Why is the Resurrection of Jesus Christ Important?

This was the title from my sermon this past Sunday for Easter.  We (Christians) celebrate Easter not because of the pastel colors (definitely not the pastel colors), the arrival of spring, the candy or bunnies.  We celebrate Easter because it is the single most important event of all history: the resurrection of Jesus Christ.

There are many who do not believe that this event is possible or all that important.  I would disagree with them.  Here are four reasons that I believe that the resurrection of Jesus Christ is important.

1.  It establishes Jesus' identity.

In 1 Corinthians 15, the apostle Paul addresses some arguments that the Corinthian believers had been facing.  Among these arguments was the issue of the resurrection from the dead.  Paul states in verse 13, "But if there is no resurrection of the dead, then Christ has not been raised."

Paul basically states that if Jesus did not return from the dead, then He was a liar and possibly the greatest con artist of all time.  Jesus had done many wonderful things - teachings and miracles, but He had also claimed that He would die and return from the dead (Mark 8:31).  If He did not come back from the dead, then nothing of what He said or did is worth listening to.

But He did come back from the dead!  Because He came back to life, everything that He stated about Himself is trustworthy.  Possibly one of the greatest things He claimed about Himself is that He was the only way to find forgiveness for sins and eternal life (John 14:6).

2.  It establishes our identity as Christians.

Continuing with the work of Paul in 1 Corinthians, he states that if Jesus did not return from the dead, then we as His followers are either liars or naive.  Paul says in 1 Corinthians 15:15 that we are false witnesses if Jesus did not come back from the dead.

A false witness is a serious offense.  In the Old Testament, if one was found to bear false witness, then whatever sentence the defendant was to receive would fall on the false witness - even death.  Even today, when a person commits perjury, they will suffer severe consequences.

Nobody wants to be labeled a liar or naive.  Because Jesus DID come back from the dead, a Christian's identity is solidified, and we have strong ground to stand on.

3.  It gives life to our faith.

Faith is only as strong and alive as the substance that you put it in.  Paul states that if Christ did not rise from the dead, then our faith is worthless and we are still in our sins.

When Jesus arose from the grave, He brought life to our faith that we have placed in Him.  Our sins have been washed away.  We have a home waiting in heaven for us.  We live a life powered by a living faith (Galatians 2:19-20).

4.  It gives us an eternal hope.

Just like many of us, the original recipients of 1 Corinthians had laid many of their loved ones to rest.  They were being told that there was no hope of ever seeing them again.  Because Jesus came back from the dead, Paul was able to show them (and us) that there is a hope that lasts for eternity.

"Your heart must not be troubled.  Believe in God; believe also in Me.  In My Father's house are many dwelling places; if not, I would have told you.  I am going away to prepare a place for you.  If I go away and prepare a place for you, I will come back and receive you to Myself, so that where I am you may be also. "  (John 14:1-3)

Because Jesus did come back from the dead, we who have placed our faith in Him and follow Him daily have a hope that not even death can take away from us!

The resurrection of Jesus Christ is of utmost importance.  Today, may we live in the light of this eternal hope with a living faith in our risen Savior.