…why is it essential that he be raised from the dead? The answer to that is multidimensional, but let’s stick with this idea for now. Christianity promises me a new existence, one we generally call “heaven” but better termed “the new heavens and new earth” (Isa. 66:17, 22; 2 Pet. 3:13). The resurrection of Jesus introduces me to that world that he intends for us. It is a sign that death is not the end. Even though we die physically, we shall be raised again physically. Christianity is more than a good feeling here and now or a set of moral principles for this world’s existence. It is a promise of eternal life in a physical world.
This is Paul’s sustained argument in 1 Corinthians 15: death has been swallowed by the victory of the resurrection of Jesus…The point being that without the resurrection of Jesus, there is no basis for assurance that sins have been paid for. The resurrection of Jesus therefore informs us in about as dramatic a way possible that the penalty of sin (death) has been paid and that as our substitute and sin-bearer Jesus has received the Father’s “Well done, good and faithful servant!” His resurrection is a sign that the price he had paid on the cross for sin was enough. He had met the full demands of justice.
When Jesus walked out of the tomb by the power of the Holy Spirit and the authority of his Father in heaven, he was signaling to us what we can expect in union with him: we too shall rise, in a new body as corporeal as his (remember, he ate fish for breakfast on the edge of the Sea of Galilee with some of the disciples and it doesn’t get more physical than that (Luke 24:43)!
The resurrection of Jesus is the dawning of the new age, a glimpse of what it is not come in the here and now. A bit like a a trailer for a big forthcoming movie that ends in bold letters – COMING SOON!
~ Derek Thomas at the Reformation 21 Blog
Tomorrow we shall celebrate the glorious Resurrection of Christ. I shall be remembering you in the Holy communion. Away with tears and fears and troubles! United in wedlock with the eternal Godhead Itself, our nature ascends into the Heaven of Heavens, so it would be impious to call ourselves “miserable.” On the contrary, man is a creature whom angels – were they capable of envy – would envy. Let us lift up our hearts!