As I said, last Sunday was a significant day for the universal Church. Easter Sunday isn’t just another special day on the Church calendar. It’s the most notable day because it’s the celebration of the most remarkable event - the bodily resurrection of Jesus Christ! The resurrection matters for three fundamental reasons:
1. It’s the proof of Christ’s deity
In Caesarea Philippi, Peter confessed, “You are the Christ, the Son of the living God” (Matthew 16:16). As powerful as that confession was, there was a more powerful declaration yet to come. Romans 1:4 states that Jesus was, “declared to be the Son of God with power according to the Spirit of holiness, by the resurrection of the dead.” When it comes to the deity of Jesus Christ, there is no greater proof than the empty tomb.
2. It’s the plan of salvation
The Bible tells us that Jesus purchased our redemption through His death on the cross. But how do we know that His sacrificial death was an atoning death that paid for our sins? How do we really know that it wasn’t just an ordinary death? There’s only one way. We know by the bodily resurrection of Jesus Christ, "He was delivered over to death for our sins and was raised to life for our justification” (Romans 4:25 NIV). Without the resurrection, there would be no salvation (1 Cor. 15:17). God’s gift of salvation is available to all because Jesus is risen.
3. It’s the promise of eternal life
In John 11:25, Jesus stood at the grave of Lazarus and offered this word of hope to the family, “I am the resurrection and the life. He who believes in Me, though he may die, he shall live.” It’s the resurrection of Jesus Christ that gives us hope because His resurrection guarantees ours! “Because I live, you will live also” (John 14:19).
As I said, Easter Sunday is a significant day for the Church universal. It was also a significant day for our local church, River of Life Assembly of God. We praise God for 455 in attendance. The presence of the Lord was strong throughout both services. The presentation of the Easter message through music and word was especially anointed. Most of all, we rejoice with the twelve people who responded to the invitation to receive Christ as their personal Lord and Savior (6 first time salvations & 6 recommitments). I was also very moved when a young man who attends our church approached me between services, and with a big smile on his face, reminded me that it was his first Sunday to celebrate Easter as a Christian!
Easter Sunday is over for another year. But the great truths of Easter are timeless: Jesus is Lord, Jesus saves, and the bodily resurrection of Jesus Christ guarantees ours!
Pastor Todd Weston