It’s Resurrection Day

Posted on April 24, 2011 at 10:29 pm,

In English, today is called Easter Sunday, a phrase which somewhat obscures its real meaning. In most other European languages, the name for this festival is a variant of the word Passover – showing the festival’s roots in the Jewish festival. On Friday, I explained how the picture of the Passover Lamb explains something of what Christians celebrate the festival. Today, I want to explore a few implications of Jesus’ resurrection, which is the event that we celebrate today.

In the book of Revelation, the picture of Jesus being a lamb is used several times, but in a very different context to that of the passover sacrifice. Whilst the description of “the lamb that was slain” conveys all the imagery of the passover lamb killed in our place, there is something much greater being described:

“Then I looked, and I heard around the throne and the living creatures and the elders the voice of many angels, numbering myriads of myriads and thousands of thousands, saying with a loud voice, “Worthy is the Lamb who was slain, to receive power and wealth and wisdom and might and honour and glory and blessing!” And I heard every creature in heaven and on earth and under the earth and in the sea, and all that is in them, saying, “To him who sits on the throne and to the Lamb be blessing and honour and glory and might forever and ever!” And the four living creatures said, “Amen!” and the elders fell down and worshipped.” (Revelation 5:9-14, ESV)

This is not just a sacrificial victim, but a being so awesome that He is worthy of unending worship from the whole of creation, and who has every right to be the ultimate ruler of the universe. You see, the resurrection proves something more to than just somebody dying in our place . It proves that Jesus has defeated the ultimate enemy – death. Unlike people who are revived from death, only to die again later, Jesus has definitively conquered death for all time.

And Jesus didn’t just conquer death for himself, he conquered it for the rest of us as well. In 1 Corinthians, Paul writes this:

“But in fact Christ has been raised from the dead, the firstfruits of those who have fallen asleep. For as by a man came death, by a man has come also the resurrection of the dead. For as in Adam all die, so also in Christ shall all be made alive.” (1 Corinthians 15: 20-22, ESV)

Jesus’ resurrection means that, one day, Christians will be raised to the same kind of eternal life. Our destiny isn’t to float around on in a disembodied state, it is to have new, perfect, physical bodies, Whilst the Bible gives fairly few details of our ultimate destination (on a new Earth, rather than in a spiritual heaven), it seems clear that it will be more similar to all the genuinely good bits of our current existence than it is dissimilar.

So Jesus’ resurrection demonstrates that He is both the ultimate victor and the person who is worthy to sit on the throne of the universe. And it paves the way for a fantastic everlasting life for those who believe in Him. Whilst the secular world treats today as merely an excuse to eat chocolate, Christians have a very real reason to celebrate. There’s no better excuse for a party than the fact that JESUS IS ALIVE!!!!

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