By Douglas M. Williams Sr.
During Jesus’ personal ministry while on earth, He repeatedly told his followers that He would suffer and be killed, but then be raised on the third day (Matthew 16:21; Mark 8:31).
Jesus said, “The Son of Man is about to be betrayed into the hands of men, and they will kill Him, and the third day He will be raised up” (Matthew 17:22-23; Mark 9:31; 10:34; Luke 9:22; 18:33). The disciples were “exceedingly sorrowful” when Jesus told them about what was going to happen to Him, and Peter “began to rebuke Him, saying, ‘Far be it from You, Lord; this shall not happen to You’” (Matthew 16:22).
But still, His disciples didn’t understand and comprehend what Jesus was saying. After the death of Jesus, His disciples forsook Him and went back to their former way of life before they had met Jesus. But as Jesus appeared to them after His resurrection His disciples remembered what he had told them about His death and resurrection, and they believed and understood.
In each of the gospel accounts about the life of Christ, near the close of their writings, they each tell about the resurrection of Jesus. Then about 50 days later Peter preached the gospel that included the resurrection (Acts 2:23-24; 29-32). And the resurrection of Jesus was central to the teaching of the early Christians (Acts 4:2; 17:18; 23:6).
Because of the resurrection, the tomb of Jesus is empty, and He has ascended back to heaven where He is seated at the right hand of God. Without the resurrection, Christianity would not be a reality and would have no meaning. Thank God for the resurrection of Jesus!
In 1 Corinthians 15, Paul discusses at length the resurrection of Jesus as the first fruits and showing that there will be a resurrection of all the dead at the last day. Jesus also taught this at John 5:28-29.
We ought to often reflect on the resurrection of Jesus. Christians do this in the observance of the Lord’s Supper on the first day of each week (Acts 20:7).
Also, in our baptism, we are buried and raised with Christ as a likeness of His resurrection (Romans 6:3-6).