Resurrection Day!

Importance of the Resurrection

Resurrection-Sunday-at-Woodland-Park-2014-1024x506The resurrection of Jesus Christ on the third day after being crucified as the atonement and redemption for the sins of those who believe in not only that work, but also the person of Jesus Christ has eternal significance. Christ is the object of all saving faith, yet without the resurrection there would not be assurance that Jesus’ ministry was in fact that of the Messiah/Savior of mankind. The resurrection validated that Jesus was in fact the Son of God, who as one of His closest disciples and apostle John relays was literally God in flesh-The God-Man.

In fact those who would begin to gather as believers of Christ, did so on the first day of the week, which was the day the resurrection occurred. This was explicitly to remember the resurrection of Jesus, because they knew how utterly important this event in human history and the redemptive plan of God was. We continue this tradition not just one day a year, but throughout the year, especially on times where the ordinance of the Lord’s Supper is observed. Below are brief subjects regarding to the resurrection that help to solidify this incredible act of God for the good of His people and His eternal glory.  

Christ’s Resurrection: The nature of Christ’s resurrection body in relation to His pre-resurrection body: 

Three days after His death, Jesus Christ rose bodily from the dead to fulfill prophecy, to divinely confirm His Messiahship and His deity, and to provide proof of the Father’s acceptance of His atoning work on the cross, thus making the believer’s justification sure (Psa.16:10; Matt. 28:6; Mark 16:6; Luke 24:6; John 2:19-21, 20:9; Acts 2:32; Rom. 1:4, 4:25; 6:5-10). Jesus’ resurrection is also the guarantee of a future resurrection life for all believers (John 5:25- 29, 11:23-26; 1 Cor. 15:20,23). Based on the efficacy of the atoning work of our Lord Jesus Christ, the believing sinner is freed from the punishment, penalty, power, and one day the complete presence of sin; is declared righteous, given eternal life, and adopted into the family of God (Rom. 3:24,25, 5:8-9,19, 8:15; 2 Cor. 5:17; Gal. 4:5; Eph. 1:5; 1 Peter 2:24, 3:18).

The difference between Christ’s resurrected body and pre-resurrected body is that it cannot die. Jesus’ pre-resurrected body died just as our bodies will die, unless the Lord returns first. It was vulnerable to pain, and defilement, as demonstrated on the day of the cross. Jesus’ body now is as ours will be upon resurrection. It is perfect, and cannot be defiled. His body cannot be subjected to the pains of this life-disease, physical pain, injury, mutilation, etc. His body is not subject to aging, and is eternal.

Consequently Jesus’ ministry continues as He is not only a prophet of God or more precisely the Word of God who is also God. But He is also the divine priest of God and the holy King who rules and reigns over His people with justice and righteousness.

A brief description of the offices of Christ, including how these offices relate to His present ministry:

In chapter 29 (624-629), Grudem gives an accurate account of the three offices of Christ that are specific to us. They are Prophet (Deut. 18:15,18; John 1:18; 4:25; 14:23,24; Acts 3:22,23; 1 John 5:20), Priest (Psa. 110:4; Heb. 4:14; 6:19-20; 7:25; 9:24,26; 10:4, 19-22; 1Tim. 2:5; 1 John 2:1-2), and King (Psa. 2:6-9; Matt. 4:17; 28:18-20; John 1:49; 18:36; Eph. 1:19-23; 1 Cor. 15:25 Col. 1:13,18; Rev. 15:3,4).

Jesus-Prophet-Priest-King-PAGEProphet Jesus

As a Prophet, Christ represents God to the people. Christ is the one about whom the prophecies in the Old Testament were made. He also was not only a messenger of revelation from God, but He was and is the source of revelation from God. Christ teaches us the will of God, because we are ignorant (Job 11:7; Matt. 11:25-27; John 6:67,69; 17:25,26; 1 Cor. 2:14-16; 2 Cor. 4:3-6).

Priest Jesus

As Priest Christ offered a perfect sacrifice for sin, His own body and life. Jesus continually brings us near to God. He is the representative of the people to God. Jesus as High Priest is continually praying for us as well. We need Jesus as our Priest, because we are guilty, and the only way we can be made right is through Him and His intercession as Priest for us to God (Prov. 20:9; Ecc. 7:20; Rom. 3:19-23; Heb. 10:14,27,28; 1 John 1:8,9).

King Jesus

Christ as King is the true King of the new people of God. Even though His kingship is not of this world, He is head of all things now and in the age to come. Christ as King rules and defends His people. We need Christ as King, because we are weak and helpless (John 15:4,5; 2 Cor. 12:9; Phil. 4:13; Col. 1:11; Jude 24,25).  

Conclusion

Knowing Christ is so very important as we walk through life with God and not only serve His kingdom now, but prepare for our eternal life to come. John 1:1,14 tells us, “In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God…and the Word became flesh, and dwelt among us, and we saw his glory, glory as of the only begotten from the Father, full of grace and truth.” In the Fundamentals of the Faith John MacArthur writes,

“In every sense, the Bible is Christ’s story. It is the Book that tells us all about Him. In Acts, chapter 8, the focus on Christ is indicated to us in verse 35, when Philip, talking to the Ethiopian eunuch on the road to Gaza, the Holy Spirit says, ‘Philip opened his mouth, and beginning from this Scripture he preached Jesus to him.’ Of course, he was beginning in the Old Testament with the prophet Isaiah. He met the Eunuch exactly where he was in Scripture and showed him Christ (76).”

2Co13_4The atoning, redeeming, propitiating work of Christ on the cross was the proverbial nail in the coffin for sin, death, and the power of Satan over humanity. The resurrection is the hope that we have for a new life with God that is eternal, never ending. This hope is certain. It is the promise of God that secures salvation for those who believe. Paul lays this hope out wonderfully in 1 Corinthians 15:12ff. Have a look, it will encourage your heart as you remember what God has done for us in Jesus Christ our Lord!

 

All praise, honor and glory be to God in Jesus Christ our Lord!

J.D.N.

References:

Grudem, Wayne. Systematic Theology: An Introduction to Biblical Doctrine. Grand Rapids: Zondervan, 1994. Print.

MacArthur, John. Fundamentals of the Faith. Chicago: Moody Publishers, 2009. Print

Scripture. The Holy Bible: English Standard Version (ESV). Crossway: Wheaton, 2001. Print.

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