In my younger days I wondered what all the fuss was about the resurrection. On the one hand I wondered why anyone wouldn’t believe in it. On the other I wondered what the problem was even if they didn’t believe in the resurrection. I couldn’t see why it was that important. I felt that it would be of far more use to us to consider what Jesus had to teach us during his ministry rather than
deliberate on his death.
Nowadays I see it a bit differently. Death is the great equaliser – no matter where we are from, how old we are, how prosperous we are or how downtrodden we are – we know that we are going to die and that death is final – to come back to life after death is impossible. This is why the resurrection of Jesus is central to the Christian faith. When we are mindful of the sheer implausibility of the resurrection we begin to see its importance.
The author George Ladd is in no doubt of the importance of the resurrection, “If Jesus is dead, his entire message is negated. If he is dead, the hope of a triumphant coming of the heavenly Son of Man is obviously impossible. Furthermore, if Jesus is dead, his entire message about the Kingdom of God is a delusion.” You see it is the resurrection of Jesus that validates everything he said
and did. His works aren’t just to be seen as good works by a good man. He did those things not just as a man but as the Son of God.
And, no one other than Jesus has ever been recorded as being resurrected. There are other cases in the Bible of people being brought back to life, having died, of whom Lazarus is the most obvious example, but only Jesus was resurrected. As the author John Stott said, “Resurrection, is not the same as resuscitation. Those whom Jesus raised from death during his earthly ministry were resuscitated. They came back from death, resumed their former way of life, and then later died a second time. Resurrection, however, means the beginning of a new, a different, and immortal life.”
No human could come back from the dead so this event is something supernatural. There must be something different about Jesus. And, of course, the pages of scripture tell us exactly what that difference is – that Jesus is the Son of God. He is unique! For Christians the resurrection is final proof that Jesus is the Son of God.
Whatever your plans are this spring – I hope this will give you a lot of joy over the season. I wish you a very happy Easter.
Rev Andy Clark