Prev Day Next Day What difference does it make today that a man rose from the dead two thousand years ago? I once wondered the same thing—but soon realized the implications of Jesus’ resurrection were huge. Here are three examples: The resurrection establishes Jesus’ identity. After being asked by the Pharisees for some kind of proof that he was who he claimed to be, Jesus said in Matthew 12:39–40, “A wicked and adulterous generation asks for a sign! But none will be given it except the sign of the prophet Jonah. For as Jonah was three days and three nights in the belly of a huge fish, so the Son of Man will be three days and three nights in the heart of the earth.” Jesus made it clear that the ultimate validation of his claims would be his own death, burial, and resurrection. These would show that he truly was the Son of God. The resurrection validates the Christian faith. This point flows from the last one. As the unique Son of God, Jesus is “calling God his own Father, making himself equal with God” (John 5:18). This validates the Christian doctrine of the Trinity—one God in three persons—Father, Son, and Holy Spirit. And because Jesus is God, he is also Lord, so we need to believe and obey him (Luke 6:46; Matt. 28:20). The resurrection energizes the gospel message. Jesus came “to give his life as a ransom for many” (Matt. 20:28). Paul explains this further: “He was delivered over to death for our sins and was raised to life for our justification” (Rom. 4:25). Both elements are key to the gospel: Jesus’ death made the necessary payment; Jesus’ resurrection enabled him to apply that payment and to give us life. He has provided everything. All we need to do is say yes, and to follow him as our forgiver and leader. But Christ has indeed been raised from the dead, the firstfruits of those who have fallen asleep. For since death came through a man, the resurrection of the dead comes also through a man. For as in Adam all die, so in Christ all will be made alive. 1 Corinthians 15:20–22 Copyright © 2014 by Lee Strobel. Top Prev Day Next Day

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