Hope beyond the grave

Christ has risen! As we celebrate the resurrection of Jesus today on Easter Sunday, we would like to share with you eight reasons why the resurrection is so important.  As you watch the video or read the article, we pray that the revelation of the work of Calvary will cause you to grow in honour and respect for Jesus.

You know the Bible says if Christ was not raised from the dead then our faith is useless. In other words, the entirety of the Christian faith anchors on the resurrection of Christ. We celebrate Christmas, we celebrate the coming of Jesus into the world, and that is a wonderful thing. Christmas is a momentous event; God became flesh. But you know without the resurrection, all of that would not have served its purpose. He came to die, and to be raised again from the dead, to fulfill the desire of the Father, so that mankind can be reconciled to God. And we also talk about the cross because that is where the sacrifice of atonement took place. But you know, if He had died and stayed in the grave, there would be no Christian faith! So the apostle Paul in writing to the church in Corinth says to them very clearly that if Christ did not rise from the dead then their faith was useless. The Bible says in 1 Corinthians 15:14-19:

14 And if Christ has not been raised, our preaching is useless and so is your faith. 15 More than that, we are then found to be false witnesses about God, for we have testified about God that he raised Christ from the dead. But he did not raise him if in fact the dead are not raised. 16 For if the dead are not raised, then Christ has not been raised either. 17 And if Christ has not been raised, your faith is futile; you are still in your sins. 18 Then those also who have fallen asleep in Christ are lost. 19 If only for this life we have hope in Christ, we are of all people most to be pitied.

Now that is a very strong statement to say that if Christ was not raised from the dead then our faith is futile! Or that the preaching we’re doing is useless, and we’re false witnesses against God. But the wonderful thing is that Christ was raised from the dead! You know, men have tried for centuries to debunk the resurrection, and call it a myth and a hoax. They have tried to come up with all kinds of reasons why they believe that Jesus did not actually rise from the dead. But they have not succeeded in doing so. Beloved, some people even believe that He did not actually die and that He was replaced! And all kinds of things have been said over the centuries! And this is precisely because the entirety of the Christian faith is anchored on the reality and the veracity of the resurrection of Christ. and I want to say to you today, that it is imperative for you as a believer, not to compromise on the question of resurrection. Don’t say ‘oh it doesn’t matter; He lived such a wonderful life!’ No! His life enough cannot save us. It is because of the cross and the resurrection. He did not stay in the grave! That is absolutely essential! He did not remain dead.

The resurrection is hope beyond the grave. It is a story of hope. It is a story of joy; victory. Let us consider why the resurrection matters.

1. The resurrection is proof of the divinity of Christ and His truthfulness

Before Jesus went to the cross, He kept on telling His disciples that He was going to go, that He was going to be crucified and that on the third day He would rise from the dead. And they didn’t understand what He was saying. It is imporant to meditate on what the Word of God says about the resurrection of Jesus, because these Scriptures are powerful. And in the times that we live in and as everything is shifting and changing around us, all over the world you have a plethora of propositions of truth being put before us. And many are tempted for the sake of peace and approval, to compromise the basic tenets of the faith. As we navigate our way through this whole minefield of religious ideas and propositions, it is imperative that we as believers hold on to the fact that Christ died, Christ rose again, He ascended into heaven and He will return. These are fundamental truths. Christ was born, Christ died, Christ was buried, He rose again, He ascended into heaven and He will return. The Bible says in  Romans 1: 1-4:

1 Paul, a slave of Christ Jesus, called as an apostle and singled out for God’s good news— 2 which He promised long ago through His prophets in the Holy Scriptures— 3 concerning His Son, Jesus Christ our Lord, who was a descendant of David according to the flesh 4 and who has been declared to be the powerful Son of God by the resurrection from the dead according to the Spirit of holiness.

It’s imperative that we understand that the sonship of Christ to the Father is an expression of His divinity. When the people of His time wanted to kill Him, they were infuriated with Him because He called God His Father, and for them that meant He was considering Himself as equal to God. And it says that He was declared to be the powerful son of God by the resurrection from the dead according to the spirit of holiness. The resurrection attests to His sonship and His divinity. The resurrection is the key element of all that He was. All that He did testifies to His divine nature. You know we could talk about the fact that He was without sin; that He Himself called Himself the Son of God. We could testify to all the wonderful miracles that He did. And we could also testify to all the Messianic prophecies concerning Him. But all of those find their fulfilment in the fact that He died and He rose again from the dead. Now the Jews of the time believed in the resurrection of the dead, but that one would die and three days later come out of the grave  is something they had never seen before. Interestingly, they had tried to debunk the miracles that Jesus performed, at least some people had. But when  it came to the resurrection they could not. They had to find something to say, and they said, ‘oh His disciples came and stole His body’.

Interestingly we are several centuries away and we could say, ‘oh well, we don’t know what happened’. But we don’t say that! We know what happened. He rose from the dead but you see at the time, if they could have they would have produced His body but they couldn’t!  And I am sure they tried because the disciples were openly and publicly preaching that Christ was risen from the dead.

2. By the resurrection of Jesus we receive forgiveness of sins 

The Bible says in  Romans 4:23-25

23 Now it was credited to him was not written for Abraham alone, 24 but also for us. It will be credited to us who believe in Him who raised Jesus our Lord from the dead. 25 He was delivered up for our trespasses and raised for our justification.

He who knew no sin and gave His life as a ransom for many. By His resurrection, we receive forgiveness of sins and are declared not guilty before God. We are therefore reconciled to the Father and no charges are laid against us.

3. The resurrection  of Jesus foreshadows our resurrection

The Bible says in John 6:40: “For this is the will of My Father: that everyone who sees the Son and believes in Him may have eternal life, and I will raise him up on the last day.”

His glorious body foreshadows our glorious bodies. It is proof that He truly will raise us up as He promised..

4. We are raised with Jesus free of the bondage of sin and the devil

We are already seated with Jesus in the heavenly places. Let us see what the Bible says,

Eph 1:20-23 (HCSB)

He demonstrated this power in the Messiah by raising Him from the dead and seating Him at His right hand in the heavens — far above every ruler and authority, power and dominion, and every title given, not only in this age but also in the one to come. And He put everything under His feet and appointed Him as head over everything for the church, which is His body, the fullness of the One who fills all things in every way.

Eph 2:4-7 (HCSB)

But God, who is rich in mercy, because of His great love that He had for us, made us alive with the Messiah even though we were dead in trespasses. You are saved by grace! Together with Christ Jesus He also raised us up and seated us in the heavens, 7 so that in the coming ages He might display the immeasurable riches of His grace through His kindness to us in Christ Jesus.

In other words,  we can live a life of authority and dominion here on earth because of the resurrection of Jesus.

5. By the resurrection of Jesus, we live transformed lives 

The Bible says in  Colossians 3:3:

1 So if you have been raised with the Messiah, seek what is above, where the Messiah is, seated at the right hand of God. 2 Set your minds on what is above, not on what is on the earth. 3 For you have died, and your life is hidden with the Messiah in God. 4 When the Messiah, who is your[a] life, is revealed, then you also will be revealed with Him in glory. 5 Therefore, put to death what belongs to your worldly nature: sexual immorality, impurity, lust, evil desire, and greed, which is idolatry. 6 Because of these, God’s wrath comes on the disobedient, 7 and you once walked in these things when you were living in them. 8 But now you must also put away all the following: anger, wrath, malice, slander, and filthy language from your mouth. 9 Do not lie to one another, since you have put off the old self with its practices 10 and have put on the new self. You are being renewed in knowledge according to the image of your Creator. 11 In Christ there is not Greek and Jew, circumcision and uncircumcision, barbarian, Scythian, slave and free; but Christ is all and in all.

There is hope beyond the grave because our life on earth is transformed. We receive new life, and are empowered to walk in holiness, living in a manner pleasing to God, empowered to serve and do the will of God

6. By the resurrection of Jesus we now have access to God

The Bible says in Ephesians 2:16-19 (HCSB):

He did this so that He might reconcile both to God in one body through the cross and put the hostility to death by it. When the Messiah came, He proclaimed the good news of peace to you who were far away and peace to those who were near. For through Him we both have access by one Spirit to the Father. So then you are no longer foreigners and strangers, but fellow citizens with the saints, and members of God’s household.

The resurrection of Jesus gives us access to God that we never would have had and allows us to be reconciled to the Father.

7. By the resurrection of Jesus we have the promise of the Father

In Revelations 2, Jesus spoke to the seven churches. From these Scriptures we see that we have the promise of the crown of life, the tree of Life and all the glorious things God has promised to those who overcome.

8. By the resurrection of Jesus we become partakers of  God’s eternal plan to redeem His creation 

There will be a new earth and a new heaven. Those of us who walk with the Lord will be a part of these glorious happenings.  Because of the resurrection we have been inserted into the eternal purpose of God, to be part not only of His creation, but also of His redemption of all thngs. It’s a glorious privilege and a glorious heritage!

This Easter season, I invite you to celebrate the Lord and the resurrection like never before!  Celebrate the fact that He did not remain in the grave. If you do not believe in Jesus, I invite you to give your life to Him. Jesus is the only solution to the human condition.

Have a blessed Easter!


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