Jesus' Identity Verified
Recently, we celebrated the central event in human history. I know…a bold statement, so let us look at an overview of the significance of the resurrection. By looking at the Scripture, we gain valuable wisdom into what it really means.
Jesus’ Identity Verified
The resurrection verified that Jesus was the Son of God. Throughout history, many have made claims about speaking for God or even being the Messiah. Thus, it is critical that our certainty of Christ’s identity be attested to by God.
Paul, a bond-servant of Christ Jesus, [a]called as an apostle, set apart for the gospel of God, which He promised beforehand through His prophets in the holy Scriptures, concerning His Son, who was born of a descendant of David according to the flesh, who was declared the Son of God with power according to the Spirit of holiness by the resurrection from the dead, Jesus Christ our Lord,— Romans 1:1-4
We do not show up at the airport and expect to be allowed into a secure area without confirmation of who we are. The resurrection verified who He is. In a world of identity theft and deception, we can have confidence in placing our trust in Jesus Christ. But only because Jesus has been raised from the dead, can we trust that His words are true and trustworthy — the very Word of God.
Proof of Life After Death
From time to time, near death experiences capture the imagination and set us thinking about what comes next. Yet the resurrection of Jesus is unlike any of these claims. After being scourged and tortured, Christ was crucified and buried. After three days, He came back to life as He predicted.
This event gives overwhelming evidence that there is life after death. As Jesus said to His disciples,
In My Father’s house are many rooms; if that were not so, I would have told you, because I am going there to prepare a place for you. — John 14:2
The fact that Heaven exists is based on the testimony of the Son of God. We can have genuine hope and comfort in the fact that our existence does not end with physical death. As the apostle Paul wrote:
But when this perishable puts on the imperishable, and this mortal puts on immortality, then will come about the saying that is written: “Death has been swallowed up in victory. Where, O Death, is your victory? Where, O Death, is your sting?” — 1 Corinthians 15:54-55
We Are Raised Up Spiritually — Given New Birth
But God, being rich in mercy, because of His great love with which He loved us, even when we were dead in our wrongdoings, made us alive together with Christ (by grace you have been saved), and raised us up with Him, and seated us with Him in the heavenly places in Christ Jesus, —Ephesians 2:4–6
Jesus told a religious leader named Nicodemus that he must be born again (John 3:3). Paul promised that if anyone is in Christ, he or she is a new creation (2 Corinthians 5:17). The resurrection provides the power to transform us into this new life. We are no longer bound to the dictates of fleshly desires or proclivities. Because the power of the resurrection is available to us, we can live a life that honors and pleases God.
The Resurrection Proves the Judgment to Come
So having overlooked the times of ignorance, God is now proclaiming to mankind that all people everywhere are to repent, because He has set a day on which He will judge the world in righteousness through a Man whom He has appointed, having furnished proof to all people by raising Him from the dead.”— Acts 17:30–31 NASB
The resurrection of Jesus is the proof that He is the Son of God and the ultimate Judge, whom we will face at the end of the world. To many, the concept of judgment is frightening, but ignoring this topic does not dismiss it or make it disappear.
God promised to judge the world through Christ. The fact that there is a day coming when we all will stand before the judgment seat of Christ and give an account of our life.
Throughout the New Testament, this message of the coming judgment was an integral part of the presentation of the early church. While we are called to be merciful and not judgmental of others, we are nevertheless headed for the day of standing before the Lord in eternity. This anticipation should inspire us to give our all to the service of Christ and the work of advancing the gospel.