The resurrection is a demonstration of Christ's power that also confirms His deity. He was not simply some good teacher who was blessed by God. He was God Himself who came in human form to save mankind. Peter's sermon in Acts 2 uses the resurrection to point to Jesus as being “both Lord and Christ” (v. 36).
Since Christ has risen and is alive, “His divine mission is alive,” 1 and indeed He is an active agent in that mission. An argument can be made that “without Jesus and His work, one cannot make sense of the church's existence and activity.” 2 While addressing Paul's discussion of the resurrection in 1 Corinthians, one commentary puts it this way, “Faith in a dead savior is both preposterous and pathetic.” 3 The spread of the early church was not a political movement or power play. There was no benefit from a self-involved motivation among the persecution at the time, and yet the church grew and people's lives were changed. An act not attainable by a dead savior.
Best of all, while justice was met on the cross, and His death paid for our sins, that is only one half of the equation. By sharing in Christ's death we have cleared our debt, but by also sharing in His resurrection we attain renewed life. Paul points out that “if we have been united together in the likeness of His death, certainly we also shall be in the likeness of His resurrection, knowing this, that our old man was crucified with Him, that the body of sin might be done away with, that we should no longer be slaves of sin” (Romans 6:5-6).
- Darrell L. Bock, Baker Exegetical Commentary on the New Testament: Acts, ed. Robert W. Yarbrough and Robert H. Stein (Grand Rapids, MI: Baker Academic, 2007) 51.
- Darrell L. Bock, Baker Exegetical Commentary on the New Testament: Acts, ed. Robert W. Yarbrough and Robert H. Stein (Grand Rapids, MI: Baker Academic, 2007) 53.
- Jerry Falwell, Edward Hindson, and Woodrow Michael Kroll eds., Liberty Bible Commentary (Lynchburg, VA: The Old-Time Gospel Hour, 1982) 461.