Summary: What is the resurrection mean to me?
What Does the Resurrection Mean?
First and foremost, Jesus was gone and the disciples were stressed.
The disciples not only loved this man, they had been convinced that He was the Messiah, the One the prophets had said would come to rescue Israel from the hand of her oppressors and usher in the Kingdom of God. He was to be the righteous king, who would not rule with the iron fist of Rome or the self-serving hypocrisy of many of the religious leaders. He would shepherd Israel with all the love, goodness and power of God. The miraculous healings He had done over and over pointed to the total healing they were certain he would bring to the entire nation. The amazing truths He had taught pointed to the wisdom with which he would rule as the next David, the just and powerful king. And they, his hand picked followers, would be generals in His holy army and advisors in His ruling council.
Then, He’s dead. Half a day after being arrested, without even putting up a fight or even speaking in His own defense, He’s hanging on a cross, then buried in a tomb. Jesus had failed as Messiah, and they had failed as His followers, having run when He needed them most.
Jesus Christ, the Son of the Living God, as Peter had declared, was dead. Hope went to the grave with Him. Their future lost, their courage evaporated, the disciples cower in a locked room by themselves - way beyond mourning - utter desolation.
What they had forgotten were Jesus’ own words the very night of His arrest.
Read John 16:20-22.
The movie "The Passion of the Christ" gives only the briefest glimpse of Jesus’ resurrection, but in the Bible it is the crucial event. It is the turning point of the lives of those first followers and the event that catapulted faith in Jesus beyond this small circle to the entire world.
The shipbuilder’s family must have been overjoyed when he walked in the door. But when the disciples realized that Jesus was alive, they were infused with a joy that, as Jesus said, no one would ever take away. That man had a greater duration of life than his family thought, but the meaning of life and its ultimate outcome were the same as the day before. When Jesus walked out of that tomb, the structures of the world itself fundamentally changed. The meaning of life and its ultimate outcome were recalibrated in a way that leaves not only the original disciples, but us today as well, with a joy that no person or event can ever take away.
Let’s talk about what the resurrection of Jesus Christ means for us today. Jesus Himself captured the significance of His rising from the dead in two statements that He made.
1. "I am with you always." AMEN?
In Matthew 28:20, Jesus promised, "I am with you always, even to the very end of the age." Because Jesus is alive, His followers are not alone. We have the Son of God as our partner in life, every step of the way.
A man went on vacation to the Holy Land with his wife and her father. While in Israel, the father-in-law died from a heart attack. The couple went to a local undertaker, who explained that they could either ship the body home which would cost more than $1500, or they could bury him right there in the Holy Land for only $150.
The man said, "We’ll ship him home."
Surprised, the undertaker responded, "Are you sure? That’s an awfully big expense, and we can do a very nice burial here."
The man said, "Look, 2000 years ago they buried a guy here and three days later He rose from the dead. I just can’t take that chance."
If someone is alive, he/she is still with you: Bad news for this guy with his father-in-law, but unparalleled good news for us. We can go through life with Jesus Christ, the Son of God, as our partner, our companion, our mentor, our daily instructor in how to live, our friend.
There have been other great spiritual and ethical teachers throughout the history of the world: Socrates, Confucius, Buddha, Muhammad. The one thing they all have in common is, they’re all dead. Their followers can read their ideas and try to implement them, but they can’t actually have these teachers as their companions.
Jesus is alive.
Look at your Neighbor and say, ’He rose for me"
He rose from the dead. Which means he can be with us on every step of our journey.
[Read John 14:18-20]
If Jesus were dead, I could still have His written instructions. That would be helpful. But since He is with me, I have a joy that nothing can ever take away. Jesus is alive to teach me, guide me, listen to me, cheer for me, discipline me without yelling at me, play with me, explore with me, enjoy me, love me, and, yes, even buy things for me (He bought my eternal life with His blood).