This article is part 1 of a 5 part series on the resurrection.
The resurrection is the crowning achievement of all the miracles that Christ ever performed. The fact that Christ did conquer death is salient to all other miraculous acts as it is the basic underlying event for which every other supernatural deed rest upon, or stated in another way, without Christ bodily return from the grave, the Christian faith crumbles in spite of all that He ever did. We are reminded of this fact in 1Co.15:14 “And if Christ has not been raised, our preaching is useless and so is your faith.” In fact, one could say that this event is the patriot missile in God`s arsenal to wipe out any doubts about the identify of His Son. Christ claimed deity and many miracles were performed to support it “Jesus did many other miraculous sings in the presence of his disciples……but these are written that you may believe that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of God, and that by believing you may have life in His name.” (John 20:31). The seal of His deity was the fact that He rose from the dead. Yet, as insurmountable as the evidence may be was it convincing?
To segue our search into the impact of His resurrection the reader must become a bit of a historian. We must consider history from a redemptive context and inasmuch as it may seem somewhat dubious the following remarks about the future of the church is not without warrant. First, it is hard not to believe that there never was a more precipitous time in history then just after the crucifixion when Christianity seemed doomed to fail. Second, even so the very opposite may be noted that the basis for the believer’s faith was no more stable than it was during that exact same period. That may seem contradictory to assert both these things together but it depends on perspective. If the first century apostles were able to speak to us today they would admit that little seemed to make much sense to them in the dawning aftermath of the crucifixion. Their master had died and slavish fear led them to flee. (John 20:19). Sadly, three years of being with their Master still none of them had really understood His mission, and it was not until Christ had risen from the dead and showed Himself to them, did they accept the significance of His death and resurrection.
Quoting from Zechariah Jesus predicted how He would be left abandoned days before his crucifixion “I will strike the shepherd and the sheep of the flock will be scattered.” (13:7). In fulfilment we learn from Matthew’s gospel “Then all the disciples deserted and fled.” (26:56). There is little optimism to be found, the optics appeared bad for the establishment of any future church, everything about a new believing community being raised up and kingdom growth all appeared on the brink of collapse, or so it seemed. Yet, a few verses later we read about a divinely appointed people “They are my people” and they will say “The LORD is our God.” (13:9) which assures us that God would reign in the hearts of His people. Growing His kingdom and laying the groundwork for the church would involve this little troop of N.T. Believers who would eventually be the arms, hands, legs and voices of Christ to the lost. (Part 2 in two weeks)