God raised Jesus from the dead, and that changes everything for both our present lives and the future to come. Dr. Ian Paul talks about the miracle that transformed all the pain of history into hope for eternity.
“We know that when Christ comes again, the dead will be raised. Those who are still alive will also be caught up and will meet Him in the air. It is as if the emperor came to your city, you would go out of the gates of the city, meet him, and accompany him back into the city.”
“Consistently, the hope of the world to come is not that we’ll just disappear after some disembodied existence in Heaven, but that Jesus will return: Heaven will come down to earth. That’s what we pray every time we pray the Lord’s Prayer: your kingdom come, your will be done on earth as it is in Heaven.”
“We’re praying for God’s kingdom to come in our daily lives. We’re also looking forward to that time when He will come again and that New Jerusalem will come from heaven down to earth.”
Christ’s resurrection proves once and for all that death has been defeated. It empowers those who trust in Him to see life and death with confidence. Jesus didn’t just taste death for us, He swallowed death on the cross (1 Corinthians 15:54) so we don’t need to face death with fear because we know that death is not the end. The power of death has been broken by Jesus dying and being raised again!
Followers of Christ enter into this life-giving truth when we are baptized: being lowered into water and raised up again, in a symbol of Christ’s resurrection, and the reality of our new life.
“Don’t you know that all of us who were baptized into Christ Jesus were baptized into His death? 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.” Romans 6:3-4
“In baptism, your old life, your sinful human nature, is buried with Christ as it were; it’s been put to death by Jesus’ dying. Then you come back out of the waters of death and you’re actually anticipating what’s going to happen at the end of your of the life. When you are raised up, you begin to live that resurrection life.
Not only do we have the promise of eternal life with Jesus in our future, but we receive the Holy Spirit in us; a guarantee that this brand-new, victorious resurrection life starts right now!
In the same way that the first disciples changed from a group of timid, scattered squabblers hiding in the upper room to a united force of confident, courageous people that turned the world upside-down, we can live boldly in the name of Jesus. That’s the power of the resurrection.
Dr. Ian Paul is a theologian, author, speaker, and academic consultant. He serves as adjunct professor at Fuller Theological Seminary and associate minister at St Nic’s in Nottingham (UK). For more of Ian’s writing on the Resurrection, visit his website.