We’re blogging our way through the “Apostles Creed”, one of the earliest statements of core doctrines developed by the early Church.
The fact that counting out three days from his death Jesus returned to life in a resurrected body is absolutely essential to the rescue mission he undertook. Why is the resurrection so critical? Here are three reasons:
First, because it proves that everything Jesus claimed about himself is true.
The evidence for Jesus being who he said he was is considerable without the resurrection. He fulfilled dozens of specific Messianic prophecies written down centuries before he was born.
His very life is evidence. No one in history compares to him. His profound teaching, his perfect life, his unquenchable love, his astounding power speak volumes.
But for Christians throughout time, the resurrection clinches the deal. Technically speaking, the resurrection is not what saves us (Jesus death accomplished that.) But the resurrection proves that his death worked. It’s heaven’s confirmation number that God accepts the transaction. Without it, we would have reason to wonder.
Second, the resurrection proves that our destiny is to become sinless, holy and good once more.
That which we forfeited in the Eden – eternal life, perfect purity and face-to-face communion with our Maker – will be returned to us again.
The Bible repeatedly promises us that in eternity we will be forever rid of our sin.
- The journey begins in this life. “We…are being transformed into his image from one degree of glory to another.” (2 Corinthians 3:18)
- But it comes to completion after death or upon Christ’s return. “In a flash, in the twinkling of an eye…we will be changed.” (1 Corinthians 15:52)
- This transformation is certain for all blood-bought disciples. “For those whom he foreknew he also predestined to be conformed to the image of his Son.” (Romans 8:29)
- The end result of this miraculous metamorphosis is that we will resemble Jesus in our moral character and love. “We know that when he appears, we shall be like him.” (1 John 3:2)
How do we know these verses aren’t just wishful thinking? Simple: look at Jesus’ resurrection. His resurrected body is Exhibit A of what will happen to us. Paul called Christ the ‘first fruits’ of what will also happen to those who follow him (1 Corinthians 15:20). If there’s a ‘first fruit’ then a much larger harvest is to follow.
What’s more, we don’t wait till then to enjoy the freedom Christ won for us. Here’s what really astounding.
The third reason the resurrection is critical: it proves that Jesus is alive to help us in the fight for holiness.
We don’t have to do this alone. Jesus promised he would be with us always to the end of the age, and he meant it (Matthew 28:20).
We love “principles” today. Every blog article promises “5 Steps To Better Health”, or “4 Practices To Be Wealthy”. But man does not live by principles alone. In the end when it’s all said and done, purity will not be achieved by principles, but by a Person. In Christianity, it’s not the rules that matter so much in the end, as the relationship. Purity will not be achieved by the steps which you take, but by a hand which you take. The hand of a Savior and Friend who is very much alive.