Why Is the Resurrection Important?
The apostle Paul, originally a skeptic of Jesus’ resurrection, explains its importance.
“For Christ has completely abolished death, and has now, through the Gospel, opened to us men the shining possibilities of the life that is eternal.” (2 Timothy 1:9, J. B. Phillips).
Although Jesus’ death and resurrection opened the door for us to have eternal life with Christ, there is an obstacle preventing us from going to heaven. Paul explains.
“You were his enemies, separated from him by your evil thoughts and actions…” (Colossians 1:21b, NLT).
The obstacle is that our sins have separated us from a holy God. Although God loves us beyond our understanding, his perfect justice requires payment for our sins. The penalty is death.
Many wonder why an all-powerful, loving God can’t just forgive us without judging our sins. Why does he demand justice?
Imagine entering a courtroom and you are guilty of murder. As you approach the bench, you realize that the judge is your father. Knowing that he loves you, you immediately begin to plead, “Dad, just let me go!”
With tears in his eyes he responds, “I love you, son, but I’m a judge. I can’t simply let you go.”
Presenting the evidence against you, he bangs the gavel down and declares you guilty. Justice cannot be compromised, at least not by a judge. But because he loves you, he steps down from the bench, takes off the robe, and offers to pay the penalty for you. And in fact, he takes your place in the electric chair.
Jesus is not a third-party whipping boy being punished for our sins, but rather he is God himself. Instead of punishing us for our sin, God sent His Son to die for us.
Paul explains how Jesus’ death satisfies God’s perfect justice.
“…now he has brought you back as his friends. He has done this through his death on the cross in his own human body. As a result, he has brought you into the very presence of God, and you are holy and blameless as you stand before him without a single fault.” (Colossians 1:22a NLT).
But wait a minute, you say, “Don’t I have to do good deeds to go to heaven?”
Aren’t Good Deeds Enough?
Since eternal life is a gift from God, you and I can’t do anything to earn our way into heaven. Paul, in his letter to the Ephesians, explains God’s amazing grace.
“For it is by grace you have been saved, through faith—and this is not from yourselves, it is the gift of God—not by works, so that no one can boast.” —Ephesians 2:8-9, NIV
For a gift to be ours, we need to actually receive it. Like any gift, you can choose to accept or reject Jesus Christ’s pardon for the penalty for your sins.
To receive eternal life you must honestly admit you’re a sinner, place your faith (trust) in Jesus’ death for your sins on the cross, and in His resurrection for your eternal life. It is a choice that you alone must make.
The apostle John tells us that “all who receive him, to them he gives the power to become children of God.”
You can receive Jesus right now by asking him to come into your life and forgive your sins. If you haven’t ever invited Jesus into your life, simply pray the following words.
But remember, it’s not the words you say but the attitude of your heart that is important.
“Dear Lord Jesus, thank you for dying for all my sins and giving me eternal life. I receive you as my Savior by faith. I want to make you Lord of my life. Make me the kind of person you want me to be.”
If you have made this commitment, Jesus actually entered your life. He will free you from the bondage of sin so you can experience a life of meaning, purpose and peace. And his indwelling presence will be with you forever, giving you the power to live for him. There is even more…