Why The Resurrection
This morning we celebrate the resurrection of Jesus Christ. But do you know why we celebrate the resurrection? Every month in the communion we celebrate his death because it is in the death of Jesus that our sin is atoned for. So was the resurrection even necessary? Or is the resurrection just a nice ending?
It's an important question, and one that matters to each one of us. Notice that it is not a question of "was there a resurrection?" The evidence for that is overwhelming In fact many well known skeptics have attempted to disprove the resurrection and have in turn become believers, people Josh McDowell,  and Lee Strobel.
But I want you to understand the significance of the resurrection this morning so I ask the question, "Why The Resurrection?" What does the resurrection of Jesus Christ accomplish?
First of all it's important to note that When Jesus rose from the grave it wasn't at all unexpected. Jesus expected it and so should the disciples because Jesus not only told them, he told them multiple times.
The Resurrection of Jesus Provesâ€¦
The Resurrection Fulfills The Word of God
In fact that's the first action of the resurrection: It fulfills the prophecies of scripture. Not only all the times that Jesus told the disciples he was going to be murdered and then raised to life; but also the dozens and dozens of times throughout the old testament in which God foretold the death and resurrection of the Messiah, the Savior.
The resurrection of Jesus was promised for instance in the Psalms, Psalm 16:10 says, "For You will not abandon my soul to [the grave]; Nor will You allow Your Holy One to undergo decay. " Paul used that verse in Acts 13:34-35 to prove to the Jews that Jesus is the Messiah God promised to send. And Jesus, when he spoke with the disciples in Luke 24 opened their minds so that they could understand the scriptures; including the texts that spoke of his resurrection.
The Resurrection proves that judgment day is coming
In Acts 17:31 "â€¦He has fixed a day in which He will judge the world in righteousness through a Man whom He has appointed, having furnished proof to all men by raising Him from the dead."
God's judgment of sin on the shoulders of His own son is proof that God will judge sin. This morning the resurrection of Jesus stands as proof that Judgment day is coming.
The Resurrection proves that Jesus is the Son of God
In Romans 1:4 Paul says that Jesus was "declared with power to be the son of God by his resurrection from the dead." Jesus' resurrection was not like the resurrection of Lazarus or of anyone else Jesus raised from the dead in His ministry. Jesus was not raised to die again, he was raised to a new and permanent life. This new life which Jesus lives is not merely avoiding the grave but punches a hole through the grave so that the tomb becomes a tunnel with light at both ends.
Only The perfect son of God could be raised to life in this way; the resurrection proves that Jesus is the son of God.
The Resurrection proves that Jesus' death was an acceptable sacrifice
In 1 Corinthians 15:17 we read that if Jesus had not been raised our faith would be worthless and our sins, unforgiven. If Jesus hadn't died for us we would fall condemned. But unless he had been risen back to life our redemption would be unverifiable. In the Resurrection of Christ we have proof that the sacrifice was acceptable.
The Resurrection proves that we are Justified
To be justified means to be declared "Not Guilty". In Romans 4:25 we are told that our justification is connected to the resurrection of Jesus. Since Jesus rose, we have proof that we are justified. As God sees the resurrection of Jesus and our faith in it, we are pronounced not guilty. As we see the resurrection we can rest in being justified.
The Resurrection of Jesus Enablesâ€¦
It Enables God's Promises to David for an eternal throne to be fulfilled
(Acts 2:25-32) All the way back in The days of King David, God promised him that he would have a descendant who would sit on the throne forever. Since every king that came from David's line had a habit of dying before the first 1000 years, it became increasingly difficult to have an eternal king. But Jesus changes that. As a descendant of King David both legally through the line of Joseph and Genetically through the Line of Mary, Jesus who rose back to life never to die again now has the ability to reign forever on King David's throne!
It Enables us to be born again!
We cannot be reborn/regenerated apart from Christ's resurrection. Only as he walks in the newness of life can we walk in the newness of life. Look at What Peter says in 1 Peter 1:3
" Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who according to His great mercy has caused us to be born again to a living hope through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the deadâ€¦"
It enables us to live holy lives
Listen to What Paul says in Romans 6:6-8, 11-14
"knowing this, that our old self was crucified with Him, in order that our body of sin might be done away with, so that we would no longer be slaves to sin; for he who has died is freed from sin. Now if we have died with Christ, we believe that we shall also live with Himâ€¦ Even so consider yourselves to be dead to sin, but alive to God in Christ Jesus. Therefore do not let sin reign in your mortal body so that you obey its lusts, and do not go on presenting the members of your body to sin as instruments of unrighteousness; but present yourselves to God as those alive from the dead, and your members as instruments of righteousness to God. For sin shall not be master over you, for you are not under law but under grace.
Through the resurrection of Jesus we walk in grace and have the power to live a holy life, a life that has been made acceptable to God.
It enables the Power of God to work in and through us
In Ephesians Paul prays that they might be able to get a grip on the greatness of God's power towards us, which he says is just like the power God used when he raised Jesus from the dead (Ephesians 1:19-20).
It enables us to Reign with Christ on His Throne
Paul goes on in the second Chapter of Ephesians to say that by the resurrection of Jesus we will reign with Him on his throne. (Eph 2:5-7)
Finally, the resurrection of Christ encourages usâ€¦
It calls us to work for Christ
Because of Christ's resurrection our labors for God are not in vain. The works we do today which we do in Christ's power reap eternal rewards. ! His Resurrection makes our work for God reap eternal rewards. (1 Corinthians 15:58 â€“ entire chapter.)
It gives substance to your hope.
(1 peter 1:3,21) You're not just hoping in something that has no strength, Hoping in Christ is not clinging to a spider web to keep from falling; it's standing on the rock. In Christ's resurrection we have reassurance that our regeneration really and truly does give us a living hope.
And last of all, the Resurrection of Jesus Christ from the grave on Easter Morning assures a resurrection for all who will believe in Him.
It assures us of our own resurrection!
1 Cor. 6:14 says God has not only raised up Jesus but will raise us up as well through his Power. And Romans 6:5 reminds us that if we have been united with Christ in his death by faith than by that same faith we also will be united with him in his resurrection.
Far from being something extra after the crucifixion, the resurrection of Jesus Christ is the exclamation point that causes the crucifixion to make sense. It proves the scriptures by fulfilling the prophecies, it proves that God has set a time to judge, it proves the identity of Jesus as the Son Of God. The resurrection proves that Jesus' death was an accepted sacrifice, and it proves that we are justified by faith.
The Resurrection of Jesus enables God's promises to David to be fulfilled by placing his descendant Jesus on the throne forever. It enables us to be born again, it enables us to be Holy and it lets the power of God work through us as we work for God. The resurrection of Christ enables us to reign with him.
And Finally the resurrection of Jesus Christ encourages us to work for Christ. It provides a solid basis for our own hope and it assures us of our own resurrection.
Hallelujah, Christ is Risen! Because he has life, we also have life!