Ready or not, Easter is upon us. A lot of people say, “I believe in the resurrection; I just don’t understand it.” George Gallup once did a poll that said 84 percent of people who never go to church believe Jesus rose from the dead. It is historical fact; it wasn’t done in secret. The whole city of Jerusalem and the whole Roman Empire knew about it. It was news. If CNN had been there, they would have had it live. There are at least 15 historical references to Jesus meeting people, touching people, and talking with people after He had been crucified. One time He even cooked breakfast for some people. One time He talked to about 500 people after He had risen from the dead. It’s a fact.
But what does His resurrection mean? It means at least three key things:
• Jesus is who He claimed to be
• Jesus has the power He claimed to have; and…
• Jesus did what He promised to do
1. The resurrection means Jesus is who He claimed to be.
In John 11:25 Jesus says, “I am the resurrection and the life. He who believes in Me will live, even though he dies.” Jesus made some pretty outrageous claims when He was here on earth. Jesus was either who He said he was, or He was the biggest liar who ever lived.
In John 14:6 Jesus says: “I am the way, the Truth, and the Life. No one can get to God the Father except by means of Me.” That’s a strong claim. He said, “I’m the way.” He didn’t say, I’m one way, I’m a good way, or I’m one of the ways. Saying “all roads get to heaven” is stupid. That’s like saying I can dial any phone number and get home. There’s only one number that will get me home. Jesus said, “I am the truth.” That means any other way is not the truth. He claimed to be God. He said, “No one can get to God the Father except by me.” He is who He claimed to be.
2. The resurrection means Jesus has the power He claimed to have.
Jesus said, “All power on earth and in heaven is given to me.” Because He is God, He can do everything God can do. In John 10:18 He says: “Nobody takes my life from me. I have the power to lay it down, and I have the power to take it up again.” No force could keep Jesus in the tomb. The Romans killed Him, put Him in a tomb, put a big stone in front, sealed it with the Roman seal, and posted a 24-hour guard. They were only trying to prevent the inevitable. Jesus said: They can’t stop me. I can give my life away, and I can take it up again.
3. The resurrection means Jesus did what He promised to do
In Mark 10:34 Jesus says: “They will mock and flog and kill Me, but after three days I will come back to life.” The cross was no surprise to Jesus. It was all part of God’s plan. He did what He promised. When God makes a promise, you can count on it. That’s what Easter means. Because Jesus did rise, He is who He said He was, He has the power He said he had, and He keeps the promises He makes. So why does resurrection matter? What difference does it make for you and me?
Again, at least 3 things…
• The resurrection matters because my past can be forgiven
• The resurrection matters because my present problems can be managed
• The resurrection matters because my future can be secure
That’s the difference Easter can make. Understanding that the resurrection happened and understanding why Christ rose from the dead is not enough—this has to be personal. You’ve got to do something about it and take some action steps. It begins by saying, “Jesus, I need Your forgiveness, I believe You are who You said You are, I want to trust You, follow You, and have a relationship with You as the Lord of my life.”
That’s how you do it. That’s how Easter can make a difference in your life