Among the items of faith listed in the Apostles’ Creed is the reference to the resurrection of Christ. After Jesus was taken down from a Roman cross and buried in a tomb, he rose again on the third day (Luke 24:6).
This remains the most astounding event in all of history. The resurrection is celebrated every year in churches around the world on Easter, but sometimes the meaning gets lost in all the pageantry, tradition and chocolate bunnies.
Make no mistake, this single event gives hope for those who have put their faith in Jesus.
On the Third Day
When Jesus was taken down from the cross, his body was wrapped in a cloth and laid in a tomb (Luke 23:53). The women who were with Jesus and his disciples followed and saw where they had placed the body for burial. After the Sabbath, they went to the tomb to prepare the body for burial (Luke 24:1). He was placed in the tomb by Joseph of Arimathea and all the hopes of the disciples were buried with Jesus. All that remained was Jesus’ body to be properly laid to rest.
He Has Risen
When the women got to the tomb, they experienced the biggest surprise of their lives. While on their way over, they had been asking each other who might help them roll away the stone from the entrance of the tomb. Upon arrival, they found it had already been moved (Mark 16:3-4). The women were then confronted by an angel who told them Jesus was not there. He has risen! The angel then told the women to inform Jesus’ disciples (Mark 16:5-7). Of course, the women were shocked and afraid, but they had been the first to receive the news that would forever change the world.
What Does This Mean to Me?
The words recorded in the Apostles’ Creed announce the most important event in human history: Jesus, the Messiah, has risen from the dead and is alive today. However, that was a long time ago and this is the 21st century. One might wonder why this has any significance to us today.
Paul answered this question in his letter to the Corinthians. He wrote that if we follow Jesus just because he was a good man and died for us, we are believing in vain. If we don’t believe that Jesus was raised from the dead, our faith is worthless (1 Corinthians 15:14). He goes on to explain that if Jesus was not raised from the dead, we are still in our sins and those who died believing in Christ have perished (1 Cor. 15:18). He also explains that if we believe in Christ in this life, we should be pitied above everyone (1 Cor. 15:19).
The resurrection of Christ is our bedrock of hope. Jesus rising from the dead signifies his victory over death and success in bearing our sins, putting them to death on the cross and validating our faith in him. In Christ, we are made alive and we know this because of the resurrection (1 Corinthians 15:22).
Sin and death are the enemies of mankind (1 Corinthians 15:26). The resurrection of Christ, therefore, is the validation of our faith, securing our position in the kingdom of God.
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