IMPORTANCE OF JESUS RESURRECTION:

Prayer.

 

The resurrection of Jesus is important for several reasons. First, the resurrection witnesses to the immense power of God Himself. To believe in the resurrection is to believe in God. If God exists, and if He created the universe and has power over it, then He has power to raise the dead. If He does not have such power, He is not worthy of our faith and worship. Only He who created life can resurrect it after death, only He can reverse the hideousness that is death itself, and only He can remove the sting and gain the victory over the grave (1 Corinthians 15:54–55). In resurrecting Jesus from the grave, God reminds us of His absolute sovereignty over life and death.

The resurrection of Jesus Christ is also important because it validates who Jesus claimed to be, namely, the Son of God and Messiah. According to Jesus, His resurrection was the “sign from heaven” that authenticated His ministry (Matthew 16:1–4). The resurrection of Jesus Christ, attested to by hundreds of eyewitnesses (1 Corinthians 15:3–8), provides irrefutable proof that He is the Savior of the world.

Another reason the resurrection of Jesus Christ is important is that it proves His sinless character and divine nature. The Scriptures said God’s “Holy One” would never see corruption (Psalm 16:10), and Jesus never saw corruption, even after He died (see Acts 13:32–37). It was on the basis of the resurrection of Christ that Paul preached, “Through Jesus the forgiveness of sins is proclaimed to you. Through him everyone who believes is set free from every sin” (Acts 13:38–39).

The resurrection of Jesus Christ is not only the supreme validation of His deity; it also validates the Old Testament prophecies that foretold of Jesus’ suffering and resurrection (see Acts 17:2–3). Christ’s resurrection also authenticated His own claims that He would be raised on the third day (Mark 8:319:3110:34). If Jesus Christ is not resurrected, then we have no hope that we will be, either. In fact, apart from Christ’s resurrection, we have no Savior, no salvation, and no hope of eternal life. As Paul said, our faith would be “useless,” the gospel would be altogether powerless, and our sins would remain unforgiven (1 Corinthians 15:14–19).

Jesus said, “I am the resurrection and the life” (John 11:25), and in that statement claimed to be the source of both. There is no resurrection apart from Christ, no eternal life. Jesus does more than give life; He is life, and that’s why death has no power over Him. Jesus confers His life on those who trust in Him, so that we can share His triumph over death (1 John 5:11–12). We who believe in Jesus Christ will personally experience resurrection because, having the life Jesus gives, we have overcome death. It is impossible for death to win (1 Corinthians 15:53–57).

Jesus is “the firstfruits of those who have fallen asleep” (1 Corinthians 15:20). In other words, Jesus led the way in life after death. The resurrection of Jesus Christ is important as a testimony to the resurrection of human beings, which is a basic tenet of the Christian faith. Unlike other religions, Christianity possesses a Founder who transcends death and promises that His followers will do the same. Every other religion was founded by men or prophets whose end was the grave. As Christians, we know that God became man, died for our sins, and was resurrected the third day. The grave could not hold Him. He lives, and He sits today at the right hand of the Father in heaven (Hebrews 10:12).

The Word of God guarantees the believer’s resurrection at the coming of Jesus Christ for His church at the rapture. Such assurance results in a great song of triumph as Paul writes in 1 Corinthians 15:55, “Where, O death, is your victory? Where, O death, is your sting?” (cf. Hosea 13:14).

The importance of the resurrection of Christ has an impact on our service to the Lord now. Paul ends his discourse on resurrection with these words: “Therefore, my dear brothers and sisters, stand firm. Let nothing move you. Always give yourselves fully to the work of the Lord, because you know that your labor in the Lord is not in vain” (1 Corinthians 15:58). Because we know we will be resurrected to new life, we can endure persecution and danger for Christ’s sake (verses 30–32), just as our Lord did. Because of the resurrection of Jesus Christ, thousands of Christian martyrs through history have willingly traded their earthly lives for everlasting life and the promise of resurrection.

The resurrection is the triumphant and glorious victory for every believer. Jesus Christ died, was buried, and rose the third day according to the Scriptures (1 Corinthians 15:3–4). And He is coming again! The dead in Christ will be raised up, and those who are alive at His coming will be changed and receive new, glorified bodies (1 Thessalonians 4:13–18). Why is the resurrection of Jesus Christ important? It proves who Jesus is. It demonstrates that God accepted Jesus’ sacrifice on our behalf. It shows that God has the power to raise us from the dead. It guarantees that the bodies of those who believe in Christ will not remain dead but will be resurrected unto eternal life.

Prophet Nathan Emol

SEVEN STATEMENTS JESUS MADE ON THE CROSS:

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The seven statements that Jesus Christ made on the cross were (not in any particular order):

(1) Matthew 27:46 tells us that about the ninth hour Jesus cried with a loud voice, saying, “Eloi, Eloi, lama sabachthani?” which means, “My God, my God, why have you forsaken me?” Here, Jesus was expressing His feelings of abandonment as God placed the sins of the world on Him—and because of that, God had to “turn away” from Jesus. As Jesus was feeling that weight of sin, He was experiencing a separation from God for the only time in all of eternity. This was also a fulfillment of the prophetic statement in Psalm 22:1.
(2) “Father, forgive them, for they do not know what they are doing” (Luke 23:34). Those who crucified Jesus were not aware of the full scope of what they were doing because they did not recognize Him as the Messiah. While their ignorance of divine truth did not mean they deserved forgiveness, Christ’s prayer in the midst of their mocking Him is an expression of the limitless compassion of divine grace.

(3) “I tell you the truth, today you will be with me in paradise” (Luke 23:43). In this passage, Jesus is assuring one of the criminals on the cross that when he died, he would be with Jesus in heaven. This was granted because even at the hour of his death, the criminal had expressed his faith in Jesus, recognizing Him for who He was (Luke 23:42).

(4) “Father, into Your hands I commit my spirit” (Luke 23:46). Here, Jesus is willingly giving up His soul into the Father’s hands, indicating that He was about to die – and that God had accepted His sacrifice. He “offered up Himself unblemished to God” (Hebrews 9:14).

(5) “Dear Woman, here is your son!” and “Here is your mother!” When Jesus saw His mother standing near the cross with the Apostle John, whom He loved, He committed His mother’s care into John’s hands. And from that hour John took her unto his own home (John 19:26-27). In this verse Jesus, ever the compassionate Son, is making sure His earthly mother is cared for after His death.

(6) “I am thirsty” (John 19:28). Jesus was here fulfilling the Messianic prophecy from Psalm 69:21: “They put gall in my food and gave me vinegar for my thirst.” By saying He was thirsty, He prompted the Roman guards to give Him vinegar, which was customary at a crucifixion, thereby fulfilling the prophecy.

(7) “It is finished!” (John 19:30). Jesus’ last words meant that His suffering was over and the whole work His Father had given Him to do, which was to preach the Gospel, work miracles, and obtain eternal salvation for His people, was done, accomplished, fulfilled. The debt of sin was paid.

Prophet Nathan Emol

WHERE WAS JESUS FOR THREE DAYS AFTER DEATH AND RESURRECTION?

Prayer.

A key passage in the discussion on where Jesus was for the three days in between His death and resurrection is 1 Peter 3:18–19, which says, “Christ also suffered once for sins, the righteous for the unrighteous, that he might bring us to God, being put to death in the flesh but made alive in the spirit, in which he went and proclaimed to the spirits in prison” (ESV). The word spirit refers to Christ’s spirit. The contrast is between His flesh and spirit, and not between Christ’s flesh and the Holy Spirit. Christ’s flesh died, but His spirit remained alive. Jesus’ body was in the tomb, of course, but His spirit, having departed at His death (Matthew 27:50), was elsewhere for those three days.

Peter gives a little bit of specific information about what happened in those three days between Jesus’ death and resurrection. The KJV says that Jesus “preached” to the spirits in prison (1 Peter 3:19). The Greek word used simply means that Jesus “heralded a message”; the NIV translates it as “made proclamation.” Jesus suffered and died on the cross, His body being put to death. But His spirit was still alive, and He yielded it to the Father (Luke 23:46). According to Peter, sometime between Jesus’ death and His resurrection Jesus made a special proclamation to some imprisoned spirits.

Where were these imprisoned spirits to whom Jesus spoke between His death and resurrection? Nowhere in the Bible are we told that Jesus visited hell. The idea that Jesus went to hell in order to continue His suffering is unbiblical; His suffering ended when He said, “It is finished” upon the cross (John 19:30). The New American Standard Bible says that Jesus went to “Hades” (Acts 2:31), but Hades is not hellHades is a term that refers, broadly, to the realm of the dead, a temporary place where the dead await resurrection. Revelation 20:11–15 in the NASB and the NIV makes a clear distinction between Hades and the lake of fire. The lake of fire is the permanent, final place of judgment for the lost. Hades is a temporary place for both the lost and the Old Testament saints.

Our Lord Jesus yielded His spirit to the Father, died physically, and entered paradise, as He had promised the thief on the cross (Luke 23:43). At some time between His death and resurrection, Jesus also visited a place where He delivered a message to spirit beings—probably fallen angels (see Jude 1:6); these spirits were probably imprisoned because they were somehow involved in a grievous sin before the flood in Noah’s time (1 Peter 3:20). Peter does not tell us what Jesus proclaimed to the imprisoned spirits, but it could not have been a message of redemption, since angels cannot be saved (Hebrews 2:16). What Jesus proclaimed was probably a declaration of His victory over Satan and his hosts (1 Peter 3:22Colossians 2:15).

Ephesians 4:8–10 may give another clue regarding Jesus’ activities in the three days between His death and resurrection. Quoting Psalm 68:18, Paul says about Christ, “When he ascended on high, he took many captives” (Ephesians 4:8). The ESV puts it that Christ “led a host of captives.” This could refer to an event not elsewhere described in Scripture, namely, that Jesus gathered all the redeemed who were in paradise and took them to their permanent dwelling in heaven. That is, after securing their salvation on the cross, Jesus brought Abraham, David, Joshua, Daniel, the beggar Lazarus, the thief on the cross, and everyone else who had previously been justified by faith, and led them from Hades to their new spiritual home.

All of this is to say that the Bible isn’t entirely clear what exactly Christ did for the three days between His death and resurrection. From what we can tell, though, He did two things: He comforted the departed saints and brought them to their eternal home, and He proclaimed His victory over the fallen angels who are kept in prison. What we can know for sure is that Jesus was not giving anyone a second chance for salvation; we face judgment after death (Hebrews 9:27), not a second chance. Also, Jesus was not suffering in hell; His work of redemption was finished on the cross.

Prophet Nathan Emol