Hopefully, if you’re a Christian, you realize that Christ’s resurrection is a foundational part of your salvation. The resurrection is worth celebrating at Easter and throughout the year. But have you stopped to consider how wide-ranging the implications of the empty tomb are? Consider briefly how Easter Sunday affects your salvation past, present, and future.
What is Easter Sunday About?
On Easter, we remember when Jesus rose from the grave three days after dying on the cross.
For I delivered to you as of first importance what I also received: that Christ died for our sins in accordance with the Scriptures, that he was buried, that he arose on the third day per the Scriptures, and that he appeared to Cephas, then to the twelve (1 Cor 15:3-5). Though this certainly has redemptive implications (if it didn’t, it wouldn’t be “of first importance”), it is essentially a brief historical account. Jesus died. Jesus rose. People saw him.
So in one sense, celebrating the resurrection means remembering a historical fact, albeit a supernatural one. Simply put, approximately 2,000 years ago, Jesus rose from the dead. If you dispute it, you have to contend with the other, apparently related, historical fact that a religious movement sprang up almost overnight, and a rapidly growing community of people would be persecuted and put to death for believing that Jesus didn’t stay dead in his tomb, but was alive.
How the Resurrection Affects Us Today
On Easter, we live in the present reality of the resurrection. This is where the redemptive implications of Jesus’ vacant tomb come into play. We were buried therefore with him by baptism into death, so that, just as Christ was raised from the dead by the glory of the Father, we too might walk in newness of life. (Rom 6:4)
When we are united with Christ by faith, his resurrection is our transformation. We now walk in newness of life, empowered by the Spirit of him who raised Jesus from the dead (Rom 8:11). We can have victory over sin, and we can participate in the mission of God.
This is all reinforced by the present reality that Jesus is still alive. His resurrection was not temporary. And now, as he sits at the right hand of God the Father, we can rest in this promise: Consequently, he saves to the uttermost those who draw near to God through him, since he always lives to make intercession for them. (Heb 7:25). Talk about security. This leads right into the third reason we should celebrate it.
The Role of the Resurrection in Eternity
On Easter Sunday, we look forward to the future resurrection of our bodies. But in fact, Christ has been raised from the dead, the firstfruits of those who have fallen asleep. “For as by a man came death, by a man, has come also the resurrection of the dead. For as in Adam all die, so also in Christ shall all be made alive” (1 Cor 15:20-22). Because Jesus rose, so will those who are in him – eternal communion with God in heavenly bodies. What a hope! As we look back to Jesus’ resurrection this Easter, let us also celebrate its present and future implications.