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The apostle John tells us that it was the none other than the eternal Son of the God, the creator of all that exists, the who is, was, and forever shall be (John 1:3); who was raised from the dead that Sunday morning (20:1-10).
This man, Jesus of Nazareth, who not only foretold of his own resurrection, but claimed the power to raise even himself from the dead (John 10:18); who claimed also to be the only way to the Father, freely offers eternal life for mere faith in him and in the power of his resurrection.
This man, Jesus, living over 2,000 thousand years ago, had the temerity to proclaim that he himself is the fulfilment of all that the Old Testament prophets had foretold (Luke 24:27).
Yet, all of this, and the the truth of Jesus as the only begotten Son of God, does not hinge on the events surrounding his birth, his life and ministry, the many miracles which he performed or even that he died on the cross for our sins. It all hinges on his having been declared the Son of God, by the Spirit, through the power of his resurrection (Romans 1:4).
The resurrection of Jesus changed everything. Consider the changes in the attitudes and actions of the disciples after they met the risen Lord. Where did those disciples, who had hidden themselves away in fear, following the crucifixion, get such resounding courage after the Lord had been raised? Look at how the apostle Peter describes the means by which that change was brought about. ‘Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ! In his great mercy, he has given us new birth into a living hope through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead’ (1 Peter 1:3 NIV).
Here are some reminders of what the resurrection of Jesus of Nazareth confirmed and achieved:
The Resurrection is the evidence that Jesus is who he claimed to be. Without the resurrection, Jesus would be just another great teacher, storyteller and miracle worker. Without the resurrection of Jesus, we would have no hope. But, through faith in Christ, and in the power of his resurrection, we have boldness to approach the throne of God’s Grace, where we can find mercy ‘and find grace to help us in our time of need.’ (Hebrews 4:16).
That is why proclaiming the Gospel is not an option for those who believe, it is the message of the grace of God, of hope and reconciliation, of justification and sanctification. The proclamation of the Gospel is essential, but its effectiveness relies on the fact that there is a risen Lord.
by Jim Newton
Oklahoma, USA - firstname.lastname@example.org
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