You seek Jesus… He is not here; for He is risen
During the French Revolution, somebody said to Talleyrand, bishop of Autun: “The Christian religion—what is it? It would be easy to start a religion like that.” “Oh, yes,” Talleyrand replied. “One would only have to get crucified and rise again the third day.
The resurrection of Christ is the most confirmed event in ancient human history. We know more about His trial, death, and burial than any other person, and we also have numerous eyewitness accounts of His resurrection. There are four detailed gospel accounts of the life of Christ. The message of the apostles was that Jesus whom they had crucified, God had raised from the dead. Add to this the testimony of Paul, the chief persecutor of Christians, who became the resurrection’s most ardent defender.
Furthermore, we have the empty tomb which had been sealed and guarded by Roman soldiers; the marked change in the disciples’ actions before and after the resurrection; the willingness of the early Christians to die for their faith, and the transformed lives of people up to this very hour. All these things and many more give ample reason to trust in the truthfulness of the resurrection of Jesus Christ.
In what ways is Christ’s resurrection important?
Without it, Christianity would not exist - 1Corinthians 15:14 And if Christ be not risen, then is our preaching vain, and your faith is also vain.
Do you remember David Koresh? He predicted that he would rise from the dead. How many Koreshians exist today?
William Lane Craig: “Without the belief in the resurrection the Christian faith could not have come into being. The disciples would have remained crushed and defeated men. Even had they continued to remember Jesus as their beloved teacher, his crucifixion would have forever silenced any hopes of his being the Messiah. The cross would have remained the sad and shameful end of his career. The origin of Christianity therefore hinges on the belief of the early disciples that God had raised Jesus from the dead.”
Without it, Christ’s claims are unreliable
He lied when He claimed that He would rise from the dead. Jesus always mentioned His resurrection when predicting His death. For example: Matthew 16:21 Jesus began to show to His disciples that He must go to Jerusalem, and suffer many things from the elders and chief priests and scribes, and be killed, and be raised the third day.
He lied about His ability to give eternal life. John 6:47 Most assuredly, I say to you, he who believes in Me has everlasting life. And at the tomb of Lazarus (whom He raised from the dead) Jesus said this: "I am the resurrection and the life. He who believes in Me, though he may die, he shall live.”
He lied about who He was. In John 8:51-59 Jesus claimed to be God, claimed to be able to give life, and said He would rise from the grave three days after He was crucified. Everything He said hinged on His resurrection.
John Ankerberg and Dillon Burroughs: “Jesus claimed to be God; God doesn't lie, and Jesus said that He would rise from the dead on the third day. If there was no resurrection of his literal, physical body from the tomb in which he was buried, then he is a liar and not God, and Christianity is false. However, if Jesus did rise from the dead, then He proved his claim to be God, and Christianity is true. It would indicate we should listen to him and not to some other. After all, no other religious leader has come back from the grave, but Jesus.”
Without it, we have no lasting hope. 1Corinthians 15:19 If in this life only we have hope in Christ, we are of all men the most pitiable.
No hope of the forgiveness of our sins. In Ephesians 1:7 Paul declared: In whom… we have the forgiveness of sins. But he also said: if Christ is not risen, your faith is futile; you are still in your sins. The good news of the gospel is that Jesus died and arose for the forgiveness of our sins. The resurrection proves God accepted His payment on our behalf.
No hope of eternal life. In John 10:28, Jesus said this: I give them eternal life and they will never perish. And the most beloved verse in the Bible makes the same claim: John 3:16 For God so loved the world that He gave His only Begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have everlasting life. But a dead Savior can save no one nor can He give eternal life.
But if Christ did indeed rise from the dead as attested by the evidence of history and the testimony of countless people who have placed their faith in Him, then the resurrection is an event with enormous implications.
Jesus is the only way to God. John 14:6 Jesus said to him, "I am the way, the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through Me.
Michael Green: “If Jesus is, as the resurrection asserts, God Himself who has come to our rescue, then to reject Him, or even neglect Him, is sheer folly. That is why Jesus is not, never has been, and never can be just one among the religious leaders of mankind.”
By faith in Jesus, one can have assurance of a home in heaven and eternal life. John 14: 3 I go to prepare a place for you… that where I am, there you may be also. 1John 5:13 Believe… that you may know that you have eternal life.
Wayne A. Lamb: In the midst of a storm, a little bird was clinging to the limb of a tree, seemingly calm and unafraid. As the wind tore at the limbs of the tree, the bird continued to look the storm in the face, as if to say, "Shake me off; I still have wings."
Because of Christ's resurrection, each Christian can look the experience of death in the face and confidently say, "Shake me off; I still have wings. I'll live anyway."