If Christ has not been raised, your faith is worthless; you are still in your sins.
–1 Corinthians 15:17
What are the implications of Christ’s resurrection on our lives today? First, Christ’s resurrection assures us of our justification by God. Romans 4:25 says that Jesus “was delivered over because of our transgressions, and was raised because of our justification.” “Justification” is a legal term referring to our standing before God. When we become Christians, God sees us as not guilty. Somebody has said that justification means that God looks at us “just as if we never sinned.” When Jesus died, He paid the penalty for our sin. He suffered what we deserved to suffer. When we trust in Him, God pardons us. When He looks at us, He sees us through the blood of His Son.
What does that have to do with the resurrection? If Jesus had not been God, then His death would have been for His sins, not for ours. In fact, 1 Corinthians 15:17 says this: “If Christ has not been raised, your faith is worthless; you are still in your sins.” The fact that Jesus rose from the dead is the proof that He is God’s Son and His sacrifice was acceptable to God. Romans 1:4 says Christ “was declared the Son of God with power by the resurrection from the dead.”
Second, Christ’s resurrection means not only have we been justified, but someday we will be glorified–that is, we will live forever and receive that same resurrection body that Christ received. Paul said in 1 Corinthians 15:20-23, “Christ has been raised from the dead, the first fruits of those who are asleep. . . . For as in Adam all die, so also in Christ all will be made alive. But each in his own order: Christ the first fruits, after that those who are Christ’s at His coming.”
Whenever the Israelites were ready to harvest their crops, they would, first of all, harvest a sample of the crop and take it to the priest. That sample was called the first fruits offering. The first fruits was not the entire harvest; it was representative of a greater harvest that was yet to come. That is what Paul was saying about Jesus. Yes, Jesus’ resurrection was a wonderful event, but His resurrection was just the sample, the first fruits, of an even greater resurrection that is to come. And the Bible says if you are in Christ, you will be a part of that greater resurrection. You are going to conquer death in the very same way that Jesus did.
Is the resurrection foolish? Is it fake news? Or is it a fact? If in fact the resurrection occurred, then it has tremendous implications for your life. If the resurrection occurred, it means that Jesus really is the Son of God. It means that everything He said about the way to Heaven is true. If Jesus Christ was raised from the dead, it means He was telling the truth when He promised in John 11:25, “I am the resurrection and the life; he who believes in Me will live even if he dies.” And it means Jesus was telling the truth when He said in John 14:6, “I am the way, and the truth, and the life; no one comes to the Father but through Me.” That is the hope, confidence, and assurance of everyone who is in Christ Jesus.
Today’s devotion is excerpted from “Resurrection: Foolish, Fake News, Or Fact?” by Dr. Robert Jeffress, 2018.
Scripture taken from the NEW AMERICAN STANDARD BIBLE®, Copyright © 1960,1962,1963,1968,1971,1972,1973,1975,1977,1995 by The Lockman Foundation. Used by permission.