The gospel is the good news about who Jesus is and what He has done to rescue sinners from judgment and reconcile them back to God! Jesus died in our place as the Sinless Substitute. On the cross, He absorbed the wrath of God on sin making a way for sinners to be made right with God.
But the death of Jesus is only a portion of the good news. Three days later, Jesus defeated the curse of sin by overcoming death and rising from the grave! This is the greatest news – that Jesus, God in the flesh, died for our sins, was buried, and was raised on the third day!
The Risen Lord
Jesus’ resurrection gives evidence to the fact that everything He claimed was true. It gives assurance that His death was absolutely sufficient to deal with sin. Now, the perfect Man, who has conquered death, is alive and has all authority and power to offer forgiveness and new life to any who would believe. But, one day, He will stand as ruler and judge of all creation.
Philippians 2:9-11 – Therefore God has highly exalted [Jesus] and bestowed on Him the name that is above every name, so that at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, … and every tongue confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father.
WHY IS THIS IMPORTANT?
There are 3 pillars to the Christian faith. Without all three, the whole thing collapses.
- Jesus is God in the flesh
- Jesus died as a substitute for sinners
- Jesus resurrected as Lord of all
That 3rd pillar, the resurrection, has vital implications for the first two.
Romans 1:1-4 tells us that Jesus’ resurrection proves Him to be the divine Son of God. Peter said in Acts 2:33-36 that by the resurrection, God was declaring Jesus to be both Lord and Christ. The resurrection was the greatest sign authenticating Jesus’ message and vindicating His claims to be God.
Romans 4:23-25 says that it is by Jesus’ resurrection that those who believe are fully justified before God. God raised Jesus from the dead because His sacrifice on the cross was sufficient to deal with man’s sin. If He were not raised, then it would mean His death was somehow insufficient. The Christian faith rises or falls on the resurrection.
Jesus, God in the flesh, has died in the place of sinners and is now alive to offer full forgiveness and new and eternal life to all who believe.Jesus, God in the flesh, has died in the place of sinners and is now alive to offer full forgiveness and new and eternal life to all who believe. Click To Tweet
IMPLICATIONS FOR EVANGELISM
1 Corinthians 15:20-21 makes it clear that because Jesus, the perfect man, has resurrected, death is not the end for us. All humanity will one day be resurrected. Some will be resurrected to life; others resurrected to judgment (John 5:28-29; Acts 24:15).
For those who would believe in Jesus
Not only can our sins be forgiven through Jesus’ death, but through His resurrection, there can be new life! Humanity is offered a new start with God, no longer considered rebels but, in Christ, loved children of God! This provides great liberty from the bondage of religious moralism and the freedom to live as we were created to live. Instead of unending efforts to hold to a standard we have no ability to keep, in Christ, we are enabled to live by the life of His Spirit within us. The resurrection also liberates the sinner not only from sin’s penalty but also from its power (Romans 6:5-6). This new life in Christ brings freedom from the bondage of fleshly impulses and worldly desires.
But the resurrection of Jesus not only offers us new life but also eternal life! Peter says that we are born again to a living hope through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead, to an inheritance that is imperishable, undefiled, and unfading. Because Jesus has conquered death, all those who trust in Him will also have victory over death, assured of eternal life in the presence of God in the new creation (1 Corinthians 15:35-58; Revelation 21:1-4).Because Jesus has conquered death, all those who trust in Him will also have victory over death, assured of eternal life in the presence of God in the new creation! Click To Tweet
For those who continue to reject Jesus
The New Testament reveals the fundamental significance of the resurrection is that Jesus is the Messiah – God’s anointed King and ruler of all the earth. (Acts 2:30-33, 36; Romans 1:4; Philippians 2:9-11). The sobering reality of the resurrection is that all people will stand before the Judge and Ruler of the universe. The Apostles explain that by virtue of being raised from the dead, Jesus will be the Judge to whom we give account.
- Acts 10:40-42 – but God raised Him on the third day … He is the one appointed by God to be judge of the living and the dead.
- Acts 17:31 – God has appointed a day on which He will judge the world in righteousness by the Man whom He has ordained. He has given assurance of this to all by raising Him from the dead.
As created ones, we are not free agents to live and do as we please with no accountability. God will call His creation into account. After death, we will stand before the resurrected Jesus. On that day there will be a division: if we have been pardoned through Jesus’ death we can be quite sure that when Jesus returns to judge we will be acceptable to Him; those that reject Jesus will be eternally judged, separated from the life and love of God’s presence in a place called Hell (Revelation 20:15).As created ones, we are not free agents to live and do as we please with no accountability. God will call His creation into account. After death, we will stand before the resurrected Jesus. Click To Tweet
This means that the death and resurrection of Jesus leaves humanity with a very clear choice. The One who has conquered death offers forgiveness and new life to all who will believe. But as the Risen Lord, He will return to call all humanity into account.
In other words, what you do with the resurrected Jesus now makes all the difference in eternity.What you do with the resurrected Jesus now makes all the difference in eternity. Click To Tweet
- Who is Jesus?, by Greg Gilbert
- Two Ways to Live
- 8 Reasons Why I Believe That Jesus Rose from the Dead, by John Piper
- Isn’t Believing in the Resurrection Ridiculous?, by Paul Perkins
- Christianity Explained, by Michael Bennet
OTHER POSTS in this Series
- Evangelism Initiative
- Our Loving Creator and Righteous Ruler
- A Rebellious Creature and Condemned Sinner
- Jesus, The Sinless Substitute
- Jesus, The Risen Lord
- Our Response of Faith and Repentance