“That I may know Christ, and the power of His resurrection…” Philippians 3:10
Without the resurrection, we might as well place Christ alongside every other religious leader of the world from the beginning of time to the present.
In Acts 2:19, Jesus told the Jews, “Destroy this temple, and in three days I will raise it up.” The Jews thought that he was referring to the literal temple, but Jesus was referring to himself.
There have been many that became martyrs for their beliefs, but Christ is the only one who not only died and was buried, but was raised from death, with over 500 people that testified as to seeing him after his death. Why would so many people testify as to seeing and conversing with Christ after death, knowing how hated he and any of his followers were, not to mention the threat of being executed themselves? Because it was true! By the witness of his resurrection, they knew that they too had the promise of one day being resurrected; known as the Rapture.
Jesus said in John 10:17-18, “…I lay down my life, that I might take it again. No man takes it from me, but I lay it down of myself. I have power to lay it down, and I have power to take it again.” You see, man cannot choose to die. Many of you may disagree with that statement, by asking, “What about those who commit suicide? What about those Kamikaze pilots that dived their planes into American battleships? What about all of those terrorist suicide bombers that strap explosives to themselves and detonate it in public places? Didn’t they choose to die?” No, not at all! Man can decide the time of his death and the manner of his death, but no man can choose whether or not he is going to die. The Bible tells us, “It is appointed unto man once to die, then after that, the judgment.” Christ did not have to die, but because of his love for fallen man, he chose to die.
Notice something else the Apostle Paul said in Colossians 1:18 concerning Christ’s resurrection, “…that he is the firstborn from the dead…” Again, some may ask, “What about Lazarus? What about Jarius’ daughter? What about the widow’s son? Weren’t they all raised from the dead before Christ ever died?” Well, no not really, you see; they were merely resuscitated. Yes, they were all brought back to life, but they immediately began dying again. Somewhere in this world lies the bones of Lazarus, Jarius’ daughter, and the widow’s son; but you will not find the bones of Jesus. Christ said about himself, “I am he that liveth, and was dead, and behold, I am alive for evermore…”
Now that is resurrection power, and that same resurrection power that raised Jesus will one day also quicken the mortal bodies of those that know him as Savior. “He is risen!”