The most fundamental teaching of the new covenant and the core principle of Christianity is the resurrection of the dead. Without the resurrection the rest of the christian covenant does not hold together. It is through the resurrection of Jesus that man receives release from his sins and the freedom from law so that he can come and stand before God. And it is in this section of the scripture that we see Jesus resurrected and the commencement of the new covenant age.
When the women came to the tomb where Jesus body had been laid, they found the stone at the door to the tomb had been rolled away. Going into the tomb they found it empty and were perplexed, wonderingr what this could mean.
While they wondered about this, two angels stood before them clothed in dazzling apparel. They said to the women, “Why do you seek the living among the dead? He is not here, but has risen. Remember how he told you, while he was still in Galilee, that the Son of Man must be delivered into the hands of sinful men and be crucified and on the third day rise.” (verses 5-7)
The Lord was aware that they would not understand or remember these things from when he had told them. That is why the angels were sent to guide his people to see and to understand.
Even though other people had been raised from the dead, those miracles were done by the power of the Lord. You may recall he raised Lazarus and the daughter of Jairus (John 11:38-44, Luke 8:41-56). In the old testament there was also a boy, the son of Zarephath, raised by the prophet Elijah (1 Kings 17:17-24).
However none had risen and then stayed alive. All before Jesus eventually succumbed to death and were buried. But Jesus returned from the grave to live into eternity for he could not be held by death. And he lives still today at the right hand of the Father in the heavenly places.
Power of the Resurrection
Now while the simple fact of his resurrection is amazing in itself, it is the power of his resurrection and what it means to us that is most significant. It was because he died that we have the chance to live. We come to Jesus through his death and resurrection in our water baptism so that we can be released from our sins.
Sin is the thing that stands between man and God and condemns a man before God. But if you can be freed from sin then there is nothing to stand between you and God. Consider in Romans chapter 1,the Apostle Paul states three times a that God gave up on man because of his sin. But when he gave Jesus as the perfect sacrifice for our sins he said in essence if we believe and have faith in what he has done, he will overlook our sins and help us to find the path to eternal life and to perfection.
All of this was achieved through the death and more importantly, the resurrection of Jesus Christ. Anyone can and will die, but the resurrection only comes from God and the only permanent and lasting resurrection occurred in Jesus Christ. We need to take hold of his resurrection and make it our own so that we can be set free from sin and set free from the law, as he promised. And all of this is through faith.
(Picture sourced from stock.xchng taken by Bill Davenport)