Embraced  by  Truth . . .
                                    reflections on theology and life

Theology > Jesus > Resurrection and Ascension > Meaning of the Resurrection          


The resurrection of Christ is God’s public declaration of the truthfulness and effectiveness of His ministry. In the eyes of most Jews and Romans His death represented defeat not victory: “We had hoped that He was the one to redeem Israel” (Lu. 24:21) were the saddened words of the disciples on the road to Emmaus. Both Romans and Jews viewed death by crucifixion as one of the worst deaths and reserved for the most heinous people.

In the midst of this perspective, therefore, the resurrection of Christ was most significant. And the message of the early Church gave prominence to  the resurrection : Acts 1:3; 2:24-35; 3:15; 4:10; 5:30-32; 13:26-37. The One who was crucified was raised from the dead by God thereby vindicating the person and work of Christ. Constant reference was made to the resurrection and the fact that it validates the message.

For Paul the resurrection is part of the Gospel he preached, and without the resurrection there would be no Gospel:

For I delivered to you first of all that which I also received: that Christ died for our sins according to the Scriptures, and that He was buried, and that He rose again the third day according to the Scriptures (I Cor. 15:3-4).

Paul also predicates belief in resurrection itself with the resurrection of Christ (I Cor. 15:12-13). If Christ be raised then the fact of resurrection cannot be denied; on the other hand, if Christ is not raised, then any and all resurrection must be rejected. In connection with the Christian Faith Paul makes the following points in I Cor. 15:12-19; if Christ is not risen, then:

1. preaching is empty or vain;

2. faith is empty or vain;

3. the testimony of believers is false;

4. those who believe in a resurrection that did not occur are still in their sins;

5. those who believed and are now dead have perished;

6. those who have hope in the resurrection are pitiful.  

Paul even associates the coming judgment with the resurrection of Christ, even asserting that the resurrection provides assurance of a final judgment. “He has appointed a day on which He will judge the world in righteousness by the Man whom He has ordained. He has given assurance of this to all by raising Him from the dead” (Acts 17:31)—the “appointed” day is given “assurance” by the resurrection of Christ.

But now Christ is risen from the dead.
I Cor. 15:20

Return to: Resurrection and Ascension; Next Article: Firstborn from the Dead

For overview of THEOLOGY, see: Site Map - Theology
Copyright © Embraced by Truth
All rights reserved.
Materials may be freely copied for personal and academic use;
appropriate reference must be made to this site.
Links are invited.