The resurrection is certainly one of the most important truths for Christians. Often we look at Jesus’ death on the cross as the only thing that was necessary for the Christian’s salvation. However, this is not the indication of scripture. Rather, Paul makes the assertion that the work of death on the cross is part of what saves us. Now you say, “We are partly saved?” Well, stick with me. I’ll explain. Paul teaches that Christ died for us, and therefore we are made “at one”, or “atoned”, with God. This is the payment for our sins…remember, “the wages of sin is death.” This is why Jesus had to die. Because we were supposed to…so He paid that price for us.
However, three days later He rose from the dead. At that point, salvation took on a greater meaning. Whereas, before, we see Christ’s cross-work as “only” paying for the penalty of our sin, now that He resurrected we are opened to another type of victory through Him. Paul says in Romans 6:4, that “like as Christ was raised up from the dead by the glory of the Father, even so we also should walk in newness of life.” Because of His death we are saved from death, and because of His resurrection, we are given deliverance from the overpowering weight of sin in our lives. We now have liberty from the old task-master, Sin. Now, in Christ, we have liberty to live God-pleasing lives. In Christ we can find strength and purpose to not be overcome of evil, but overcome evil with good. Praise be to God for the great work of the resurrection of Jesus and the deliverance from the power of sin now in our lives!
Food for Thought: Read Romans 6:1-10. Why did Jesus have to die? Did it matter if he resurrected? What is the significance of his resurrection?