The resurrection of Jesus Christ is the most important event in the history of the world. It is the culmination of Holy Week, and what gives hope to millions of Christ-followers around the world.
What is the meaning of the resurrection of Jesus Christ? This article shares ten reasons why Jesus’ resurrection is so important.
1. The resurrection of Jesus Christ means that believers are justified before God.
He was delivered over to death for our sins and was raised to life for our justification. (Romans 4:25)
Justification means to “be put right with.” Because of our sin, humanity is cut off from a right relationship with God (Romans 6:28, Isaiah 59:2). Scripture calls us “objects of wrath” because God has to exert His wrath those who break his law (Ephesians 2:3).
Without someone stepping in to correct this situation, we cannot have the relationship with God that He intended. In the death of Jesus Christ on the cross, God put our punishment on Christ so that we could be justified before Him (2 Corinthians 5:21). The resurrection of Jesus confirms that God accepted Christ’s sacrifice for sin on the cross and gives us access to a right relationship with Him. Praise God!
2. The resurrection of Jesus Christ shows that Jesus defeated death.
Death is the enemy of mankind and the just punishment for our sin (Romans 6:23). The mortality rate is and will always be 100%. No amount of effort, medical technology, power or riches can escape the clutches of death.
Christ rose from the dead because death could no longer hold Him (Acts 2:24)—we no longer have to fear death because Christ has triumphed over it. That’s what led the apostle Paul to write:
“O death where is your victory? O death, where is your sting?’”The sting of death is sin, and the power of sin is the law. But thanks be to God, who gives us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ! (1 Corinthians 15:55-57)
3. The resurrection of Jesus Christ means that believers are united with Christ.
When we believe in Christ, we are united to Him in faith (2 Corinthians 4:14). Union with Christ means that when God looks at us, He does not see our unrighteousness, but the righteousness of Christ. It means that we have died with Him and will also live with Him (Romans 6:8).
This union is made possible by the resurrection of Christ. Similar to when a couple is united in marriage and one spouse’s belongings become the shared possession of their new spouse, believers receive the righteousness of Christ because of their union with Him (1 Corinthians 1:30).
We are now able to walk in newness of life because we are bound to Jesus Christ by the Holy Spirit (Romans 6:4). This idea is shown in baptism, which is the physical demonstration of the spiritual reality of our dying with Christ and being raised with Him.
4. The resurrection of Jesus Christ confirms the truth of Scripture.
The book of Job, Isaiah 53, and Psalm 16 are among the many examples of Old Testament Scriptures that prophesied about the resurrection of Jesus:
“For I know that my Redeemer lives, and at the last he will stand upon the earth.” (Job 19:25)
“Yet it was the will of the LORD to crush him;
he has put him to grief;
when his soul makes an offering for guilt,
he shall see his offspring; he shall prolong his days;
the will of the LORD shall prosper in his hand.
Out of the anguish of his soul he shall see and be satisfied;
by his knowledge shall the righteous one, my servant,
make many to be accounted righteous,
and he shall bear their iniquities.
Therefore I will divide him a portion with the many,
and he shall divide the spoil with the strong,
because he poured out his soul to death
and was numbered with the transgressors;
yet he bore the sin of many,
and makes intercession for the transgressors.” (Isaiah 53:10-12; see fulfillment in John 12:38, Romans 8:17; Acts 8:32-33; 1 Peter 2:23; Luke 22:37)
“For you will not abandon my soul to Sheol, or let your holy one see corruption. You make known to me the path of life; in your presence there is fullness of joy; at your right hand are pleasures forevermore.” (Psalm 16:10-11; see Acts 2:25-28, 2:31,13:35)
5. The resurrection of Jesus Christ proves the gospel to be true.
The fact that Jesus is alive today means that He is able to save today. This was a major argument of Paul in 1 Corinthians 15, where he explains how the whole Christian gospel depends on the resurrection of Jesus:
And if Christ has not been raised, then our preaching is in vain and your faith is in vain…and if Christ has not been raised, your faith is futile and you are still in your sins. Then those also who have fallen asleep in Christ have perished. If in Christ we have hope in this life only, we are of all people most to be pitied. (1 Corinthians 15:14; 17-19)
The resurrection is not only a fundamental part of the gospel, but it is the glue that holds every part of the gospel together. Without it, Christians believe in vain and live without hope. But since Christ has risen from the grave, we have hope of forgiveness, justification, and eternal life in Christ.
6. The resurrection of Jesus Christ proves that Jesus is the Son of God.
Jesus’ unique claims about Himself wouldn’t matter if He remained in the grave. In fact He’d be like the millions who went before Him and the millions who came after. But Jesus Christ did rise from the dead and His resurrection proves His unique status as the Son of God.
…[Christ] was declared to be the Son of God in power according to the Spirit of holiness by his resurrection from the dead. (Romans 1:4)
7. The resurrection of Jesus Christ means that God the Father will give His Holy Spirit to believers.
Being therefore exalted at the right hand of God, and having received from the Father the promise of the Holy Spirit, He has poured out this that you yourselves are seeing and hearing. (Acts 2:33)
After Christ had risen and ascended, He sent the promised Holy Spirit to continue His work on earth. This means that Christ’s earthly ministry continues today through His people, in whom He dwells by the Holy Spirit. This also means that Christ will help His people by the Spirit, strengthening them, convicting them, guiding them into the life that God desires.
8. The resurrection of Jesus Christ gives Christians a living hope.
According to His great mercy, He has caused us to be born again to a living hope through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead, to an inheritance that is imperishable, undefiled, and unfading, kept in heaven for you… (1 Peter 1:3-4)
Being forgiven of sin and justified before God gives Christians tremendous hope. Christians are changed from being an enemy of God bound for hell, to a forgiven child of God with an eternal inheritance in heaven that can never be taken away. What can be better news than that?
9. The resurrection of Jesus Christ means that we will be raised like Him.
Christ is described as the firstfruits of the resurrection from the dead, meaning that His resurrection is a precursor to the resurrection that all believers will experience (1 Corinthians 15:20). “For as by a man came death,” wrote the apostle Paul, “by a man has come also the resurrection of the dead. For as in Adam all die, so also in Christ shall all be made alive” (1 Corinthians 15:21-22).
Believers in Jesus Christ will enjoy resurrection life just like Christ did, with glorified bodies raised in power (1 Corinthians 15:42-44). We may suffer in this life with pains and illnesses, but we will not suffer in the life to come. All earthly suffering has an expiration date, but the pleasures of heaven will never end.
10. The resurrection of Jesus Christ means that Christ will judge the world in righteousness.
The times of ignorance God overlooked, but now he commands all people everywhere to repent, because he has fixed a day on which he will judge the world in righteousness by a man whom he has appointed; and of this he has given assurance to all by raising him from the dead. (Acts 17:30-31)
Every person who has ever lived will be held accountable by God for what they have done. Unbelievers will be held accountable for breaking God’s law and face the condemnation in hell. God will hold believers accountable for their works and will reward them in heaven. The sign God gave to confirm this fact was the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead.
If you do not believe in Jesus Christ, this judgment should cause tremendous fear. You will face the wrath of God and suffer an eternity in hell because of your sins. But this judgment does not have to be a thing to dread.
The Path to Eternal Life
The way to obtain eternal life is by believing in Jesus and turning from your sin. Believing in Jesus is what makes all of the benefits of the resurrection yours! Continuing in unbelief is choosing to remain under God’s wrath.
I’ll let these words from the risen Jesus Christ close this article:
I am the resurrection and the life. Whoever believes in me, though he die, yet shall he live, and everyone who lives and believes in me shall never die. Do you believe this? (John 11:25-26)
Listen for free to the audiobook of Heaven How I Got Here: The Story of the Thief on the Cross.