Matt 28:6 – “He is not here, for He has risen…” NASU
Please don’t get me wrong, without the Resurrection the rest of the story would be meaningless. It is not just an important part of God’s eternal plan for man but absolutely essential. Paul made that clear in 1 Corinthians 5:17 when he declared that “if Christ has not been raised, your faith is worthless; you are still in your sins.” Without the Resurrection, there is no Redemption. That is a timeless fact and eternal truth! To the Resurrection, I say, Hallelujah and Thank You!
But I suggest that the events leading up to the Resurrection are also vital ingredients in the Big Picture of God’s Plan for man and the Plan of Redemption. Before the Resurrection could become a reality there had to have been the suffering of Jesus. The Cross was the finale of His suffering. It was gruesome and if we only view the Resurrection, as great and wonderful as that is, we sanitize the events that led to it. We eliminate the suffering from our view and I believe that is a very grave mistake. We need to be reminded of the suffering Savior as well as the risen Savior.
Before the Cross, there was the trial, the scourging, the stripes, the humiliation, the denouncement. The evil of man’s heart was exposed and put on public display that should so horrify each of us that we weep. Isaiah 52:1:4 informs us that in this event his appearance, visage, and form was marred beyond recognition. He was brutally beaten, endured the strips on His back that left his skin hanging from his flesh when furrows were cut in His skin. If I could coin a word worse than horrific I would use it to describe this scene. Without these events, there could be no Resurrection.
Before the Cross and the Scourging, there was the sinless life He lived as He dismantled the devil’s claims on humanity. He came as man for man and as the Last Adam defeated the devil and reclaimed mankind for the Father. His sinlessness is critical. In 2 Corinthians 5:21 we are reminded, “He made Him who knew no sin to be sin on our behalf so that we might become the righteousness of God in Him.” Jesus lived, as man and for man, in this corrupt depraved world and did it without sin! That must never be forgotten. Some sanitize and anesthetize this truth by arguing, as I’ve been told, “Well Jesus was God and I’m just human.” Yes, He was all God and all man and His life on earth was lived as man for man to redeem man. His victory over sin opens the door to our victory over sin and makes the way for God’s Kingdom to come and His will to be done on Earth as it is in Heaven.
Before Jesus lived a sinless life, there had to be the Immaculate Conception and His birth from a virgin mother. This is a vital truth without which there could have been no sinless life, no trial, scourging, judgment, crucifixion, and resurrection.
Before the conception and birth of Jesus, there was the Fall of Man in the Garden, the Promise of God of redemption, and the preservation of a line from which Jesus could come to redeem mankind. It begins before Genesis 1:1 but our record of it begins there. It began in the heart of God and God has systematically and carefully orchestrated the events to bring us to the place of the Resurrection and the revival of Hope for All.
Yet, if we conclude that the Resurrection and only look back to the pathway leading us to that point in history we miss the eternal impact of what has happened. We must look forward to the Ascension, the fulfillment of His Promise to send Another Comforter and infuse us with the Power and Authority of God to destroy the works of the devil. We must look to the eternal redemption of all who will come to Him and receive Him as their Savior and Lord.
Resurrection Day speaks volumes to my heart and as I think of Him rising from the dead and the horror in the minds of the hordes of hell at that happening, I rejoice! When I think of all that led up to the Cross I shudder and weep in amazement of just how deeply the Father loves us. When I think of the Ascension I am comforted and reminded of Jesus’ words in John 14:1-14, “Do not let your hearts be troubled. You believe in God; believe also in me. 2 My Father’s house has many rooms; if that were not so, would I have told you that I am going there to prepare a place for you?3 And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come back and take you to be with me that you also may be where I am. 4 You know the way to the place where I am going.”
Yes, we should rejoice in His Resurrection and allow the hope of our own Resurrection overflow in our hearts. Yet, we must never forget His Suffering, His Life, and His Purpose. We were not born just to mark time until we get to heaven. We were born to do the works that He did and greater works. We were born to destroy the works of the devil. The Resurrection speaks of the Power of God alive and active in today’s world and in our own lives. It is time to not only hear the Words of Truth but to Act upon them. It is time to rise from the ashes of life and live like the Bible is the Truth, because it is.
God bless you as you celebrate the Resurrection today! Have a fantastic Sunday!