All over the world, Easter Sunday will be marked by unique celebrations. Christians will rejoice in the empty tomb. It’s more than a date on the church’s calendar. Resurrection Sunday defines Christianity.
Do you know why the resurrection of Jesus is so important?
Consider the following four reasons:
1. The resurrection showed that Jesus’s words are trustworthy.
Jesus said he would be lifted up so he could draw men to himself (John 3:14). He said he would rise again after three days (Matt 12:40). And he also said, “I am the way, and the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me” (John 14:6). The empty tomb shows us that his words are worthy of our trust.
Jesus can be believed.
2. The resurrection proved that Jesus’s death had the approval of a holy God.
The underlying message of the Bible is that God is redeeming a world marred by sin. And the only way to atone for sin is death. Jesus’s death was unique in that he gave his life as payment for our sins. Since he was sinless and undeserving of death, his sacrifice can be applied to those who receive him by faith. But this only works if God approves.
The resurrection shows that Jesus’s death was sufficient.
3. The resurrection demonstrates that Jesus’s sacrifice on the cross defeated sin.
Sin – the desire to be autonomous – is what is wrong with our world, and it is what caused death. The God-given consequence of sin is death – the wages of sin (Rom 6:23). The resurrection shows us that sin has lost its power and a way of forgiveness is now offered – “…if you confess with your mouth that Jesus is Lord and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved. 10 For with the heart one believes and is justified, and with the mouth one confesses and is saved” (Rom 10:9-10).
When Jesus Christ conquers death, it is a clear sign that sin is defeated.
4. The resurrection promises eternal life for the believer since death was conquered.
The empty tomb is a symbol of eternal hope for those who put their faith in Jesus. To put our faith in Jesus means that we come to the awareness of our sin, that we need forgiveness, that we cannot self-atone, and we confess our sin, asking Christ to be our Lord and Savior. 1 John 5:11-13 says:
11 And this is the testimony, that God gave us eternal life, and this life is in his Son. 12 Whoever has the Son has life; whoever does not have the Son of God does not have life. 13 I write these things to you who believe in the name of the Son of God that you may know that you have eternal life.
We come to him by faith, placing all our eternal hopes in him.
The resurrection of Jesus Christ frees those who receive him to be forgiven of their sins now and to know that nothing – not even death – can separate them from the love of God. The effect of this is life-changing.
Resurrection Sunday offers believers an important reminder. An empty tomb means we have reason to hope.
Jesus is alive!
It’s central to Christianity.
This is incredibly good news.
Mark Vroegop is the Lead Pastor of College Park Church in Indianapolis. He’s the author of Dark Clouds, Deep Mercy: Discovering the Grace of Lament, the ECPA 2020 Christian Book of the Year, Weep with Me: How Lament Opens a Door for Racial Reconciliation, and the Dark Clouds Deep Mercy Devotional Journal.