To cause the lamp to burn continually
Before the lamp of God went out
Ex.27:20 â€“ I Sam.3:3
Christ is the Resurrection and the Life. There is no other remedy for the lifeless spiritual state that plagues every soul of man born into this world. â€œDead in trespasses and sinsâ€? is the verdict from the throne of infinite justice against every mortal here below. The issue in Christianity is whether one is possessed of the life of the risen Son of God within oneâ€™s inner man which is evidenced by walking in newness of life. This is the spiritual significance of Jesusâ€™ resurrection for all mortals; Has Christ filled you with life out of your own darkened tomb of deadness and corruption in sin? He who called Lazarus forth from the stench of his decayed state into the light of day and land of the living is the same One who calls you today to cast off dead works and deeds of darkness and come forth into living freshness and transforming vitality.
It was a moral requisite that He not be held in the power of the grave, since He voluntarily gave up His life, being sinless and thus not subject to the penalty of death. The Holy One could not see corruption nor be abandoned to decay unto dust as do the sons of Adam.
The gospel writers all portray the death and resurrection of the Lord Jesus as the spiritual pivot of human history. Matthew emphasizes the glory, majesty, and authority of the risen Christ as triumphing over all wisdom and power of men until the end of the age. Mark presents the historical reality of repeated appearances that convince the reluctant and unbelieving.
Luke sets forth the spiritual necessity of Christâ€™s death and resurrection as foretold in the words of the Law and Prophets. Johnâ€™s record shows the transforming power of the risen Lord in the midst of His own as seen in Mary, Thomas, and Peter.
All carnal objections to the resurrection of Christ are crushed beneath the historical, logical, and moral weight of the rolled-away stone. The resurrection of the Lord Jesus demonstrates that His claims about Himself are true, and the salvation He accomplished valid. He was â€œdeclared to be the Son of God with power according to the Spirit of holiness, by the resurrection from the dead.â€? If He were a deceiver or His sacrifice was rejected by the Father, He would have rotted where He lay and never have been brought to life in glory. â€œIf Christ is not risen, your faith is futile, you are still in your sins.â€?
As it is, His revelation about Himself has been vindicated. He is Lord and equal with the Father. He is both the source of life and the final Judge of all men. The resurrection shows Christ Jesus to be the absolute Truth and possessor of all authority in heaven and earth. He was raised from the grave to ascend in exaltation to the right hand of the Majesty in the heavens. And from there because He ever lives, He has become a life-giving spirit to all who, like Mary on that first glad morn, fall at His feet trembling in humble adoration.
Haters of the Christ of God have blasphemously fabricated wicked denials of the Lord Jesusâ€™ resurrection. Jewish leaders bribed Roman soldiers to spread the lie that the Apostles stole His body. Others imagine that the disciples stupidly rushed to the wrong tomb and, encountering no corpse, proclaimed a resurrection out of their own folly and ignorance.
Let the heathen rage! The unshakable reality of Christâ€™s resurrection stands as the most well attested fact in all the annals of ancient history. Inspired prophesies of the centuries found their sure fulfillment in the barren slab and vacated shrouds discovered that Sunday morning in the sepulcher near Golgotha. No stone could prevent Him, the seal of mighty Rome could not contain Him, neither was there any guard who could resist the power of divine life from the dead when Christ came forth.
An empty tomb stands as an irrefutable witness to all the earth that Jesus is the Son of God. But it was not that doubting disciples met an empty tomb that convinced them, it was that they met a living Lord. That was the transforming reality that gripped their souls and made them into disciples indeed. Christianity itself underwent a resurrection of sorts because the Lord Jesus was raised. As Christ was raised in a transfigured body, so also were His followers.
Apostles who fled identification with Christ and who hid in fear and gloom were raised up unto power and fearless proclamation. They, who were clothed with the carnal dress of worldly desires and hopes, cast those garments of death aside leaving them in the darkness of the tomb.
No more were they disputing who was the greatest among them. Gone was self-confidence in their own commitment and carnal methods. Forgotten was their desire for honor in the coming kingdom. Instead, spiritual concerns for the glory of Christ and testifying to the souls of men consumed them though faced with persecution and death.
And thus, it was not their verbal testimony alone that provided the undeniable proof that Jesus was raised from the dead. It was that they themselves were also transformed and possessed that very life which can only be explained as coming from the living Christ.
It requires the resurrection power of the Most High to raise a man out of spiritual death and decay. Imagine the madness of propping a corpse upon a bench in your Easter Sunday service, thinking that he will become revitalized by sanctimonious ceremonies and religious noise.
Religion is no substitute for the life of Christ. Church attendance will not raise you from the dead. Baptizing a corpse will not impart life. Participation in an annual Easter event will not save you. You will enter the service without life and exit as a dead man.
What we need is an experiential encounter with the Lord Jesus Christ, the Resurrection and the Life. He came that we might have life, and that we might have it more abundantly. Slander, bitterness, coveting, fornication, dishonesty, drunkenness, and the likes of these only prove that we are yet in the tomb of transgression and the grave of guilt.
May this Easter find you falling down at the feet of Jesus as did Thomas in the profound realization that He is your Lord and your God. May you receive Him as the risen and transforming Lord of your life and begin afresh with His abundant life imparted to your soul from on high. And may it not be said of any one of you that you were unwilling to come to the Lord Jesus that you might have life. Jesus is the Way, the Truth, and the Life; no one comes to the Father except by Him. May you be truly raised up with resurrection power and newness of life from the death of sin at this Easter season.