“…According to his great mercy, he has caused us to be born again to a living hope through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead.” 1 Peter 1:3
I remember sitting in my theology class listening to one of my favorite professors talk about a topic he loved so much. He loved talking about God and His purposes. One time, he said that Jesus death on the cross would not have been enough to rescue us. He implied that sometimes, especially around Easter, we put a disproportionate amount of emphasis on Jesus’ death. His resurrection is what defeated death. “If Jesus would only have died,” he said, “then it would of been a really nice gesture of substitution, but would have accomplished nothing without the resurrection.” The Resurrection changes everything. Death is the one thing we all know is inevitable. Death and it’s consequences has so stained the human experience that our souls cry out for justice and righteousness. We long for the Kingdom Come. Yet, any of us who have spent any amount of time reflecting on our inner selves, we also know that our hearts have contributed to the death that consumes our world. We resonate with Paul when he writes, “Wretched man that I am! Who will deliver me from this body of death?” (Romans 7:24) Paul continues his line of thought into chapter eight and climaxes with this beautiful promise of hope: “If the Spirit of him who raised Jesus from the dead dwells in you, he who raised Christ Jesus from the dead will also give life to your moral bodies through his Spirit who dwells in you.” (Romans 8:11) Take hope, Jesus doesn’t just want to pay for your sin. He did that, but he also accomplished so much more through His Resurrection. Death has been defeated so the dead in us could be overcome. Take hope, Jesus also doesn’t just care about your life after life. He is interested in breathing new life into your soul — TODAY!
“We tend to think of the gospel as God’s program to make bad people good, not dead people alive. The fact is, Jesus came first to effect a mortal resurrection, not a moral reformation, as his own death and resurrection demonstrate.” (Tullian Tchividjian, Jesus + Nothing = Everything)