This thing called the Resurrection changed everything! Everyone who witnessed the execution of Jesus Christ thought it was over when He was nailed to a Roman cross and brutally crucified.
The great man was suddenly a dead man.
His friends wiped away their tears and buried Jesus in a borrowed stone tomb. His enemies were excited—and suspicious. They pressed the Roman governor until he posted a squad of Roman soldiers at the sealed tomb. They didn’t want any monkey business.
Their problem was larger than monkeys, however: they were trying to interfere with God’s plan. From the beginning of time, He had intended for humankind—His highest creation—to experience a wonder-filled life: a life spent with Him, a life that was free of disease, hatred, anger, violence, hunger, and loneliness.
From their beginning at Creation, Adam and Eve enjoyed that blessed life, but they lost it when they disobeyed God’s warnings and chose their own way in the Garden of Eden. (See the Bible account in Genesis 3.)
That first sin of rejecting God’s way tainted our entire human race with sin and death—we all have inherited their defective DNA of the soul. This spiritual disease called sin was passed from one generation to the next, with a death sentence that was unavoidable.
The result wasn’t God’s intention. It was humankind’s choice.
But God loved us so much that He gave His innocent Son, His only Son, to save us. Jesus shed His blood and washed away our sins and failures through the wounds He experienced on the cross and in the savage beating by temple guards and Roman soldiers lashing away with their bone-and-stone-embedded scourges.
He died in your place. He paid for your sins. If you receive Him, He declares you, “Not guilty!” He justified you just as if you had never sinned. This is the mercy and grace of God.
Everyone, friend and enemy alike, thought it was over after the followers of the Carpenter placed His battered body in that cold stone tomb. Few remembered and no one believed that Jesus would rise from the grave on the third day.
He knew it, believed it, and willingly laid down His life in full confidence that His Father was able and committed to raise Him from death. The Bible says the Spirit of God entered His dead body and raised Him from death (see Romans 8:11). WE ALL FEAR DEATH
The Resurrection is important because we all fear death. We work hard to mask it, reframe it, or pretend otherwise. Yet death is a hot topic in our culture. It dominates our television dramas, novels, TV and Internet news, and blog sites. We watch and read about death by war, disease, murder, and natural disaster—as told by victims, survivors, crime-scene investigators, and the mourners left behind. We are fascinated by death. We just don’t want it to visit our house.
A dark fear lurks inside the human heart, framed in the burning question: “What will happen to me when I die?”
I have good news on this topic! God broke the power of death on the third day when He raised Jesus from the grave! He stripped Satan of the power he had gained through Adam’s sin. And that was when Jesus, fresh from His resurrection, said, “All authority has been given to Me in heaven and on earth” (Matthew 28:18, NASB).
Jesus regained what Adam had lost. He paid the ultimate price—His life—to purchase eternal life for you and me. His resurrection from the dead declared He was the only Son of God. He is alive forevermore!
Now do you see why the Resurrection is so important?
That same Spirit that raised Christ from the dead can come to live inside of you! You can be transformed and born again from the inside out. The old you will pass away, and you will be a new creation in Christ Jesus (see 2 Corinthians 5:17).
This is how you become a child of God! And this is why the fear of death should have no power over you! With Christ as your Savior, when your body is finally laid to rest, your spirit—the real you—will slip out of your body and remain alive forever with God.
If you put your hand in a glove, that glove moves when you move. Once you pull your hand out of the glove, it lies motionless and empty. Your hand represents your “spirit man,” and your body is your “earth glove.” When the earth glove wears out, the same power that raised Christ from the dead also removes your spirit man from the empty body—and your life continues.
That is the power of the Resurrection! Now you can live without the fear of death and fully enjoy life! Because He lives, you can live—with joy, peace, and right standing with God. Fear will release its grip on your life.
“O Death, where is your sting? O Hades, where is your victory?… But thanks be to God, who gives us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ” (1 Corinthians 15:55, 57).
During His stay on earth, Jesus showed that He had power over death. The report of one incident reveals His love and compassion toward those dealing with the painful reality of death: And behold, there came a man named Jairus, and he was a ruler of the synagogue. And he fell down at Jesus’ feet and begged Him to come to his house, for he had an only daughter about twelve years of age, and she was dying. But as He went, the multitudes thronged Him.… While He was still speaking, someone came from the ruler of the synagogue’s house, saying to him, “Your daughter is dead. Do not trouble the Teacher.” But when Jesus heard it, He answered him, saying, “Do not be afraid; only believe, and she will be made well.” When He came into the house, He permited no one to go in except Peter, James, and John, and the father and mother of the girl. Now all wept and mourned for her; but He said,“Do not weep; she is not dead, but sleeping.” And they ridiculed Him, knowing that she was dead. But He put them all outside, took her by the hand and called, saying, “Little girl, arise.” Then her spirit returned, and she arose immediately. (Luke 8:41–42, 49–55)
But the power Jesus displayed over death did not disappear when He ascended to heaven. Just ask Heather.Clinically Dead, Supernaturally Raised! THE HEATHER ROSS STORY
The family doctor thought he had a simple case with an obvious treatment when seventeen-year-old Heather came to his office. Heather’s mother had brought her in the moment she realized Heather’s symptoms were worse than usual. The doctor decided she had strep throat. “The doctor prescribed penicillin—even though everyone else in my family was very allergic to it. I told him I’d never taken the antibiotic before, but he wasn’t worried about it.” The doctor wasn’t worried, so Heather didn’t worry either. Once she took the penicillin, things took a sudden turn…“I got really ill and laid down. When I woke up, I felt like I needed to vomit so I started to get up, but I could barely stand. “When I started down the hall to the bathroom (about twenty feet), I was so unsteady that my head was bouncing against both walls. I finally made it, but as I began to vomit I passed out and everything lodged into my throat while I was unconscious.” The normal flow of oxygen to Heather’s brain had been interrupted. She was dying minute by minute. She passed out around 11:30 that morning, after her mother had gone to work. Her mother returned from work just after 4:30 p.m. and discovered Heather sprawled on the floor. Five long hours had gone by.
Panic hit because Heather was a type 1 diabetic. Her mother feared that Heather’s blood sugar levels had dropped to dangerous levels. When none of the usual procedures she did seemed to work, Heather’s mother called the paramedics. Once the doctors at the hospital completed their initial examination, they came out with some shocking news: Heather was clinically brain dead. (Her mother remembers the doctors saying,“She is a vegetable.”) No one knew at the time that Heather was much more aware of her surroundings than anyone suspected. Heather said, “I could hear people around me talking! I remember the nurse who told my aunt and uncle, ‘You know, she’s pretty much gone.’ “During that time, God asked me, What are you doing for Me? What are you doing with your life? What is the purpose of your life? And I didn’t have any answers. ...