Today our pastor gave the tradition greeting for Resurrection Day — “He is risen!”, to which the congregation responded “He is risen indeed!” Why give such a declaration? Because it is true. This event, the resurrection of Jesus, is the pivotal event, not only of Christianity, but for all of history.
On the previous Friday, Jesus was crucified. As the prophet Isaiah said, about 7 centuries before,
But that is not the end of the story. For Isaiah continues:
Yet it was the LORD’s will to crush him and cause him to suffer, and though the LORD makes his life a guilt offering, he will see his offspring and prolong his days, and the will of the LORD will prosper in his hand. After the suffering of his soul, he will see the light [of life] and be satisfied; by his knowledge my righteous servant will justify many, and he will bear their iniquities. Therefore I will give him a portion among the great, and he will divide the spoils with the strong, because he poured out his life unto death, and was numbered with the transgressors. For he bore the sin of many, and made intercession for the transgressors. Isaiah 53:11-12
Not only did Jesus bear our punishment himself so that we could have the benefits of his sinless life, but he proved that this exchange actually happened by coming back from the dead. He was crushed, but God prolonged his days. He died, but saw the light of life. He suffered in our place, but takes his place among the great. As a conqueror of death, he ‘divides the spoils’ among those who believe and trust in Him.
By doing this, God fulfilled an ancient promise made to our first parents. In Genesis 3:15, God tells Satan, who had just tricked Adam and Eve into disobeying God,
Satan did strike the heel of this promised One when Jesus was crucified. But matters didn’t stay that way, because Jesus rose bodily from the dead and thereby crushed the rebellion, that is, Satan’s head. Jesus had the victory.
But that is not the end; the story continues. After teaching his disciples for several weeks after his resurrection, Jesus ascended into the sky to sit with God the Father in heaven. Jesus promised to come back, so why hasn’t that happened?
God wants everyone to know about this Good News and turn back to Him. As the Apostle Peter said, “The Lord is not slow in keeping his promise, as some understand slowness. He is patient with you, not wanting anyone to perish, but everyone to come to repentance.” 2 Peter 3:9. And just like God promised to send Him the first time, Jesus promises some day to return and restore things back to His sinless perfection.
So, from the beginning of history, to its very end, God is in control even though we are not always aware of this fact.
In light of this information, what are you going to do? Are you still unconvinced that Jesus rose from the dead? Then check out my previous posts, or go to this link and listen to Gary Habermas – http://www.crosswalk.com/video-q-a/how-do-we-know-the-resurrection-of-christ-is-true.html
And I’m here to answer questions. Post a response and I’ll get back to you.
He is risen indeed!