There are a number of key events that have literally changed the course of history. From a biblical viewpoint, we have the Flood of Noah which destroyed all life on earth except Noah and his family and the animals on board the ark (Gen. 6-8). Then we have the Tower of Babel where God confused languages and scattered people across the globe (Gen. 10,11). Another key event was God’s choosing of Abraham to become the father of the nation of Israel through which would come the Scriptures and the Messiah (Gen. 12). Then, after about four millennia of earth’s history, we have the event that even changed our calendars from B.C. (Before Christ) to A.D. (The year of our Lord), for “When the fullness of time came God sent forth His Son, born of a woman, born under the Law, in order that He might redeem those who are under the Law, that we might receive the adoption as sons” (Gal. 4:4,5). “The (eternal) Word (God the Son), became flesh and dwelt among us…” (Jn. 1:14).
He came to explain (reveal) God to us (Jn. 1:18), to live a perfect life so He could die and pay the penalty for all our sins. “God (the Father) made Him (Jesus Christ) who knew no sin to be sin on our behalf, that we might become the righteousness of God in Him” (II Cor. 5:21). “He Himself bore our sins in His body on the cross, that we might die to sin and live to righteousness, for by His wounds you were healed” (restored) (I Pet. 2:24). Jesus did what He had promised and predicted. As the Good Shepherd, He laid down His life for the sheep (Jn. 10:11). Jesus told His disciples, “Greater love has no one than this, that one lay down his life for his friends” (Jn. 15:13).
But, was Jesus just another “martyr for a cause”? What made his sacrificial death different from many others who had died as a result of standing up for what they believe and promote? Well, consider this, during the first century, the Romans crucified some 20,000 individuals, but only one came back to life—Jesus Christ. His Resurrection makes all the difference. It changes everything! There have been many religious leaders in world history and today many still follow the tenets they taught—men like Confucius, Buddha, Mohammed, Charles Taze Russel, Joseph Smith, et. al, but all died and remained that way. Only one rose from the grave—Jesus Christ. The Resurrection makes all the difference. It changes everything.
It tells us that Jesus was exactly who He claimed to be—God the Son, God in human flesh—fully God and fully man—and that the Father who poured out His wrath on our sin while Jesus hung on the cross was fully propitiated (satisfied...Ro. 3:25). Our sins were paid for in full. The resurrection confirmed that Jesus’ mission to earth “to seek and to save that which was lost” (Lk. 19:10) had been fully accomplished. “He (Jesus Christ) was delivered up because of our transgressions, and was raised because of (on the basis of) our justification” (Ro. 4:25).
As the chorus of the Don Francisco song, He’s Alive, goes, “He’s alive and I’m forgiven, Heaven’s gates are open wide.” The Apostle Paul tells us that “If Christ had not been raised, your faith is worthless and you are still in your sins. Then those also who have fallen asleep in Christ have perished. 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 firstborn of those who are asleep” (I Cor. 15:17-20). We “were dead in trespasses and sins…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 Christ (by grace you have been save) and raised us up with Him, and seated us with Him in the heavenly places in Christ” (Eph. 2:1,4-6).
Through faith in Christ as our Savior, we become identified with Him in His death, burial and resurrection and positionally we are even seated in Heaven in Christ. That changes everything for us. We have assurance of eternal life and a new purpose for living. Paul writes: “If then you have been raised up with Christ, keep seeking the things above, where Christ is, seated at the right hand of God. Set your mind on the things above, not on the things that are on earth. For you have died and your life is hidden with Christ in God” (Col. 3:1,2). “…as Christ was raised from the dead through the glory of the Father, so we too might walk in newness of life” (Ro. 6:4).
During the trial and suffering that Jesus endured, his disciples—except for John—returned to the upper room to hide out, thinking they too might be killed for associating with Jesus. They were, of course ecstatic to find out He had been raised from the dead, but were still in confusion and helpless, but Jesus said to them, “Behold, I am sending forth the promise of My Father upon you; but you are to stay in the city until you are clothed with power from on high” (Lk. 24:49). “But you shall receive power when the Holy Spirit has come upon you and you shall be My witnesses both in Jerusalem, and in all Judea and Samaria, and even to the remotest part of the earth” (Acts 1: 8).
Ten days after Jesus ascended back to heaven (fifty days from His resurrection), the Holy Spirit came upon the disciples and empowered them, and every believer since that time. The resurrection and the coming of the Spirit changed everything. The disciples who had been cowering in fear went out to boldly proclaim the Gospel, the good news of Jesus death, burial and resurrection. On the day of Pentecost when the Holy Spirit came, Peter, who was unwilling to acknowledge (during the trial) that he even knew Jesus, stood and preached a powerful, convicting message and some 3,000 Jews repented and received Christ as their Messiah-Savior (Acts 2:14-41). All the apostles (except John) ended up being martyred for their faith. The resurrection and coming of the Holy Spirit changed everything!
Have you met the resurrected Christ? Have you accepted His death on your behalf? Have you asked Him into your life to be your personal Savior and Lord? When you do, it changes everything. “Therefore if any man is in Christ, he is a new creation; the old things passed away; behold new things have come” (II Cor. 5:17).
He is Risen!!