The Power of the Resurrection and Our Hope
Jesus was declared with power to be the Son of God by His resurrection from the dead (Rom. 1:4). Upon His death, burial and resurrection Christians place their confidence and hope. This helps explain why it is that Christianity did not die with its founder - the disciples of the first century faced persecution and sometimes death - and were willing to do so because the Lord had proven Himself trustworthy and more powerful than death - He lives again!
The resurrection was not an obscure event, by the way. Many, many people saw Him and talked with Him (see 1 Cor. 15:4-11 for a partial list). His small band of disciples who had earlier trembled in fear after His arrest and crucifixion were made to rejoice upon seeing Him alive again. For a period of 40 days He discussed with the apostles His plan for launching the message of the gospel into the world, and then in their view He ascended into the sky and was taken out of their sight.
These earliest of disciples knew the message they taught was true. They were eye witnesses. This is what had changed their fear and doubt into boldness and confidence. They did not fear even death because they knew their Lord had the keys to death and Hades. Our faith does not rest on shaky ground. The resurrection of Jesus fills our hearts with hope because He was only the first to break the bonds of death never to die again (1 Cor. 15:20-28). We look forward to that blessed event in the future when we, too, will slip out of death's grasp, change into the incorruptible, and win the victory.
By Jon W. Quinn
The Front Page
From Expository Files 16.4; April 2009