“For we know that since Christ was raised from the dead, he can never die again; death is no longer master over Him.” Romans 6:9
Our Christian faith rests on Jesus Christ’s resurrection from the dead. The apostle Paul said, “If Christ has not been raised, your faith is worthless and you are still in your sins (1 Corinthians 15:17).” Jesus Christ’s resurrection from the dead is God’s witness to three great facts. First, it testifies to the immense power of God Himself and His absolute sovereignty over life and death. To believe in Christ’s resurrection is to believe in God Himself. Second, it testifies that Jesus Christ is the Son of God. And third, the resurrection of Jesus Christ is a testimony to the future resurrection of all believers in Christ.
All other religions were founded by a man whose end was the grave; however, the grave could not hold Jesus Christ. Only Jesus Christ died for our sins, was buried, and then rose from the dead on the third day (1 Corinthians 15:3-4). Because Jesus is the Son of God, death could not hold Him in its grip (Romans 1:4; Acts 2:24). The Bible says that over five hundred eyewitnesses personally saw Jesus Christ after He was raised from the dead (1 Corinthians 15:6). The resurrection of Jesus Christ not only proves that Jesus is the Son of God; it also proves God has the power to raise us from the dead. It guarantees that those who believe in Christ will not remain dead, but will be resurrected into eternal life. Unlike other religions, Christianity alone has a founder who rose from the dead and who promises that His followers will do the same. Because Jesus Christ rose from the dead, death no longer has any power over Him (Acts 13:34) and because we are in Christ, death no longer has any power over us! “Now God has not only raised the Lord from the dead, but He will also raise us up through His power (1 Corinthians 6:14).” Jesus said, “I am the resurrection and the life; he who believes in Me will live even if he died (John 11:25).” This is our blessed hope!
Through Christ’s death on the cross, we have been freed from the power of sin and death. “For the law of the Spirit of life in Christ Jesus has set you free from the law of sin and of death (Romans 8:2).” Since death has no more dominion over Christ, it has no more dominion over us. By His resurrection from the dead, Jesus Christ has conquered both sin and death for all those who love and obey Him. Christ has become “the first fruits of those who have fallen asleep,” meaning that we will follow Him in resurrection (1 Corinthians 15:20). “This grace was given us in Christ Jesus before the beginning of time, but it has now been revealed through the appearing of our Savior, Christ Jesus, who has abolished deathand brought life and immortality to light through the gospel (2 Timothy 1:9-10).” Since Christ has freed us from the power of death, we have also been freed from the fear of death. “By the grace of God He might taste death for everyone… that through death He might render powerless him who had the power of death, that is, the devil, and might free those who through fear of death were subject to slavery all their lives (Hebrews 2:9, 14-15).”
Jesus spoke of that day when the dead will hear His voice and be resurrected. “Truly, truly, I say to you, an hour is coming and now is, when the dead will hear the voice of the Son of God, and those who hear it will live (John 5:25).” All those who practice hearing and obeying Jesus’ voice now will hear and obey His voice then, and rise from the dead in that day. Jesus said, “Truly, truly, I say to you, if anyone keeps My word he will never see death (John 8:51).” The apostle Paul wrote, “For if we believe the Jesus died and rose again, even so God will bring with Him those who have fallen asleep in Jesus… for the Lord Himself will descend from heaven with a shout, with the voice of an archangel and with the trumpet of God, and the dead in Christ will rise first (1 Thessalonians 4:14-16).”
How will we be raised from the dead? We have God’s imperishable, heavenly seed – Christ – living in us. Therefore, just as Christ was raised from the dead, we also will be raised from the dead. “Behold, I tell you a mystery; we will not all sleep, but we will all be changed, 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 the mortal must put on immortality. But when this perishable will have put on the imperishable, and this mortal will have put on immortality, then will come about the saying that is written, ‘Death is swallowed up in victory. O death, where is your victory? O death, where 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 (1 Corinthians 15:51-57).”
What a glorious day that will be when all of God’s people rise from the dead to join their bridegroom Jesus Christ in eternal companionship to reign in triumph with Him. “And I saw the holy city, new Jerusalem, coming down out of heaven from God, made ready as a bride adorned for her husband. And I heard a loud voice from the throne, saying, ‘Behold, the tabernacle of God is among men, and He will dwell among them, and they shall be His people, and God Himself will be among them, and He will wipe away every tear from their eyes; and their will no longer be any death; there will no longer be any mourning, or crying, or pain… and there will no longer be any night; and they will not have need of the light of a lamp nor the light of the sun, because the Lord God will illumine them; and they will reign forever and ever (Revelation 21:2-4; 22:5).”
Tomorrow: Romans 6:10