The Bible tells us that after Jesus was crucified, He spent three days in the tomb. Then He rose from the dead:
"Saturday evening, when the Sabbath ended, Mary Magdalene, Mary the mother of James, and Salome went out and purchased burial spices so they could anoint Jesus' body. Very early on Sunday morning, just at sunrise, they went to the tomb. On the way they were asking each other, 'Who will roll away the stone for us from the entrance to the tomb?' But as they arrived, they looked up and saw that the stone, which was very large, had already been rolled aside.
"When they entered the tomb, they saw a young man clothed in a white robe sitting on the right side. The women were shocked, but the angel said, 'Don't be alarmed. You are looking for Jesus of Nazareth, who was crucified. He isn't here! He is risen from the dead! Look, this is where they laid his body. Now go and tell his disciples, including Peter, that Jesus is going ahead of you to Galilee. You will see him there, just as he told you before he died'" (Mark 16:1-7).
So, why is the resurrection of Jesus so important?
• The resurrection shows the power of God. The only person who can raise someone from the dead is the Creator God! The resurrection proves that God is sovereign over life and death. 1 Corinthians 15:54-55 says, "Then, when our dying bodies have been transformed into bodies that will never die, this Scripture will be fulfilled: 'Death is swallowed up in victory. 0 death, where is your victory? 0 death, where is your sting?"'
• The resurrection sets Christianity apart from all other religions. Christianity is the only religion that has a founder who rose from the dead! All other religions were founded by people who have died or will die. Jesus lives and He is sitting at the right hand of God in heaven.
* Jesus promises that His followers will be resurrected too. The Bible says that Jesus will resurrect believers at the rapture.
* The resurrection is important for salvation. It demonstrated that God accepted Jesus' sacrifice for us. It proves that God has the power to raise us from the dead and give us eternal life.
In 1 Corinthians 15:14-20, Paul lists six reasons why it is important that Jesus rose from the dead. Can you find all six?
"And if Christ has not been raised, then all our preaching is useless, and your faith is useless. And we apostles would all be lying about God--for we have said that God raised Christ from the grace. But that can't be true if there is no resurrection of the dead, then Christ has not been raised. And if Christ has not been raised, then your faith is useless and you are still guilty of your sins. In that case, all who have died believing in Christ are lost! And if our hope in Christ is only for this life, we are more to be pitied than anyone in the world. But in fact, Christ has been raised from the dead. He is the first of a great harvest of all who have died."
How did you do? Did you find all six? Here they are.
If Jesus had not rose from the dead:
1) Our preaching would be useless.
2) Our faith would be useless.
3) All the witnesses of the resurrection would be liars.
4) We would still be without salvation.
5) All former believers would have died without Jesus.
6) Christians would be ashamed.
Thankfully, Paul says that our preaching is not in vain! He reminds us that because we know Jesus rose from the dead and that we will be resurrected too, we can be confident to share the Gospel with others.