Bella Vista Church of Christ

LIFELINES

04/12/2017

Charles Cash

 

RESURRECTION

What did the resurrection mean for Christ?

 

  Jesus did many marvelous signs and wonders while on the earth! The apostle John gave the following reason for writing hisgospel: “Jesus did many other miraculous signs in the presence of His disciples which are not recorded in this book. But these are written that you may believe that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of God, and that by believing you may have life in His Name.” (John 20:30-31) These miracles were for the express purpose of proving conclusively that Jesus was the Son of God, the Messiah, the Christ. But the greatest miracle of all, the one that gave vindication to all the other miracles, was the resurrection of Jesus from the dead. This is the way the apostle Paul said it: “Concerning His Son, Jesus Christ our Lord, who was born of the seed of David according to the flesh, and declared to be the Son of God with power according to the Spirit of holiness, by the resurrection from the dead.” (Romans 1:3-4) His resurrection from the dead was the crowning and eternal proof that He is the Son of the Living God. By the resurrection He is alive; He lives!

 

  The cross, on which Jesus shed His precious blood for our sins, should always remain central in our minds. Yet, is there not a valid point in Michelangelo’s indignant protest against his fellow-painters:“Why do you keep filling gallery after gallery with endless pictures of the one ever-reiterated theme, of Christ in weakness, Christ upon the cross, Christ dying, and most of all Christ hanging dead? Why do you concentrate on that passing episode, as if that were the last word and the last scene, as if the curtain dropped upon that horror of disaster and defeat? At worst, all that lasted for only a few hours. But to the end of unending eternity Christ is alive; Christ rules and reigns and triumphs.” In the same vein of thought, I have heard teachers of very young children say: “In teaching the story of Jesus, never leave Him hanging on the cross.”

 

  What does the resurrection mean for Jesus? He is the Christ, the Son of God, and He lives!

 

What does the resurrection of Jesus mean for the Christian?

 

  First of all, the resurrection of Jesus guarantees to us a resurrection.

The resurrection of Jesus is a part of the good news, the gospel message. Paul told the Corinthians that the gospel he had preached to them, by which they were saved, consisted of the “death, burial and resurrection of Christ.” (I Corinthians 15:1-3) But God lifts it above the level of news and makes it a pledge. Paul tells us: “But now Christ has risen from the dead, and has become the first fruits of those who have fallen asleep. (I Corinthians 15:20) Jimmy Allen, speaking of the resurrection of Christ, has said: “In that mighty act, God has planted the rose of immortality upon the bosom of every grave.”

 

  Jesus Himself said, “Do not marvel at this; for the hour is coming in which all who are in the graves will hear his voice and come forth—those who have done good, to the resurrection of life, and those who have done evil, to the resurrection of condemnation.” (John 5:28-29)

 

  Secondly, the promises of God are vouchsafed in, and guaranteed by, the resurrection of Christ.

God’s promises are “exceedingly great and precious.” (2 Peter 1:4) God makes a promise; faith believes it; hope anticipates it. “Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who according to His abundant mercy has begotten us again to a living hope through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead.” (I Peter 1:3)

 

  Thirdly, Christianity actually rests upon the resurrection of Christ.

In fact, Paul wrote: “If there is no resurrection of the dead, then not even Christ has been raised. And if Christ has not been raised, our preaching is useless and so is your faith. More than that, we are then found to be false witnesses about God…….For if the dead are not raised, then Christ has not been raised either. And if Christ has not been raised, your faith is futile; you are still in your sins. Then those who have fallen asleep in Christ are lost. If only for this life we have hope in Christ, we are to be pitied more than all men.” (I Corinthians 15:13-19. There you have it! If Christ has not been raised, all the dominos fall and nothing is left!

 

  Wouldn’t it be tragic to come to the end of life’s way and have as our epitaph the words of the ancient Omar: “There was a door to which I found no key.”  That doesn’t have to be! Jesus made this striking announcement: “I am the first and the last. I am the living one; I was dead, and behold I am alive for ever and ever! And I hold the keys of death and hades.” (Revelation 1:17-18) Praise be to God for the resurrection of Christ!

 

—CHARLES CASH