Summary: “Thus it is written, that the Christ should suffer and on the third day rise from the dead, and that repentance and forgiveness of sins should be proclaimed in his name to all nations, beginning from Jerusalem.” (Luke 24:46-47)
Theme: Living the resurrected life
Text: Is. 25:6-9; 1 Cor. 5:6-8; Lk. 24:13-49
Christ is risen! He is risen indeed! The resurrection of Jesus Christ is central to the Christian faith and nothing can match its significance. When Jesus rose from the dead, He proved that He was exactly who He claimed to be and had accomplished what He came to accomplish. When we pay the price for a valuable item we are given a receipt as proof that payment has been made. Jesus made full payment for sin on the cross and His resurrection is the receipt that full payment has been made. His resurrection guarantees our resurrection. It is our only hope of eternal salvation, and our only hope of being with God in glory forever. Christ’s victory over death is also our victory and because He lives as our resurrected Lord we also are living the resurrected life. Christ is risen, alleluia He is risen indeed.
The resurrection proves that Jesus Christ is the Son of God. Before the resurrection, Christ had appeared before two human courts, the religious court of the Jewish Council and the secular court of the Roman Governor. Both these courts rejected His claim to be the Son of God and condemned Him to death. God reversed the decisions of the Jewish council and the Roman Governor and publicly declared Christ to be the sinless Son of God by His resurrection. His resurrection is proof that His sacrifice fulfilled its purpose and confirms God’s offer of forgiveness and salvation to every repentant sinner who puts his faith in Christ as “He was delivered up because of our offences, and was raised because of our justification” Romans 4:25. The resurrection of Christ reveals the new life of the believer. Christ is alive so that the words of Scripture in 1 John 4:17 can be fulfilled, “as He is so also are we in this world”.
The resurrection of Jesus Christ ensures our resurrection life. Because He lives we shall live also. The message of Scripture has always been a message of resurrection hope, a message that death is not the end as is illustrated in a grain of wheat. A grain cannot bear fruit unless it is first planted in the ground, seemingly dies, germinates and grows out of the ground to bear fruit. Jesus used this example to teach that His ministry of reconciliation between God and man could only come as a result of His own atoning death and resurrection. If He were to stop short of death on the cross, no fruit could come forth out of His ministry. It is only through His death, burial and resurrection that there would come forth the fruit of a great harvest of sinners, justified and reconciled to God. We are all sinners in need of a Saviour. Easter Sunday confirms that God has accepted the price paid for our sin. It is finished and all we need to do for God’s forgiveness is to believe in what Christ has done for us.
The proof of the resurrection of Christ is really overwhelming. For the Gospel writers the empty tomb confirms the reality that "he had risen, just as he said". There was the witness of angels. At His resurrection an angel announces that He had risen, and that they should tell his disciples that He had risen from the dead and was going ahead of them into Galilee where they would see him. There was also the witness of men as Christ appeared to many eye-witnesses: the women, the Emmaus travellers, Peter, James and John, the rest of the Twelve, then a group of 500 believers, and finally the Apostle Paul.