Summary: Without the resurrection Christianity falls apart. The resurrection of Jesus is the most crucial event in Christian history. It not only matters, it also reveals some things. What does the resurrection of Jesus reveal?
I read an article by Victor Knowles titled, Why the Resurrection Matters. It touched on many key factors, describing the importance of Jesus' resurrection. While it was necessary that Jesus died on the cross for our sins, without the resurrection his death would've been in vain.
Without the resurrection Christianity falls apart. That's why the soldiers were paid off to spread a rumor that his disciples came and stole the body. People have set out to prove Jesus never rose from the dead and ended up becoming Christians because the evidence proves that it did. The resurrection of Jesus is the most crucial event in Christian history. It not only matters, it also reveals some things. What does the resurrection of Jesus reveal?
1) That Jesus is the life.
There are seven "I Am" statements made by Jesus in John's gospel. Three of them contain the word life. I am the bread of life, I am the resurrection and the life and I am the way, the truth and the life. What do they all mean? First let's look at the phrase, 'I am'.
When Jesus was speaking with the Jews in John 8, he said, "before Abraham was born, I am". Either Jesus used poor grammar or he's saying something significant. Jesus is connecting himself with God. The Jews knew what he meant, that's why they picked up stones to kill him. They felt Jesus had just committed blasphemy.
When Moses asked God, "who shall I say is sending me", God answered, "tell them I AM is sending you". I Am is the name of God. This came to be pronounced, Yahweh. The Jews would not even say it for fear of mispronouncing it. So when Jesus used this term for himself he was saying, 'I am God'. Therefore, since God created everything and since he breathed life into every creature, Jesus is saying he is the author of life.
Peter understood this, that's why when he was speaking to the Jews, he told them in Acts 3:15, "You killed the author of life, but God raised him from the dead. We are witnesses of this."
John attested to all this too, as the beginning of his gospel states. 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." Jesus is God, he is the I Am; he is the author of life.
Let's take a look at the three life statements. First, Jesus is the bread of life.
John 6:31-35, "Our forefathers ate the manna in the desert; as it is written: ‘He gave them bread from heaven to eat.’” Jesus said to them, “I tell you the truth, it is not Moses who has given you the bread from heaven, but it is my Father who gives you the true bread from heaven. For the bread of God is he who comes down from heaven and gives life to the world.” “Sir,” they said, “from now on give us this bread.” Then Jesus declared, “I am the bread of life. He who comes to me will never go hungry, and he who believes in me will never be thirsty."
When the Israelites escaped from Egypt to the desert, they didn't have any food. God gave them manna, bread from heaven. This bread was all they had, until they complained they didn't have any meat. God gave them so much quail it was coming out of their noses.
But the manna sustained them; it gave them all the nourishment they needed to survive. The literal bread from heaven was a foreshadow of the true bread from heaven, Jesus. He sustains people too. What Jesus offers will keep us alive and nourish us spiritually. Jesus is the bread of life.
Next, Jesus is the resurrection and the life. John 11:25-26, "Jesus said to her, “I am the resurrection and the life. He who believes in me will live, even though he dies; and whoever lives and believes in me will never die. Do you believe this?”
When Martha was upset that Jesus hadn't healed her brother, Jesus explained to her about the resurrection from the dead. Coming back from the dead isn't just something that happens, the power to do that came from him; he is the resurrection; he is life itself. The power of the resurrection and the power of life exists in Jesus. Life wasn't something Jesus was given, it was something he always had. When Jesus raised Lazarus from the dead it showed that the power of life was within him.