I was working in my house this past Good Friday, when I heard beautiful music, from where…. I didn’t know. So I went out onto the balcony and saw a procession of people coming down the street in the slums of Nakuru. There was a cross out in front and people of all ages following. This is what I saw and heard. (As I was watching our neighbor came up quietly behind me.)
Let me add this writing from my dear husband to complete the story:
The resurrection of Christ is both unique and preeminent in its importance to our faith. But not for the reasons you might expect. Many people do not fully grasp what really happened that wonderful morning 2000 years ago.
First of all Christ Jesus wasn’t the first to come back from the dead. Luke 8:54 tells of Jarius’s daughter who Christ raised from the dead. John 11:43 tells of Lazarus who He also raised from the dead. Yet in both instances the life they were raised with was the same life they had before their death.
Being the same natural life death still had dominion over them. They would have to face death again. Their physical limitations continued while they lived, they would get sick, grow old and suffer all the things that everyone else suffered. Their bodies would not always do what they wanted them to do; it would trouble and fail them throughout their life, finally giving way to the dominion of death. The effects of their resurrection on people around them were short lived.
Even the disciples who witnessed these resurrections, though understandably amazed at what happened, proved later that it did little to remove any of their doubts or fears concerning who Christ was or what would be their involvement in what was happening to Him.
Yet; when Christ was raised…. Everything changed!
The resurrection of Christ destroyed all their fears, doubts and unbelief. Those men went from being frightened, insecure men hiding in fear of what happened to their master and what likely would happen to them; to men who were not afraid of anything and eventually would change their entire world. They became men who could face and overcome any fear with their settled and immovable faith. What changed these men? The Resurrection of Christ!
Christ was not raised with the same life he had previously walked this earth in; He was raised with the Glorified Life of God. Death and all of its weaknesses had no dominion over Him ever again!
… knowing that Christ, having been raised from the dead, dies no more. Death no longer has dominion over Him. For the death that He died, He died to sin once for all; but the life that He lives, He lives to God. (Rom 6:9-10)
He forcibly took the keys of death from the power of sin. Consequently life and death are now in His hands…
I am He who lives, and was dead, and behold, I am alive forevermore. Amen. And I have the keys of Hades and of Death. (Rev 1:18)
This new Life gave Him complete control over His body. He could be anywhere instantly, pass through walls, change His appearance at will or prevent people from recognizing Him. Remember… Mary at the tomb, the disciples on the Emmaus road or the disciples on the beach.
Read the account of the disciples meeting Him on the beach that wonderful morning. It was only John who recognized Him. John the one ‘in whom the Lord loved’. Why? Only those whom He chooses and love Him will be able to recognize Him. That is as true today as it was that morning. Look at John 21:12.
Yet the most wondrous power that came with this glorified Life was that it enabled Him to give that same Life to anyone who believed in Him. He, the last Adam became a ‘Life giving Spirit’.
So also is the resurrection of the dead. The body is sown in corruption, it is raised in incorruption. It is sown in dishonor, it is raised in glory. It is sown in weakness, it is raised in power. It is sown a natural body, it is raised a spiritual body. There is a natural body, and there is a spiritual body. And so it is written, “THE FIRST MAN ADAM BECAME A LIVING BEING.” The last Adam became a life-giving spirit. (1Co 15:42-45)
For as the Father raises the dead and gives life to them, even so the Son gives life to whom He will. (John 5:21)
At His resurrection Jesus Christ became the federal head of a new race of beings. This is the uniqueness of the resurrection of Christ.
Because He was raised and because we are baptized into Him we were raised with Him. The earnest of this Glorified Resurrected Life is given to us who believe and obey. The victory over death and sin is not only His… it can be ours as well.
But thanks be to God, who gives us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ. (1Co 15:57)
His resurrection is the proof that all He said… all He claimed to be … all He said we would become…. Is true!
Some people will say they believe that Christ was an inspired teacher, a wise philosopher brilliant beyond his time. Although these things are true about Him… if that was all He was then he was also the cruelest man to have ever walked the earth. He was either who He said He was … or He was the biggest charlatan of all time. Without His resurrection, all Christ promised, all we believe is false. Look at first Corinthians fifteen and see how much the apostle Paul believed rested on the fact of Christ’s resurrection.
Vs. 1-4 … Paul states the gospel is based upon these facts… Christ died for our sins, was buried and rose again on the third day according to the scriptures.
Vs. 5-8… Paul offers the proof of eye witnesses; including his own.
Vs. 9-11 … After a short self abasing of his own unworthiness to have been selected to see the risen Christ, he states to some of the Corinthian believers…. ‘What do you mean there is no resurrection from the dead?’
Vs. 12, 13… If Christ has not been raised… then here is what’s true…
Vs. 14… our preaching and your faith …is worthless!
Vs. 15 … We are deceitful liars!
Vs. 16, 17… If Christ hasn’t been raised … your faith is not only worthless it’s idolatry! And every bad thing you have ever done will follow you to Judgment Day!
Vs. 18… If Christ hasn’t been raised … our friends and family who died believing in Christ have perished and we will never see them again.
Vs. 19… If Christ hasn’t been raised … and all we have done is to hope what He said was true… then we above all other men and their unfortunate lives are most to be pitied!
Vs. 30… Paul asks… If Christ hasn’t been raised why am I go through all this suffering and restraint every day of my life?
Vs. 32… Why did I have to be delivered over to wild beast in Ephesus? If Christ wasn’t raised… Let us eat, drink and have a good time! Let’s live it up!
Vs. 20- 25… But… If He has been raised… Hallelujah! We who were hopeless, frail, weak, sin ridden, guilty, gross human beings have been raised into this glorified God Life with Him!
The Spirit Himself bears witness with our spirit that we are children of God, and if children, then heirs—heirs of God and joint heirs with Christ, if indeed we suffer with Him, that we may also be glorified together. (Rom 8:16-17)
And we will one day put on the same immortality He put on. Those who have fallen asleep in Him will precede us in this resurrection and then we ourselves will be fully clothed with glory. Wow! What a future! What a resurrection!
Vs. 57… This is the victory Christ gave us through His resurrection!
Vs. 58. So… Paul says If Christ has been raised… and we were raised with Him… we should be settled and immovable in our faith.
And that should cause us to super abound in our work of glorifying Christ every minute of our life here on earth… our work and suffering is not in vain and cannot be compared to what is coming! Believe! He is risen… and us with Him!