For many of us, the concept of resurrecting from the dead is something we are familiar with and also embrace as being true. We haven’t witnessed one example of it in our lives; yet, our belief that the dead shall at some point in the future rise is as solid as our belief the sun shall also rise tomorrow morning, unless the Lord comes before then.
People haven’t always had this degree of confidence in the resurrection. In fact, it was a point of contention between the two major sects of the Jews in the first century. We’re told in Acts 23:8 the Sadducees denied the concept of a resurrection while the Pharisees confessed it as true. Some of the people of Athens, who willingly embraced all sorts of philosophies, mocked Paul when he declared a crucified Jesus was raised by God.
The resurrection of Jesus made His message so different than the story of any else’s life before Him. Death always seemed to win. Regardless of a man or woman’s goodness, strength, wisdom, or riches, each person eventually succumbed to the call of the grave and remained there. For virtually everyone, the stories, the memories, the wisdom, and the reputation, remained buried with the body soon to be completely forgotten by new generations.
Although many cultures believed in some sort of an after-life, death still ruled the souls of the departed. Death was Satan’s greatest weapon to use against humanity because it was so greatly feared by God’s people. In fact, it was the fear of death that placed so many people before Jesus subject to bondage (Hebrews 2:14).
God did not create us to be subjects of any sort of bondage – whether the bondage of sin or the bondage of fearing death. The Lord created us to come before his presence free of fear and loosened subject to no master but the Lord himself. God created us to live, not to die.
While we look at the life of Jesus as an example of what we can do we when fully submit ourselves to the desires of the Lord God, we see something different in His resurrection. We see triumph over our greatest enemy. We see that God’s care for us does not stop when our hearts stop. We see one of the greatest examples of God’s mighty power. We see a promise being made to us.
Death claimed us as a prize because of our sins, “or all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God” (Romans 3:23). With Jesus though, death claimed a prize which it had to right to own. A sinless life gave Jesus the right to life, not the sentence of death. Yet Jesus yielded to his Father’s will and allowed death to claim Him; however, death cannot hold the sinless soul. The sinless soul does not belong in the grave. Because of this, God raised his son out of the grave to openly show how the righteous soul will triumph over Satan and his great weapon.
I believe in the resurrection, not because I have seen in, but because I know the grave cannot contain the children of God. With the blood of the Lamb of God on my soul, the Lord casts away my sins so I can boldly stand before him pure and holy; fearless of the grave. “O Death, where is your sting? O Hades, where is your victory? Thanks be to God, who gives us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ” (1 Corinthians 15:55, 57).
Jeremy Morris, his wife, and children attend the Church of Christ off of Murray Road. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.