The Great Solution: The Resurrection of Jesus Christ
On Easter Sunday we celebrate the resurrection of Jesus Christ. What a great day it is for believers to rejoice together. The world doesn’t comprehend it, and that’s a pity because the resurrection solves humanity’s three greatest problems: spiritual death, physical death, and life without hope.
Life in Christ
Everyone has problems, difficulties, and hardships. But few understand their true source. The apostle Paul put it this way:
And you…were dead in trespasses and sins, in which you once walked according to the course of this world,…among whom also we all once conducted ourselves in the lusts of our flesh, fulfilling the desires of the flesh and of the mind, and were by nature children of wrath, just as the others (Eph. 2:1–3).
All of us were born with an old nature, rendering us spiritually dead—cut off from God. We may think we’re free, but we’re trapped in sin. Some people realize that fact when they come face-to-face with God’s Word and find the answers they’ve been looking for.
When we receive the gift of spiritual life, we are set free:
“God, who is rich in mercy, because of His great love with which He loved us, even when we were dead in trespasses, made us alive together with Christ” (vv. 4–5).
Jesus’ resurrection makes it possible for you and me to receive the gift of spiritual life through God’s grace, which reaches down to us and restores our relationship with Him, providing forgiveness of sin: “For by grace you have been saved through faith, and that not of yourselves; it is the gift of God, not of works, lest anyone should boast” (vv. 8–9).
Everyone can receive this gift. And I’m glad it is a gift because without it, the only way we can pay for our sins is to die for them ourselves. We must receive Christ as our Savior. He is God’s solution. Our sins were placed on Jesus. He died in our stead that we might receive the gift of eternal life through God’s grace. Jesus Himself said, “Most assuredly, I say to you, he who hears My word and believes in Him who sent Me has everlasting life, and shall not come into judgment, but has passed from death into life” (Jn. 5:24).
John Newton’s life was transformed when he discovered God’s grace. The British captain of a slave-trading ship, Newton came to understand his sinfulness and need of a Savior. After his conversion in 1748, he wrote the timeless hymn “Amazing Grace,” celebrating what God had done for him.
The second problem everyone shares is physical death. We all will die. Not a single individual on this planet will escape death unless Jesus returns first.
Spiritual death begot physical death: “Through one man [Adam] sin entered the world, and death through sin, and thus death spread to all men, because all sinned” (Rom. 5:12). The day Adam sinned in the Garden of Eden, he died spiritually (Gen. 2:17). That death ushered in physical death. In Adam, all die. Physical death, in fact, is proof of spiritual death—that we are all born alienated from God.
Correcting the problem of spiritual death does not reverse physical death. We still have funerals, mortuaries, and graveyards. So what fixes mankind’s problem of physical death? “For if by the one man’s [Adam’s] offense death reigned through the one, much more those who receive abundance of grace and of the gift of righteousness will reign in life through the One, Jesus Christ” (Rom. 5:17).
Because of Jesus’ resurrection, God can now give us the gift of resurrection life: “As in Adam all die, even so in Christ all shall be made alive” (1 Cor. 15:22). That’s the promise and hope Jesus provides: “I am the resurrection and the life. He who believes in Me, though he may die, he shall live” (Jn. 11:25).
Are you going to die? Yes. But if you have received Jesus as your Savior, you will live again in a place of blessing. The resurrection is our future because of Him.
There were people who were resurrected during Christ’s time on Earth. But they all died again. Jesus is the first one to die physically and be resurrected in a glorified resurrection body. He is the firstfruits, and believers will follow in His steps:
But now Christ is risen from the dead, and has become the firstfruits of those who have fallen asleep. For since by man came death, by Man also came the resurrection of the dead. For as in Adam all die, even so in Christ all shall be made alive. But each one in his own order: Christ the firstfruits, afterward those who are Christ’s at His coming (1 Cor. 15:20–23).
The operative phrase here is in Christ. If you have received the gift of eternal life through Jesus Christ, you have been granted spiritual life for today and resurrection life for eternity. There is no need to fear physical death. Jesus came to deliver those who live in fear of death all their lives (Heb. 2:9). If we have accepted Jesus as our final, perfect sacrifice for sin, our bodies will exit the graves, and we’ll live wondrously for eternity. It is Jesus’ resurrection that provides such life.
Life Abundant and Free
Many people lead unfulfilled lives, with no real purpose. Those who live merely to satisfy their own desires often feel empty. As King Solomon wrote, “I did not withhold my heart from any pleasure,…and indeed all was vanity and grasping for the wind” (Eccl. 2:10–11). Paul described the situation theologically:
For when we were in the flesh, the sinful passions which were aroused by the law were at work in our members to bear fruit to death. But now we have been delivered from the law, having died to what we were held by, so that we should serve in the newness of the Spirit and not in the oldness of the letter (Rom. 7:5–6).
Jesus’ resurrection solves the problem of hopelessness. People who live with no eternal purpose often ask themselves, “What’s the meaning of life?”
On the other hand, if you have Christ as your Savior, you’ve been given a new life that you can live for Him. “If anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation” (2 Cor. 5:17). “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” (Rom. 6:4).
If we are “in Christ,” we have newness of life because we have been identified with Him in His death and resurrection. God wants us to live abundantly and enjoy a life full of purpose: “I have come that [you] may have life, and that [you] may have it more abundantly” (Jn. 10:10).
Someday we’ll all stand before Jesus, and He will scrutinize our deeds. What we did through our own efforts apart from God’s directives, will be destroyed. But what we did for Him will last forever (1 Cor. 3:12, 14). Jesus’ resurrection has made it possible for us to have joy and fulfillment in the here-and-now and then to live beyond the grave.
Oh, friend, if you could only understand that the joy of living is in dying to yourself, as Jesus did. And when you die to yourself and give to others, God showers you with joy and fulfillment despite the heartaches that everyday life can often bring. But first you must acknowledge that you are a sinner and accept Him as your Savior. Then you’ll have heaven to look forward to and purpose while you’re here on Earth.
Don’t waste your life. Jesus’ resurrection makes it precious. Receive Him as your Savior, and who knows what great things God may accomplish through you.