We all know Jesus died, and that He rose again three days later. But did you know that isn’t the end of the story?
The Resurrection was one of the most important events in Biblical history. It continues to effect us every day in ways we may not understand. It’s an act of victory over death, the reward of ultimate love and sacrifice. Sadly, however, we’ve grown accustomed to living as if the Resurrection was an event in the past, and not something that Jesus is doing every day.
I’ve mentioned this song before, but this line from My Epic’s “Curse” still strongly resonates with me, You are not a corpse, and we’re not a movement, you’re alive and we’re the flesh you’ll wear to the world’s end. It seems the church today is something that stands for Christ and what He believes, but never live in what they believe. We’ve become a movement of people proclaiming the Gospel, but never taking the Gospel further than mere words. Jesus was all about action, as it wasn’t His words alone that saved us from death.
I want to talk a little on the act of the Resurrection itself. The Resurrection of Jesus was something that came from ultimate grief and suffering. Of death. A resurrection can not take place without first enduring death.
One of my very favourite chapters in the Bible is 1 Corinthians 15. It speaks on the Resurrection, to the people who refuse to believe it. I’d like to talk a little about this chapter. He says in verses 12-14, “Now if Christ be preached that he rose from the dead, how say some among you that there is no resurrection of the dead? But if there be no resurrection of the dead, then is Christ not risen. And if Christ be not risen, then is our preaching vain, and your faith is also vain.” Without the Resurrection, everything we do and say in God’s name amounts to nothing, as there is no life after death. He says in verse 17, “And if Christ be not raised, your faith is vain; ye are yet in your sins.” If the Resurrection had never taken place, sin and death would still reign supreme in our hearts.
The impact of the Resurrection only gets more prominent the further the chapter goes. Verse 21-22, “For since by man came death, by man came also the resurrection of the dead. For as in Adam all die, even so in Christ shall all be made alive.” The good news is that a life in Christ isn’t dead. It isn’t a lifeless religion, it’s a life of joy! Verse 25-26, “For he must reign, till he hath put all enemies under his feet. The last enemy that shall be destroyed is death.” In Christ’s power, He destroyed death by defiling its ways. He rose to life….three days later. In a desire to live in the Resurrection, Paul says in verse 31, “I protest by your rejoicing which I have in Christ Jesus our Lord, I die daily.” As before, without death, there is no resurrection. But sadly some refuse to let the flesh die. “Awake to righteousness, and sin not; for some have not the knowledge of God: I speak this to your shame.”
So what about the fruit of the Resurrection? What do we get out of it? In verses 42-43 Paul explains, “So also is the resurrection of the dead. It is sown in corruption; it is raised in incorruption: It is sown in dishonour; it is raised in glory: it is sown in weakness; it is raised in power: It is sown a natural body; it is raised a spiritual body. There is a natural body, and there is a spiritual body.” Verse 47, however, is my favourite. “ The first man is of the earth, earthy; the second man is the Lord from heaven.” In living in the Resurrection, Christ consumes our entire being. Our flesh dies, and we arise in Him. “And as we have borne the image of the earthy, we shall also bear the image of the heavenly,” says verse 49.
This is how the Resurrection is shaping us today! In verse 51 Paul says, “Behold, I shew you a mystery; We shall not all sleep, but we shall all be changed.” We may fall at times, we may make mistakes, but Jesus is constantly changing us from the inside out. Every day He’s bringing forth a small Resurrection in our lives. We may realize it, we may not, but it’s happening. In looking back over my own life, I can clearly see the works Christ has done in me. Those works He is also doing in you.
In closing, Paul says, “So when this corruptible shall have put on incorruption, and this mortal shall have put on immortality, then shall be brought to pass the saying that is written, ‘Death is swallowed up in victory.’ O death, where is thy sting? O grave, where is thy victory? The sting of death is sin; and the strength of sin is the law. But thanks be to God, which giveth us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ. Therefore, my beloved brethren, be ye stedfast, unmoveable, always abounding in the work of the Lord, forasmuch as ye know that your labour is not in vain in the Lord.” I don’t think I can say it better myself.