This Sunday, April 4th, is Easter Sunday, celebrated by Christians the world over in
recognition of the resurrection of Jesus Christ. While the coming of Christ into the world
celebrated at Christmas redefined world history as we know it, it is in fact the
resurrection that secures the benefits for those who would believe. For those who have
placed their faith and trust in this Jesus, and for those who are still deciding, I
encourage you to consider the implications of a resurrected, living, Savior.
Because he lives, I can have freedom from the past. In 1 Corinthians 15, the Apostle
Paul argues that the resurrection is the key to believers enjoying freedom from the sins
of our past. He states in verse 17, “if Christ has not been raised, your faith is futile
and you are still in your sins.” However, the Bible is clear that it was the shedding of
blood by Christ himself that paid the debt of sin we all owe (Rom. 5:9; Eph. 1:7). How
then do we reconcile these statements? The argument runs thus, the resurrection was
the reward for Jesus’ sacrifice on the cross; if Jesus only died but was not resurrected,
then his sacrifice is somehow deficient in that it failed to achieve its intended purpose,
and therefore we are still in our sin. Fortunately, as Paul states in verse 20, “in fact
Christ has been raised from the dead,” a fact attested to by upwards of 500 people (1
Cor. 15:6). Therefore, by trusting in his sufficient sacrifice, and believing in the
resurrection which he gained, I can be set free from the guilt and associated judgment
of my sinful past (Rom. 10:9-10).
Because he lives, I can have peace in the present. Lest we think that our faith in Christ
is only a backward leaning one, consider this present reality. With the resurrection of
Christ comes peace in our present because, having dealt with the consequences of our
past and secured our eternal future, we are freed to live in peace with God. Paul
continues in 1 Cor. 15:21-22 by saying, “For as by a man came death, by a man has
come also the resurrection of the dead. For as in Adam all die, so also in Christ shall all
be made alive.” The result of our sin is death (Rom. 6:23), a consequence under which
we live every day, but through the resurrection of Christ those who believe have been
freed from that consequence and look forward to an eternal future devoid of judgment.
No longer are we under condemnation, but we have been set free by our reconciliation
to God (Rom. 8:1-4).
Because he lives, I can have hope for the future. My sin dealt with, my present reality
secured in peace through reconciliation, I can now set my focus to the hope that lies in
my future. Because he lives, I will live too, forever, imperishable, and perfect (1 Cor.
15:42-44). No longer am I bound by the limitations of my physical body, no more pain,
no more suffering, no more fear. And upon Jesus’ return I will be transformed in the
blink of an eye (1 Cor. 15:52) and raised in glory to join him who has gone before me.
If Christ is not raised from the dead, then we are dead in our sins, but in fact Christ is
raised and that provides us the freedom, peace, and hope that Jesus earned for us. The
only remaining point is one of response. Will you appropriate these blessings in your
own life by believing the gospel of Jesus Christ? If so, then you can say with us,
“Because he lives, I can live too.”