Apr15WedApril 15, 2020
A few weeks ago, our family used acrylic paints to turn our living room picture window into a stained glass display featuring a prominent white cross. Since then, the Lord has used this temporary decoration to lift our spirits. As we were getting ready to paint, part of me wanted to not only include a cross but also an empty tomb. Ultimately, we ended up keeping things simple.
Although the cross has become the prominent symbol of our Christian faith, it is the empty tomb which has even greater significance according to the Apostle Paul. “If Christ has not been raised, then our preaching is in vain and your faith is in vain…If Christ has not been raised, your faith is futile and you are still in your sins” (1 Cor. 15:14,17). The cross was the place where Jesus willingly laid down His life for our sins. But without the resurrection, the work of salvation would be incomplete.
Now, the resurrection of Jesus has been considered an ‘elementary doctrine’ and a key confession for those with saving faith (see Hebrews 6:1-3 & Romans 10:9). But before Easter Sunday becomes just another distant memory, let’s revisit this basic doctrine and consider a few rays of light which shine from this glorious truth.
First, Jesus’ resurrection from the dead was a public declaration by the Godhead that Jesus is the ‘Son of God’ (Romans 1:4). He was not just ‘another prophet’ like Moses or Elijah. Jesus is God! The resurrection proves that.
Second, the resurrection demonstrates that Jesus holds the final authority over sin and death (Romans 6:6-9). On the cross, Jesus took of the curse of sin and the punishment of death for us (Romans 3:23-25). But since He rose from the grave, He proved that He is greater than both (Romans 5:21).
Third, the resurrection enabled Jesus to send His Holy Spirit to anyone joined to Him (John 16:7, Acts 2:33). Through this Spirit, disciples of Jesus receive these benefits: abundant life, living hope, victory over sin, and the guarantee of an eternal, resurrected body (Romans 8:11, 1 Peter 1:3, 1 Corinthians 15:57, 1 John 3:2).
It is important for us to remember that not everyone believes in resurrection. In Jesus’ day, the Sadducees did not believe. In Paul’s day, the elite scholars of Athens did not believe. Likewise, we live among people who are convinced that there is nothing after death - that this life is the closest thing to paradise that anyone can ever know. What if they were to hear about the resurrection of Jesus from you?
Let’s be the kind of people who remember the empty tomb every day and are always prepared to give a reason for the living hope that lies within. Lord help us share our testimony of the resurrection of Jesus Christ! Amen.