When we read the accounts of the Lord Jesus Christ in the synoptic gospels (Matthew, Mark, and Luke), we are awed by His greatness. He preached the kingdom of God and performed different kinds of miracles. He was full of love and mercy; wherever He went, He healed the sick, provided food for the hungry, and even raised the dead. For these reasons, a large crowd was always following Him. As Jesus continually met the basic needs of humanity, it follows that people would throng to Him.
But what if, after His death, His body decomposed, and His bones remained in the grave? Would He be any different from other religions’ leaders?
While the accounts of His life portray Him as unique,
His end would have been the same.
The figureheads of all other religions lived at a point in time, and their lives included some memorable events for their followers. They all died and were buried, and their tombs remain closed around their remains. The best their followers could do to remember them was to make those tombs into shrines for visitation and rituals.
What if the story of Jesus was the same?
What impact would an un-risen Jesus have on our faith, our spirits?
Apostle Paul addressed this question by explaining,
“And if Christ has not been raised, your faith is worthless; you are still in your sins. Those, then, who have fallen asleep in Christ have also perished. If we have put our hope in Christ for this life only, we should be pitied more than anyone.” (1 Corinthians 15:17-19)
But thank God, Christ did not remain in the grave as other religions’ leaders; “He has risen, just as He said.” (Matthew 28:6) Indeed, Jesus predicted His death and resurrection. He said to His disciples, “The Son of Man is going to be betrayed into the hands of men. They will kill Him, and after He is killed, He will rise three days later.” (Mark 9:31)
“This is why the Father loves me, because I lay down My life so that I may take it up again. No one takes it from me, but I lay down on my own. I have the right to lay it down, and I have the right to take it up again. I have received this command from my Father.” (John 10:17-18)
Hallelujah, what a Savior! Is that not powerful?
Christ laid down His life for us at will, and took it back after paying off the price for our sins. My people in Nigeria have a saying, “If someone promises you a shirt, look at the one on his body first.” The message is, no one can give what he does not have. Thank God, the Lord Jesus Christ lives forever and He has given us life in Him.
The death and resurrection of Christ provides all who believe and trust in Him with our unshakeable identity, both for this life and in eternity. In this life, we enjoy a new existence in Him; in eternity, we will live with Him forever.
“Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation; the old has passed away, and see, the new has come!” (2 Corinthians 5:17)
“Therefore, we were buried with him by baptism into death, in order that, just as Christ was raised from the dead by the glory of the Father, so we too may walk in newness of life.” (Romans 6:4) We can walk in “newness of life” because Jesus’ resurrection conquered the sin nature that once ruled us; now, through the Spirit, God remains in us. (1 John 3:9)
Finally, Scripture testifies, “Everyone who believes that Jesus is the Christ has been born of God [and . . .] everyone who has been born of God conquers the world. This is the victory that has conquered the world: our faith.” (1 John 5:1-4)
Through the death and resurrection of Christ, we receive the grace of God, through the Holy Spirit, to live victoriously over sin and Satan. Christ is seated at God’s right hand in the heavens, “far above every ruler and authority, power and dominion, and every title given.” (Ephesians 1:20-21) Furthermore, “[God] also raised us up with [Christ] and seated us with Him in the heavens with Jesus Christ.” (Ephesians 2:6)
What does this mean for us?
We are also seated in Him, far above every authority of the devil. Glory be to God! We are more than conquerors through Him who loves us. (Romans 8:37)
Yes, we experience struggles in this world whose god is Satan, yet we have the assurance that we have already been saved from death to life, just as our God was raised from death to life. (1 John 3:14) Death was not His master, and neither is it ours who trust in Jesus, for “we are God’s children now, and what we will be has not yet been revealed. We know that when he appears, we will be like him because we will see him as he is.” (1 John 3:2)
Then we will say, “Where, death, is your victory? Where, death, is your sting?” (1 Corinthians 15:55)
Let the Good News ring out, Christ is risen!
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