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Easter Sunday is the last and the most important day of the “Lent” season. It reminds us that we are victorious against death the wage of sin, through the resurrection of Jesus Christ our Lord and savior. In today’s sermon we are going to evaluate the nature of this victory in detail.
1. Resurrection is the source of our authority in Christ
“Which he exerted in Christ when he raised him from the dead and seated him at his right hand in the heavenly realms, far above all rule and authority, power and dominion, and every title that can be given, not only in the present age but also in the one to come.” (Ephesians 1:20-21)
Every time the Bible say that Jesus is seated at the right hand of God it means that he is of same power and authority as God the father. Secondly Paul says, “in the heavenly realms”.
Heavenly realms (Greek: epouranios – means above the sky, celestial, heavenly, high) is a busy area where both demons and angels of God exercise their power. They fight against each other as demons attempt to bring chaos on earth and it’s inhabitants while God’s angels protect the earth and it’s inhabitants. Jesus has power over these powerful spirit beings.
Then Ephesians 2:6 says,
“And God raised us up with Christ and seated us with him in the heavenly realms in Christ Jesus”
Every Christian who genuinely believes and voluntarily offers Lordship of his own life unto Christ has access to God’s power and authority which gives them control over demonic powers who occupy heavenly places as well as the earth.
2. Resurrection perfects our redemption, (1 Corinthians 15:51-57)
Jesus’ dissension to this world was only the first step of a multi level process that demanded our salvation. His suffering and death were the second and thirds steps in the redemption plan. But the process was completed only after God resurrected Jesus in the third day followed by crucifixion which is the fifth level. The body is essential to the total human personality; humans are incomplete without a body. Thus the redemption of Christ offers to the whole person, including the body.
Not only so, but we ourselves, who have the first fruits of the Spirit, groan inwardly as we wait eagerly for our adoption as sons, the redemption of our bodies. (Romans 8:23)
Resurrection isn’t the same thing as simply raising the dead. Jesus brought many dead people back to life (Lazarus for example…) while walking the earth ministering to people in need. But these people whom he raised were brought back to the same perishable weak and corrupted bodies – in which they aged and died.
What really happens in the resurrection is all saints who died in Christ will be raised back to a brand new, incorruptible, imperishable, strong second life and a glorified body that doesn’t know sickness and can’t die or put to death (1 Corinthians 15:52). This is guaranteed because God resurrected Jesus in the first place.
3. Resurrection is our hope for the future
The resurrection sustains our hope for an eternal life in God’s presence. Man was created to last forever. The Bible says that God created him and placed eternity in his heart.
“He has made everything beautiful in its time. Also, he has put eternity into man’s heart, yet so that he cannot find out what God has done from the beginning to the end.” (Ecclesiastes 3:11)
This is why man is so curious about what happens after death. People who doesn’t know God and his word has a fearful uncertainty in their hearts about life after life. It’s the reason why almost any religion has something to say about life after death. However none of their theories and teachings have been practically proved by history. But history of Christianity proves that all who die in Christ will be resurrected back to enjoy eternal life.
King David prophesied Jesus’ death and much about His resurrection.
“For you will not abandon my soul to Sheol, or let your holy one see corruption.” (Psalms 16:10 – ESV)
God will not let the believer to see decay. God will not abandon the believers soul at the grave. This hope is further extended in the new testament.
“in a moment, in the twinkling of an eye, at the last trumpet. For the trumpet will sound, and the dead will be raised imperishable, and we shall be changed.” (1 Corinthians 15:52 – ESV)
4. Resurrection is the foundation of our faith
Resurrection makes Christianity a much different belief in comparison to other dead religions. Every one who believes in Christianity and it’s author Jesus Christ is not simply following a religious teaching. Rather they enjoy a relationship with almighty and living God, through Jesus Christ the savior.
“Now if Christ is being preached as raised from the dead, how can some of you say there is no resurrection of the dead? But if there is no resurrection of the dead, then not even Christ has been raised. And if Christ has not been raised, then our preaching is futile and your faith is empty. Also, we are found to be false witnesses about God, because we have testified against God that he raised Christ from the dead, when in reality he did not raise him, if indeed the dead are not raised.” (1 Corinthians 15:12-15)
Resurrection is the foundation of our Christian faith. Remove it and there will be nothing to hold onto. Throughout the history there have been many efforts to prove that Christ was never resurrected and the teaching is a mere hoax.
Not only We have a hope for future because of resurrection. We can also invite others unto Christ and to become co sharer’s of this hope.
God planned Jesus’ birth, death and resurrection even before the foundations of the earth were laid. God in His wisdom foresaw man’s fall and the need for a redemptive process and a redeemer to carry it out. Easter is the celebration of that loving redeemer who died for our sins and yet rose back to life, so that we will have eternal life.