Why is the resurrection of Jesus foundational to our faith?
Here we are. It is “Resurrection Sunday”. Jesus died for me and on the third day after He was buried Jesus was raised from the dead to an incorruptible body. Do I believe that? Is it the core of my faith?
Now there is some good news! It is really, really good news! It is stunning. It is amazing news!
What is it?
He is risen!
On the evening of that first day of the week, when the disciples were together, with the doors locked for fear of the Jewish leaders, Jesus came and stood among them and said, “Peace be with you!” After he said this, he showed them his hands and side. The disciples were overjoyed when they saw the Lord.
Again Jesus said,“Peace be with you! As the Father has sent me, I am sending you.” And with that he breathed on them and said, “Receive the Holy Spirit. If you forgive anyone’s sins, their sins are forgiven; if you do not forgive them, they are not forgiven.” | John 20:19-23
The Bible makes it clear that Jesus was resurrected on the first day of the week, Sunday (Matthew 28:1; Mark 16:2, 9; Luke 24:1; John 20:1,19). Jesus’ resurrection is most worthy of being celebrated (see 1 Corinthians 15).
Jesus said to them,
“This is what I told you while I was still with you: Everything must be fulfilled that is written about me in the Law of Moses, the Prophets and the Psalms.”
Then he opened their minds so they could understand the Scriptures. He told them, “This is what is written: The Messiah will suffer and rise from the dead on the third day, and repentance for the forgiveness of sins will be preached in his name to all nations, beginning at Jerusalem. You are witnesses of these things. | Luke 24:44-48
So what can I think about the resurrection of Jesus and what it means to me? We have very good news. We died with Jesus and been raised to a new life with Him. Now this is stunning! What a God we serve.
But God, being rich in mercy, because of His great love with which He loved us, even when we were dead in our transgressions, made us alive together with the Messiah (by grace you have been saved), and raised us up with Him, and seated us with Him in the heavenly places in the Messiah Jesus, so that in the ages to come He might show the surpassing riches of His grace in kindness toward us in the Messiah Jesus. | Ephesians 2:4–7 (NASB)
Are you ready for the truth? Can you handle the truth?
Jesus had lots to say, in advance of his death, about His resurrection. The disciples didn’t understand at the time.
- Matthew 16:21 (NASB) — 21 From that time Jesus began to show His disciples that He must go to Jerusalem, and suffer many things from the elders and chief priests and scribes, and be killed, and be raised up on the third day.
- Matthew 12:40 (NASB) — 40 for just as Jonah was three days and three nights in the belly of the sea monster, so will the Son of Man be three days and three nights in the heart of the earth.
- Matthew 17:9 (NASB) — 9 As they were coming down from the mountain, Jesus commanded them, saying, “Tell the vision to no one until the Son of Man has risen from the dead.”
- Matthew 17:22–23 (NASB) — 22 And while they were gathering together in Galilee, Jesus said to them, “The Son of Man is going to be delivered into the hands of men; 23 and they will kill Him, and He will be raised on the third day.” And they were deeply grieved.
- Matthew 20:18–19 (NASB) — 18 “Behold, we are going up to Jerusalem; and the Son of Man will be delivered to the chief priests and scribes, and they will condemn Him to death, 19 and will hand Him over to the Gentiles to mock and scourge and crucify Him, and on the third day He will be raised up.”
- Matthew 26:32 (NASB) — 32 “But after I have been raised, I will go ahead of you to Galilee.”
- John 2:19–22 (NASB) — 19 Jesus answered them, “Destroy this temple, and in three days I will raise it up.” 20 The Jews then said, “It took forty-six years to build this temple, and will You raise it up in three days?” 21 But He was speaking of the temple of His body. 22 So when He was raised from the dead, His disciples remembered that He said this; and they believed the Scripture and the word which Jesus had spoken.
- John 16:16 (NASB) — 16 “A little while, and you will no longer see Me; and again a little while, and you will see Me.”
The resurrection of Jesus is the foundation of our salvation. Now this is some good news!
- Romans 4:25 (NASB) — 25 He who was delivered over because of our transgressions, and was raised because of our justification.
- John 11:25–26 (NASB) — 25 Jesus said to her, “I am the resurrection and the life; he who believes in Me will live even if he dies, 26 and everyone who lives and believes in Me will never die. Do you believe this?”
- Romans 10:9 (NASB) — 9 that if you confess with your mouth Jesus as Lord, and believe in your heart that God raised Him from the dead, you will be saved.
- 1 Peter 1:21 (NASB) — 21 who through Him are believers in God, who raised Him from the dead and gave Him glory, so that your faith and hope are in God.
- 1 Peter 3:21 (NASB) — 21 Corresponding to that, baptism now saves you—not the removal of dirt from the flesh, but an appeal to God for a good conscience—through the resurrection of Jesus the Messiah.
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The lessons taught at CTCI are not designed to be learned just in the classroom. They are not simply taught in a week or a month program. Rather, they come through the furnace of daily living and are hammered into useful form on the anvil of unrelenting daily life and common struggles. The hammer must fall repetitively over and over before the shape takes form. This type of experiential learning is formative.
Learning is driven by an insatiable curiosity in God’s ways. The value of hard work and the merits of creative problem-solving are by-products of “fleshing out” Biblical principles and watching them come to life through God’s creative power. Families are transformed and young people are reformed.
When given the right conditions of sunlight and good soil, an acorn grows into a mighty oak. When the same acorn is crowded out by larger trees and the elements for health are lacking, the tree grows crooked and deformed.
When a family arrives tattered and worn, we provide the sunshine and nourishment of God’s word in daily life experiences – and the transformation is nothing short of remarkable.
When a young person arrives soiled in the mud and mire of worldly ways, we provide the nutrients which build character and integrity for future leaders – and the reformation is nothing short of miraculous.
This is what we do: Transformation and Reformation. Learn more here.