Every Easter, I am deeply moved as the congregation joins together to sing robust, heart-felt worship about the risen Lord Jesus. Somehow the air feels electric, as song after powerful song focuses on the eternal and historical truth that Jesus, the Messiah, not only died a horrific death to fulfill hundreds of prophecy, but he overcame our sin and death to rise to life victorious – never to die again.
How is this day different than others? Even Christmas morning pales in comparison to resurrection Sunday. Let us reflect on just a few verses to see why Christianity rises and falls on the empty tomb and the resurrection power of Jesus, and why it’s not just for Easter.
John 11:24-26 New International Version – UK (NIVUK)
24 Martha answered, ‘I know he will rise again in the resurrection at the last day.’
25 Jesus said to her, ‘I am the resurrection and the life. The one who believes in me will live, even though they die; 26 and whoever lives by believing in me will never die. Do you believe this?’
Acts 2:23-32 New International Version – UK (NIVUK) Peter’s Pentecost Sermon
23 This man was handed over to you by God’s deliberate plan and foreknowledge; and you, with the help of wicked men,[a] put him to death by nailing him to the cross. 24 But God raised him from the dead, freeing him from the agony of death, because it was impossible for death to keep its hold on him. 25 David said about him:
‘“I saw the Lord always before me.
Because he is at my right hand,
I will not be shaken.
26 Therefore my heart is glad and my tongue rejoices;
my body also will rest in hope,
27 because you will not abandon me to the realm of the dead,
you will not let your holy one see decay.
28 You have made known to me the paths of life;
you will fill me with joy in your presence.”
29 ‘Fellow Israelites, I can tell you confidently that the patriarch David died and was buried, and his tomb is here to this day. 30 But he was a prophet and knew that God had promised him on oath that he would place one of his descendants on his throne. 31 Seeing what was to come, he spoke of the resurrection of the Messiah, that he was not abandoned to the realm of the dead, nor did his body see decay. 32 God has raised this Jesus to life, and we are all witnesses of it. 33 Exalted to the right hand of God, he has received from the Father the promised Holy Spirit and has poured out what you now see and hear.
Romans 4:23-25 New International Version – UK (NIVUK)
23 The words ‘it was credited to him’ were written not for him alone, 24 but also for us, to whom God will credit righteousness – for us who believe in him who raised Jesus our Lord from the dead. 25 He was delivered over to death for our sins and was raised to life for our justification.
Romans 6:1-10 New International Version – UK (NIVUK)
Dead to sin, alive in Christ
6 What shall we say, then? Shall we go on sinning, so that grace may increase? 2 By no means! We are those who have died to sin; how can we live in it any longer? 3 Or don’t you know that all of us who were baptised into Christ Jesus were baptised into his death? 4 We were therefore buried with him through baptism into death in order that, just as Christ was raised from the dead through the glory of the Father, we too may live a new life.
5 For if we have been united with him in a death like his, we will certainly also be united with him in a resurrection like his. 6 For we know that our old self was crucified with him so that the body ruled by sin might be done away with,[a] that we should no longer be slaves to sin – 7 because anyone who has died has been set free from sin.
8 Now if we died with Christ, we believe that we will also live with him. 9 For we know that since Christ was raised from the dead, he cannot die again; death no longer has mastery over him. 10 The death he died, he died to sin once for all; but the life he lives, he lives to God.
Romans 8:11 New International Version – UK (NIVUK)
11 And if the Spirit of him who raised Jesus from the dead is living in you, he who raised Christ from the dead will also give life to your mortal bodies because of[a] his Spirit who lives in you.
Romans 10:8-10 New International Version – UK (NIVUK)
8 But what does it say? ‘The word is near you; it is in your mouth and in your heart,’[a] that is, the message concerning faith that we proclaim: 9 if you declare with your mouth, ‘Jesus is Lord,’ and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved. 10 For it is with your heart that you believe and are justified, and it is with your mouth that you profess your faith and are saved.
1 Corinthians 6:14 New International Version – UK (NIVUK)
14 By his power God raised the Lord from the dead, and he will raise us also.
17 I keep asking that the God of our Lord Jesus Christ, the glorious Father, may give you the Spirit[f] of wisdom and revelation, so that you may know him better. 18 I pray that the eyes of your heart may be enlightened in order that you may know the hope to which he has called you, the riches of his glorious inheritance in his holy people, 19 and his incomparably great power for us who believe. That power is the same as the mighty strength 20 he exerted when he raised Christ from the dead and seated him at his right hand in the heavenly realms, 21 far above all rule and authority, power and dominion, and every name that is invoked, not only in the present age but also in the one to come. 22 And God placed all things under his feet and appointed him to be head over everything for the church, 23 which is his body, the fullness of him who fills everything in every way.
Friends, the resurrection is the power of Christ in us. He is our hope. We need revelation from the Holy Spirit to truly grasp this hope of resurrection. Our hope is for eternal life and heaven, when our bodies will be raised incorruptible, but it starts at the regeneration of the believer. When we put our faith in Christ, we join the body of Christ that was raised to life over 2000 years ago. We walk out of the grave of sin and death.
The power at our disposal, for our personal lives and for eternity, is more than we can even begin to imagine. No eye has seen and no ear has heard, no heart has understood what God has prepared for us in Christ Jesus.
It’s not just for Easter Sunday. It’s for the days when you believe you will never walk out of depression and anxiety. It’s for the days when your marriage feels like a business partnership, empty of promise. It’s for the days when you receive a terrible word from the doctor. It’s for the days when you have no idea how to parent a child in rebellion.
Through the power of the resurrection, we have victory for the present life and the one to come. Faith is our victory that overcomes the world. Carry your faith in the power of the resurrection of Jesus Christ into your tomorrows. It’s not just for Easter Sunday.
Prayer- “Father in the name of your son Jesus, the Messiah, I declare that Jesus is Lord of my life. I thank you for the power Jesus has over sin and death. I thank you that death is defeated. I thank you for hope! I lay every sin at your feet, even the sin that I am most ashamed of. I pray that you fill me with the power of your Holy Spirit, that I may have revelation and wisdom to understand and know you better. I pray that you will open the eyes of my heart to HOPE, the hope of my calling and the power of the resurrection that has raised me up and lives inside of me. Build me up in the resurrection power of Jesus. Strengthen me today to live by faith in Jesus. Amen.”