Why is it so important that Jesus rose from the dead?
The meaning of our salvation is hinged on Christ rising from the dead (1 Corinthians 15:3–4, 14)! Christianity could not exist if Jesus never conquered death, and His resurrection separates Him from any other religious leader. Jesus prophesied His own death and resurrection, and then He sealed His promises by accomplishing those two things. Christ rising from death is just as important to the Christian faith as the virgin birth (Isaiah 7:14; Matthew 1:18, 25; Luke 1:27), the deity of Christ (1 John 4:15, 5:5; John 10:30), and Christ atoning for our sins (Romans 5:10–11; 2 Corinthians 5:21). All are absolute truths.
An important aspect of the resurrection is that it was prophesied before it was fulfilled. Jesus prophesied His own death and resurrection in the Gospels (Mark 8:31). This demonstrates that Jesus knew about His divinity as God's son and His destiny to save mankind by conquering death. The Old Testament also describes Christ's resurrection and atonement for sins (Psalm 16:10–11; Isaiah 53:12). The remarkable facet of the prophesy is not that He would die on a cross, which was a common form of capital punishment, but that He would not remain in His grave like every man who had died before Him (Luke 24:24). Throughout Jesus' life, He claimed to be God. His own prophesied death and resurrection confirms His claims that He is God (Matthew 27:63; 28:6).
We have a living Savior who died to take our deserved punishment. Justification means that God declares us righteous once we repent and put our faith in Jesus' work on the cross. We could not have justification if Jesus remained in His grave (2 Corinthians 5:21). Romans 4:25 confirms this, saying, "He was delivered over to death for our sins and was raised to life for our justification" (NIV). Now Christ is an intercessor for us between our sinful nature and God's holiness (Hebrews 7:25).
Jesus conquered death, giving us hope for our future and faith for the redemption of our sins. It is important to Christianity that Jesus conquered death and that His power also lives in us through the Holy Spirit, who leads our spirits (Romans 8:11). We cannot place our faith in a Savior who is dead, which is why Jesus rose from the dead to give us hope in this life (John 10:28).
Christ's revival is fundamental to Christianity. First Corinthians 15 is a great testament to the importance of His resurrection. He was the first to rise from the dead (1 Corinthians 15:20) and cleared the way for all who believe in Him (1 Corinthians 15:22–23). Our faith is meaningless and in vain if Jesus remained in His tomb (1 Corinthians 15:17). We can believe in God's love and that Jesus has the ability to grant us eternal life when we believe in Him, because He was able to conquer death (John 3:16–18).
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