“And the angel said to the women, ‘Do not be afraid; for I know that you are looking for Jesus who has been crucified. He is not here, for He has risen, just as He said. Come, see the place where He was lying.’”Matthew 28:5-6
Jesus Christ’s death on the cross is a well-documented event. But equally documented is the single most important event in human history—the resurrection of Jesus from the dead. Is the claim of Jesus’ resurrection something that only fools believe? Is it an example of “fake news” that was spread by His overzealous followers? Or is the resurrection the single most important fact in human history that has tremendous implications for your life as well?
The eyewitness argument for the resurrection is not limited to one or two people but encompasses millions of people throughout history from every station of life and every nation in the world. Furthermore, millions of people have embraced this belief in Christ in spite of ridicule, torture, and even death.
The purpose of the resurrection is of utmost importance, and the implications on our lives numerous. First, Christ’s resurrection resulted in our justification. Romans 4:25 says, “He who was delivered up because of our transgressions, and was raised because of our justification.”
Justification is a legal term referring to our standing before God. When we become a Christian, God sees us as “not guilty.” Justification means that God looks at us “just as we never sinned.”
The claim of Christianity is this—that when Jesus died He paid the penalty for our sin. He suffered what we deserved to suffer. When we trust in Him, God pardons us. When God looks at us, He sees us through the blood of His Son.
If Jesus had not been God, then His death would have been for His sins, not for ours (1 Corinthians 15:17). But the fact that He arose from the dead is proof that He was God’s Son, and that His sacrifice was acceptable to God.
Secondly, Christ’s resurrection means not only that we have been justified, but someday we will be glorified—that is, we will live forever and receive that same resurrection body that Christ received.
If you are a believer, the resurrection offers you the assurance of life after death, of reunion with loved ones, of healing, of peace, of everlasting joy. That’s the hope those of us who are Christians have—a hope the rest of the world does not share.
Dwight L. Moody, the great evangelist greeted death this way. On December 22, 1899, Moody awoke to his last winter dawn. Having grown increasingly weak during the night, he began to speak in slow, measured words. “Earth recedes, heaven opens before me!” His son, Will, who was nearby, hurried across the room to his father’s side.
“Father, you are dreaming,” he said. “No. This is no dream, Will, “Moody said. “It is beautiful. It is like a trance. If this is death, it is sweet. God is calling me and I must go. Don’t call me back.”
At that point, the family gathered around and moments later the great evangelist died. It was his coronation day, a day he had looked forward to for many years. He was with his Lord!
The funeral service of Dwight L. Moody reflected that same confidence. There was no despair. Loved ones gathered to sing praise to God at a triumphant home-going service. Many remembered the words the evangelist had spoken earlier that year in New York City: “Someday you will read in the papers that Moody is dead. Don’t you believe a word of it. At that moment I shall be more alive than I am now…I was born of the flesh in 1837, I was born of the Spirit in 1855. That which is born of the flesh may die. That which is born of the Spirit shall live forever.”
That’s the hope, confidence, and assurance of everyone who is in Christ Jesus.