|Robert Houk Hitchcock|
The resurrection of Jesus Christ is the singular most significant event in human history. His birth was a miracle; his life was a study of perfection of doing the Will of God. Central to Christianity( the way of a Father with His family) is the resurrection of Jesus Christ. Without the resurrection of Jesus Christ, the followers of Jesus Christ would be powerless, hopeless, and their believing would be vain. With the assurance of the resurrection of Jesus Christ, his followers have power, love, and the hope of his return!
The central focus of the outreach of God's Word in the first century was the declaration of God that He had raised His Son from the dead.
Then Paul stood in the midst of Mars' hill, and said, Ye men of Athens, I perceive that in all things ye are too superstitious.
For as I passed by, and beheld your devotions, I found an altar with this inscription, TO THE UNKNOWN GOD. Whom therefore ye ignorantly worship, him declare I unto you.
God that made the world and all things therein, seeing that he is Lord of heaven and earth, dwelleth not in temples made with hands;
Neither is worshipped with men's hands, as though he needed any thing, seeing he giveth to all life, and breath, and all things;
And hath made of one blood all nations of men for to dwell on all the face of the earth, and hath determined the times before appointed, and the bounds of their habitation;
That they should seek the Lord, if haply they might feel after him, and find him, though he be not far from every one of us:
For in him we live, and move, and have our being; as certain also of your own poets have said, For we are also his offspring.
Forasmuch then as we are the offspring of God, we ought not to think that the Godhead is like unto gold, or silver, or stone, graven by art and man's device.
And the times of this ignorance God winked at; but now commandeth all men every where to repent:
Because he hath appointed a day, in the which he will judge the world in righteousness by that man whom he hath ordained; whereof he hath given assurance unto all men, in that he hath raised him from the dead.
And when they heard of the resurrection of the dead, some mocked: and others said, We will hear thee again of this matter.
So Paul departed from among them.
Howbeit certain men clave unto him, and believed: among the which was Dionysius the Areopagite, and a woman named Damaris, and others with them.
Mars' hill was the center of worship and debate in Athens. There were so many statues to various gods that they even had one dedicated to the "Unknown God" just in case they forgot one.
Paul introduced them to the One True God, the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ. Notice that central to Paul's declaration of God was "whereof he hath given assurance unto all men, in that he hath raised him from the dead."
In discussing God with men who knew nothing about the True God, the main point, the main emphasis that was told of Him was that He Raised His son Jesus Christ from the dead. In the resurrection there is life, eternal life to those who believe.
Paul, a servant of Jesus Christ, called to be an apostle, separated unto the gospel of God,
(Which he had promised afore by his prophets in the holy scriptures,)
Concerning his Son Jesus Christ our Lord, which was made of the seed of David according to the flesh;
And declared to be the Son of God with power, according to the spirit of holiness, by the resurrection from the dead:
Jesus Christ was declared to be the Son of God with power by the resurrection from the dead! The resurrection of Jesus Christ is proof that he was the Son of God. There, of course, have been many religious leaders in the history of mankind. Many of them said a lot of great things; many of them were fine human beings; many of them taught principles that helped people's lives- ONLY ONE OF THEM HAS GOD EVER RAISED FROM THE DEAD!
From that time forth began Jesus to shew unto his disciples, how that he must go unto Jerusalem, and suffer many things of the elders and chief priests and scribes, and be killed, and be raised again the third day.
And they shall kill him, and the third day he shall be raised again. And they were exceeding sorry.
Jesus Christ told his disciples of his impending death and resurrection.
It was difficult for them. They reacted very negatively to
it. However, God was having them prepared for the event when
it would happen.
Whom God hath raised up, having loosed the pains of death: because it was not possible that he should be holden of it.
This Jesus hath God raised up, whereof we all are witnesses.
On the day of Pentecost, the day of the outpouring of the gift of holy spirit, the central theme was the declaration of the resurrection of Jesus Christ. All those who believed that day (about 3000) believed in the resurrection of Jesus Christ.
And killed the Prince of life, whom God hath raised from the dead; whereof we are witnesses.
Unto you first God, having raised up his Son Jesus, sent him to bless you, in turning away every one of you from his iniquities.
The declaration of the first century church was the resurrection of the son of God, Jesus Christ. Having died for the sins of all mankind, God raised His son to eternal life. There he sits to make intercession for the believers according to the Will of God.
And therefore it was imputed to him for righteousness.
Now it was not written for his sake alone, that it was imputed to him;
But for us also, to whom it shall be imputed, if we believe on him that raised up Jesus our Lord from the dead;
Who was delivered for our offences, and was raised again for our
Having paid the penalty for sin, which is death, Jesus Christ freed mankind from the penalty. All who believe on him are justified.
That if thou shalt confess with thy mouth the Lord Jesus, and shalt believe in thine heart that God hath raised him from the dead, thou shalt be saved.
It is no coincidence that the resurrection is central to salvation. God's Word says that in order to be saved, in order to acquire eternal life, in order to become a son of God, in order to join the family of God you must believe ONE THING: God raised Jesus Christ from the dead.
Certainly there are other things that God wants us to believe too, but only ONE is required for salvation: believe in the resurrection of Jesus Christ.
Not only is there salvation in the resurrection, there is power,
hope, there is believing.
And what is the exceeding greatness of his power to us-ward who believe, according to the working of his mighty power,
Which he wrought in Christ, when he raised him from the dead, and set him at his own right hand in the heavenly places,
The church is to know the exceeding greatness of God's power towards us. This power is defined by what He wrought in Christ when he raised him from the dead and set him at His own right hand. In others words, the power of the resurrection is the exceeding greatness of God's power to usward who believe. The power of the resurrection is available to the believer! That is some tremendous power that raised a man, a human being, from the dead to eternal life and seated him in the heavenlies! That is the power base upon which the believer may draw his power!
That I may know him, and the power of his resurrection, and the fellowship of his sufferings, being made conformable unto his death;
God wants us to know the great power of the resurrection in our own
lives. The power that raised Jesus Christ from the dead is the power
of God in the gift of holy spirit in the believer.
1 Thessalonians 1:10
And to wait for his Son from heaven, whom he raised from the dead, even Jesus, which delivered us from the wrath to come.
The promised return of the Lord Jesus Christ is contingent, of course, upon his resurrection. Having raised Jesus Christ from the dead, God assures the saints that one day He will send him BACK for the church.
If there was no resurrection, then there could not have been an ascension,
there could not have been a seating, and there could not be a return.
However, there was a resurrection and there will be a return!
1 Corinthians 15:1-4
Moreover, brethren, I declare unto you the gospel which I preached unto you, which also ye have received, and wherein ye stand;
By which also ye are saved, if ye keep in memory what I preached unto you, unless ye have believed in vain.
For I delivered unto you first of all that which I also received, how that Christ died for our sins according to the scriptures;
And that he was buried, and that he rose again the third day according to the scriptures:
The first thing that Paul declared to anyone was the Jesus Christ died for our sins and that God raised him from the dead. It is one subject that absolutely must be understood in Christianity.
1 Corinthians 15:12-20
Now if Christ be preached that he rose from the dead, how say some among you that there is no resurrection of the dead?
But if there be no resurrection of the dead, then is Christ not risen:
And if Christ be not risen, then is our preaching vain, and your faith is also vain.
Yea, and we are found false witnesses of God; because we have testified of God that he raised up Christ: whom he raised not up, if so be that the dead rise not.
For if the dead rise not, then is not Christ raised:
And if Christ be not raised, your faith is vain; ye are yet in your sins.
Then they also which are fallen asleep in Christ are perished.
If in this life only we have hope in Christ, we are of all men most miserable.
But now is Christ risen from the dead, and become the firstfruits of them that slept.
If there was no resurrection of Jesus Christ, then the Christian's believing is in vain. It is purposeless. It is empty. If there was no resurrection, we would still be in our sins. If there was no hope of eternal life, we are of all men most miserable. But God did raise Jesus Christ from the dead!
See how important, how central, the resurrection of Jesus Christ is to Christianity? Without the resurrection, we have nothing. With the resurrection, we have salvation and the promised return of Jesus Christ. We have power!
Because God did raise His son from the dead, He also will send him to gather together the church.
1 Corinthians 15:51-58
Behold, I shew you a mystery; We shall not all sleep, but we shall all be changed,
In a moment, in the twinkling of an eye, at the last trump: for the trumpet shall sound, and the dead shall be raised incorruptible, and we shall be changed.
For this corruptible must put on incorruption, and this mortal must put on immortality.
So when this corruptible shall have put on incorruption, and this mortal shall have put on immortality, then shall be brought to pass the saying that is written, Death is swallowed up in victory.
O death, where is thy sting? O grave, where is thy victory?
The sting of death is sin; and the strength of sin is the law.
But thanks be to God, which giveth us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ.
Therefore, my beloved brethren, be ye stedfast, unmoveable, always abounding in the work of the Lord, forasmuch as ye know that your labour is not in vain in the Lord.
Just like God raised Jesus Christ from the dead, so also the dead in Christ shall rise! We shall all be changed to have a body fashioned like unto his glorious body. Death will be swallowed up in victory and we shall have put on incorruption or immortality.
The hope of all mankind was the coming of the Lord Jesus Christ. He came and accomplished God's Will by his perfect walk and his sacrificial death. The key to victory was that God raised him from the dead. In the resurrection of Jesus Christ we have eternal life. In the resurrection of Jesus Christ we have power. In the resurrection of Jesus Christ we have the hope of his return.
God raised Jesus Christ from the dead.
© Copyright April 1998