Summary: Today we celebrate the resurrection of Jesus. We rejoice that he who was dead is now alive. But why did he come back to life? What was the purpose behind it? What was to be gained by it? What did it show? What did it prove? What did it mean for us?
REASONS FOR THE RESURRECTION
Today we celebrate the resurrection of Jesus. We rejoice in the fact that he who was dead is now alive. But why did he come back to life? What was the purpose behind it? What was to be gained by it? What did it show? What did it prove? What did it mean for us?
1)To conquer death.
During his ministry, Jesus showed that he had resurrection power when he raised people from the dead. But what about himself; who was going to raise Jesus? The scriptures highlight in various places that God raised him from the dead. Along with that, we have an interesting declaration from Jesus himself on the subject.
In speaking of his life, Jesus said in John 10:18, "No one takes it from me, but I lay it down of my own accord. I have authority to lay it down and authority to take it up again. This command I received from my Father."
It was all voluntary and it was all within his control. So, in essence, Jesus raised Jesus! He had authority over his own life. He had control over his own death and his resurrection.
Before he raised his friend Lazarus from the dead, Jesus brought a teachable moment to Lazarus' sister, Martha. He told her in John 11:25, "I am the resurrection and the life. He who believes in me will live, even though he dies."
Jesus wanted her to know that the creator and sustainer of life was him. There wasn't just going to be a resurrection he was the resurrection. Jesus didn't just have life he was life itself. So it makes sense that Jesus conquered death because he was life! Death could have no permanent hold on him; it was impossible! This signified that Jesus really was God in the flesh.
John 1:1-4, "In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. He was with God in the beginning. Through him all things were made; without him nothing was made that has been made. In him was life, and that life was the light of men."
Who was the Word? It was Jesus. Verse 14, "The Word became flesh and made his dwelling among us. We have seen his glory, the glory of the One and Only, who came from the Father, full of grace and truth."
Thomas recognized this fact when he became convinced of Jesus' resurrection. He doubted at first but when he encountered the risen Christ he could only say one thing. But what he said was the most powerful statement anyone had ever uttered about Jesus.
John 20:24-28, "Now Thomas (called Didymus), one of the Twelve, was not with the disciples when Jesus came. So the other disciples told him, “We have seen the Lord!” But he said to them, “Unless I see the nail marks in his hands and put my finger where the nails were, and put my hand into his side, I will not believe it.” A week later his disciples were in the house again, and Thomas was with them. Though the doors were locked, Jesus came and stood among them and said, “Peace be with you!” Then he said to Thomas, “Put your finger here; see my hands. Reach out your hand and put it into my side. Stop doubting and believe.” Thomas said to him, “My Lord and my God!”
Thomas, the one who's known for being a doubter comes back with the greatest declaration of faith one could make. He became convinced not only of Jesus' Lordship, but his deity as well.
Some people believe that Jesus didn't really resurrect, what people were seeing was his ghost. I believe that's what Thomas thought. That's why he told the others that unless he put his hands in the wounds and feel for himself he wasn't going to believe it. But we see Jesus challenging him to do just that. We don't see Thomas following through on that because he didn't need to in order to be convinced.
We see a similar situation where Jesus proved his bodily resurrection to his disciples in Luke 24:36-43, "While they were still talking about this, Jesus himself stood among them and said to them, “Peace be with you.” They were startled and frightened, thinking they saw a ghost. He said to them, “Why are you troubled, and why do doubts rise in your minds? Look at my hands and my feet. It is I myself! Touch me and see; a ghost does not have flesh and bones, as you see I have.” When he had said this, he showed them his hands and feet. And while they still did not believe it because of joy and amazement, he asked them, “Do you have anything here to eat?” They gave him a piece of broiled fish, and he took it and ate it in their presence."