Jesus rose from the dead. It’s what Christians call the resurrection. If you’re currently studying Mark’s Gospel in RML then next week we’ll look at some of the facts surrounding the event.
Jesus himself predicted to his disciples that he would rise to life after his death. If he didn’t then we’d be left in doubt as to whether anything else he said was true. But is that the only reason it’s important? What difference does Jesus’ resurrection make for Christians now? Here are three ways the resurrection impacts us:
- We grieve with hope. Funerals are always sad, but there are two very different kinds of sadness. One that has hope, and one that doesn’t. “But we do not want you to be uninformed, brothers, about those who are asleep, that you may not grieve as others do who have no hope.” (1 Thessalonians 4:13) When Christians die we know that it’s not the end, because Jesus has already shown us that there is life after death. In fact, Paul says, it’s as if they’ve fallen asleep, because they will certainly wake up one day. I haven’t been to many funerals, but I’ve been to enough to see the difference between grief that has no hope, and grief that looks forward to being reunited one day. This point on its own is surely enough to make us praise God for the truth of the resurrection.
- There’s a new body on its way. “For the trumpet will sound, and the dead will be raised imperishable, and we shall be changed.” (1 Corinthians 15:52) Every trip to the dentist is a reminder that our bodies are, literally, decaying. For some of us the reminder is even more stark as we suffer with serious or debilitating illness. If we are in Christ then one day we will have a new body that will be imperishable! And we know this for sure because Christ has already been raised from the dead (1 Corinthians 15:20). What a difference the resurrection makes to the person who has to persevere through chronic pain, persistent mental health problems, or the suffering of cancer.
- Now is the time to invest. People live for the now. Let us eat and drink, for tomorrow we die! If this life is all there is then of course the answer is to party. The resurrection tells us otherwise. Jesus says I can give up my life now, for his sake and the gospel’s, because I’ll certainly gain it again in the future. (Mark 8:35) We can trust Jesus when he says this because he’s already paved the way when he was resurrected. So now is the time to invest in the gospel! Spending an extra hour at church speaking to someone who needs encouragement. Taking a trip overseas to share the gospel with people who’ve never heard it. Giving up your career to spend your time teaching the Bible. Persevering as a Christian even if it means you stay single all your life. It’s all worth it, because there’s certain, eternal life to come.
“Only one life, twill soon be past. Only what’s done for Christ will last.” C.T. Studd