THERE IS one thing which firmly holds Christianity and gives Disciples of Christ Jesus power to fight on. The thing is a message which gives us reason for our faith in Christ Jesus. It is for the revelation and truth of this one thing that the apostles of old, died for their faith in Christ Jesus. And it should be our motivation to die for our faith in Christ the Lord.
This thing is the message of the resurrection of Jesus Christ. Without Christ’s resurrection, preaching and teaching would be useless and Christians would be the most miserable people in the world. But thanks be to God that Jesus Christ was raised from the dead, giving believers who exercise faith in Christ great hope of being raised to eternal salvation on the last day (1 Corinthians 15: 12- 20).
The resurrection of Christ Jesus is the heart of the gospel. It is the usefulness of the preaching of the gospel. It is the usefulness of our faith in Christ. By it, believers who die in the Lord shall be found. The resurrection makes believers think and see beyond the things of the world. It is the reason for fighting the good fight of the faith.
Moreover, the message of the resurrection of Christ Jesus is the power of ministry. It is the wisdom of soul-winning. It is the motivation for enduring beatings, insults, name-calling, trials, temptations and all forms of persecution. The resurrection is the reason we shun hedonism and embrace temperance.
Christianity starts, stands and ends with the resurrection of Jesus Christ. This should remind us that the most important message for servants of Christ to preach and teach about is the resurrection of Jesus. It is no wonder the Lord proclaimed, “I am the resurrection and the life…” (John 11: 25). This means Jesus Christ has the power to raise the dead and give life to the dead. Christ is the life of all Christians. He died and rose again to procure life for many who believe in Him.
Realizing that the resurrection of Jesus Christ is the pivot around which Christianity revolves and the seat on which Christianity sits, hundreds of unbelievers have since the beginning of the birth of the Church been disputing its truth. They say Christ was never raised from the dead and that the early disciples of the Lord concocted the story to deceive people.
Others have propounded various baseless theories including the hallucination theory just to discredit the message of the resurrection of our Saviour Jesus Christ. But the critics and doubters lost the war right from the start. The apostle Paul taught that Christ was raised from the dead. He disclosed the people who saw Him after His resurrection in 1 Corinthians 15: 3-8.
Only Jesus of Nazareth authoritatively said, “I am the resurrection and the life.” No man ever uttered, has ever uttered or will ever utter these words, “I am the resurrection and the life.” Yes, that is the uniqueness of Jesus of Nazareth, who did what no man could or can. He is not a resurrection as if He has peers. But He is the resurrection. That means He is the origin, source and author of resurrection. In other words, He is the one who gives resurrection.
Now, Christ Jesus did not just make a wild claim; He actually proved and demonstrated it by raising a number of people from the dead before and after His crucifixion. He raised the widow of Nain’s son who was being sent for burial from the dead (Luke 7: 11- 17), He resurrected Lazarus, who had been dead and buried for four days from the tomb (John 11: 1- 44), He resurrected Jairus’ daughter (Luke 8: 49- 56)
And in His name, and ministering by the Spirit of Christ Jesus, the apostle Peter raised Tabitha, Dorcas from the dead. Similarly, Paul also ministering by the power of the Spirit of Christ raised Eutychus from the dead as recorded in (Acts 20: 7- 12). And in our generation too, many servants of Jesus are being used to resurrect the dead in various parts of the world for the glory of God.
Finally, by the resurrection power of the Spirit Christ Jesus, some of the Old Testament prophets raised people from the dead. Elijah resurrected the son of the widow of Zarephath (1 Kings 17: 17- 24) and Elisha raised the Shunammite woman’s son from the dead (2 Kings 4: 18- 37). It is written in 1 Peter 1: 10- 11 that the Old Testament prophets ministered by the Spirit of Christ just as the New Testament ministers do.
We know and are convinced that Jesus Christ died for our resurrection on the last day. He proved this also when He died on the Cross. The Bible says, “And Jesus cried out again with a loud voice and yielded up his spirit. And behold, the curtain of the temple was torn in two, from top to bottom. And the earth shook, and the rocks were split. The tombs also were opened. And many bodies of the saints who had fallen asleep were raised (Matthew 27: 50- 52).
Hallelujah! These clearly confirm the claim of our glorious Lord that He is the resurrection and the life. In Him is life. He has the power to give life to the dead at His sovereign will. This is the power, wisdom and usefulness of our faith in God through Christ Jesus that we shall be raised from the dead and be given eternal life on the Day of Judgment.
So, now, let the sinner stop doubting and be quick to hear the gospel, believe in Jesus and be saved. And may God bless pastors who do not wait until Christmas or Easter before they preach and teach about the birth, growth, ministries, commands, doctrines, miracles, suffering, death, burial, resurrection, ascension and the second coming of Jesus Christ.
By James Quansah