Christians have been given these things already!  We are protected:

  • We know that no one who is born of God sins; but He who was born of God keeps him, and the evil one does not touch him. (1 Joh 5:18, emphasis added)
  • For it is written: ‘He shall give His angels charge over you, to keep you,’ and, ‘In their hands they shall bear you up, lest you dash your foot against a stone.’”  (Lk 4:10-11)

All of our needs are met:

  • . . . as His divine power has given to us all things that pertain to life and godliness, through the knowledge of Him who called us by glory and virtue . . . (2 Pet 1:3)
  • If you abide in Me, and My words abide in you, you will ask what you desire, and it shall be done for you. (Joh 15:7)

Righteousness is flourishing:

  • But now the righteousness of God apart from the law is revealed, being witnessed by the Law and the Prophets, even the righteousness of God, through faith in Jesus Christ, to all and on all who believe. (Rom 3:21-22)
  • But of Him you are in Christ Jesus, who became for us wisdom from God—and righteousness and sanctification and redemption— (1 Cor 1:30)

Meditate upon God’s “abundance of peace,” and have a beautiful day! 

The Christmas Gift

The Christmas Gift

Now the birth of Jesus Christ was as follows: After His mother Mary was betrothed to Joseph, before they came together, she was found with child of the Holy Spirit.  (Mt 1:18)

Joseph also went up from Galilee, out of the city of Nazareth, into Judea, to the city of David, which is called Bethlehem, because he was of the house and lineage of David, to be registered with Mary, his betrothed wife, who was with child. So it was, that while they were there, the days were completed for her to be delivered. And she brought forth her firstborn Son, and wrapped Him in swaddling cloths, and laid Him in a manger, because there was no room for them in the inn.  (Lk 2:4-7 NKJV)

Jesus was born as a helpless infant, as every human being since Adam and Eve have been.  He submitted to His Father’s will to become our Messiah, and He grew in size and strength as all babies must. (Lk 2:40)

It’s good for us to recognize that God, the Son—who is Jesus—submitted and yielded to His Father’s plan in all of this.  It required submission and humility on His part because Jesus had to have patience.  He had to wait for 30 years to be acknowledged as an adult before He could even begin His work and ministry! 

Jesus was not only God’s gift to us, but since Jesus is a member of the Godhead, He was also a partner in the giving process!  We might say that He is the Christmas Gift as well as the Giver! 

One of the traits of Jesus is that He gives good things to men.  He was an unexpected gift that mankind wasn’t looking for, and one which we shall never deserve.  Nevertheless, He was integral to God’s plan of salvation, and so He came according to the Scriptures.

His gifts to us are so copious, according to the Bible, that we can’t list them all!  A good beginning is to state the two most obvious gifts of:  salvation and freedom.  We’ve received freedom from:  A) sin; B) guilt; C) the fear of death (1 Cor 15:56); and D) the fear of punishment. 

An additional gift that Jesus gave to us is the expectation of the many blessings of our salvation, among which are:

1) Love (Rom 8:39; 1 Jn 4:8);

2) Joy (Lk 2:10; Gal 5:22);

3) Peace (Isa 9:6; Jn 14:27); and

4) Truth (Jn 14:6; Jn 18:37).

This holiday season, let’s take time to meditate upon the many gifts of our salvation that we have already received thanks to the perfect love and obedience of Jesus, God’s precious Gift!