The resurrection is the turning point of history alongside the cross. Jesus is the first to be permanently raised from the dead.
That means that
- Death could not hold him As Paul writes later in 1 Cor 15 “Where oh death is your victory?” Death came about because the perfection of creation was marred by sin. Death reigned supreme – we are all born, we are all taxed, we all die! Jesus has defeated death
- The link between sin and death is broken The resurrection means that for believers the wages of sin is no longer death. Death becomes gain, it is the merely doorway to the rest of eternity as we enjoy eternal life
- Jesus is vindicated He really is who he claimed to be God in the flesh.
This passage also helps us in apologetics – of course a careful study of all the eyewitness accounts, which are all slightly different builds a fuller picture. Even in Matt 28 we see many of the objections to the resurrection dealt with.
The presence of the guards is evidence that no-one went to the wrong tomb.
Jesus is not a ghost, because the disciples touched his feet.
The appearances are not hallucinations, because multiple people see the same appearances.
The body wasn’t stolen- that was a story made up by the chief priests.
The resurrection makes very public the fact that the Father has given all authority in heaven and on earth to Jesus. His name is wonderful and powerful! Jesus has delegated authority to us and given us what is known as the great commission.
The great commission is the job we get to do – make disciples. Make followers of Jesus. Lead people to saving knowledge of Jesus and then baptise them. That’s why we practice believers baptism – fully immersing (because that’s essentially what baptism means) in water as a symbol of the fact we have been washed clean, and that our old self is dead and buried and we have risen out of the water, just as Christ has risen from the dead. We’ll be baptising very soon – so get in touch if you would like to be baptised!
Once new disciples have been baptised, we are to teach them to observe, or do all that Christ commanded! That include healing the sick, raising the dead and casting out demons.
The promise is that as we do that God’s presence will be with us always. The ESV uses “And behold” whereas as older versions use “Lo” – note there is no lo without the go! So up and at them! So, lo, let’s go make some disciples.
The Take a step initiative has started – why not head over and watch the short introductory video at relationalmission.org/takeastep – let’s go make some disciples. Get inviting for a September Alpha course 😉