That if thou shalt confess with thy mouth the Lord Jesus, and shalt believe in thine heart that God hath raised him from the dead, thou shalt be saved. (Romans 10:9 KJV)
A common question that people ask is, “Do you believe in Jesus?” and that’s a good question, but I find it interesting that in the above passage of Scripture, the Apostle Paul is more specific in WHAT we should believe about Christ. He says that we must “believe in our heart that God the Father raised Christ from the dead.” Why is this is an essential truth to believe in order to be saved from eternal separation from God?
Did you know that out of all the false religions of this world, none of them make such bold claims as the Bible does. Other world religions are invariably based on the teachings, rather than the acts, of their founders (actions speak louder than words!).
Putting the miracles and fulfilled prophecies aside, none of the religions of this world claim to have the object (founder/person) of their worship actually raise themselves from the dead to prove their power and authority over death and the grave. This one true fact remains one of the corner stones of the Christian faith.
Therefore doth my Father love me, because I lay down my life, that I might take it again. No man taketh it from me, but I lay it down of myself. I have power to lay it down, and I have power to take it again. This commandment have I received of my Father. (John 10:18 KJV)
Wait just a second. I thought the Romans crucified Jesus?! They did, but only because Jesus allowed them to do it in order to fulfill the prophecies (Old Testament Scriptures) concerning His death. As a matter of fact, when the Romans came to seize Jesus with Judas’ betrayal, Peter lost his cool and sliced off one of the soldier’s ears! Jesus promptly addressed the issue, healed the soldier’s ear by putting it back on, and told Peter these words:
Then Jesus said to him, “Put your sword back into its place. For all who take the sword will perish by the sword. Do you think that I cannot appeal to my Father, and he will at once send me more than twelve legions of angels? But how then should the Scriptures be fulfilled, that it must be so?“ (Matthew 26:54 ESV)
Jesus could have called for help from His Father at any moment, but He didn’t, thank God! My point is that He was in perfect control and knew exactly what He was doing—He let them take Him. He knew He had to die a horribly painful death, but He also knew that He would take up His life again by raising Himself from the dead.
When we allow Scripture to explain the truth of the resurrection, the importance of Christ’s resurrection from the dead seems to be simple common sense and almost hilariously obvious. Which is pretty funny because the Bible actually says in 1 Corinthians 2:8 that had the rulers of this age known what they were doing, they never would have crucified Him. Hahahaha! Satan is so stupid.
Because of His Resurrection, He is Alive Today!
Jesus is in Heaven today, but not because He experienced physical death like the rest of us will. He ascended into Heaven right in front of His disciples who witnessed and testified to this fact of history (His-story):
He said to them, “It is not for you to know times or seasons that the Father has fixed by his own authority. But you will receive power when the Holy Spirit has come upon you, and you will be my witnesses in Jerusalem and in all Judea and Samaria, and to the end of the earth.” And when he had said these things, as they were looking on, he was lifted up, and a cloud took him out of their sight. And while they were gazing into heaven as he went, behold, two men stood by them in white robes, and said, “Men of Galilee, why do you stand looking into heaven? This Jesus, who was taken up from you into heaven, will come in the same way as you saw him go into heaven.“ (Acts 1:7-11 ESV)
Buddha is dead. Muhammad is dead. They didn’t come back to life. The founders of all world religions are dead and their tombs venerated. The tomb of Christ is empty, and His bodily resurrection from the grave is the best proved fact of all history. If you want to pray to a dead man, be my guest. I’d rather put my trust in someone that will listen to me and respond.
Having a relationship with a dead guy is like trying to have a relationship with a piece of furniture. An in-animate object will never respond to you, which makes a relationship impossible. It’s painfully obvious, I know—but that just shows you how the devil blinds the eyes of those that don’t believe in Christ. If the devil can get you to think and believe on things that are not true, then he has you in his clutches of deception and he will take you as far as he can down that road and work hard to keep you on it. The devil knows that the truth of God’s Word sets men free from His influence (John 8:32-34).
The Resurrection Proves He is All-Powerful
In His resurrection, Christ proved that death, hell and Satan have no power over Him. The fact that He alone could overcome death demonstrates that He alone has ALL power in heaven and earth. Here are a handful of Scriptures that illustrate this fact:
We know that Christ, being raised from the dead, will never die again; death no longer has dominion over him. (Romans 6:9 ESV)
And Jesus came and spake unto them, saying, All power is given unto me in heaven and in earth. (Matthew 28:18 KJV)
…this Jesus, delivered up according to the definite plan and foreknowledge of God, you crucified and killed by the hands of lawless men. God raised him up, loosing the pangs of death, because it was not possible for him to be held by it [death]. (Acts 2:23-24 ESV)
…and what is the immeasurable greatness of his power toward us who believe, according to the working of his great might that he worked in Christ when he raised him from the dead and seated him at his right hand in the heavenly places, FAR above all rule and authority and power and dominion, and above every name that is named, not only in this age but also in the one to come. (Ephesians 1:19-21 ESV)
The Resurrection Frees Us from Sin
The power of sin, which brings death as payment, does not have power over us while we are on earth as a result of putting our trust in Christ for salvation. So, not only are we free from the penalty of sin, but the enslavement of sin is gone! We don’t have to live in and commit sin any longer. Here are a few Scriptures to illustrate:
For sin shall not have dominion over you: for ye are not under the law, but under grace. (Romans 6:14 KJV)
…giving thanks to the Father who has qualified us to be partakers of the inheritance of the saints in the light. He has delivered us from the power of darkness and conveyed us into the kingdom of the Son of His love, (Colossians 1:12-13 NKJV)
For the death he died he died to sin, once for all, but the life he lives he lives to God. So you also must consider yourselves dead to sin and alive to God in Christ Jesus. (Romans 6:10-11 ESV)
But now that you have been set free from sin and have become slaves of God, the fruit you get leads to sanctification and its end, eternal life. (Romans 6:22 ESV)
Whoever makes a practice of sinning is of the devil, for the devil has been sinning from the beginning. The reason the Son of God appeared was to destroy the works of the devil. (1 John 3:8 ESV)
…who Himself bore our sins in His own body on the tree, that we, having died to sins, might live for righteousness— by whose stripes you were healed. (1 Peter 2:24 NKJV)
But thanks be to God, that you who were once slaves of sin have become obedient from the heart to the standard of teaching to which you were committed, (Romans 6:17 ESV)
You were once dead because of your failures and your uncircumcised corrupt nature. But God made you alive with Christ when he forgave all our failures. He did this by erasing the charges that were brought against us by the written laws God had established. He took the charges away by nailing them to the cross. (Colossians 2:13-14 GWT)
We Will Also Be Raised Up After Death
Since Christ conquered death once and for all, we have assurance that after experiencing physical death and we leave our body, that God will also raise us up and rescue us from the power of death and Satan so we can spend eternity in heaven with Him. This is His plan!
Therefore we were buried with Him through baptism into death, that just as Christ was raised from the dead by the glory of the Father, even so we also should walk in newness of life. For if we have been united together in the likeness of His death, certainly we also shall be in the likeness of His resurrection… (Romans 6:4-5 NKJV)
This Is Why
The resurrection is why Jesus is the only way to an eternity in Heaven with God the Father. It’s not because Jesus is a stuck up, prideful, selfish guy that wants to be the only way to eternal life with God the Father. It is because no one else in the history of this universe has proven to have all power over death by raising himself from the dead!
And there is salvation in no one else, for there is no other name under heaven given among men by which we must be saved. (Acts 4:12 ESV)
Jesus said to him, “I am the way, and the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me.“ (John 14:6 ESV)
Jesus said to her, “I am the resurrection and the life. Whoever believes in me, though he die, yet shall he live, and everyone who lives and believes in me shall never die. Do you believe this?“ (John 11:25-26 ESV)