Q: What does Christ’s resurrection mean for us?
A: Christ triumphed over sin and death by being physically resurrected, so that all who trust in him are raised to new life in this world and to everlasting life in the world to come. Just as we will one day be resurrected, so this world will one day be restored. But those who do not trust in Christ will be raised to everlasting death.
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. For since we believe that Jesus died and rose again, even so, through Jesus, God will bring with him those who have fallen asleep.
(All Scripture references are from ESV)
Vertical Truth in Faith – What does this mean in my relationship with God?
Christ’s resurrection gives us hope and is the most important aspect of our faith in Him. The resurrection of Jesus is certain affirmation of who He is, “He is the image of the invisible God…” Colossians 1:15. Faith in the gospel–which is the death, burial, and resurrection of Jesus–restores our relationship with God from our sinful state. Since Adam and Eve sinned by disobeying God in chapter three of Genesis, God has been at work restoring all things. The restoration of all things includes His relationship with humanity and all of nature. As believers in the gospel we have the resurrection to eternal life and we are “to be conformed to the image of his son …” according to Romans 8:29. Without faith in the gospel there is no resurrection, no restoration, and we face eternal death and separation from God.
Colossians 1:15 “He is the image of the invisible God, the firstborn of all creation.”
1 Thessalonians 4:16-18 “For the Lord himself will descend from heaven with a cry of command, with the voice of an archangel, and with the sound of the trumpet of God. And the dead in Christ will rise first. Then we who are alive, who are left, will be caught up together with them in the clouds to meet the Lord in the air, and so we will always be with the Lord…”
Romans 8:29 “For those whom he foreknew he also predestined to be conformed to the image of his Son, in order that he might be the firstborn among many brothers.”
The Horizontal Truth in Love – What does this mean in my relationship with humanity?
Jesus said, after loving God with all our heart, soul, strength, and mind, we should love our neighbor as ourselves. He teaches in the parable of the “Good Samaritan” that our neighbors are everyone (all of humanity). As humans around the world we all have common needs. One important common need is hope, and Christians have it. We have hope to live today and resurrection hope to live in eternity with Jesus. As Christians, loving our neighbors means we live out and share the gospel of hope with them who live next door, in the next state, even in the next continent.
Luke 10:27 “And He answered, You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, and with all your soul, and with all your strength, and with all your mind; and your neighbor as yourself.”
Practical Truth in Action – How can I put this truth into action
We must realize the majority of our neighbors do not have the hope of resurrection or eternal life. Without faith in the gospel of Jesus their future is everlasting death and separation from our loving God. In loving our neighbors, how could we allow them to continue to walk towards this kind of future? When we as Christians deliberately love our neighbors by being merciful and sharing the gospel of hope, God takes over and speaks to their heart and soul, this is His part. We don’t need to debate or argue any points, we just need to love them and speak the gospel, this is our part. Ask God to give you love for your neighbors in such a way that you respect them, care for them, and look for opportunities to share the gospel with them.
Additionally, we are responsible to our Christian brothers and sisters in loving and caring for those in need. We can encourage each other by reminding them of the resurrection and our hope of being with Jesus and other believers forever.
Romans 1:16 “For I am not ashamed of the gospel, for it is the power of God for salvation to everyone who believes … ”
1 Thessalonians 4:17-18 “Then we who are alive, who are left, will be caught up together with them in the clouds to meet the Lord in the air, and so we will always be with the Lord. Therefore encourage one another with these words.”