O blessed truth! Glorious victory!
Once again, the joy of our Lord’s resurrection permeates our thoughts in this blessed Easter season. True, there was Gethsemane and the anguishing suffering of our Lord. There was the cross and the torrents of hell upon the Son of God. Yea, Christ was even buried. A dark picture, you say? O, to be sure, the picture of Calvary was dark. All seemed to be of no avail. But wait! “Now upon the first day of the week, very early in the morning, they came unto the sepulcher, bringing the spices which they had prepared, and certain others with them. And they found the stone rolled away from the sepulcher. And they entered in; and found not the body of the Lord Jesus.” Luke 24:1-3. The Lord is risen indeed!
The Lord is risen. He is the Lord of Lords and King of Kings. All power, might, and honor be ascribed unto him. He is the exalted one Who owns all things. As our resurrected Lord he has redeemed and delivered us from the power of the devil, and unites us unto himself. We are conquerors! Yea, over death itself.
But how? The Lord is risen. Death hath no power over him for he is the Lord. Negatively, Christ’s resurrection does not consist merely of a return to life, but it positively consists of a raised body. It was a very real resurrection. Christ arose with the same body, but a glorified, heavenly, and spiritual one. He no longer could dwell among his brethren as before. His body was prepared for its heavenly abode on the right hand of God the Father. What victorious assurance we have, for,
The Lord is risen indeed. There is no doubt about it. We need not, apologetically, defend this truth. Scripture is abundantly full of proof. Probably more than any other event of Christ’s life is the resurrection confirmed in Scripture. There is the testimony of the women who were going to anoint the body of our Lord. There also is the visitation of Christ to Mary; to the travelers on the road to Emmaus; to the disciples gathered in the upper room; to the assembly of five thousand; and to many others. Thus, hundreds of witnesses testify to us that Christ is risen indeed.
The many fallacious theories of our day – among which are the swoon theory, that Christ never died, but was unconscious, and upon coming into the cool tomb, regained consciousness; the hallucination theory, that the disciples and all that claim they saw Christ never really and actually did see him, but only imagined his presence; and the fraud theory, that the disciples and others lied and deceived a credulous people by telling them that Christ arose – are nothing other than the vain philosophies of men, especially of our present day modernists whose cherished slogan is “Christ the fairest flower of humanity.” The modernists need no resurrection, for Christ to them is only a model being.
Christ’s suffering and death would have been defective had not Christ risen from the dead. The outward signs of a mocked Christ, a dying Savior, and a dead body, reveal to us nothing but defeat and subjugation. Though it be by his death that we are reconciled to God, satisfaction given to God’s justice, the curse of sin removed, and the penalty of sin paid for, nevertheless, it is by Christ’s resurrection that we are begotten unto a living hope. Christ’s death abolished the curse of sin for all his elect, yet by his resurrection, are we made righteous before God.
The resurrection of Christ destroyed the power of the grave so that it no longer enshackles us. Death has been overcome and Christ is victorious. Christ went through the grave. The grave lost all its power to Christ who conquered it. Not only did he accomplish this personally for himself, but also for all his elect of the ages.
With all ecstasy did Paul extol, “So when this corruptible shall have put on incorruption and this mortal shall have put on immortality, then shall be brought to pass the saying, Death is swallowed up in victory. O death, where is thy sting? O grave, where is thy victory? The sting of death is sin and the strength of sin is the law; but thanks be to God, which giveth us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ.” I Cor. 15:54-57. Through Christ’s resurrection we are freed from death, and have a new life, being partakers with the righteousness that he has purchased for us. Regeneration, conversion, justification, and sanctification are incomplete without the resurrection. When Christ was raised from the dead, his work of redemption had been completed; sin had been paid for; and the just demands of God for retribution had been fulfilled. In I Peter 1:21 we read, “Who by him believe in God, that raised him up from the dead, and gave him glory, that your faith and hope might be in God.” Salvation is come through the power of Christ’s resurrection.
But there is more. “Like as Christ was raised up from the dead by the glory of the Father, even so we also should walk in newness of life.” Being buried with him in his death, so also are we raised unto the newness of life. Being dead, yet we live. That’s the subjective fruit of the resurrection in our hearts; living unto the glory of our Maker and giving all praise unto Him who worketh all and in all.
Christ’s resurrection is also a sure pledge of our blessed resurrection. What a comfort for us, dear reader. Though we be pilgrims and strangers in a foreign land, though the world hates and persecutes us, and tries with all its fervency to destroy us, God shall not forsake us. He shall ever uphold us by his counsel, preserve us, and use us for his divine purpose to the end that we shall be raised with him, to be with him forever. “My Savior, ‘neath thy sheltering wings my soul delights to dwell; still closer to thy side I press, for near thee all is well. My soul shall conquer every foe, upholden by thy hand; thy people shall rejoice in God, thy saints in glory stand.” What need we fear? The Lord is with us and salvation is sure. O blessed assurance, The Lord is risen indeed!