The gospel has recorded many life-changing statements Jesus Christ made during His earthly ministry — one of them is this powerful declaration, which no human in history has ever made:
“I am the resurrection and the life. He who believes in Me, though he may die, he shall live. And whoever lives and believes in Me shall never die” (John 11:25-26).
“Did Jesus Christ rise from the dead?” is one of the most important questions frequently asked throughout history. The answer to this question has significant, profound implications, not only to human life but also to all creation.
Because of one man’s disobedience, sin entered the world and consequently resulted in death (i.e., separation from the holy God). But God, in His love and wisdom, has promised salvation to all mankind and restoration of the creation through His Son, Jesus Christ (1 Corinthians 15:20-21).
For the creation was subjected to futility, not willingly, but because of Him who subjected it in hope; because the creation itself also will be delivered from the bondage of corruption into the glorious liberty of the children of God (Romans 8:20-21).
Christian faith is fundamentally based upon the resurrection of Jesus Christ. If Christ did not rise, Christianity would not have existed. Paul wrote, “But if there is no resurrection of the dead, then Christ is not risen. And if Christ is not risen, then our preaching is empty and your faith is also empty” (1 Corinthians 15:13-14).
Here we will see further why Jesus Christ’s resurrection is the ultimate hope of mankind.
Victory Over Sin and Death
Life has a lot of uncertainties, but one certainty is that we all human will die one day (unless God is willing to take us up directly to heaven at the rapture). Christ’s resurrection is the answer God provides to the problem of sin and evil, which causes suffering and death.
The Bible tells us that death is the final enemy to be destroyed and, in fact, has been defeated by the power of Christ’s resurrection (Romans 6:8-9; 1 Corinthians 15:54-57). Since Christ is risen, He is able to grant us, who believe in Him, the same victory He has already won.
God’s Power and Authority Over Life and Death
Christ’s death and resurrection were demonstrations of God’s sovereignty and authority. God the Creator has power to give and take away life.
Remarkably, Jesus Himself declares, “Therefore My Father loves Me, because I lay down My life that I may take it again. No one takes it from Me, but I lay it down of Myself. I have power to lay it down, and I have power to take it again. This command I have received from My Father” (John 10:17-18).
Who on earth is this Man that He has the authority to give and take His own life according to God’s sovereign will? Jesus Christ is the Son of God, and His resurrection ultimately signifies His deity.
True Hope for Eternal Life
Living an immortal life in eternal bliss is perhaps everyone’s dream — we all desire to live “happily ever after.” Our hearts testify that we are eternal beings (Ecclesiastes 3:11; Proverbs 4:23) and we do not simply live to perish — the question is where and with whom we will spend eternity.
In fact, unlike animals and plants, humans are more than just our bodies — we have souls and spirits so that we can communicate with the Creator and have a love relationship with Him.
God revealed to Paul that our body is the temple of the Holy Spirit (1 Corinthians 6:19) and that immortal life is possible through the work of His Spirit, who raised Christ from the dead (Romans 8:11).
Therefore, it is clear that God the Father, God the Son, and God the Spirit work together for our greater good (i.e., salvation) (Romans 8:28), which leads to everlasting life (John 3:16; Romans 6:23).
Christ’s resurrection affirms God’s promise of eternal life (i.e., to be in His presence forever) for the believers so that we can live with sure hope.
New Life with Meaning and Purpose
Jesus indicated that new (spiritual) birth is imperative for all who desire to see the kingdom of God (John 3:3). Through Christ’s resurrection, every believer can be born again to a living hope (1 Peter 1:3) and become a new creation (2 Corinthians 5:17) with the new identity as God’s children (John 1:12-13).
Because Christ is risen, our life in Him is filled with meaning and purpose — each of us can have a love relationship with the heavenly Father where we can fully rest in His unchanging love.
This life transformation is evidenced in Paul’s life, who desires to know Christ and experience the power of His resurrection (Philippians 3:10). Paul confidently said that knowing Christ is all that matters (Philippians 3:8) because he knew for sure that his Lord and Savior rose from the dead.
What Does Christ’s Resurrection Mean to Believers Today?
Since Jesus rose from the dead, we can have a sure hope for resurrection and eternal life; we can trust in God’s promise and power to restore all things; we can be eagerly waiting for the full and final redemption of all creation where we will receive a new, glorious body and spend eternity with our Savior and dearly loved ones; and while on earth we can live a meaningful life in Him and walk in love by faith in Him.
Every believer in Christ is given a purpose of making disciples of all the nations — to be “fishers of men (Mark 1:17) — and this Great Commission is possible because the risen Christ is always with us forever (Matthew 28:19-20; Mark 16:15).
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Philip Wijaya is presently a graduate research student at the University of British Columbia living in Vancouver, Canada with his wife, Sandra. His interest in science and faith in God has encouraged him to write in a blog (philipwijaya.com), with a hope of better understanding the truths in the Bible in relation to scientific views and discoveries. Besides research and study, he also enjoys sports, music, and traveling.