Jesus’ resurrection is the essential core of Christianity (“Christ”-ianity!). If He had stayed dead, He would be just a normal man. It wouldn’t matter that He taught great ideas, or that He did miracles, or that His followers loved Him. Since He didn’t stay dead, He is (not “was”) more than a man.
Jesus’ resurrection confirms that His sacrifice to provide for my reconciliation with God was effective. One connotation of the last words that John records Jesus saying from the cross, “It is finished” (John 19:30), is the equivalent of our phrase “Paid in Full”. His resurrection emphasized that truth, that He has indeed covered the full cost of my rebellion.
Jesus’ resurrection extends to those who depend on Him. He invites us to share in His risen life. His followers can look forward to an eternal future with Him (John 14:3). That puts everything into a completely different perspective. No matter how good or bad my current life is, it’s not the whole story. What are 70, 80, 100 years compared to eternity? (Ephesians 2:4-7) Although I still grieve and miss my loved ones when they die, the separation is only temporary; there will be a wonderful reunion that will never end. Death is defeated! (1 Thessalonians 4:13-18, 1 Corinthians 15:51-55)
Because Jesus lives, I can too, forever. (John 11: 25-26)
Jesus’ resurrection proves that He is trustworthy. He does what He says He will do (Mark 8:31, John 2:18-22), and nothing is too difficult for Him. I can depend on Him; He will always be there for me.
Jesus’ resurrection proves that this life is not all there is, and that He has authority and power over everything, even death. I can trust Him. And, if I’m trusting Him, I have nothing to fear. I think that Bill and Gloria Gaither may have said it best in their 1971 hymn “Because He Lives“:
Because He lives, I can face tomorrow,
Because He lives, all fear is gone,
Because I know He holds the future,
And life is worth the living,
Just because He lives!