This week it’s been Easter, so what else could we have for today’s Wednesday Word other than the Resurrection. Sometimes it’s easy to get caught up in simply defending the historicity of Christ’s resurrection. I’m not going to do that though. I’m just going to start from the fact that the Bible proclaims that Jesus Christ was raised from the dead on the third day. And so what I want to look at today are three implications of Christ’s Resurrection for us (some theology of the resurrection, if you will).
And, as well as that, I've made you a video. It's not amazing, but it is the most technological thing I've ever managed to do. And it's got some diagrams too. So, if you can only see a black box above, click through to the blog for the video. Otherwise, the text version is below.
Raised for our Justification
Rom. 4:25 says that Jesus was ‘raised for our justification’. So our salvation rests on Christ’s resurrection. But didn’t Jesus die for our sins? Yes, He did (and the first part of Rom. 4:25 even says that), but He didn’t stay dead. The resurrection was more than simply Jesus coming back to life. He had been hung on a tree as one cursed – taking the curse of our sin. But the Resurrection declares powerfully that He is the perfectly obedient, righteous One who has made an end to the curse through His death. Through the Resurrection Jesus is vindicated. It’s His justification! And we are justified in Him. As God declares Jesus’ righteousness through His resurrection, so we too who are raised to newness of life with Him are declared righteous in Him.
United to Him in His Resurrection
By faith we are united to Christ, and that means we’re united to Him in His resurrection. Ephesians tells us that we’ve been raised with Him (Eph. 2:5-6). He is the Resurrection and the Life and the new life which He gives to us now is His Resurrection life. We’ve been united to Him in His death and united to Him in His resurrection and so, ‘it is no longer I who live, but Christ lives in me; and the life which I now live in the flesh I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave Himself for me’ (Gal. 2:20). We live because He lives.
Firstfruits from among the Dead
Christ’s Resurrection is only the beginning. He is the Firstfruits, which means that the rest of the harvest will follow Him in due course.
But now Christ is risen from the dead, and has become the firstfruits of those who have fallen asleep. For since by man came death, by Man also came the resurrection of the dead. For as in Adam all die, even so in Christ all shall be made alive. But each one in his own order: Christ the firstfruits, afterward those who are Christ’s at His coming. (1 Cor. 15:20-23)Christ’s resurrection guarantees our resurrection. All who are in Christ will be raised like Him at His return. That’s our hope: to be raised like Him, made like Him, and live with Him in His love and fellowship for all eternity. Come Lord Jesus!