The story of Jesus’ resurrection has always been central to the preaching of the Gospel. The apostolic teaching that is recorded in Acts centers invariably in on the
death, burial, and resurrection of Jesus (Acts 2:22-24; 3:14-15; 10:39-40; 13:29-30; 26:23). The resurrection of Jesus is the actual, historical event that sets Christianity
apart from every other religion. The resurrection is the one event in the history of man that validates the claims and teachings of Jesus.
As powerful and meaningful as the cross of Christ is, it would have no power or meaning had Jesus remained in the tomb. There would be no “goods news” without
the resurrection. Christianity is not just a code for living or a philosophy of religion. It is rooted in real historical events. This is scandalous to some people because it means
that the truth of Christianity is inexplicably bound up with the reality of certain historical facts and if those facts should be disproved, Christianity would be false. But again this
is what makes Christianity unique because modem man has a means of actually verifying Christianity’s truth by historical evidence. The reality of the resurrection plays
a critical role in validating the authenticity of Jesus. Notice how crucial Jesus’ resurrection is in Paul’s inspired statement in 1 Corinthians 15:13-15:
But if there is no resurrection of the dead, not even Christ has been
raised; and if Christ has not been raised, then our preaching is vain, your
faith also is vain. Moreover we are even found to be false witnesses of
God, because we testified against God that He raised Christ, whom He
did not raise, if the dead are not raised.
John’s Gospel gives us the most explicit “empty tomb” description in the New Testament. Early on Sunday morning, Mary Magdalene comes and finds an empty
proof that Jesus had indeed risen from the dead. The scene is not chaotic or confused, but it is a scene where the body is missing, and the burial clothes are undisturbed.
What happened at Jesus’ tomb stems from the power of God (Acts 2:32). The resurrection of Jesus is sure grounds for believing in a God who acts in history.
However, the resurrection of Jesus is not merely a historical event. The resurrection is also an essential event for telling us about Jesus and what it means for Christians to
have a transformed relationship with the resurrected Lord. Discipleship is not defined merely by belief, but by a transformed relationship. The resurrection of Jesus is to have
an impact on our day-to-day living (it is not just information to affirm or deny). What effect does the resurrection of Jesus continue to have on your life?