Christ’s resurrection from the dead is an event that was not and is not believed by all people. The Sadducees said there was no resurrection, neither angels, nor spirits. The apostles also had a problem; for a little while - “they believed not” (Luke 24:11).
The resurrection of Christ was hard to believe just like many other things that happened during this time. Why were there so many hard things to believe within three days? Could it be because God wanted to arrest the attention of the people, as the death and resurrection of our Lord took place?
As Jesus took his final breath (Matt 27:50-54), God began to perform some awesome things. The veil of the temple was rent in twain, the earth quaked, the rocks were rent, and graves were opened. Some of the spectators smote on their breasts and left the scene. The centurion said, “Truly this was the Son of God.” God was arresting attention!
It was now the first day of the week. The time had come for the resurrection of the body of Christ. God did some more spectacular things. He shook the earth again with a great earthquake; the angel descended from Heaven, rolled the stone away from the sepulchre, and sat upon it. Then he told the sorrowing women who had come very early to the sepulchre, “Fear not ye: for I know that ye seek Jesus, which was crucified. He is not here: for he is risen... Go quickly, and tell his disciples that he is risen from the dead;” (Matt 28:5-7). In the holy city something else was happening. According to Matt 27:52-53, the saints that had slept, arose, came into the city, and appeared unto many. God used this day to arrest the attention of many.
What if Jesus had not been raised from the dead? First Corinthians 15:13-19 tells us what it would be like if there were no resurrection. Our preaching would be vain. Our faith would be vain also. We would still be in our sins, without hope in Christ, and would have no new life in Christ. Those fallen asleep in Christ would have perished. We would be liars and of all men most miserable.
But there is a resurrection from the dead. “But now is Christ risen from the dead, and become the firstfruits of them
that slept” (1Co 15:20). God’s plan was for Christ to be the first to rise from the dead to live eternally.
We need to understand that before we can have a spiritual resurrection to a new life, we need to have died to sin. Just as Christ died on the cross for our sins, so we must die to sin. For Christ “was delivered for our offenses, and was raised again for our justification” (Rom 4:25).
Jesus’ resurrection is the foundation for our spiritual life by faith in His death and resurrection (Rom 6:4). It means provisionally being justified, and having peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ (Rom 5:1). It also means that we too can be raised with Christ and have His power to mortify (be unresponsive to) the ungodly deeds of the flesh (Rom 6:5-6).
Jesus’ resurrection calls us to set our “affection on things above, not on things of the earth” (Col 3:1-2). It calls us to newness of life, new desires, a new clean walk, a new outlook, and a new Master. As a new creature in Christ, we will no longer follow lust, the pride of life, and the fashions of this world, such as the Easter bunny, Easter eggs, or new Easter clothing (2Co 5:17).
Living the resurrected life produces an answer of a good conscience toward God (1Pe 3:21).
May we continue to depend on the mercy of God and the merits of the shed blood of Christ. If we have part in the resurrection from a sinful life here, we can look forward to a bodily resurrection when this vile body shall be fashioned like unto His glorious body (Php 3:21; 1Co 15:51-58).