The resurrection of Jesus Christ is central to Christianity. When a person places their faith in Jesus as Lord and Savior, they are trusting in the finished work of Christ on the cross to pay the penalty for their sin and the bodily resurrection of Jesus proving he was God in the flesh and is the one who can grant eternal life.
1 Corinthians 15 in amazing detail describes the significance of the resurrection. Here are five truths we find in that chapter of the Bible.
The resurrection is essential to the gospel. The gospel is the good news that Jesus came to the earth as a person, lived a perfect life, died on the cross to pay the penalty for our sin, rose from the dead, appeared to eyewitnesses and then ascended into heaven. He was God in the flesh. He draws people to saving faith. The resurrection is an essential component of the gospel story. Without the resurrection, Jesus would still be in the grave. But he is not — he is alive!
Now I want to make clear for you, brothers and sisters, the gospel I preached to you, which you received, on which you have taken your stand and by which you are being saved, if you hold to the message I preached to you—unless you believed in vain. For I passed on to you as most important what I also received: that Christ died for our sins according to the Scriptures, that he was buried, that he was raised on the third day according to the Scriptures. (1 Corinthians 15:1-4)
The resurrection is essential to our faith. The message of Christianity is not a message about simply enjoying a better life on earth. We absolutely believe that following Jesus is the best way to live your life, but Jesus did not come only as a good teacher. He came to save us from our sin. His death and resurrection are essential to salvation, giving us hope for this life and eternal life in heaven.
Why would anyone endure hardships, persecution and even martyrdom for Jesus’ sake if they did not believe in eternal life? Following Jesus makes absolutely no sense if Jesus did not rise from the dead. If Jesus did not rise from the dead, then his death did not pay the price for our sin. Only through the resurrection does he prove himself to be our sin-conquering, death-conquering Savior. If we believe in Jesus for this life only, we should be pitied more than all people. The resurrection is essential to our faith.
Now if Christ is proclaimed as raised from the dead, how can some of you say, “There is no resurrection of the dead”? If there is no resurrection of the dead, then not even Christ has been raised; and if Christ has not been raised, then our proclamation is in vain, and so is your faith. Moreover, we are found to be false witnesses about God, because we have testified wrongly about God that he raised up Christ—whom he did not raise up, if in fact the dead are not raised. For if the dead are not raised, not even Christ has been raised. And if Christ has not been raised, your faith is worthless; you are still in your sins. Those, then, who have fallen asleep in Christ have also perished. If we have put our hope in Christ for this life only, we should be pitied more than anyone. (1 Corinthians 15:12-19)
Christ’s resurrection guarantees ours. Jesus rose from the dead by the power of God. No human brought him back to life. Only God did. He is the guarantee that resurrection to eternal life in heaven is the eternal destiny of everyone who has put their faith and trust in him. Notice in the verses below the Bible clearly states that only those who belong to Christ will be raised to eternal life.
But as it is, Christ has been raised from the dead, the firstfruits of those who have fallen asleep. For since death came through a man, the resurrection of the dead also comes through a man. For just as in Adam all die, so also in Christ all will be made alive. But each in his own order: Christ, the firstfruits; afterward, at his coming, those who belong to Christ. (1 Corinthians 15:20-23)
One day we will have a resurrected body. Our human bodies are constantly breaking down. Even young, healthy children may break bones or have other physical challenges. As we get older, new aches and pains emerge, hearing and seeing become more difficult, mobility issues arise, and we are more prone to sickness.
In our resurrected bodies, there will be no headaches, no stomachaches, no sunburn, no heart attacks, no diabetes, no high blood pressure, no kidney disease, no cancer. Our bodies will be perfect. Until we get to heaven, we do not know exactly what these resurrected bodies will look like, but we do know that they will be fabulous! And based on Scripture, the Bible makes it clear that we will know each other in heaven, along with those from all nations who have gone before us into heaven.
There are heavenly bodies and earthly bodies, but the splendor of the heavenly bodies is different from that of the earthly ones. There is a splendor of the sun, another of the moon, and another of the stars; in fact, one star differs from another star in splendor. So it is with the resurrection of the dead: Sown in corruption, raised in incorruption; sown in dishonor, raised in glory; sown in weakness, raised in power; sown a natural body, raised a spiritual body. If there is a natural body, there is also a spiritual body. (1 Corinthians 15:40-44)
The resurrection gives us victory now and for all eternity. Through the power of the Holy Spirit, Jesus was raised from the dead. That same Holy Spirit and his power lives in the heart of every believer in Jesus Christ. When you surrendered your life to Jesus, the Holy Spirit came to live inside you! He gives you the power to have victory over sin and temptation each day, and ultimately victory over the final enemy, the grave.
When this corruptible body is clothed with incorruptibility, and this mortal body is clothed with immortality, then the saying that is written will take place: “Death has been swallowed up in victory. Where, death, is your victory? Where, death, is your sting?” The sting of death is sin, and the power of sin is the law. But thanks be to God, who gives us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ! Therefore, my dear brothers and sisters, be steadfast, immovable, always excelling in the Lord’s work, because you know that your labor in the Lord is not in vain. (1 Corinthians 15:54-58)
The resurrection is essential to the gospel and to our faith. Christ’s resurrection guarantees ours. One day we will have a resurrected body. Jesus’ resurrection gives us victory now and for all eternity.
Victory in Jesus!