The Hope of the Resurrection

“If Christ has not been raised, your faith is futile and you are still in your sins.” 1 Corinthians 15:17

ReFor Paul, everything, literally everything, is centered around the resurrection of Jesus . Christians have sometimes made the message of the resurrection to be a message about being saved from my sins so that I can go to heaven. While there is truth in this, it is only a small part of the message of the resurrection of Jesus. To fully understand the message of the resurrection we have to understand the story of Israel. Ezekiel 37 tells the story of the valley of dry bones. Through prophetic acts the bones come alive and the Spirit is breathed into them as well. God tells Ezekiel that this is what He is going to do for Israel. When their exile is over, when their sins are forgiven, he will resurrect them and once again restore them as his people and be their king. From that point resurrection becomes the sign and hope for Israel’s restoration. So when we come to the resurrection of Jesus it becomes that sign that God has raised up his people and that he is now, once again, king over the world. This has implications for us personally, for us collectively as God’s people, and for the rest of the world.

First, it means that we have been delivered from a life ensnared by sin and into a life of freedom in the Spirit. The Holy Spirit now dwells within each of us, empowering us to live fully human lives. The resurrection helps us to become all that God has for us. 

Second, the resurrection has delivered the people of God from their exile and welcomed people from all nations and backgrounds. God’s plan for undoing the fall of Genesis 3 was to work through a people. The promise given to Abraham in Genesis 12 was God’s plan of redemption. Through this one man, and through his offspring, God would bless the nations and bring all nations back into relationship with himself.  But because of sin Israel went into exile and the promise waited until the day that God would deliver his people. That day happened with the resurrection. Jesus taking on the fullness of sin paid the penalty in order that Israel may be restored. As a result the light has gone out throughout the world and all nations are welcomed into the people of God. 

Third, the resurrection is good news for the world. The gospel is the proclamation that God has now setup his kingdom here on earth. No longer is Caesar king, now Jesus is King. This is truly good news because Jesus is truly good. The resurrection is also good news for all of creation. Because of the resurrection the curse from Genesis 3 is being undone and we can fully become God’s image-bearers who take care of creation so that it can grow and flourish. 

So we can see how important the resurrection is not only for us individually but for the church corporately and for the world and all of creation. The resurrection was a history changing event, ushering in the reign of Jesus and his kingdom, which impacts everything.

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