On Palm Sunday and Good Friday, we thought about the uniqueness of Jesus. The evidences from His life and ministry that set Him apart, and set Him above, all other religious leaders, moral teachers, wise philosophers. Jesus is supreme, Jesus is special.
And maybe the most amazing evidence that Jesus is just so so special, is the fact that He came back to life after He’d been crucified, after He’d died. No other religious leader… etc claims that.
This is what we remember and celebrate today, on Easter Sunday. Christians follow a living: Sin Offering – Substitute & Saviour. If Jesus had remained dead, then his mission would have been considered a failure. He’d just be another dead hero, one of many.
Look what the Apostle Paul says: ‘If Christ has not been raised, our preaching is useless and so is your faith’.
1 Corinthians c15 v14 and ‘If Christ has not been raised, your faith is futile, you are still in your sins’ 1 Corinthians c15 v17
His offering for sin would have been a waste of time. He’d have been an ineffective substitute, and a worthless saviour.
Why, because we’d still be in our sins. The gates of heaven would still be shut and we’d still all be destined for hell.
You see, faith in a dead man is futile. As Paul says again: ‘If only for this life we have hope in Christ, we are of all people most to be pitied’. I Corinthians c15 v19
This is why today is such a Good Sunday. Jesus is alive. If Jesus hadn’t been raised from the dead, we wouldn’t have celebrated Good Friday, and we wouldn’t be celebrating today.
As I said, this is what makes Jesus so special, this is what sets Christianity apart from all other faiths. This is what makes the Gospel so glorious. Without the resurrection, there is no Gospel.
You see, the resurrection of Jesus was God’s stamp of approval that He’d accomplished the mission on which God had sent Him. ‘To save His people from their sins’. "IT IS FINISHED" Jesus cried from the cross.
Jesus was sent on His mission by God. A mission which lasted 33 years, from birth to death, but which was planned from eternity.
And the resurrection of Jesus, the physical bodily resurrection of Jesus from the dead, is at the core of what Christians hold so dear.
This is a non-negotiable of the Gospel. Jesus rose from the dead. This of course was a super-natural event, a miracle, but then the God of the Bible is a super-natural God, a God of miracles.
This is one of the evidences for Jesus’ deity, He Himself performed miracles. On at least two occasions Jesus Himself raised people back to life. Lazarus & Jairus’ daughter
And remember, on numerous occasions Jesus spoke of the fact that He would be raised back to life. We read in Marks Gospel. 'Jesus then began to teach them that the Son of Man must suffer many things and be rejected by the elders, the chief priests and the teachers of the law, and that he must be killed and after three days rise again'. Mark c8 v31 RBT
The resurrection was all part of God’s plan for the salvation of His people. Because without the resurrection we couldn’t be saved.
You see, the resurrection of Jesus from the dead is the guarantee of our resurrection, if we’ve asked Jesus to be our Sin Offering, Substitute & Saviour.
Look what Paul writes: 1 Corinthians c15 v20-22 'But Christ has indeed been raised from the dead, the firstfruits of those who have fallen asleep. 21 For since death came through a man, the resurrection of the dead comes also through a man. 22 For as in Adam all die, so in Christ all will be made alive'.
That is the Christians sure hope for eternity. Those who are ‘In Christ’ will be made alive. This is another promise from God that we should embrace. And the foundation on which this promise is built, is the resurrection of Jesus Himself, the first fruit. Paul writes..
'If you declare with your mouth, ‘Jesus is Lord,’ and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved'. Romans c10 v9
Belief in the resurrection is a pre-requisite for salvation. Because: 'If Christ has not been raised, your faith is futile, you are still in your sins’