Today's Foundations Devotional: The unique importance of the resurrection
So also is the resurrection of the dead. The body 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
(1 Corinthians 15:42-44)
To conclude this last part about the resurrection of the dead, we do well in the last two days to look at why this teaching is so important. There are three main reasons why the doctrine of the resurrection occupies a special, central place in the Christian faith.
The first reason is that the resurrection is God’s own vindication of Jesus Christ.
[Christ was] declared to be the Son of God with power, according to the Spirit of holiness, by the resurrection from the dead (Rom. 1:4).
Previously, Christ had been brought before two human courts – first the religious court of the Jewish council, and then the secular court of the Roman governor Pontius Pilate. Both these courts had rejected Jesus’ claim to be the Son of God and had condemned Him to death. Furthermore, both these courts had united in seeking to prevent any breaking open of the grave of Jesus. To this end, the Jewish council had provided their special seal, and the Roman governor had provided an armed guard of soldiers.
However, on the third day God intervened. The seal was broken, the armed guard was paralysed, and Jesus came forth from the tomb. By this act God reversed the decisions of the Jewish council and the Roman governor, and He publicly vindicated the claim of Christ to be the sinless Son of God.
The second main reason for the importance of the resurrection is that it is the sure seal upon God’s offer of forgiveness and salvation to every repentant sinner who will put his faith in Christ.
[Christ was] delivered up because of our offences, and was raised because of our justification (Rom. 4:25).
This shows that the sinner’s justification is dependent upon Christ being raised again from the dead. Had Christ remained on the cross or in the tomb, God’s promise to the sinner of salvation and eternal life could never have been fulfilled. It is only the risen Christ, received and confessed by faith, who brings to the sinner pardon, peace, eternal life and victory over sin.
If you confess with your mouth the Lord Jesus [or Jesus as Lord] and believe in your heart that God has raised Him from the dead, you will be saved (Rom. 10:9).
Salvation is dependent upon two things: 1) openly confessing Jesus as Lord; 2) believing in the heart that God raised Jesus from the dead. Thus, saving faith includes faith in the resurrection. There can be no salvation for those who do not believe in the resurrection of Christ.
O heavenly Father, thank You that the Lord Jesus Christ who dwells in me
has powerfully proved that He is God's Son, and that - O wonder and glory -
he has come to live in me and my brothers and sisters continually
sanctifying us! Thank You, Jesus, for rising from the dead, but also for
rising up in me! Thank You Lord for forgiveness, peace, eternal life
and victory! Amen.