Resurrection power in Jesus
According to an alarming survey commissioned by the BBC in 2017, a quarter of self-professing Christians stated that they do not believe in the resurrection of Jesus. This is cause for concern because without the death and resurrection of Jesus, there is no hope in our salvation. The Apostle Paul stated that if Jesus had not been raised from the dead, His death on the cross would have served no purpose–all of us would still be in our sins, rendering our faith utterly useless to save us from death. While Jesus’ sacrificial death on the cross pardoned us from sin, it is His resurrection that actually granted us access to salvation in Him. The claim the Gospel of Christianity has over all other world religions is that it’s the only faith that boasts in the atoning death and miraculous resurrection of its deity, evidenced through several documented eye-witness accounts of Jesus’ appearing and by His supernatural power that’s still seen today by the signs, wonders and miracles of His Spirit. It is because of this reality that all those who declare that Jesus is Lord and believe that God raised Him from the dead can have a confident hope that they will be saved and have eternal life in fellowship with Him.
Jesus told her, “Your brother will rise again.”
“Yes,” Martha said, “he will rise when everyone else rises, at the last day.”
Jesus told her, “I am the resurrection and the life. Anyone who believes in me will live, even after dying. Everyone who lives in me and believes in me will never ever die. Do you believe this, Martha?”
Jesus first declared Himself to be the Resurrection and the Life shortly before performing the well-known miracle of Lazarus’ resurrection. After arriving three days after Lazarus’ death, Jesus assured a distraught Martha that He was not merely claiming to know about resurrection and eternal life but that He Himself is the way to life and life itself. He told Martha and her sister Mary that if they were only to believe Him and take Him at His word, they would see the glory of God manifested through the miracle of their buried brother coming back to life. While Martha truly believed that Jesus was the Son of God and that He could have healed Lazarus when he was still alive, she had trouble believing that her brother would rise again in that very moment, thinking that Jesus was referring to the end-time resurrection described in the Scriptures. As they discovered, Jesus had power over death, being able to speak and breathe life back into a dead body. The miracle of Lazarus’ resurrection was simply a foretaste of what was to become a greater reality through Jesus’ resurrection on the third day after His crucifixion.
Jesus is referred to as the last Adam. Where the first Adam brought about death, guilt and condemnation through his disobedience in the Garden of Eden, Jesus’ obedience onto death brought about life, righteousness and justification to all those who believe in Him. While Adam brought death to all of humanity, Jesus restored life to all the world when He overcame the final enemy–death. Over 2,000 years after His resurrection, Jesus’ promise still stands that while our body will eventually decay and die, the believer's spirit will live on with Him for eternity. But what’s truly miraculous is that because of the gift of the Holy Spirit that is given to every believer, the same resurrection power that raised Jesus from the dead now lives in us! Like Jesus was demonstrating to Martha, resurrection power is not only reserved for the rapture of the church, but it’s readily available and accessible today! God, through His Spirit working in us is still just as willing and able to perform real-life resurrections today for His name to be glorified on earth. Indeed, many have been witness to present-day real-life ressurections from the dead (myself included). So the question becomes do we have the faith to believe it?
Today let’s celebrate the reality of the empty tomb that brought us the gift of our salvation that blessed first Resurrection Sunday. May we never cease to remember or give thanks to Jesus for granting us new life and for the gift of His Holy Spirit in us Who carries resurrection power and life.