What Does the Resurrection Mean?

ResurrectionWe’ve just celebrated the most important event in Christianity – the resurrection of Jesus Christ. Christmas might be a greater commercial success, but Easter trumps Christmas in terms of importance. Only two of the Gospels, Matthew and Luke, record the birth of Jesus but in all four Gospels the resurrection is the climax of the story.

Oddly enough, many Christians would be hard-pressed to explain what the resurrection means. The truth is we Christians talk a lot more about Jesus’ death on the cross than we do about his resurrection. If we listen carefully to our own rhetoric we often imply that the cross is where Jesus does all the work that’s necessary. That’s where Jesus died for our sins, right? Who needs the resurrection? At best we might say that Jesus’ resurrection from the dead assures us of our own resurrection from the dead, and I would agree with that, but if that’s all there is then it really doesn’t make much difference to our lives right here and right now, does it?

But I think it does. I think Jesus’ resurrection matters a great deal. Here are just a few things I think the resurrection proclaims:

  • Death doesn’t get the last word. Death is merely the end of the prelude. The story of life is just beginning.
  • Our failures don’t define us. God’s love and forgiveness define us.
  • Jesus is loose in the world. If the tomb couldn’t hold him you just never know where he’ll show up.
  • God isn’t done with us yet. The resurrection is a glimpse of our future. We, too, will share in Christ’s glory and resurrection. Resurrection sets the trajectory of our lives. Christ is making all things new.

What would you add to that list? What does the resurrection mean to you? Leave a comment and add your brushstroke to the picture.

He is risen!

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  • Ken Walter

    I contemplate and imagine, what if Jesus was still in the grave and there was no resurrection. Perhaps then no new testament, No disciples clear on the full message and no spread of Christianity. Also a world likely much different than we now have.
    One way I look at the resurrection’s meaning is that no matter how bad I’m treated or feel about myself, opening the door to Jesus Christ will raise me up, love prevails.