Yesterday, we considered five reasons why we believe Jesus rose from the dead. Those thoughts were based on Luke 24. Now, we present five implications of the resurrection – why His resurrection is still relevant to us in 21st century America.
First – Jesus is declared the Son of God by the resurrection from the dead – Romans 1:4. “By taking them back to the Scripture, Jesus is noting that what took place was part of God’s plan and promise. …We can rest assured that Jesus is who he claims to be” (Bock, 385). That resurrected Jesus turns us from our wickedness – Acts 3:26.
Through baptism, we are united with Him in His resurrection – Romans 6:5. The connection between our baptism and Christ’s resurrection is made by the apostle Peter also in 1 Peter 1:3 and 3:21. In 1:3, Peter says we are born again to a living hope through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead. It is faith in that Christ was raised from the dead that gives power to the act of baptism. Baptism now saves us as an appeal to God for a good conscience, through the resurrection of Jesus Christ. Jesus was raised from the dead that we might be “justified” – Romans 4:25.
We will be raised from the dead as well – 1 Corinthians 15:12ff. Christ is the “firstfruits” of those who have fallen asleep (15:20; 2 Cor. 4:14). His resurrection assures our resurrection. Paul writes in Philippians 3:10-11 that to know Christ and the power of his resurrection is to attain, himself, the resurrection from the dead. Paul wrote the Roman Christians – “If the Spirit of him who raised Jesus from the dead dwells in you, he who raised Christ Jesus from the dead will also give life to your mortal bodies through His Spirit who dwells in you” (Romans 8:11).
The resurrection of Jesus solidifies both the fact of our judgment and the Man by whom we will be judged. Peter told Cornelius in Acts 10:39-42 that the Jews put Jesus to death by hanging him on a tree, but God raised him on the third day and then commanded the disciples to testify that He is the one appointed by God to be the judge of the living and the dead. Paul tells the Athenians the same message in Acts 17:30-31: “the times of ignorance God overlooked, but now he commands all people everywhere to repent, because he has fixed a day on which he will judge the world in righteousness by a man whom he has appointed; and of this he has given assurance to all by raising him from the dead.” So the resurrection is proof of the judgment.
Finally, the resurrection of Christ assures us that we can rely on God. He is trustworthy – 2 Corinthians 1:9. Paul will say later in 5:15 that He was raised that we might no longer live for ourselves but for him who died for us. In Colossians 3:1, Paul exhort us: “If then you have been raised with Christ, seek the things that are above, where Christ is, seated at the right hand of God.” It is through the resurrection of Christ that we have faith and hope in God (1 Peter 1:21). “To say Jesus is risen is to say that he is with us” (Bock, 386).
As Jesus traveled with the men on the road to Emmaus (Luke 24:15), so He also walks with us today. That’s why His resurrection is relevant!