He rose again
We say things frequently enough it becomes standard in our speech. Christ rose from the grave. We have heard this phrase multiple times, but I believe we have lost how amazing this is. Christ physically died on the cross and was laid in the tomb, then rose again from the dead, after being in the heart of the earth for three days and three nights (Matt 12:40). At the resurrection, Christ ends his humiliation and is now exalted. He is no longer the suffering servant but the victorious redeemer. He had finally crushed the serpent’s head after being stuck on the heel (Gen 3:15). The heart of Jesus stopped beating. No blood went through his veins. No air entered his lungs and no neural oscillations in his brain. He was pronounced dead on the cross (Matt 27:50, Mark 15:37, Luke 23:46, John 19:30). His lifeless body was taken down and buried.
Yet on the first day of the week, before the sun rose, the Son of God rose from the dead (Rom 1:4). His heart began to pump, his lungs began to expand, his veins began to circulate blood, and his brain started sending signals to his entire body. Christ, who was dead, is alive. Not because of any medical intervention, but he laid it down on his own accord, and he also had the power to take it up again (John 10:18). Once dead but now alive. Once a suffering servant, but now the exalted king. It is the resurrection that set Christ apart from all that had gone before him. He defeated death. He was victorious over Satan. The wages of sin as all have inherited in Adam. Death is paid in full by Christ (1 Cor 15:22). The resurrection is the proof of Christ’s payment. That the sacrifice was satisfactory for the divine judgment (Rom 8:34). Death has lost its victory and its sting (1 Cor 15:54-56).
But the good news is not only that Christ was raised from the dead, but just as our baptism shows we were buried with him, we also have been raised with him (Rom 6:4). Not only was Christ crucified for us, but he was also raised for us (Rom 4:25). That we were dead in our trespasses and sins and were raised from the dead. We were made alive together with Christ, by grace (Eph 2:1-6). Christ’s resurrection is not only his victory of sin and Satan, but it is ours as well. We have been born again to a living hope because of the resurrection of Jesus Christ. Our resurrection, like Christ’s, is imperishable, undefiled, and unfading (1 Pet 1:3-4). We rejoice that Christ rose from the dead; he crushed the serpent’s head. We rejoice that because he lives, we can live. A hymn written in 1757 by Christian F. Gellert, the hymn is called ‘Jesus Lives, and So Shall I,’ the first stanza speaks of the beauty found in Christ’s and our resurrection.
Jesus lives, and so shall I.
Death! thy sting is gone forever!
He who deigned for me to die,
lives, the bands of death to sever.
He shall raise me from the dust:
Jesus is my hope and trust.