Learn what Jesus’ resurrection means for believers in this guest post by Katrina Hamel and read an excerpt from her new novel, Dividing Sword.
What does Jesus’ resurrection mean for us?
Resurrection has just become so blasé. We see it everywhere in our entertainment, from Gandalf, to Harry Potter, to Superman. Death is used as a literary tool to bring the audience to the edge of their seats, for what is more gripping than cartwheeling down the tightrope between life and death?
Resurrection is not even a one time thing in the Bible. We see Elijah raise the widow’s son, and his protege Elisha did the same thing to another young boy. A man rose to life after simply touching Elisha’s bones! Jesus raised a boy to life, and a little girl, and then Lazarus. There is mention of several nameless resurrections after Jesus rose from the dead. Peter raised Tabitha from the dead, Paul raised Eutychus.
Of course, there is one resurrection that is the most famous of all.
The women burst out of the tomb into the bright dawn. When they emerged, the angelic being was gone from the large stone. The women fled from the tomb together, Mary Magdalene and Beth still clutching hands. As her feet flew, Beth’s heart pounded with exultant fear at what she had witnessed.
They were half-way down the mount when they came upon a figure on the road. They slowed to a walk. The man was dressed in a simple robe, with sandal-clad feet. At first Beth thought it must be the gardener, but then he turned and smiled at them, and they all stumbled to a stop. Beth felt the air sucked from her lungs.
“Good morning,” Jesus smiled at them. “Peace be on you!”
“Oh!” Mary Magdalene gave a choked gasp, and ran ahead of the women and fell at his feet. “Rabbi!”
Beth’s feet moved forward as if of their own will. She could scarcely believe what she saw with her own eyes. As she drew nearer she looked at the hands that hung by his side, and cringed when she saw the holes where the spikes had been driven. Yet, despite the scars, the man was not standing like one recovering from crippling scourging and crucifixion.
Her eyes drew up to his face, and she saw his happy expression. She looked in his eyes, and joy poured into her.
“Rabbi!” she cried out as she fell on the ground at his feet and worshiped him again, the way she had so long ago, in the boat on the Sea of Galilee. The other women came and knelt before him as well, all of them watering the soil with happy tears.
Jesus spoke to them, “Don’t be afraid. Go and take word to my brethren to leave for Galilee, and there they will see me.”
The women rose to their knees.
“I don’t want to leave you,” Mary Magdalene cried, reaching out and clutching at the hem of Jesus’ robe.
Jesus laughed, “There is no need to cling to me. Go, tell the others.”
Beth rose to her feet, and the other women followed suit. They went a few steps down the path, and when they looked back, Jesus was gone.
Beth blew out her breath. “Did that just happen?”
“It did!” Mary Magdalene looked at her with wide, shining eyes. “Jesus is risen! He is alive!”
Taken from my novel, Dividing Sword
What Made Jesus’ Resurrection Special?
So what’s all the big hoopla over Jesus death that warrants him a holiday and not someone like Lazarus? What made Jesus’ resurrection special?
Jesus’ death on the cross did not look unique to the people, though it was barbaric and torturous. Only the lowest of the low, like slaves or enemies of the state, were crucified. Yet, it was on the cross where things changed, for without obedience to the cross, there would have been no resurrection. As Jesus hung on the cross, innocent of all sin, obedient to the Father in ways we could never be, looking to all the world like he had lost, he was casting the winning blow against sin and death.
As a result of Christ’s victory the grave could not hold him, and death was reversed. Jesus joined the scant list of resurrected people. However, there is one thing about Jesus’ return to life that is entirely different than any other resurrection in the Bible. It is permanent! In Revelations 1:17-18 we read,
“…He placed his right hand on me, saying, “Do not be afraid; I am the first and the last, and the living One; and I was dead, and behold, I am alive forevermore, and I have the keys of death and of Hades.”
Every other person who came back to life in the Bible eventually returned to the grave. Jesus was born a human, just like us, and died, just like we will, but he came back to life in first century AD and is alive still! As Christians we believe that Jesus not only rose from the dead, but that he ascended alive into heaven and stands at the right hand of God as the Anointed One.Learn what Jesus’ resurrection means for believers in this guest post by Katrina Hamel and read an excerpt from her new novel, Dividing Sword.
Do You Doubt Resurrection from the Dead?
There is a profound hope for us in Jesus’ resurrection. In the book of 1 Corinthians chapter 15 Paul is addressing a group of people who are beginning to doubt resurrection from the dead. Paul encourages them to hold fast to the message he preached to them as he says,
“For I delivered to you, as of first importance what I also received, that Christ died for our sins according to the Scriptures, and that he was buried, and that he was raised on the third day… if Christ has not been raised, your faith is worthless; you are still in your sins…If we have hoped in Christ in this life only, we are of all men most to be pitied. But now Christ has been raised from the dead, the first fruits of those who are asleep…For as in Adam all die, so also in Christ all will be made alive. But each in his own order: Christ the first fruits, after that those who are Christ’s at His coming, then comes the end, when he hands over the kingdom to the God and Father…The last enemy that will be abolished is death.
Here Paul calls Jesus the “first fruits”. The first grains harvested were often called first fruits. So Paul is saying that Jesus is the beginning of a harvest! Paul continues this analogy of farming in 1 Corinthians 15.
“But someone will say, “How are the dead raised? And with what kind of body do they come?
“…That which you sow does not come to life unless it dies;…you do not sow the body which is to be, but a bare grain, perhaps of wheat…but God gives it a body just as He wished, and to each of the seeds a body of its own…So also is the resurrection of the dead. It is sown a perishable body, it is raised an imperishable body…we will not all sleep, but we will be changed, in a moment, in the twinkling of an eye…for the trumpet will sound, and the dead will be raised imperishable, and we will be changed…O death, where is your victory, O death, where is your sting?”
Do you see the picture Paul is painting? If you plant a single grain of wheat, what sprouts? Not a little seed, but a stalk with leaves and a whole head of grain! My brothers and sisters in Christ, what a joy we have as we celebrate Easter, for we not only remember the selfless sacrifice of Jesus for our sins and his glorious resurrection to the right hand of God; we anticipate the day when all who believe in Jesus are raised up from death into new life, life everlasting!
Do you believe in Jesus’ resurrection?
*verses used are from NASB
Katrina writes from her kitchen table, surrounded by her husband, four kids and two cats. When Katrina isn’t writing, she’s surviving Canadian winters with copious amounts of coffee and board games.
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