WHY THE RESURRECTION MATTERS

As a kid, Easter to me meant candy. I knew Jesus died and rose; it just wasn’t something I really cared about. But candy? Now that was something I cared about deeply.

What about you? What does the resurrection mean to you? Perhaps more to the point, what should it mean to you? The biblical writers don’t assume the resurrection is self-interpreting. They give clear reasons why it matters. Here are a few:

Intellectually, the resurrection matters because if it’s not true, the entire Christian faith is empty. Our sins are not forgiven. We are pitiful fools. Even if our groundless faith has some practical benefits—say, it helps us cope with guilt or makes us nicer people—these positive effects don’t change the fact that our joy and niceness are based on a fiction. If Jesus didn’t rise again, we’re delusional!

Relationally, the resurrection matters because it assures us that our sins can be forgiven. Why is this? Isn’t Jesus’ death enough to satisfy the wrath of God and open the door to heaven for us? No. The resurrection is utterly crucial because it is the confirmation that Jesus’ work was enough. By raising Jesus from the dead, the Father in effect was saying, “I approve of what my Son has done. His work is complete. There is no penalty left to pay. My wrath is satisfied. He does not need to stay dead. I hereby certify that my Son has done everything He needed to do for sin to be forgiven. My Son, arise!” 

Missionally, the resurrection matters for how it affects our life’s objectives. It makes us witnesses, messengers, people with good news to tell. The founder of every other faith is dead, but ours is alive. Furthermore, every other religion is about how people can get close to God—through work, goodness, rituals. Christianity, on the other hand, is about how God drew close to people. Through Jesus, our sins have been dealt with!

Why does the resurrection matter? It verifies Christianity is trustworthy. It proves you can be brought near to God through faith in Jesus. And it puts a calling on your life to go tell others the good news. All because Christ is risen. He is risen indeed!