Easter is a major Christian holiday that celebrates the death and resurrection of Jesus Christ. Good Friday remembers the crucifixion and death of Christ, while Easter Sunday celebrates his resurrection.
What is the meaning and significance of the resurrection of Jesus Christ? Why is it something that has been so celebrated throughout history?
10 Reasons the Resurrection of Jesus Christ is Meaningful
1. The resurrection of Jesus Christ means that believers in Christ are justified before God.
He was delivered over to death for our sins and was raised to life for our justification. (Romans 4:25)
Justification means to “be put right with.” Because of our sins, humanity is separated from God and incapable of a relationship with Him (Romans 6:28, Isaiah 59:2).
Scripture calls us “objects of wrath” because God has to exert his wrath those who break his law (Ephesians 2:3). Without someone stepping in to correct this situation, we cannot have the relationship with God that He intended. In the death of Jesus on the cross, God put our punishment on Christ so that we could be justified before Him.
The resurrection of Jesus confirms that God accepted Christ’s sacrifice for sin on the cross and gives us access to a right relationship with Him.
2. The resurrection of Jesus Christ shows that Jesus defeated death (Romans 6:9)
Death is the enemy of mankind and the just punishment for each person’s individual sins (Romans 6:23). The mortality rate is and will always be 100%. No amount of effort, medical technology, power or riches can escape the clutches of death.
Christ rose from the dead because death could no longer hold Him, and we no longer have to fear death because Christ has triumphed over it. Death is no longer an enemy because in Christ, we no longer have to fear the punishment that comes after death.
“O death where is your victory? O death, where is your sting?’”The sting of death is sin, and the power of sin is the law. But thanks be to God, who gives us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ! (1 Corinthians 15:55-57)
3. The resurrection of Jesus Christ means that believers are united with Christ (2 Corinthians 4:14)
When we believe in Christ, we are united to Him in faith. Union with Christ means that when God looks at us, He does not see our unrighteousness, but the righteousness of Christ. It means that we have died with Him and will also live with Him (Romans 6:8).
This union is made possible by the resurrection of Christ. Similar to when a couple is united in marriage when one spouse’s belongings become the possession of both spouses, Christians are able to receive the righteousness of Christ because of their union with Him (1 Corinthians 1:30).
We are now able to walk in newness of life because we are bound to Jesus Christ by the Holy Spirit (Romans 6:4). This idea is shown in baptism, which is the powerful physical demonstration of the spiritual reality of our dying with Christ and being raised with Him.
4. The resurrection of Jesus Christ confirms the truth of Scripture.
Isaiah 53 and Psalm 16 are among the many examples of Scriptures that prophesied about the resurrected life of Jesus:
“Yet it was the will of the LORD to crush him;
he has put him to grief;
when his soul makes an offering for guilt,
he shall see his offspring; he shall prolong his days;
the will of the LORD shall prosper in his hand.
Out of the anguish of his soul he shall see and be satisfied;
by his knowledge shall the righteous one, my servant,
make many to be accounted righteous,
and he shall bear their iniquities.
Therefore I will divide him a portion with the many,
and he shall divide the spoil with the strong,
because he poured out his soul to death
and was numbered with the transgressors;
yet he bore the sin of many,
and makes intercession for the transgressors.”
“For you will not abandon my soul to Sheol, or let your holy one see corruption. You make known to me the path of life; in your presence there is fullness of joy; at your right hand are pleasures forevermore.” (Psalm 16:10-11)
5. The resurrection of Jesus Christ proves the gospel to be true (1 Corinthians 15:1-4).
The fact that Jesus is alive today means that He is able to save today. This was a major argument of Paul’s in 1 Corinthians 15, where He defends the truth of the resurrection by explaining the whole Christian gospel depends on it:
And if Christ has not been raised, then our preaching is in vain and your faith is in vain…and if Christ has not been raised, your faith is futile and you are still in your sins. Then those also who have fallen asleep in Christ have perished. If in Christ we have hope in this life only, we are of all people most to be pitied. (1 Corinthians 15:14; 17-19)
Paul explains that the resurrection is not only a fundamental part of the gospel, but it is the glue that holds every part of the gospel together. Without it, Christians are believing in vain and are without hope. But since Christ has raised, we have hope of having our sins forgiven, being made right in God’s sight, and having eternal life through Christ.
6. The resurrection of Jesus Christ proves that Jesus is the Son of God.
…[Christ] was declared to be the Son of God in power according to the Spirit of holiness by his resurrection from the dead… (Romans 1:4)
If Jesus would have died and remained dead, He would be like the millions who went before Him and the millions who came after Him. But that is not what happened. Christ’s resurrection proves that He is someone of a unique status: The Son of God.
7. The resurrection of Jesus Christ means that the Holy Spirit will be poured out into the hearts of those who believe.
After Christ had risen and ascended, He was able to send the promised Holy Spirit to continue his work on earth. This means that Christ’s earthly ministry continues today through his people, in whom He dwells by the Holy Spirit.
This also means that Christ will help his people by the Spirit, strengthening them, convicting them, guiding them into the life that God desires.
Being therefore exalted at the right hand of God, and having received from the Father the promise of the Holy Spirit, He has poured out this that you yourselves are seeing and hearing. (Acts 2:33)
8. The resurrection of Jesus Christ gives Christians a living hope.
Being forgiven of our sins and justified before God gives Christians tremendous hope. Christians are changed from being an enemy of God bound for hell, to becoming a forgiven son of God with an eternal inheritance in heaven that can never be taken away. What can be better news than that?
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, to an inheritance that is imperishable, undefiled, and unfading, kept in heaven for you… (1 Peter 1:3-4)
9. The resurrection of Jesus Christ means that we will be raised like Him.
Christ is described as the firstfruits of the resurrection from the dead, meaning that his resurrection is a precursor to the resurrection that all believers (1 Corinthians 15:20). 1 Corinthians 15:21-22 explains, “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.”
Christians will enjoy the resurrected life just like Christ did, with glorified bodies raised in power (1 Corinthians 15:42-44). We may suffer in this life with many pains and illnesses, but in the life to come, we will not suffer, but enjoy the perfect bodies we have always longed for.
This implication of the resurrection ties in closely with the last one:
10. The resurrection of Jesus Christ means that Christ will judge the world in righteousness.
The times of ignorance God overlooked, but now he commands all people everywhere to repent, because he has fixed a day on which he will judge the world in righteousness by a man whom he has appointed; and of this he has given assurance to all by raising him from the dead. (Acts 17:30-31)
All of the world will one day be judged for the things they have done and be held accountable before God. Unbelievers will be held accountable for breaking God’s law, facing the condemnation of God and going to hell. Believers will be held accountable for the things they have done, and will be rewarded by God in heaven based on their actions as believers. The sign God gave to confirm this fact was the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead.
If you do not believe in Jesus Christ, this judgment should be a cause for tremendous fear. You will face the wrath of God and suffer an eternity in hell because of the sins you have committed. But this judgment does not have to be a thing to dread.
The way to obtain forgiveness and eternal life is by believing in Jesus and turning from your sin. Believing in Jesus is what makes all of the benefits of the resurrection yours. Faith is what unites us to Christ and allows us to be saved from our sin.
Choosing to continue in unbelief is choosing to remain under God’s wrath. Don’t miss out on the amazing gift that God offers us through Christ—believe in Him today!
I am the resurrection and the life. Whoever believes in me, though he die, yet shall he live, and everyone who lives and believes in me shall never die. Do you believe this? (John 11:25-26)
Editor’s Note: Kevin Halloran’s new book is When Prayer Is a Struggle: A Practical Guide for Overcoming Obstacles in Prayer. Pastor Colin Smith called the book, “A treasure chest of wise and practical counsel. . . . This book will expand your horizons and give you a new vision for how you can pray more effectively.”