But God set him free from death and raised him to life. Death could not hold him in its power [Acts 2:24, CEV]
According to C.S. Lewis, the first fact upon which the whole Jesus Movement is based is a number of people who witness to an empty cross & empty grave – a group of frightened sceptical Christ-followers who boldly declare that they have seen Christ raised to life from the dead.
Why is the resurrection of Jesus so important? Jesus’ resurrection confirms all his claims: Jesus claimed to be God in human form, he claimed to be the Messiah predicted in OT prophecies, he claimed to have the authority to forgive sins, he claimed that he would give his life for the sins of the world, but that God would raise him back to life on the third day. These would have all been empty claims if Jesus had not actually risen from the dead as he promised. The fact that Jesus was raised to life on the third day proves that all his claims were indeed true and that we can trust what he says about everything else – about God, the world, sin & judgment, salvation and life beyond the grave.
The cross and the grave are still empty today…over 2000 years after the event. On this resurrection Sunday we celebrate the greatest day in history as we rejoice in the presence of the Living Christ who is in our midst. We can entrust our lives to his promise: I am the resurrection and the life. The one who believes in me will live, even though they die [John 11:25].
The greatest day in history, Death is beaten, You have rescued me
Sing it out, Jesus is alive
The empty cross, the empty grave, Life eternal, You have won the day
Shout it out, Jesus is alive…He’s alive!
If you don’t know the risen Christ, today is a great day to put your trust in him: If you confess with your mouth that Jesus is Lord and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved [Rom 10:9].